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Contract Litigation: ACC Seeks Hold on FSU’s Lawsuit


On February 16th, 2024, ESPN reported that the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) is asking the court to put a “hold” on the contract lawsuit filed by Florida State University (FSU). The ACC wants the legal matter in Florida paused until a similar issue is resolved in North Carolina. Here, our Miami contract litigation attorney explains why the ACC is seeking to put a hold on this lawsuit.

Background: The ACC is Locked in a Multi-Million Contract Dispute With FSU 

The ACC and FSU are now locked in a complex, comprehensive contract dispute. The FSU effectively wants out of the conference well before the expiration date of the current agreement. The FSU alleges breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty by the conference—and, as such, seeks to terminate the deal early. The ACC contends that the FSU has improperly disclosed confidential information with the contract and wants the school to pay a nine-figure early termination fee in order to leave the conference early.

 The ACC is Seeking a Hold on Contract Litigation in Florida 

The ACC filed a breach of contract lawsuit against FSU in North Carolina. Soon after, FSU filed a contract breach lawsuit against the ACC in Florida. The athletic conference—which is based in North Carolina—is seeking to get a court order to pause the outgoing litigation in Florida.

 The ACC Sued FSU First in North Carolina (Wants Matter Addressed that State) 

In seeking to hold the contract litigation in Florida, the ACC and FSU find themselves at a legal standoff. Each party is arguing for a venue within their home state. The battle for jurisdiction is a strategic legal matter. The ACC wants to have the contract dispute heard in a court in North Carolina, where it is based.

How is Contract Jurisdiction Determined When Multiple States are Involved?

 Jurisdiction matters. Broadly defined, jurisdiction refers to the authority granted to a legal body—such as a state court or federal court—to govern over a specific legal case. Determining jurisdiction in disputes involving multiple states can be extremely complex. In many cases, business contracts include a “choice of law” or “governing law” clause that specifies which state’s laws will govern the interpretation of the contract’s terms and the resolution of disputes. That being said, the specific circumstances of the dispute will always matter. In some cases, multiple courts may technically have jurisdiction over the same dispute. When this happens, courts will often consider a wide range of different factors, including the location of contract performance, the residence of the parties, and where the dispute arose. Jurisdiction must be resolved as part of the pre-trial process.

Schedule a Confidential Case Review With a Top-Tier Contract Attorney in Miami

At Pike & Lustig, LLP, we are a business litigation law firm devoted to providing top-tier legal representation to our clients. If you are locked in any type of contract dispute and you have questions about your options, please do not hesitate to contact us for help. With an office in Miami and an office in West Palm Beach, our firm handles contract cases throughout South Florida.



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