Business Disputes


Weather the Storm

Strategic methods,
exacting application,
and decisive results.

As fellow business owners, we approach business disputes with a focus on the bigger picture.

Business law disputes fall under the purview of commercial litigation, which is legal action relating to any business transaction or the conduct of business, including merchandising, banking, trade, and sales.
This commercial litigation is a bedrock practice of Bernhard Law Firm. We approach each dispute as though it were our own business at issue, and provide the legal services that we would desire and expect to best protect our business assets. We investigate and pursue every avenue in litigation and negotiation, but do so efficiently to minimize expense and maximize returns.

We represent clients in private treble damage actions and in unfair and deceptive trade practices litigation.

We litigate controversies over price discrimination, dealer termination, restrictive covenants, legality of business and distribution agreements, receiverships, employment, white collar investigations, asset forfeitures, contract and warranties, business torts, partnership and director disagreements, and any claims under consumer protection laws. We manage all business and trade disputes from pre-suit investigation through post-suit appeal.

The recent debt crisis provoked important developments in enforcement of legislation affecting corporate decision-making, the oversight by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the process of FDIC bank seizures, and the pressure for stock exchange regulations, driving an array of actions against corporations and their officers and directors by a variety of claimants.

Shareholders, creditors, trustees, private plaintiffs, and governmental claimants have filed myriad lawsuits on the state and federal level.

Bernhard Law Firm represents clients in trials and appeals involving public, closely held, and non-profit corporations and corporate officers, directors, and shareholders.

We represent officers, directors, and members in court concerning securities and common law fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, ultra vires acts, negligence, conversion, improper imposition of assessments, usurpation of corporate opportunity and waste, disclosure violations, fraudulent transfers, and conflicts of interest.

Our corporate practice extends to litigation over corporate management and control, member and shareholder rights, contract disputes and covenants not to compete, employment agreements, mergers and financial transactions, and insurance coverage disputes. We also represent partnerships, partners, and sole proprietors in similar types of commercial litigation.

We lead clients through sensitive internal and external investigations, and facilitate advantageous interpretation of shareholder agreements, resolution of deadlocks and mediations.

Bernhard Law Firm resolves disputes related to the construction and enforceability of commercial instruments, trade and installment contracts, and business covenants.

We represent both plaintiffs and defendants in contractual disputes involving business, financial, insurance, real estate, employment, manufacturing, confidentiality, and professional service issues.

Our clients have included institutional lenders in a variety of disputes with borrowers, and parties in local and cross-border disputes over letters of credit and contracts for the sale of goods. We learn the pivotal elements of our clients' business and operating affairs in order to thoroughly analyze contracts and interpret the terminology, terms, and obligations of the relevant parties. We negotiate and resolve disputes efficiently and effectively without litigation, or relentlessly and meticulously deconstruct claims to obtain the most favorable result possible.

When businesses fail to abide by Florida's civil and criminal statutes on fraud, misrepresentation, misappropriation, and theft, consumers have the right to pursue substantial remedies for compensation, including suits for treble damages (triple the amount lost).

Bernhard Law Firm handles treble damage cases for clients arising under the Civil Remedies for Criminal Practices Act (also known as the Florida RICO statute) and the federal RICO Act, as well as multi-party lawsuits against businesses for violation of various state consumer protection laws in connection with the advertising and merchandising of their products and services.

Bernhard Law Firm represents businesses and corporate members in cases involving land use and land assessment issues, including easements, condemnation, tax assessment and sale disputes with local governments, and community assessment and sale disputes with community associations.

We also litigate business financing of real estate transactions, and prepare transactional and corporate documents. Bernhard Law Firm also handles landlord-tenant disputes, commercial leasing matters, valuations of fair market rentals, and disputes with developers relating to construction, operation, and turnover of real estate developments.

  • As counsel to a major national financial institution, litigated FDIC preemption for lawsuits stemming from one of the largest recorded FDIC bank seizures in U.S. history.
  • Defended the initial wave of lawsuits stemming from the force-placed insurance phenomenon, achieving a significant court position that force-placed insurance was neither a breach of contract, breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, nor unjust enrichment.
  • Facilitated negotiation of a multi-million dollar settlement for a large Florida community bank in a shareholder action overseen by the FDIC.
  • Successfully defended multi-bank community lawsuit regarding a million dollar property gutting and violation of community covenants, achieving case dismissal and negotiation for sale at double the property's appraised value.
  • Defended South Beach hotel group's lawsuit to recuperate multi-million dollar renovation at the expense of the residential members, forcing purchase of property by hotel group at client's profit.

We handle the gamut of business disagreements and lawsuits.

We handle complex business litigation, ranging from breaches of contract to real estate litigation to banking disputes to employee embezzlement. We file and defend lawsuits and appeals in debt collections, contract disputes, shareholder litigation, allegations, civil RICO actions, bank and lender liability, insurance claims, securities fraud, false claims and whistleblower claims, employee fraud, and consumer claims.

Bernhard Law Firm provides consultations on all aspects of commercial relationships, including compliance and resolution of matters involving the Uniform Commercial Code and trade regulation; contracts and restrictive covenants; fiduciary duties and corporate governance; business dissolutions, buyouts, and mergers; and other financial arrangements. We manage legal issues attendant to business ownership and management, such as real estate and construction, creditors' and debtors' rights, and insurance.

We prepare each matter expecting trial.

Bernhard Law Firm employs a trial preparation procedure for each matter. We begin with a thorough assessment of client needs and concerns, and an evaluation of the potential options to avoid costly litigation through alternative measures. We help clients analyze the risk and cost of litigation and the relative benefits of settlement or mediation to determine the resolution that is best tailored to their business objectives. If the matter must move forward, then we represent clients through the entire lifecycle of the dispute, including: investigation; public relations and crisis management and communications; emergency proceedings and preliminary relief; electronic discovery and disclosure; alternative dispute resolution; and enforcement of decisions and judgments.

Throughout a business lawsuit, we ensure client participation in planning and decision-making, thorough case preparation, effective use of resources, and consideration of alternative dispute resolution. If you are faced with commercial litigation, Bernhard Law Firm is available and ready to tackle it. We apply our business knowledge and trial strategy to deliver comprehensive litigation services in an innovative and effective manner.

Contact Bernhard Law Firm
for a Consultation

Learn more