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...]

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...]

Caryn Kelley found not guilty of manslaughter in death of her boyfriend

By Susan Jacobson and Amy Pavuk, Orlando Sentinel Flanked by a crowd of supporters, Caryn Kelley left the Orange County Courthouse late Tuesday a free woman after a jury found her not guilty of manslaughter in the fatal shooting of her boyfriend. "I'm going to sleep very well tonight, thank you," Kelley said. "It's been a long time coming." The three-man, three-woman jury deliberated for about an hour and 35 minutes before reaching its verdict. http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/breakingnews/os-caryn-kelley-trial-closings-20130528,0,3718308.story … [Read more...]

Lawsuit Launched to Protect Coastal Florida Sparrow and Lizard Threatened by Sea-level Rise

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.— The Center for Biological Diversity filed a formal notice of intent today to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over the agency’s failure to protect the MacGillivray’s seaside sparrow and the Florida Keys mole skink under the Endangered Species Act. Both species are severely threatened by sea-level rise: The sparrow depends on marshes that are threatened by rising seas, while the mole skink is found only on Florida’s low-lying keys, at risk of inundation. Driven by climate change, sea-level rise of three feet to six feet in Florida is highly likely within this century. “Help can’t come too soon for the seaside sparrow, Florida Keys mole skink or many other plants and animals on our vulnerable coasts,” said Jaclyn Lopez, a Center attorney based in … [Read more...]

Florida businessman, sued by Bulls’ Boozer for $1M, arrested for fraud

By Ben Golliver -- Claudio Osorio, a Florida businessman sued last yearby Bulls forward Carlos Boozer for allegedly squandering a $1 million investment into a bogus company, has been arrested on a federal fraud indictment, the FBI announced Friday. The South Florida Business Journal reports the wire fraud and major fraud charges involved InnoVida Holdings, a company that made “fiber composite panels” that could be used to build homes in developing countries, such as Haiti. http://nba.si.com/2012/12/07/carlos-boozer-fraud-claudio-osorio-fraud-lawsuit/ … [Read more...]