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Charles B. Jimerson
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Nikos Westmoreland
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Jimerson Birr welcomes inquiries from the media and do our best to respond to deadlines. If you are interested in speaking to a Jimerson Birr lawyer or want general information about the firm, our practice areas, lawyers, publications, or events, please contact us via email or telephone for assistance at (904) 389-0050.

Yearly Archives: 2015

Condominium Association Recovery of Attorneys’ Fees in Florida

December 29, 2015 Community Association Industry Legal Blog

When deciding whether to pursue legal action, a condominium association board of directors may ask “can we recover the attorneys’ fees?” The good news for associations is that Florida Statutes and the governing documents of the community provide entitlement to the recovery of attorneys’ fees in many legal actions. The bad news is that this recovery is not without limitation. This blog will explore limitations on the recovery of attorneys’ fees and the provisions that may be important to include in the governing documents for the community.

Eminent Domain and Attorneys’ Fees: The Case for Excessive Litigation

December 10, 2015 Professional Services Industry Legal Blog, Real Estate Development, Sales and Leasing Industry Legal Blog

In Florida, recovery of attorneys’ fees in eminent domain and inverse condemnation proceedings is governed by Sections 73.091 and 73.092 of the Florida Statutes. Section 73.092 provides a mechanism for determining an award of attorney fees, based on the “benefits achieved for the client.” But, what if the state agency/condemning authority excessively litigated the case, such that the formulaic computation under that statute was unfair to the property owner? A recent Florida Supreme Court case addressed this issue. Joseph B. Doerr Trust v. Central Florida Expressway Authority.

The Independent Tort Doctrine: Post Tiara Condominium

December 8, 2015 Professional Services Industry Legal Blog

When the Florida Supreme Court wrote the Tiara Condominium opinion the legal community was unsure what the opinion meant. Tiara Condominium Association, Inc. v. Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc,., 110 So.3d 399 (Fla. 2013). The opinion clearly states that the economic loss doctrine is applicable only in the context of premises liability cases. However, did Tiara Condominium also eliminate the contractual privity economic loss rule, which was sometimes referred to as the independent tort doctrine? There still is not absolute clarity on this topic but the reasoned decision is that the independent tort doctrine preceded the economic loss rule and is not abolished by Tiara Condominium.

The Powers of a Receiver Appointed Over Condo Associations and HOAs

November 30, 2015 Community Association Industry Legal Blog, Construction Industry Legal Blog, Real Estate Development, Sales and Leasing Industry Legal Blog

Whether due to economic hardships, mismanagement, unforeseen circumstances, or even fraud and breach of fiduciary duty, a condo or homeowners association may find itself in desperate need of help.  Additionally, properties that have been neglected may also be running afoul of local code compliance regulations or may be so far […]

Do You Need Expert Testimony Regarding Interpretation of the Florida Building Code?

November 23, 2015 Construction Industry Legal Blog

Is trial looming close and are you thinking to yourself who is going to make the best expert for interpretation of the Florida Building Code on that construction defect case? Guess what? You don’t need an expert. In fact, it would be improper for the court to allow this type of testimony other than in very limited circumstances for very limited purposes.Construction litigation frequently requires fact finders, whether judges, juries or arbitrators, to determine whether there has been a violation of the Florida Building Code as an ultimate issue in causes of action for statutory violations of the Code, negligence of contractors and professional negligence of design professionals. This might leave some practitioners scratching their head pondering how they will prove that a violation of the Code may or may not have occurred in a given case. The following is a discussion of why expert testimony regarding the proper interpretation of the Code is improper and the solution to this seemingly perplexing problem. This doesn’t mean that you don’t need an expert for any issues dealing with whether or not there has been a violation of the building code, but it is important to realize the proper use of expert testimony for building code issues.

Florida Residential Swimming Pool Safety Act

November 19, 2015 Construction Industry Legal Blog

In Florida, drowning is the leading cause of death of young children and is also a significant cause of death for medically frail elderly persons. Adult supervision is the key to accomplishing the objective of reducing the number of submersion incidents, and when lapses in supervision occur a pool safety feature designed to deny, delay, or detect unsupervised entry to the swimming pool, spa, or hot tub will reduce drowning and near-drowning incidents. In furtherance of this initiative, the Florida Legislature enacted the “Preston de Ibern/Mckenzie Merriam Residential Swimming Pool Safety Act” in 2000. See Chapter 515, Florida Statutes.

Penalties For Unlicensed Contracting In Florida

November 11, 2015 Construction Industry Legal Blog

Unlicensed contracting in the State of Florida occurs every day and is a huge problem in this state. Chapter 489, Florida Statutes, regulates the “construction industry” in Florida “in the interest of the public health, safety, and welfare.” § 489.101, Fla. Stat.. In the fight against unlicensed contracting activities, the Florida Legislature and Courts have fashioned a host of remedies.

Florida Construction Liens and Bonds: Beware of the Notice to Owner and Notice to Contractor Requirement

November 10, 2015 Construction Industry Legal Blog

Florida construction lien and bond law is filled with many requirements that must be strictly followed and that are strictly construed by Florida courts. Indeed, the Florida Construction Lien Law of Chapter 713 of the Florida Statutes, governing private construction projects, is designed to help ensure payment for work performed and to protect owners from paying for work more than once.

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