We help our clients who are parties to legal disputes outside of Florida collect monies owed to them in Florida. Whether you have a foreign judgment or an arbitration award, we can help you collect the losing party’s assets located in Florida.
A judgment is an official decision of a court. It is the final determination of the rights of the parties in a legal action or proceeding. If there was a loss suffered, the judgment may include damages, a monetary compensation for the loss suffered. If the judgment comes from a court outside the state of Florida, in Florida it is said to be a foreign judgment.
A foreign judgment must go through the process of domestication in order for a prevailing party to collect money for, or enforce the judgment in Florida. This requirement comes from the Florida Domestication of Foreign Judgments Act.
Domestication is a separate litigation process that requires a special hearing to grant an order to recognize the foreign judgment in Florida. Once the judgment has been recognized, a Florida Final Judgment will be issued. This final judgment is fully enforceable in Florida, and will allow your Florida attorney to collect the monies owed to you in the foreign judgment.
An award is the official decision rendered by arbitrators. It is the final determination of the controversy submitted to them in arbitration, and it is binding in virtually every jurisdiction. If there are damages attached to the award, and the losing party has assets in Florida, the prevailing party may seize those assets. While an arbitration award does not require domestication, is subject to a different body of international laws and rules. Among other factors, enforcing an arbitration award depends on the member status of the countries of the parties to certain Conventions and the existence of Treaties. At a minimum, to enforce an arbitration award in Florida you must file Petition to Enforce the award.
Take note: if the prevailing party was a business, that business needs to hire an attorney to represent it, either in the domestication process or in the enforcement of the award. This is because a business is required by law to hire an attorney to represent it. Choose a Florida business attorney who has experience collecting judgments and awards for his clients.
To collect money located in Florida, you must file a domestication of foreign judgment in Florida.
If you’re planning to move to Florida or the United States from another country, and you plan to invest in a U.S. business, you may qualify for an investor’s visa. Some investor visas offer permanent US Residency. Two of the most popular paths to becoming an investor immigrant include the EB-5 visa and the E-2 visa. Each of these paths includes filing a detailed and lengthy visa application. An experienced immigration attorney can streamline the process and ensure that you fulfill every legal obligation.
The most advertised investor’s visa is the EB-5 visa. The EB-5 visa grants residency in the United States to anyone who invests at least $1 million ($500,000 in some instances) and creates 10 or more jobs.
Two major upsides to the EB-5 visa is that the residency it grants is permanent in nature, and it extends to the immediate family of the investor as well. To meet the requirements, you must invest in a qualifying entity, like Skyrise Miami, which accepts EB-5 investors. On the EB-5 application an immigration business plan is also required. You’ll want to hire an attorney highly experienced in business immigration and international business law to assist you the creation of your business plan.
An E-2 visa is a more affordable type of investor visa. The E-2 visa is 5-year temporary visa that is granted to individuals who invest a certain amount into a United States company. To fulfill the investment requirements for obtaining an E-2 visa the individual may choose to invest a substantial sum into an existing business, buy an existing business, or even start a new business within the United States.
One important upside to the E-2 visa is that it is renewable every five years so long as you meet the requirements. Satisfying the ongoing requirements is imperative if you plan to live in the United States for more than five years. Another significant upside is that the E-2 visa can be a stepping stone to an EB-5 visa. If you are unable to make a $1 million investment immediately, you may be able to apply for an E-2 visa and build your way up to the $1 million total investment over time. Alternatively, if you are employed by a foreign company with a U.S. sister company, you may qualify for an L1 visa. It is important to know the differences between the L1 visa and the E-2 visa, which an experienced immigration attorney can explain to you.
October 4, 2015 the Ministers of twelve countries concluded their negotiations for the landmark Asia-Pacific trade agreement known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Those twelve countries include Australia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Vietnam, Chile, Brunei, Singapore, New Zealand, and the United States. While all the potential effects of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement on your business are not yet known, at least one aspect of the agreement incentivizes international expansion.
The TPP provides “comprehensive market access,” which “eliminates or reduces tariff and non-tariff barriers across substantially all trade in goods and services.” The significance of this may be substantial for business owners who either are from or are doing business in one of the twelve member countries, including the United States.
One positive effect of the TPP is that businesses are expanding. Before the TPP, some business owners could not afford to expand their companies because the cost of exporting was too steep. With these new limits on tariff and non-tariff barriers now in place, many businesses may now find themselves able to afford to expand into foreign markets.
One potentially negative effect of the TPP is that many businesses are now availing themselves to an array of international laws and regulations. While the all-time low cost of exporting may present a great opportunity to increase profits and grow your business, it also may present a new set of legal implications for you to consider. Many international contracts are governed by international laws and regulations that may not work exactly how you think they do. For example, suppose a seller from New Zealand enters a contract with a buyer from the United States. Depending on how the contract is drafted, whether it is a contract for goods or services, and the circumstances surrounding the deal, a future contract dispute for breach may either be sent to arbitration or to trial. Further, the tribunal or court that hears the case may be located in New Zealand, the United States, or a location wholly distinct from either country. Finally, the tribunal or court may apply the laws of New Zealand, the laws of the United States, or even a set of laws wholly distinct from either country.
To protect yourself from a potentially expensive dispute resolution and to prevent yourself from unintentionally breaching a contract yourself, you need to be certain what exactly you’re agreeing to under the contract. What exactly are your obligations? In the event of a breach, how will a dispute be resolved? What country’s laws will apply? Where will the hearing be located? You may be able to control these factors simply by making sure your negotiations are overseen and your contracts are carefully drafted by an experienced international business attorney.
For more information about the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the effects it may have on your international business, visit the Office of the United States Trade Representative’s TPP webpage at https://ustr.gov/tpp/.
The above video was posted on YouTube by the Florida Chamber of Commerce, who recently hosted the 2015 International Days, which Attorney Boyer attended and assisted at. Attorney Boyer is a Board Certified Expert in International Law.
As a Board Certified Expert in International Law, Attorney Boyer can help you with every aspect of highly diverse international law matters including foreign investment in Florida, U.S. Visas for foreign investors, real estate purchases, business formation and organization, and many other international matters.