img_2262By:  Alejandro E. Jordan, Esq.

You aced torts and contracts, but no one in law school explained the business of running a law firm.  So, here you are in a solo or small firm trying to manage important cases while hiring a receptionist or selecting office furniture.  As the price per square foot of office space for Class A office space continues to skyrocket in areas like Coral Gables and Downtown Miami, Florida, overhead costs for fixed operating expenses such as office lease and rent expenses become extremely challenging to budget for many solo practitioners, small and mid-sized law firms and legal professionals.

Shared office space may be the solution to give you more free time and the opportunity to network with attorneys from a variety of fields. only 

Going with a solo or small practice doesn’t mean you have to go it alone.   Office sharing means attorneys like you will be just across the hall for consultation on a case or a discussion of the impact of a new law.  These associations could lead to referrals from esq.suitemates that recognize your expertise in a particular field.

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img_2262By:  Alejandro E. Jordan, Esq.

When you work as an attorney, client confidentiality and service is vital to your success.  If you don’t have a professional office, or you need additional conference space than what you have, it’s time to consider creative ways to enhance your ability to serve your clients. With flexible law office space in Downtown Miami and Coral Gables, Florida, you have choices.  Esq.suites offers a professional environment exclusive to legal professionals who need an efficient space in which to work.

For small to mid firm attorneys, solo practitioners or attorneys who are from out-of-town, esq.suites is ready to help.  They offer short-term or long-term rentals for lease to attorneys who already have a home office but need a space in the area to conduct business, or solo practitioners and small firms that need a new place to call their headquarters.  The team at esq.suites understands how important legal work is, and are ready to support your business in a professional, headache-free environment.

In a professional where one mistake can ruin your career, shared office space for legal professionals is the answer.  Instead of trying to get your work done on the fly, spending time in your car or local coffee shops, esq.suites offers a community to attorneys with flexible rental Continue Reading

img_2262By:  Alejandro E. Jordan, Esq.

This Article provides you with tips to create a concise and effective negotiation checklist and the key points you should consider when negotiating a lease in a multi-tenant office building.

This Article also highlights key provisions you should pay close attention to often found in office leases.

At initial glance, a 20, 30 and sometimes 40 page commercial office lease agreement may seem daunting.  However, with a properly drafted checklist, a savvy negotiator can swiftly navigate this legal document by making sure that all of the key provisions of the lease have been accounted for (or at least, that you know what you are getting yourself into before you are bound by its terms).  A wise person once said, “Organization is the key to success.”

A good summary or checklist can be a useful tool for tenants to:

  • Keep track of on-going lease negotiations.
  • Quickly reference the key provisions in your lease.
  • Summarize the final key terms of your final executed lease.

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JordanPascale_BlogImage-300x215If you are reading this, NOW is the PERFECT time to get ahead and make sure you are most prepared to deal with the before and after effects of the Storm.  Locate your Auto, Boat, and Homeowners Insurance policies and make sure they are in effect and in good standing.  If you have any questions about your policies, reach out to your insurance agent immediately. 

Remember to take pictures or video with your smart phone before the StormTake pictures or even video tape the outside to show every corner of your home, the inside of your ceiling to show there were no leaks.  Take pictures and video around your windows from the inside to show there were no water stains before the storm.  Take pictures or video of all your furniture, TV’s and all electronics so you can show that you did own them prior to the storm.  It is most common for insurance companies to claim that damages were there prior and will likely not approve your claims unless you have some evidence (THE MORE EVIDENCE THE BETTER!)

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us anytime at 305-501-2836.  We are here to help and assist you in any way we can. 

Below is a comprehensive list of “things to do” we received and would like to share with everyone to help in your preparation: 

1.       Charge any device that provides light. Laptops, tablets, cameras, video cameras, and old phones. Old cell phones can still used for dialing 911. Charge external battery back ups.  Continue Reading

JordanPascaleLogoIn a previous post, we established an over-arching general understanding of Partition Actions and their applications.  Now let’s investigate some of the details of common Partition Actions.

As with every facet of the justice system, proper procedure is a must in all court filings for Partition Actions.  As detailed in Florida Statute 64.041, the initial Complaint in a Partition Action must include the following:

  • A legal description of the property in question;

JordanPascaleLogoEarlier this month, Florida Power and Light (FPL) was issued a stunning legal defeat when a $1.5 million dollar judgment was issued against the company for breaking a handshake agreement for the purchase of real estate.  A Palm Beach County jury handed down the decision after finding that the energy giant failed to pay a commission to the realtor who initially informing them of the available tract of land for development.  According to the court file, the Plaintiff and a representative of FPL met at a Parent’s Weekend function their respective children’s university where they discussed the availability of a tract of land for purchase by the company and the subsequent commission to be paid to the Plaintiff should FPL indeed purchase the land.  Subsequently, FPL purchased the land and did not honor the commission, culminating in the court’s decision which provides a textbook example of the validity of handshake/verbal agreements and the difficulty encountered when trying to enforce them in court.

Although there are certain instances where only a written contract is enforceable, for a contract to be valid in the State of Florida, there must be an offer and an acceptance of that offer in exchange for consideration — i.e., money, services or goods that have value — and this includes handshake agreements.  Obviously, the difficulty in court enforcement of a handshake agreement lies with the Plaintiff, who must establish the burden of proof required to establish an agreement was ever present in the first place.  In most situations, a verbal contract is a binary discussion between two parties and there are no additional witnesses to the agreement.  In this matter, the Plaintiff was fortunate to have made the agreement in a very public setting that afforded a number of witnesses, all of whom had to be deposed.  Additionally, the Plaintiff was able to provide phone and email records to indicate his attempts to contact the FPL representative on this very matter.  These proved to be compelling verifications of the Plaintiff’s argument in the eyes of the jury.

Given the private nature of most handshake agreements, proving them in court is an uphill battle, but the above example is definitive proof that even major corporations can run afoul of contract law in certain situations.  The importance of corroborating witnesses is plainly evident — in the case of written agreements the witness is the contract itself, but in the case of a handshake agreement one must rely on additional parties to prove its existence.  At Jordan + Pascale we stress the importance of written agreements — be it a lease, purchase/sales contract, invoice for services, etc., the safest route is to get everything in writing and agree to nothing unless it is written on the page.  However, if you believe you have been wronged in the execution of a handshake agreement, we urge you to contact our office to discuss the matter.  Here at Jordan + Pascale, we pride ourselves on our ability to protect and advocate on behalf of our clients and to relentlessly pursue their interests — it’s what makes us South Florida’s premier real estate law firm!  Call us for a consultation and see what we can do for you!

img_2262By:  Alejandro E. Jordan, Esq.

According to reporting by Morningstar Credit Ratings LLC, commercial real estate mortgage borrowers with maturing loans paid them off at a slower rate as of May 2017.  Peter Grant of the Wall Street Journal suggests this slower payoff rate, and the ensuing swell in delinquent/unpaid loans, can be at least partly attributed to 10-year mortgage loans taken out by borrowers in 2007, which got repackaged into commercial mortgage backed securities (CMBS).  This mass of maturing debt, which many are referring to as the “Wall of Maturities,” is coming due and many people are concerned about the effect it may have on the real estate market, as well as the economy as a whole.

We all remember the mess that was created, and exacerbated, by the high risk lending that was prevalent across the country ten years ago.  Continue Reading

JordanPascaleLogoIn Florida, as in many other states, properties that fall into arrears on delinquent taxes may eventually be sold at public auction by the county in which they are located.  The process by which this occurs, called a Tax Deed Sale, is detailed in Chapter 197 of the Florida Statutes and can be a little daunting to read through.  We here at Jordan + Pascale, P.L. have years of experience representing clients in Tax Deed Sales; the following is a short overview to help you get acquainted with the reasons for and processes of these unique real estate transactions.

First, as the name suggests, a Tax Deed Sale is performed to recoup unpaid taxes on real estate properties.  Properties cannot be sold until a number of prior requirements are met and deadlines passed at which time the holder of the Tax Lien Certificate against the property may file to force a public auction of that property.  This is what is referred to as a Tax Deed Sale.

A Tax Deed Sale extinguishes most liens against a property and prioritizes those held by municipalities and counties, which again stands to reason when you consider that the main motivation for a Tax Deed Sale is to pay delinquent taxes.  However, there is still some issue regarding which liens and debts against a property are still applicable after the sale.  As such it is of paramount importance that proper notice be given to the legal titleholder of record and all lienholders, including mortgage companies, and failure to comply with these notice requirements can result in the sale being voided.  Because there is often some questions as to the chain of ownership for Tax Deed Sale properties, purchasers commonly file Quiet Title Actions to permanently “quiet” – or eliminate – all claims to a property’s title.

JordanPascaleLogoMost people never hear of a Quiet Title action until they’re in the midst of one.  Here at Jordan + Pascale, P.L. one of our main focuses is Quiet Title actions.  Because we believe that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of effort, the following is an overview of Quiet Title actions in the State of Florida.

What is a Quiet Title Action?

A Quiet Title action is a civil lawsuit brought in the circuit court to “quiet” any and all claims on a piece of real estate.  Essentially, Quiet Title actions are intended to establish an individual’s right to ownership of real property against one or more adverse claimants.  In other words, Quiet Title establishes who the true owner of a property is and resolves all issues, or “clouds” from the title.  These cases are filed in Circuit Civil court.