Small and Medium businesses face, just like consumers, abuse or unfair treatment from bigger, unscrupulous businesses. When this happens, it is important to take swift action first, to reduce damages, and second to put the other party on notice; to send a strong message. It is important that as a business you are protected from abuse by other businesses by a competent lawyer. We have represented dozens of small businesses in commercial disputes in mediation, arbitration or when necessary, litigation. It is important that you rely in an experienced attorney that can navigate the ever-difficult legal world for your business. At Ayala, we not only have the expertise and team to take your case all the way through trial, but we are passionate about small businesses and that passion inevitably energizes the service we give you, making us more active, efficient, and resilient lawyers for you. Contact us if you have a business dispute.
Contractual disputes are time-consuming, expensive and unpleasant. They can destroy a prior long-term excellent relationship with a supplier, client, or related business. Sometimes however, there is no other option but to pursue legally the rights for you bargained for in your contract. We have many years representing small business owners and private individuals in contractual disputes. A few important things to review in your contract if you are thinking of legal action are: (1) arbitration clauses, (2) forum clauses, (3) choice of law (what law applies to your contract), (4) damages provisions, (5) non-competes, and (6) conditions precedent. At Ayala, we can help you evaluate your potential breach of contract case, or if someone has sued you, defend you.
Real Estate and Title Disputes
Sometimes, it is not a clear who is the lawful owner of real estate. Sometimes there are multiple owners of one single, indivisible property, and each of these owners’ rights are subject to conditions or things that need to occur before their rights on the property are valid. In the process, the answer to who is or are the rightful owners of a unit, can be obscured and with that, disputes arise. We have experience litigating complicated title disputes in court. Our real estate transaction practice coupled with our experience in litigation, makes us uniquely positioned to deal with situations in which someone else is making a claim of something you thought it was yours, or vice-versa.
Anyone towing a vehicle in Florida without the consent of the owner must comply with the requirements of Florida Statutes Section 715.07. If you park and your car was towed when you came back, contact the local police department to report the vehicle as missing. Local law enforcement will be able to tell you whether your vehicle has been towed and, if so, which towing company towed the vehicle and where your vehicle is stored.
If your vehicle was damaged in the towing process, you may recover the costs to repair your vehicle. The Statutes also require that the towing company store your vehicle within 10 miles of the towing site. If your vehicle was taken to a storage location more than 10 miles from the location of the tow, your rights may have been violated.
If you believe you were not parked illegally, contact our office.
Disputes between landlords and tenants can occur for many reasons. On the tenant side, failure to pay rent is the most typical. On the landlord side, sometimes landlords fail to maintain the rented property appropriately, and in compliance with the rental agreement (whether it is oral or written). When the agreement is written the document generally details who is responsible for which repair, up to what amount, and the timing of the repair. In commercial leases, there can be disputes as to the CAM (Common Area Maintenance) amounts. Commercial Triple Net Leases (lease where then tenant pays taxes, insurance and maintenance) can complicate things even further and create disputes. At Ayala, we are experienced in complex landlord tenant litigation and can guide you and represent you throughout the process.
Construction usually involves a lot more than the developer or contractor that is in charge of the main project. It usually involves innumerous parties that need to work in a specific, precise, coordinated fashion for the project to be successfully completed. As one may imagine, the more parties the more susceptible to problems, errors, disputes the construction project is. When a problem arises, and becomes a legal matter, the dispute can be as sophisticated as the nature of the construction, the sophisticated parties involved and the high amounts at stake. At Ayala, we have successfully represented unpaid contractors and owners that suffered substantial damages as a result of defective or incomplete work. Our experience in complex litigation also equips us with the skills and knowledge required to deal with this type of cases.
Consumer Finance Litigation
After the 2007-2008 financial crisis, financial institutions came to the spotlight for their deceptive and abusive practices. The result was an increase in regulations to protect consumers from ever powerful banks and lenders. For example, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, established new disclosures and the now common 3-day-rule before banks can close on a residential loan. The goal of the rule was to give the consumer, after reading the comprehensive disclosures, a chance to change her mind, in case there was a dramatic difference between what was offered and what was being given at the end—when the borrower was at risk of breach on the purchase sale contract. The disclosure has very specific rules and requirements that have to be strictly complied with and that can subject lender to liability. At Ayala, we have experience in both, lending transactions and consumer litigation. This combination puts us in a unique position to understand cases where consumers have been abused by misrepresentations or lack of proper disclosures by powerful financial institutions.
PACA Administrative Actions
The Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) was enacted to promote fair trade in the fruit and vegetable industry. PACA protects businesses dealing in fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables by establishing and enforcing a code of fair business practices and helping companies resolve business disputes.
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is responsible for administering PACA laws and regulations. AMS also offers a forum and procedures to buyers and sellers of produce to resolve their disputes before going to a formal court proceeding.
At Ayala we have represented South American sellers of produce in PACA administrative actions in the U.S. Though administrative and expedited in nature, PACA disputes have a lot of similarities to court proceedings and in that sense, it is important to have an experienced litigation firm handling the dispute. Foreign South American companies specially, can benefit from Ayala’s familiarity with the realities of business practices in both: South America and the United States.
Seed and Agriculture Litigation
The federal government in Title 7 of the United States Code regulates the production, purchase and sale of agricultural products. Chapter 37 (the Federal Seed Act or FSA) of Title 7 specifically regulates the purchase and sales of seeds in interstate commerce. The FSA establishes very specific disclosure requirements for seeds sellers such as: the percentage of germination, the percentage of hard seed, the details of the tests performed on the seeds. State rules also impose other duties on seeds sellers. Failure to comply with these requirements may subject the seller to liability for damages. Seed purchasers are in a difficult position to predict the condition of the seeds but only after seeds have been seeded and geminated; when it is actually too late, and crops, lands, and business relations may have been destroyed as a result. At Ayala we have experience representing seed purchasers for damages caused by sellers’ failure to comply with the requirements of the FSA and other seed laws.
Condominium Association Law
In today’s Miami housing market, chances are you live in a building or community where there is either a condominium association or a home owner’s association (HOA). HOA’s and condo associations alike are required to comply with Florida Statutes regulating associations and with the condo documents (aka as the Declaration of condominium). In addition, associations have by-laws and rules and regulations they have to abide by. The condo documents and rules are like contracts that if breached may create some right of action for the condo owner or resident. At Ayala we have successfully represented many condo or HOA owners in legal disputes against their association when their action caused them damages. Our experience in commercial litigation also makes us uniquely positioned to take on condo associations that do not abide by their governing documents.