Business contracts often give rise to ambiguity in their interpretation. When a new business venture is formed, the parties develop a sense that their business partner is trustworthy, and the naive business partner can fail to properly document the precise nature of their business deal. Sometimes during the course of a business relationship, the parties modify the nature of their original business arrangement but fail to effectively document the new terms and conditions of their dealings. Whatever the scenario, a failure to effectively and completely document the precise nature of a business relationship can create the potential for one party to take advantage of this situation.

Other factors can cause business partners to breach their business contracts. For example, a weak or competitive business climate creates many incentives for business venturers not to play fair. Some businesses and business people breach contracts that they should clearly honor. Others employ deception in their business practices, or take unprincipled actions in their business relationships. Still others compete unfairly, overly aggressively, and in flagrant disregard of the law. Unfortunately, sometimes business people take advantage of their business partner, if for no reason other than that they feel they can, and that they can get away with it. This logic results, they believe, from the fact that “business is business”, and the one who can outmaneuver the other is, in a “Machiavellian” sense, the better competitor.

The role of the lawyer who litigates the business contract is, first and foremost, to quickly and completely learn his client’s business. Implicit in this is learning the “customs” of the client’s business, the trade terminology that is utilized among business people engaged in that business industry, and the economics of that line of business so that the economic impact of the breach of the business contract can be translated into monetary damages that Florida law will recognize and provide compensation for. By learning the industry, the business contract litigator will be in a better position to educate the judge or jury that will decide the case about the customs of that line of business.

Florida law has a well-developed body of law dealing with business contract interpretation. Fortunately, these Florida laws provide many remedies for those injured by unfair, sharp business practices and the actions of unethical business partners. Florida courts routinely enforce business contracts that should be enforced, and Florida judges are well skilled at compelling wrongdoers to pay economic damages for breach of business contracts. Additionally, the Florida Legislature has enacted a number of effective statutory laws, which provide many ways to remedy unfair, aggressive, and deceptive business practices.