Industry insiders may be tempted to think litigation is in recession now that South Florida’s economy is on the rebound but as Alan Kluger states in the Daily Business Review, that couldn’t be further from the truth. In this new economic cycle, he’s seeing less litigation between business partners fighting for leftover scraps from failed business ventures and more disputes among partners and joint venturers fighting over the fruits of the bounty of success.
He points out that many real estate projects that were previously faltering are now flourishing. So parties that were trying to restructure deal terms to mitigate their losses now want to restore the original deal terms to reap the benefits of the rebound economy.
Prior to the 2008 recession, the South Florida skyline was teeming with cranes as the real estate market boomed. But then the newly or partially completed projects remained empty as developers and brokers were unable to sell residential and commercial properties and projects. With the entire real estate community reeling, brokers, developers, lenders, investors and buyers and sellers often turned to the courthouse to resolve issues that emerged as the South Florida real estate market was plummeting. As we emerge from the recession, a review of the events of the past few years may help to avoid future litigation.
Much has been written about the recent Florida Supreme Court case of Delmonico v. Traynor, which declined to extend Florida’s long standing absolute litigation privilege to statements made by an attorney during ex-parte, out of court questioning of a nonparty witness. Recently I came across an interesting twist on Traynor that will hopefully require the courts to revisit the scope of the absolute privilege.
The Traynor decision dealt with a defamation claim and since the facts of Traynor are well laid out here, they won’t be addressed in this post. It should be noted that defamation was one of the historical torts that the absolute privilege was intended to protect – libel and slander being the others.
“We are thrilled to be chosen for such an honor,” said Founding Partner, Alan Kluger, “Kluger Kaplan has built a significant practice both locally and nationally handling a variety of complex real estate litigation matters.”
When large amounts of money are at stake in a civil litigation, parties may resort to a host of criminal activities in order to guide the case towards a favorable outcome. As civil litigators, we often do not recognize criminal activity because we are generally accustomed to dealing only with “civil” issues. However, it is not uncommon for criminal activities to find their way into the civil courts when a party resorts to illegal activities to limit its exposure. Examples include forgery of key documents, perjury, suborning of perjury, modification of financial data, fraud on the court and “spoofing.” Spoofing occurs when an email address is highjacked and emails are purportedly sent from an individual who uses the email address but in fact, the emails are sent by a third party.