My stepfather is suing me for unjust enrichment

My stepfather claims that he helped me to bay and sell real estate properties and that resulted in some profit and that I am continuing benefiting from thous properties with out compensating him for his work. In reality the only thing he did is refered me to his agent freind and i PAYED COMMISSION ON EVERY PROPERTY i BOUGHT AND SELL TO THAT AGENT. In Addition because of the market overturn my properties under water with huge mortgages. As absurd as it sound we are hitting for a trial. what do I do. How do I defend myself?

Tampa, FL -

Attorney Answers (2)

Benjamin T G Nivison

Benjamin T G Nivison

Appeals Lawyer - Seattle, WA
Answered

You would be well-advised to discuss this with a commercial litigation attorney in your state. A little guidance can go a long way in a situation like this, and if you are nearing trial, it is especially important to understand the procedures and possible outcomes you will be facing.

Based only on this limited information, a principal question will be about the nature of the "work" provided by your stepfather, and whether there was any agreement or expectation of payment for that "work". Unjust enrichment is an equitable principle that applies where there is value retained by someone (you) due to the efforts of another (stepfather), and where it would be unjust to allow that person (you) to retain the benefit without payment. The boundaries of this doctrine under FL law as it may apply to your case is something that you should discuss with a lawyer licensed in your jurisdiction.

Good luck.

Benjamin Nivison is an attorney licensed to practice law in Washington State. This communication does not create... more
Ian Thomas Valkenet

Ian Thomas Valkenet

Litigation Lawyer - Baltimore, MD
Answered

Unjust enrichment is a cause of action sounding in equity whereby the plaintiff alleges:

1. The Plaintiff conferred a benefit on the Defendant;
2. The Defendant knew and appreciated the benefit;
3. It would be inequitable to allow the Defendant to retain the benefit without paying its value.

It sounds like you have a very serious dispute of facts. Such dispute will require rigorous factual and legal investigation, concomitant with discovery. You should engage an attorney immediately to assist in your defense.

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