Monthly Archives: February 2016

Recovery of Attorneys’ Fees – Part II: Key Considerations in Statutory Entitlement to Attorneys’ Fees

This blog post is part II in a series of blogs posts discussing the recovery of attorneys’ fees. Part I explored some considerations in the recovery of attorneys’ fees when the recovery is by virtue of a contractual provision. This second post in the series discusses those scenarios where a Florida state statute entitles litigants to reimbursement of prevailing party attorney’s fees. Read Full Post

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Condominium Fire Sprinkler Retrofitting in Florida

In 2003, the Florida Legislature enacted 718.112(2)(l) as a statutory scheme to require the retrofitting of fire sprinklers for residential condominiums. The statute first began specified that the condominium association may not vote to forego such retrofitting with a fire sprinkler system of common areas in “high-rise building” which was defined as “greater than 75 feet.” That language remained consistent in the statute until 2010. However, in the 2010 statute revision, the language referring to “high-rise” buildings “greater than 75 feet” in height was completely removed from the statute. Now all condominium association need to consider and address this requirement. A discussion on fire sprinkler retrofitting is the subject of this blog post. Read Full Post

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Florida Condominium and Homeowner Associations: Know Your Governing Documents and Florida Law

Condominium associations and homeowner associations (HOA) are abundant in Florida. These types of associations are typically governed by declarations/covenants and restrictions, as well as bylaws and articles of incorporation (collectively referred to in this post as the governing documents). These associations are also governed by detailed provisions of the Florida Statutes. Chapter 718 (condominiums) and Chapter 720 (home owners associations). Read Full Post

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Notice to Owner – Exceptions to Serving in Florida

In Florida, performing construction work carries many technical requirements in order to properly perform the work. The technical requirements also apply to the contractor, subcontractor and material supplier who wants to protect its lien rights in the event the Owner does not pay. The first step in preserving subcontractor and material supplier lien rights is serving a Notice to Owner. The purpose of the Notice to Owner is literally contained within its own title. The purpose is to inform the Owner that the subcontractor (who does not have a contract with the owner) is providing labor, services, or materials for the improvement of the property. The Notice to Owner also lets the Owner know that the subcontractor has a right to lien the property if not paid and that the Owner could pay twice if it makes payment to the Contractor without getting a release from the subcontractor. The failure of the subcontractor to timely service a Notice to Owner is, however, a complete defense to enforcement of a construction lien. § 713.06(2)(a), Fla. Stat. Read Full Post

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Nuisance in Florida Condominium Associations

What’s that smell? What’s that sound? What am I looking at? Whatever it is offends me. Could it be a nuisance? Condominium associations in Florida deal with nuisances on a regular basis, from sight, smell and sounds. The biggest problem in addressing nuisance issues is defining exactly what constitutes a nuisance. Generally, nuisance is defined in Black’s Law Dictionary as “a condition or situation that interferes with the use or enjoyment of property.” This definition is vague and leaves room for interpretation. Read Full Post

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Significant New Changes to the Rules of Discovery in Federal Court

The recent amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (the “FRCP”) became effective on December 1, 2015, and they govern all cases pending and commenced on and after that date. The changes impact several rules of the FRCP, including those governing early case management, the scope of discovery, and preservation of electronically stored information (“ESI”). These amendments will undoubtedly have an effect on civil litigation practice. Key changes were made to the overall scope of discovery in an effort to address the increasing costs and considerable expense of resources involved in the discovery process. This article focuses on the changes to the rules of discovery and how those changes may affect civil litigation practice. Read Full Post

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Could A Declaratory Action Help You Avoid Arbitration in a Home Warranty Claim?

Many new home purchases also include structural warranties, which, as the name suggests, provide warranty coverage for problems with the home’s structure, including walls, columns, framing, and roofing. These warranties often include arbitration clauses, which can have consequences for the homeowner’s legal strategy if he has to file suit to enforce his warranty claims. Read Full Post

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Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors: General Overview

If you are considering bankruptcy for your insolvent business, an Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors (“ABC”) might be your answer. An ABC is a less expensive, quicker, quieter, and simpler alternative to traditional bankruptcy. An ABC is a state law procedure utilized to liquidate a failed, insolvent, or no longer viable business. Fla. Stat. § 727.101. An ABC is normally much simpler and usually less expensive than a comparable bankruptcy proceeding. This savings means larger payouts to both unsecured and secured creditors. This blog provides a general overview of the ABC process, and highlights a few benefits of ABC as compared to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Read Full Post

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Re-Recording Judgment Liens: The Importance of Timing

One of the most common misconceptions of non-lawyers regarding the practice of law is that a civil case ends upon conclusion of a trial and that, if a party is victorious at trial, he automatically obtains or is provided with the award he was granted in court. For instance, if one party sues another for $1 million and prevails at trial, the thinking goes, then, upon conclusion of the trial, the other party just hands over the million dollars. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Read Full Post

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