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Overview of the Florida Court System

Florida's judicial system is divided into three tiers of authority. The circuit courts comprise the lowest level and preside over civil and felony criminal cases. In addition, these courts handle appeals from courts in lower state jurisdictions.

The Florida District Courts of Appeal make up the next tier. As the state's primary intermediate appellate institutions, the five Courts of Appeal hold jurisdiction over most cases emanating from the circuit courts. The Florida Supreme Court is the highest court in the state, and it holds mandatory jurisdiction over death penalty cases as well as discretionary jurisdiction over disputes about court rulings, questions of state constitutional law and other such matters.

Florida Attorneys and Lawyers

When faced with a legal issue, contacting an experienced attorney is always the best bet. At LawInfo you can search for a skilled, Lead Counsel Rated Florida attorney by location and by practice area. We have Florida attorneys who dedicate their practice to specific areas of the law, so you will not only find an attorney, but an attorney who is knowledgeable to help you with your particular legal issue.

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Florida Legal Forms

LawInfo offers free Florida legal forms and documents to help resolve many of your issues on your own.
Whether you need a power of attorney or you want to complete your will, we have you covered. You can click on our most popular forms located in the right column of this page. A user account is required to use the service, but it’s completely free.

If you are the owner of a property that you would like to rent out to someone else, LawInfo's Residential Lease Agreement may help expedite the process. Lease agreements seek to protect both owners and renters from possible legal complications in the event of a dispute by ensuring that most potential issues, such as rent or security deposits, are clarified in a binding document and mutually accounted for. This may allow for a more harmonious relationship between landlords and their tenants and permit a means for conflict resolution if necessary.

Since many property owners wish to ensure that their possessions are properly disposed of in the event of their passing, LawInfo provides a Last Will and Testament. Will-based estate plans allow property owners to specifically delineate their inheritors and choose what they will inherit while trust-based estate plans place such decisions in the hands of an executor whom the property owner has selected. If a property owner passes away without having made an estate plan, the state generally functions as his or her executor.

A Power of Attorney legally authorizes someone to function on behalf of and execute the interests of you in the event of your absence or incapacitation. With this document, provided free by LawInfo, it's possible to oversee the assets and liabilities of your estate without actually being present and facilitate a smooth transition should an unexpected circumstance occur.

Starting a Florida Business

Starting a new business may be a daunting, but the Florida Department of Revenue offers valuable insight to anyone interesting in bringing their entrepreneurial spirit to Florida. Whether the business is online or at-home, business owners must register their organizations with their respective county and overall state and secure a separate bank account.

In addition, business owners thinking of incorporating must decide whether they want to create a corporation or an LLC, after which Articles of Incorporation must be submitted to the Florida Department of State.

Florida Business Statistics

Florida is home to several Fortune 500 companies, including World Fuel Services (INT), Tech Data (TECD) and Jabil Circuit (JBL). Small businesses employ 42.9 percent of private-sector labor and consist of 98.9 percent of the state's employers; as such, they are a vital and welcome component of the Florida economy.

State unemployment has decreased since the height of the recession, and the number of opening businesses now surpasses the number of those that are closing. Moreover, statistics provided by the Bureau of Economic Analysis reveal that Florida's real gross state product increased by 2.5 percent in 2011. For these reasons, new businesses are welcome assets to the Florida economy.