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Pay Attention to Prevailing Party Fee Provisions [Lowndes Leasing Lawyers]

October 18, 2021

Shareholder James Walson discusses what the recent Levy v. Levy decision means for Florida landlords and whether they should consider revisiting their lease fee provisions.

It is routine in Florida leases to consider any prevailing party fee provision as automatically reciprocal due to Section 57.105(7), Florida Statutes. That Statute provides for reciprocity of attorneys’ fees even where a contract provision is written only in favor of one party. On October 7, 2021, the Supreme Court of Florida in Levy v. Levy (Fla. 2021), found that the following provision did not automatically trigger a fee award to the prevailing party, where the prevailing party did not establish that the non-prevailing party was in violation of the agreement:

“13. ENFORCEMENT. In the event that either party should take legal action against the other by reason of the other’s failure to abide by this Agreement, the party who is found to be in violation of this Agreement shall pay to the other party who prevails in said action, the prevailing party’s reasonable expenses incurred in the enforcement of this Agreement, said expenses to include, but not be limited to, reasonable attorney’s fees ….” [Read more]

This blog was originally posted on Lowndes Leasing Lawyers.

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James

James Walson represents title insurance companies, commercial landlords, property owners, buyers and lenders throughout Florida – in both transactional and litigation real estate matters. His passion for advocacy began at an early age through watching his father, Pete, serve as a City Commissioner in Stuart, Florida and continued through high school and college as an award-winning debater.

Today, Jamie, as he is called by clients and friends, is a real estate lawyer representing title insurance companies, commercial landlords, property owners, buyers and lenders throughout Florida – in both transactional and litigation matters. He has negotiated commercial leases, purchase and sale agreements for retail space, office buildings and medical offices.

Many clients turn to Jamie for his real property litigation experience as well. He has litigated matters involving contracts, title insurance liability, commercial landlord / tenant matters, easements, fraud, deed warranties, boundary disputes, adverse possession, lien priority and access rights. In addition, he has conducted appeals before the Second District Court of Appeal and the Fifth District Court of Appeal.

A fan of – and participant in – improvisational theater, Jamie counts on his humor in navigating difficult negotiations and litigation. He is an avid golfer, is on the board of the First Tee of Central Florida, and is a father to three boys.

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