Posts Tagged intent

LESSONS IN LIABILITY – Contract Liability

This is the first article of a new series from entitled “LESSONS IN LIABILITY – HOW FLORIDA BUSINESSES CAN AVOID COSTLY LAWSUITS.” This series is designed to promote’s goal of keeping its clients “in compliance and out of the courtroom.” Even though America’s judicial system is the most advanced in the world, very rarely is a civil lawsuit a smart financial investment for a small to mid-sized business due to the extreme legal costs and time constraints associated with prosecuting or defending a lawsuit. The first area of potential liability every business faces in Florida is contract liability. Contracts are essential to business and form the backbone of any successful business relationship. Regardless of whether agreements are sealed by a handshake or a twenty-page written contract, business agreements allow the parties to operate with a level of certainty regarding what they can expect from their owners, employees, suppliers, customers and anyone else they have a contract with. Unfortunately, contracts also provide the potential for significant liability if they are found to be unenforceable of if you knowingly, or worse, unknowingly breach a contract without understanding the consequences of your actions. Many contracts also include choice of law, venue selection and attorney fee shifting clauses that can substantially limit your ability to litigate a breach of contract claim. These types of clauses can make the potential liability for contract breaches even more severe and, potentially, devastating for a small business. Contracts in General To form a contract in Florida, there needs to be: (1) an offer to do or not do something in the future; (2) consideration provided in exchange for the performance of the other party (consideration must have some sort of value and cannot be a gift); and (3) verbal or written acceptance of the proposed terms