What Role Does the Freedom of Contract Play in Florida Business Litigation?

Business disputes happen. In some cases, Florida business litigation cases are the “cost of doing business,” but it’s still important to understand and limit those costs when possible. In many business litigation cases, one party wants to enforce certain terms upon the other party in order to remedy a situation or repay a debt.

What these parties neglect is that Florida courts, historically, have not been keen on encroaching upon what is known as the “Freedom of Contract.” Case law in the history of Florida courts is to avoid forcing parties into a contract that they are not willing to enter into themselves.

What is Freedom of Contract?

The Freedom of Contract embodies the freedom for any party in Florida to enter into agreements voluntarily. It safeguards individuals and businesses from being forced into agreements that they find undesirable, thus avoiding commitments that could be unilateral or detrimental to either the business or the individual.

This entire principle is supported by Florida courts through the enforcement of contracts that parties have willingly signed, the discontinuation of contracts that were signed under duress, and by refraining from pushing any party into an agreement that they find unfavorable or that they are not willing to enter into.

A landmark case, Okeechobee Resorts, L.L.C. v. E Z Cash Pawn, Inc., affirmed this by stating, “Contracts are voluntary undertakings, and contracting parties are free to bargain for—and specify—the terms and conditions of their agreement. That freedom is indeed a constitutionally protected right.” This ruling underscores the court’s respect for autonomous decision-making in contractual relationships. This makes it unlikely that a court will ever force a party into a contract or even an amended contract during a business litigation case unless it’s the only means to resolve the issue.

Florida Courts Uphold the Integrity of Contract

All of this is important because, in business litigation, some parties will seek external damages for what is ultimately a breach of contract issue. Florida courts are among the strongest in the nation in the way they support and uphold contract terms and the right to enter into and perform the duties of a contract willfully.

The Independent Tort Doctrine in Florida protects parties of a contract for independent tort actions that are truthfully tied to the duties of a contract. For example, if you enter into a contract with another party in Florida and they deem that you have breached the contract, they are not able to seek damages separately and must pursue them through a breach of contract action.

These protections ensure your freedom to not only enter into a contract but also to be held to the standard of the contract as opposed to an external standard above the agreed-upon terms.

Contract Confidence with the Law Office of Ray Garcia

At the Law Office of Ray Garcia, P.A., we recognize the significant role contracts play in the business world. Our team relies consistently upon case law to defend and advocate for our clients’ rights to enter into contracts freely and willingly. Should you need guidance in asserting your contractual rights, contact our law firm for help in sifting through the Florida business litigation process with confidence.

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Law Office of Ray Garcia, P.A.

Our mission is to provide our clients with legal services that not only meet their needs but exceed their expectations. We approach all practice areas with care, knowledge, experience, and determination. Trusted In South Florida For Decades.

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