Trucking firm paying $20K per month in costs for property it can’t use
STAFF REPORT — MIAMI – Legal malpractice attorney Warren R. Trazenfeld has filed a lawsuit in Miami-Dade County against Miami real estate attorney Roland J. Martinez, alleging his failure to perform a simple zoning investigation saddled his client with a property it can’t use.
The lawsuit seeks compensatory damages from Martinez.
Martinez represented Zepol, a South Florida-based trucking company, in a $2.2 million land purchase in Opa-Locka. Zepol had informed Martinez the property was being purchased for a commercial trucking facility, but attorney Martinez failed to investigate whether the land was zoned for its intended use, according to Trazenfeld’s suit.
“What boggles the mind is the lawyer only needed to spend less than $50 to obtain a letter from the city of Opa-Locka that would have revealed the zoning designation,” said Trazenfeld, a veteran legal malpractice attorney who is representing Zepol in the malpractice case. “It appears that the attorney had no idea what he was doing.”
The trucking company tried to persuade the city of Opa-Locka to approve a zoning change, but was unsuccessful.
Since the deal was completed in June 2010, Zepol has incurred monthly carrying charges of about $20,000, which now totals approximately $400,000, Trazenfeld said.
“These types of cases are all too common,” he said, “because there are too many attorneys chasing too few clients. Many attorneys are taking on legal work that they have little or no experience in, resulting in great harm to their clients.