We serve all areas of business law from shareholder and business partnership disputes and breach of contract to complex business litigation. We form corporations, partnerships, and limited liability companies (LLC’s). We have also handled a number of lawsuits involving the purchase and sale of businesses and real estate.
Our experienced attorneys have litigated over a thousand cases involving business or real estate and are well positioned to advise clients in these areas.
Our Tampa Bay area business law attorneys can evaluate and create a strategy on a case-by-case basis to aidin both litigating business and contract dispute cases and in negotiating favorable settlements for clients, where settlement is proper.
We also provide consulting and advisory services for the purchase and sale of law firms and law practices.
Disputes between business owners, shareholders and business partners can be extremely contentious due to the often personal nature of the relationship. When friends go into business together, they assume that they will be able to amicably resolve any disputes that arise. Frequently, one partner will be the financial investor in a business, project, or joint venture, and the other partner will be managing the day by day operations of the business. Expeditious judicial intervention is often needed where one partner shuts the other out of the daily operations or removes the other from access to bank accounts.
Even where the parties have a shareholder agreement or a partnership agreement, disputes arise where one or more parties breaches that agreement. Sometimes taking legal action is necessary in order to enforce the terms of the contract they agreed upon or to separate business interests.
We represent business clients in suits against their partners, suits against their companies, and we defend suits brought by shareholders and partners.
We represent contractors, subcontractors, laborers, and materialmen in litigation, both as the plaintiff bringing the action and as the party defending an action in court. Often, these construction lawsuits are filed due to nonpayment for work completed or materials supplied. We also represent commercial business owners and homeowners who suffer construction delays and faulty construction.
Our office assists in the recording of claims of lien and the filing to foreclose on said liens where needed. We also contest liens filed against our construction clients. Florida laws are strict concerning construction lien law and we have the knowledge and experience needed to handle lawsuits in these areas.
Finally, just because a contractor has missed a deadline for filing a formal construction lien does not necessarily mean that recovery or even foreclosure is impossible. A court may award an equitable lien or even foreclosure where under some circumstances. Do not delay, but seek legal advice.
What do you do now that you have a final judgment? Many people are surprised to learn that getting a final judgment is not necessarily the end, because it does not guarantee that the losing party will abide by the court’s ruling. Collecting on a final judgment is an entirely different matter, and may be as complicated as getting the final judgment in the first place. In many cases, a winning party obtains a final judgment and the losing party simply ignores it. Without enforcement, the final judgment is just a piece of paper. Sometimes, the losing party will do whatever it takes to avoid paying a judgment, including hiding or transferring assets.
Our experienced team of attorneys and paralegals develop collections strategies that frequently result in collections where others have failed. Post-judgment collection methods come in many varieties, including garnishment, writ of attachment, sheriff’s levy, statutory proceedings supplementary, and undoing fraudulent transfers. Our attorneys frequently force financial institutions to provide the records for a defendant in a collections case, and analyze the records to follow the trail of money. Our firm has had great success in this complex area of law.
As a corollary to this practice area we are also well-positioned to advise clients on the best methods of protecting assets from over-aggressive creditors.
Garnishment is one method of enforcing a final judgment for damages. A garnishment could be a one-time lump sum against a bank account or a brought against an employer to remove and capture a portion of a regular paycheck. We both prosecute and defend garnishment actions and specialize in obtaining funds for creditors and strategically using exemptions and other methods to protect debtors from unfair collections practices.
Attorney Benjamin Hillard has an MBA from Stetson University and is a former banker and former business broker. He has represented businesses and individuals in lawsuits involving the purchase and sale of businesses. Such cases often involve seller misrepresentations, asset liens issues, seller financing, or other complex legal issues. Ben’s experience also extends to litigation over the purchase of sale of law practices. Finally, while as a banker, Ben conducted asset purchase due diligence, arguably, the most important aspect of any purchase.
The purchase of business or law practice is a life-changing decision for most. It is better to seek advice prior to inking any transaction and even prior to the due diligence period.
When two parties enter into a contract, they generally do so with the expectation that the other side will behave according to the terms of that contract. But sometimes the parties disagree as to what exactly a term or provision of the contract actually means. Or perhaps the parties encounter a situation not covered by the terms of the contract and need guidance on how to proceed. Or, worst of all, one party may intentionally breach the contract to the detriment of the other party. In any of these situations, it is helpful and sometimes necessary to have legal professionals on your side. Regardless of whether a contract is oral, written, or a combination of both, you have rights as a party to the contract. The attorneys at Hillard Cuykendall & Allred, P.A. have the experience to guide you through your rights under the contract and the law, and to take the matter to trial if necessary to defend your rights. Please call our office to set an appointment to discuss your particular matter.
Our office has significant experience in advising, negotiating, and litigation over written employment contracts, including non-compete agreements. This is distinct from employment issues that develop where no written employment contract exists. While we often provide advice to our business clients in this area, our primary focus typically pertains to written employment contracts. Schedule a free consultation so we can determine how we can best serve you.
Unjust enrichment is associated with contract law and may be available where a formal contract does not exist. An unjust enrichment claim may be available: (1) plaintiff has conferred a benefit on the other party and the other party was aware of the benefit; (2) the other party accepted and retained the benefit conferred; and (3) under circumstances where it wouldn’t be fair for the other party to retain the benefit without paying for it. This definition comes from Hillman Const. Corp. v. Wainer, 636 So. 2d 576, 577 (Fla. 4th DCA 1994).
Fraud is a general term, which is often mistakenly used to characterize wrongdoings. However, our clients have experienced fraud, and our firm is experienced in prosecuting such cases of fraud. Fraud in the Inducement is a cause of action when someone lied in order to induce another person to take action. For example, someone may make false promises in order to induce another to enter into a contract. Fraudulent misrepresentation is a false statement of material fact upon which another person relies to his or her detriment. Constructive fraud occurs when one party has an unconscionable advantage over another and uses that advantage to his benefit to the detriment of the other. Our attorneys have been successful in prosecuting fraud lawsuits.
Our clients often ask us to file civil theft lawsuits where a person or entity stole or wrongfully retained money belonging to our clients. A prevailing civil theft lawsuit entitles the injured party to treble, or threefold, the damages recoverable. It is not criminal in nature. Under Florida statute, the injured party must first send written demand to his opponent that a claim for civil theft will be brought if the money is not returned within 30 days, and the civil theft lawsuit may not be filed until that time period lapses. Oftentimes, the demand itself is enough to get the opposing side to settle the dispute by paying most or all of the money back, but our attorneys are experienced in litigating civil theft cases.
We provide consultations regarding personal injury cases. While not a part of our main law practice area, we are familiar with attorneys in the area who specialize in personal injury, and can offer guidance in selecting the attorney best suited to handle your case.
Our firm handles cases where someone borrowed money and has not returned such money when due. Such claims are often brought where there is no formal written contract.
Tortious interference occurs where a third party or someone outside of a contractual relationship interferes with a party’s performance under a contract.