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Swinging for the green in Florida business litigation

Brevard County is known, among other things, for its abundance of fine golf courses. Fans here look forward each year to the Masters, perhaps the sport's most prestigious tournament. The company that owns both the Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters tournament recently filed a lawsuit to stop a Florida memorabilia company from auctioning off one of the signature green jackets handed out to Masters winners.

The Masters argues that the green blazer and other auction items were never supposed to have been taken off of club property.

Georgia's Augusta National Inc. is suing to prevent Green Jacket Auctions Inc. from auctioning off a champion's green jacket, two club members' green jackets, silverware and an Augusta National belt buckle.

According to the company's lawsuit, the green champion's jacket can only be taken off of the club's grounds during the first year after its presentation. After that, the jackets must be stored on club property and can only be worn then on club property and during the tournament.

Augusta National claims it owns the jackets and champions have “possessory rights” when they're on club property.

Unsurprisingly, the auction company waves off those claims. "It appears that Augusta National Golf Club is attempting to assert ownership claims to every green jacket ever produced, regardless of who currently owns or possesses the jackets,” a company co-owner wrote in a statement.

The company "will litigate the matter, if necessary," the co-owner says.

Two words jump out from the statement: "If necessary." In many cases, deep disputes between companies can be resolved with the help of attorneys experienced in negotiated resolutions outside of courtrooms.

Contact the Cocoa law firm of Cantwell & Goldman, PA to discuss resolution strategies for your business law matters.

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