Groot: ‘We Must Learn to See Hidden Value’

Attorney Lonnie Groot likes the balancing act

By DONNA BALANCIA, Contributor LAKE HELEN -- Attorney Lonnie Groot likes the balancing act. Over the years as attorney for various Central Florida municipalities, Groot has always sought to keep the balance between big city growth and small town identity. “There’s a special place in my heart for Seminole County and the surrounding towns,” he said. “The region has been very good to me.” As he looks out over Lake Monroe from the sea wall at Sanford, Groot, who is Of Counsel with Strenstrom McIntosh Colbert Wigham & Partlow PA, can see more than water and a couple of people fishing by the harbor. “It’s a hidden gem, don’t you think?” Groot says. “There is the desire here for Sanford to grow and there’s a lot of potential here.” Groot has a knack to see beyond face value, colleagues, friends and family members say. He likes to get down to the … [Read more...]

Justice for All: Putting People First

Brooke Deratany Goldfarb

By BROOKE DERATANY GOLDFARB When people go to court, they are naturally nervous, angry, upset or afraid. Much usually hangs in the balance. Cases are almost always complicated and must be resolved as judiciously as possible. Individuals are rarely all good or all bad or all right or all wrong, but the one thing they all have in common is that they want to be treated fairly. The judge’s robe and iconic blind over the eyes of Lady Justice are meant to symbolize the closing off of the judge from bias, prejudice and political influence. Judges should make decisions based solely on the unique facts of the case before them and the applicable law and do so with honor, dignity, wisdom, respect and justice for all. One man’s frivolous case is another man’s dying cause, but what are the facts of the case and what law applies? These are the questions for a judge to consider. A … [Read more...]

Ticktin to Mortgage Fraud Victims: You Can go Home Again

Ticktin remembers when America 'had a conscience'

By DONNA BALANCIA, Editor -- DEERFIELD BEACH -- Attorney Peter Ticktin believes you can go home again. And he wants that to be the case for victims of the so-called 'foreclosure-gate' mortgage scandal. "In our country, we used to have a conscience -- that was the bank," said Ticktin, founder Deerfield Beach-based The Ticktin Law Group. "And then that disappeared. Ruinous competition for bad loans forced even the legitimate banks to compete, so, originating banks like World Savings, Countrywide, and even little banks are not there any more. What happened to America was we lost our checks and balances," Ticktin, whose firm The Ticktin Law Group is defending homeowners victimized in the "Robo-signing" mortgage scandal, says it has been detailed detective-like work that led his team to discover the fraud perpetrated on the people.  But taking on challenges like this is not new for the … [Read more...]

Miami attorney David Podein triumphs with fellow cancer survivors on Alaskan Mountain Range

David Podein - Alaska

SPECIAL to The Florida Law Journal -- MIAMI -- While some lawyers enjoy relaxing at a beach or resort for their vacations away from the office, David Podein had something different – and much colder – in mind. He’d already had a work-filled summer that included a professional triumph in which he prevailed in a 10-day construction arbitration. But he followed that with a quiet personal victory, when he embarked on a six-day mountaineering expedition on the Coffee Glacier in the Alaskan Mountain Range with five fellow cancer survivors. During his second year at the University of Miami School of Law, Podein was diagnosed with cancer.  He withdrew from class and moved back home to Michigan so his parents could help with his medical care as he underwent three months of rigorous chemotherapy treatment. Now a proud cancer survivor more than five years, Podein lives in Miami and … [Read more...]

Personal Injury Attorney Matt White Launches Spine Revitalizer

Attorney Matt White and his Revitalizing Creation

By DOTTIE PARIS, TFLJ Features Editor -- The expression "No Pain, No Gain" has a special meaning for personal injury lawyer Matt White. After suffering a debilitating back injury, White devoted every spare minute to research, and he created Spine Revitalizer, a nutraceutical product that helps heal those with similar injuries. "My injury was like an electric current that rushed up my back,"  White said.  "It was terrible.  I drove  home and got out of the car and the minute I stood up, I knew something had happened.  The pain would come and go. For a  few weeks the pain go away, but it would come back. It got to the point where I remember being on the den floor and couldn't move." It got to the point where he couldn't pick up his baby, and that's when he went to talk to a surgeon. The prospects were not good. "After the surgeon told me … [Read more...]