Mediation, Arbitration, and Litigation

Mediation is becoming increasingly popular in Florida courts; it is estimated that 75% of all cases in Florida are settled through mediation.

Mediation and arbitration are both alternatives to litigation, the process of presenting your case before a judge or jury.

When arbitration occurs, both sides present their case to the arbitrator, who then makes a decision. Once that decision is made, it is final and usually legally binding. Mediation allows both sides to discuss their issues and try to come to some kind of agreement together. The mediator’s job is not to make a decision but to facilitate a discussion. It is the job of the parties involved to come to a mutually beneficial compromise.

AgreementMediation can be court-mandated by a judge before the dispute goes to trial, or the involved parties can choose to go to mediation on their own. It is a good option to consider before bringing a case to trial and incurring all the financial and emotional hardships that come with litigation.

If mediation does not work and the case does happen to go to trial, Mr. Boyer is licensed to practice law in all Florida courts.

Source: FindLaw

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Business Checkup: A Legal Business Audit

It is necessary for businesses to conduct a legal business audit periodically in order to determine any existing legal problems. An audit should be done by an attorney so that attorney-client privilege applies and the results of the audit cannot be used against the company in legal proceedings.

A legal business audit will review the company’s documents, practices, and activities to determine any legal issues that may arise in the future and potentially lead to lawsuits, the interruption of the business, or criminal penalties. The audit should also show the company how to correct these issues.Legal Business Audit

An audit may also reveal unknown business opportunities, such as the discovery of unprotected intellectual property.

The legal business audit may include a review of the following areas: Corporate Records, Company Stock, Contracts, Federal and State Filings, Protection of Intellectual Property, Insurance, Employment forms and policies, and the Compliance of the company’s website in accordance with Florida State Law.

The complexity of the audit is unique to each company depending on factors such as the industry of the company, the number of employees and shareholders the company has, and where the company is in its growth objectives.

Sources: CorpLaw ; Bullivant

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Port of Panama City Expands for International Trade

International trade growth has led to the expansion of Florida’s only container shipping port, which is good news for Florida importers and exporters.International trade: import and export

Bay County, Florida is home to Florida’s only container port, the Panama City Port in Northwest Florida, and the port will be expanding.

Port Panama City has access to the Gulf of Mexico through an almost 9-mile channel. The port has deepened this channel to 36 feet, and it is in the process of constructing two buildings at the new off-site Intermodal Distribution Center to be used for port arrivals awaiting pickup and port arrivals that will be delivered in the U.S. by truck or train.

The expansion of the port, the new U.S. trade agreements with South American and Latin American countries, and the upcoming expansion of the Panama Canal offer new opportunities to expand international trade between Florida and these countries.

There are currently 15 seaports in Florida: Port of Fernandina, Port of Jacksonville, Port Canaveral, Port of Fort Pierce, Port of Palm Beach, Port Everglades, Port Miami, Port Key West, Port Manatee, Port of St. Petersburg, Port of Tampa, Port Citrus, Port of Port St. Joe, Port Panama City, and Port of Pensacola.

We have assisted clients through the processes of trade, importing and exporting goods, and customs law.

 

Sources: Florida Trend ; Florida Seaports; Port Panama City USA

 

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Florida Home Inspection

freeimage-8560039 (1024x724)In any Florida residential real estate transaction, a home inspection should be done before the house is closed on. The inspection should occur immediately after the contract or purchase agreement has been signed, if not earlier.

Before you sign the agreement, you should make sure there is an inspection clause that makes your final obligation to purchase the house contingent on the results of the inspection. Hiring a real estate attorney will help you through the entire process of buying the house, including reviewing the contract to make sure this clause is present.

Although it is not required for you to be present at the home inspection, it is recommended. If you are there, you can observe the inspector and ask questions.

An inspection should be done by a licensed inspector. It should identify the need for major repairs and highlight any builder oversights. There are two different types of inspections: a full inspection and a four-point inspection.

freeimage-1345036A four-point inspection is generally less expensive than a full inspection. It includes the inspection of the roofing, electrical work, heating and air conditioning, and plumbing. It does not include the inspection of the water heater, attic insulation, walls, ceilings, the basement, other structural components, etc.

These would all be included in a full inspection.

The buyer of the home is usually the one who pays for the inspection, but it is in the best interest of everyone involved to have an inspection in order to make the sale of the home as clean of a transaction as possible.

If you are the seller of a house, it may be a good idea to do a home inspection before you put the house on the market. This will allow you to identify and fix problems, which may increase the value of the house.

Sources: Florida Realtors ; American Society of Home Inspectors

Holiday Office Hours

Boyer Law Firm Holiday HoursOur office will be closed on the following days:

Monday, December 24
Tuesday, December 25
Tuesday, January 1.

We will be open on Monday, December 31.

We wish everybody a safe and Happy Holiday!

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