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Attorney fee awards possible for deceptive trade practices

For the most part, business is a creature of contract. What this means is that while people who are doing business together are bound to their agreements, there are generally speaking no rules that require those who are involved in the deal to be especially honest or above board. In other words, for the most part in the world of business, all's fair.

However, Florida law, just like the law of other states, offers some protection to the residents of Tallahassee and the rest of this state against business which would otherwise push their edge and offer a bad deal to unsuspecting or powerless members of the public.

Specific rules about what businesses are or are not allowed to do are more detailed, and Florida regulatory authorities are tasked with enforcing them. However, individual members of the public who have been victimized by a deceptive or unfair trade practice also have the option to sue for violations.

This usually happens in the context of other business litigation involving individual consumers, such as a breach of contract case or an allegation that a business breached its warranty. The advantage to a victim's suing, rather than waiting on the regulatory authorities to take action, is that the law gives them the option of asking the business which engaged in the illegal action to reimburse their legal fees.

There are certain restrictions on this rule, but it is meant to serve the purpose of equalizing the bargaining power of a big business which can easily afford to pay attorneys and an individual who would likely not be able to afford representation unless there was the potential that the attorney could get paid by the other side.

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