<h2>Donna Balancia is Publisher of The Florida Law Journal</h2>

About News

Donna Balancia, Publisher
The Florida Law Journal

Lewis R. Cohen: Bureau Expands Regulation of Residential Mortgage Loan Transactions

Lewis Cohen

LEWIS R. COHEN, ESQ. –   The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) has implemented sections 1411 and 1412 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Act”), by amending Regulation Z, which implements the Truth in Lending Act (“TILA”). Regulation Z formally prohibited a residential mortgage lender from making a “higher priced” residential mortgage loan without regard to the consumer’s ability to repay the loan.  A “higher priced” loan is a residential mortgage loan with an interest rate greater than the Average Prime Offer Rate (“APOR”), as published by the Federal Reserve Board, plus a margin. The margin over the APOR index varies, depending on whether the loan is secured by a first lien on the dwelling, a second lien on the dwelling, or whether the loan is a jumbo loan.  Sections 1411 and 1412 of the Act as … [Read more...]

Florida lawsuit calls Digital Domain ‘de facto Ponzi scheme’

South Florida Business Journal -- The State of Florida filed a lawsuit against Digital Domain calling it a “de facto Ponzi scheme” and seeking to recover $20 million in state incentives granted to the company before it failed. The lawsuit, filed in St. Lucie County Circuit Court by Fort Lauderdale attorney William R. Scherer on July 22, could draw attention in this year's governor’s race. Charlie Crist approved the incentives for Digital Domain while he was Republican governor in 2009. Crist is now running as a Democrat seeking to unseat Governor Rick Scott, who authorized this lawsuit. Read more about Digital Domain here   … [Read more...]

David S. Willig: The Civil-Law Notary: A Bridge Between Worlds

David-Willig-Attorney-sm3

DAVID S. WILLIG, ESQ. – The word "notary” is usually associated in the public mind with a quasi-official who pulls out his or her stamp when someone needs a witness for an oath or some other legal transaction. Only three hours of classroom time are required to be a notary public in Florida, but the Civil-Law Notary is very different. These notaries, where they are part of the legal landscape, are high-level legal professionals who handle important transactions.   In creating this designation, the Florida Legislature realized one of its greatest unsung achievements. The Scope of the Profession The Civil-Law Notary is intended to function similarly to that of notaries in “civil law” jurisdictions such as Quebec and Argentina, not incidentally two of Florida’s most important international economic partners. Asian countries such as Japan and China also have adopted … [Read more...]

How Would Medical Marijuana be Sold and Controlled?

TAMPA BAY.COM -- Four years ago in Colorado, pot trounced latte in a head-to-head storefront count. Starbucks had 209 franchises in the state. Denver alone had 390 medical marijuana dispensaries operating with no regulations. READ MORE HERE … [Read more...]

David S. Willig: Bilingual Mediation Too Often an Afterthought

David-Willig-Attorney-sm3

BY DAVID S. WILLIG, ESQ. – Alternative Dispute Resolution continues to be a growth industry, throughout the United States and around the world. Among ADR techniques and mechanisms, mediation leaves the result in the hands of the parties, rather than one imposed from "on high." In mediation, the mediator's only power is that of persuasion, along with creativity in proposing ideas that lead to a negotiated solution. This is challenging enough in normal circumstances. In many instances, mediation can be more challenging still when the parties have language differences. Language in mediation is critical, because of the mediator's role in guiding the parties toward settlement through suggestion and persuasion. In the increasingly diverse communities established or emerging in many parts of Florida, and the U.S., we see language issues more often come to the fore. Disagreeing in two … [Read more...]