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West Coast Indian tribe wins victory in real estate disputes

When Florida land buyers and real estate developers sign agreements, it sometimes takes years for the project or projects at hand to reach completion. As long as the agreements were validly entered into, all parties involved must continue to adhere to the terms of the contract as written, unless appropriate legal steps are taken to modify the contract. On the West Coast, an arbitration panel recently ruled on real estate disputes between a developer and an Indian tribe. 

The situation ended in the tribe's favor, which means the developer would not get the $43 million he was seeking in his legal claim. The two parties signed an agreement in 2003, stating that the real estate developer would help the tribe purchase land in order to build a casino. The deal provided that once the casino was up and running, the developer would receive 4 percent of all revenue; that amount was later lowered to 2.5 percent.

Only two years later, long before the casino project was complete, the real estate developer backed out. Eight years later, the casino opened for business. A year after that, the developer filed a lawsuit against the Indian tribe, claiming loss of income; the claim also accused the tribal nation of breaching the contract.

The real estate disputes were considered by an arbitration panel. The panel agreed with the tribe, ruling that the real estate developer was not entitled to collect a reward because he failed to fulfill his contractual obligations. If similar disputes were to arise in Florida, a concerned party could seek legal guidance from an experienced real estate law attorney.

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