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One of the most difficult aspects of any business can be a contract negotiation. It can take weeks or even months to come to an agreement. Each clause gets scrutinized and can be binding for years to come.

It's crucial to ensure negotiations go well for business success because the terms of a contract can have long lasting and costly effects.

Keep reading to learn how a qualified attorney can help.


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Much ado has been made lately about the rising costs of healthcare and for good reason too. Health Insurance is expensive, even with subsidies. Even if you have decent health insurance, the hospital copay and deductible can cost a small fortune. This is WITH health insurance. Without health insurance, you're really in trouble. Medical bills are the leading cause of bankruptcy. Given the lack of Medicaid expansion in Florida, this can be a big problem. Anyone who has seen their medical bills will certainly balk at individual items. Many people complain about single doses of over the counter drugs costing $10-$20.

These seem like pretty anti-consumer practices, right? They can be. In Colomar v. Mercy Hosp, 461 F. Supp.2d 1265 (S. D. Fla. 2006), a Court determined that these kinds of practices can lead to a claim of unfairness, which is prohibited under the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUPTA). Specifically, the Court found that Plaintiff might have a valid claim where she was charged $12,863 where the value of the services received were only $2,098, the hospital charged uninsured patients 450% that of Medicaid patients, and their cost-to-charge ratio was almost 400%, among other factors. The Court determined that this practice could constitute unconscionability.

If you feel you a hospital has overcharged you for being uninsured, you may have a claim under FDUPTA. A prevailing Plaintiff can also obtain attorney's fees from the losing party. The downside is that a prevailing Defendant, in some circumstances can obtain an award of attorney's fees from a non-prevailing Plaintiff. Consult with a consumer law attorney to determine if a FDUPTA claim is right for you.

Small businesses comprise a great deal of my client base. I incorporate their businesses, draft their contracts, and represent them in court. Our law firm is also a small business. This gives me a great deal of insight when serving my clients. The things I learn as my own business grows, I enjoying sharing with my clients - whether it be legal advice or practical advice. Here are 3 tips that I share with my clients.

  1. As a small business, I learn what type of things to include in contracts. Dealing with clients and third parties, I know the basic conflicts and communication issues that often arise. Ultimately, contracts are meant to memorialize relationships in the hopes of avoiding conflict. As I've learned the triggers that lead to conflict in my own practice, I have learned how to approach to drafting contracts for my clients as well.
  2. Incorporating is incredibly important for businesses. However, incorporating goes beyond simply filing papers with the state. There are often partnership dynamics, tax considerations, and other business considerations. Our own law firm consists of a partnership and we structured our firm with certain tax considerations in mind. I then have the benefit of imparting this wisdom onto our clients as well when helping clients choose how to incorporate and how to deal with business partners.
  3. I value professionalism in both my professional and personal life. I like good customer service, punctuality, and a job done right. I expect nothing less for myself and I understand how important appearing professional is important for my small business clients. I know that when I draft a contract for my client, it needs to look clean and be easy to read. I know that when I create the formal documents for an incorporation, it is done in a professional manner. Even when I represent my small business clients in court, it is important for the opposing counsel or judge to sense that my client is professional as a result of good choice of counsel.

Congratulations to our firm's Attorney Danya Shakfeh for being selected to Super Lawyer's Illinois Rising Star List. This honor is awarded to less than 2.5% of attorneys in the state.

Shakfeh Law is proud to provide the best quality service to our clients.

Full press release below (click to enlarge).

Prior to the passage of Chapter 586, Florida Statutes, regulation of apiaries was in a state of chaos. Different counties, municipalities, and other local governments were regulating apiaries in different manners creating a patchwork of prohibition and permissibility across the state. However, with the passage of Chapter 586, Florida Statutes, the Florida State government preempted all local regulation of apiaries. The gist of Chapter 586, Florida Statutes, is that any individual may own a well organized apiary if it is registered with the State. Now, anyone, subject to restrictive covenants such as the ones contained in Home Owner's Associations, can own a beehive. Also noteworthy if Florida Administrative Code Chapter 5B-54 which spells out in more detail some of the procedures the state may take to prevent the outbreak of disease and introduction of pests. In summary, Chapter 586, Florida Statutes, is a slam dunk in the regulation of apiaries because it simplifies the rules.

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