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Can an employer in Florida be sued for giving a poor reference?

When a person in Jacksonville is hunting for a job, one thing they may need are references from previous employers. Of course, in today's competitive market getting a job is not always easy, and job hunters will usually experience a certain amount of rejection. Some of them, however, believe that the reason they did not get a particular job is because a reference gave their prospective employer an unfavorable review. When this happens, a person may try to sue their former employer for defamation.

For a declaration to be defamatory, it must affect the worker's reputation, even if it did not actually harm the worker. The declaration will be looked at with regards to the situation in which it was made, who it was made to and with regards to other surrounding circumstances. Even mere conduct on an employer's part might be considered defamation in certain situations.

Business litigation regarding autonomous vehicles settled

Autonomous vehicles -- which at one time may have been seen like something out of television shows like the "Jetsons," -- are fast becoming a reality. Companies are investing into these vehicles with the aim that those vehicles will increase their ability to earn a profit. That being said, the technology behind autonomous vehicles is still in its beginning stages, and companies that produce autonomous vehicles will fight to keep their trade secrets private.

Floridians may be interest in a recent settlement between Waymo, which is the autonomous vehicle unit of Alphabet, and the ride sharing company Uber. Alphabet is the parent company of online giant Google. Under the terms of the settlement, Waymo will be getting $245 million of equity in Uber. The settlement came on the heels of pending business litigation regarding trade secrets. The allegations behind the lawsuit were that Uber wrongfully used trade secrets owned by Waymo.

Avoiding a shareholder suit

Shareholder lawsuits are very costly for any company. Though every shareholder has an interest in protecting the value of the company, including its brand, the publicity generated by a suit can be very damaging. They should be seen as a last resort in any dispute between shareholders and the executives of a company.

Honest, open communication with shareholders is often the key to resolving a dispute in an equitable way that does not make it to court. A recent example with popular real estate website Zillow shows how important this is.

Tortious interference could lead to business litigation

The open market in the United States allows companies in Florida and nationwide to compete with each other in a healthy way that ultimately boosts the nation's economy. However, there are times when one business does something that unlawfully and intentionally interferes with another business's operations, including business contracts and relationships, to cause that business to suffer financially. This is known as tortious interference, and it is can form the basis of business litigation.

There are numerous scenarios that could constitute tortious interference. One is when one party coerces or encourages another party to breach a business contract. This might be done, for example, through threats, blackmail, offering a party a better market price or making it impossible for a party to do what they are obligated to under the contract. Keep in mind that to constitute tortious interference, the act must be intentional, not merely negligent. In addition, the person committing tortious interference must have an improper motive for committing said acts.

What types of business litigation are available to shareholders?

Sometimes, an uptick or downswing in a corporation's value is due simply to economic circumstances. However, other times, a corporation could be negligently or purposely mishandled by its officers. In Florida and nationwide, when a shareholder sustains financial losses due to the wrongful actions of the corporate managers, they may want to pursue a class-action lawsuit or a shareholder derivative lawsuit.

A class-action lawsuit is one in which more than one person is named as a plaintiff. These people, who have sustained similar damages, join together to sue the corporation. The primary reason for bringing a class-action suit is to permit a group of people who have all sustained similar damages to seek compensation, even if, had they sued as an individual, their claims would have been repetitive or not very significant. Class-action lawsuits also relieve overburdened courts from having to process multiple similar lawsuits based on the same actions.

Florida law addresses 'drive-by' disability lawsuits

While most Florida business want to be compliant with federal law, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), some people are stating that frivolous "drive-by" lawsuits regarding the ADA are becoming too prevalent. To that end, a law was passed that would help businesses facing such lawsuits. Unfortunately, many businesses are not aware of this law.

Under the law, which became effective last summer, business owners accused of violating the ADA are permitted to file plans on a state website with regards to what they will do to remedy the situation. However, at this time only two businesses in the state have utilized this website.

Kid Rock faces business litigation over a trademarked phrase

Florida fans of the celebrity musician Kid Rock may be looking forward to attending a show in his upcoming U.S. tour for his newest album "Sweet Southern Sugar." However, the musician has recently changed the name of his tour after being sued by Feld Entertainment.

The tour was originally to be called, "The Greatest Show On Earth." However, Feld Entertainment, which owns two classic circuses organizations -- Barnum & Bailey Circus and the Ringling Bros. -- claimed that they already owned a trademark for that name. Following a lawsuit brought by Feld Entertainment, the tour name has since been changed to "The American Rock N Roll Tour."

Contract disputes trickier in Florida

Contracts are usually entered into with the best of intentions. Two or more parties agree to work together, deliver services, or sell products. But sometimes the arrangements don’t work out for any number of reasons and one or more of the signers is upset.

It can happen anywhere, but if it happens in Florida the party which feels they were wronged may have a harder time. That’s because some rulings in this state required that an award of damages required a substantial break in the contract, called a “material breach,” rather than a smaller failure to comply or a “partial breach.”

Sometimes business litigation is the only way to resolve disputes

Business disputes arise every day in Florida. Business owners may try to resolve these disputes out of court, but sometimes, this just is not possible. Business owners may have no other choice but to file a lawsuit, or conversely, may find that they themselves are being sued. In either case, it is important for business owners to seek the help they need to reach a satisfactory outcome.

There are numerous types of disputes that could lead to business litigation. For example, a breached contract or the breach of one's fiduciary duties could lead to a lawsuit. Other disputes, such as those alleging business fraud, insurance fraud and false advertising, could also lead to a lawsuit. In addition, certain employment law disputes could lead to a lawsuit, including disputes regarding severance agreements, noncompete agreements or disability issues. These are only a few examples of the many disputes that could ultimately lead to business litigation.

Getting past a partnership dispute

A business partnership is often more than a simple relationship, it can be like a marriage. Both parties put their hopes and dreams into the venture and have certain expectations. There are often a lot of emotions riding on if for that reason.

Disputes among partners are inevitable. Things don’t go as planned, either for the worst or for the best. Sometimes success itself can cause more disputes than difficulties. Whatever the reason, if a dispute is developing between you and your partner it’s best to act quickly to ease it and get on with business.

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