David S. Willig: New Florida Law Impacts International Family Cases

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DAVID S. WILLIG, ESQ. – A new statute in Florida, coming into force from October 2014, is likely to impact international family cases to the extent they call for the application of foreign law.  The foreign law angle is, perhaps, not so farfetched.  We often hear about fellow Americans, some famous and some not so famous, getting married in exotic locales such as Italy, France and Jamaica. The new Florida statute will be codified in the Dissolution of Marriage section, Chapter 61, and will also be applicable in cases under Florida’s enactment of the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act.   The act itself purports to codify the holdings of different lines of cases involving choice of law provisions, forum selection clauses, enforceability of foreign judgments, the application of the law of a foreign state, and, finally, dismissal of a case on the grounds of forum non … [Read more...]

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

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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...]

Michael L. Feinstein: Florida Makes Big Changes to its Limited Liability Company Act

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BY MICHAEL L. FEINSTEIN, ESQ. – On June 14, 2013, Florida adopted the Revised Limited Liability Act (“Florida’s LLC Act”), based on the Revised Uniform Limited Liability Company Act. Florida’s LLC Act went into effect on January 1, 2014 and is codified in Chapter 605 of the Florida Statutes. Florida’s LLC Act governs new LLCs formed after Jan.1, 2014. LLCs formed before Jan.1, 2014, may elect to be governed under the old LLC statute until Jan.1, 2015, however, after Jan.1, 2015, Florida’s LLC Act will apply to all Florida LLCs. Florida’s LLC Act contains significant changes from the prior statute. Below are some highlights of the material changes: 1. Expansion of Nonwaivable Provisions  §605.0105 Florida’s LLC Act expands the list of statutory rights and provisions that cannot be waived or altered in governing documents or other agreements between an … [Read more...]

Richard Wolfe: Entering into Contracts with Minors can be a Minefield

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BY RICHARD C. WOLFE, ESQ – The fields of entertainment and sports are dominated by the young. Many athletes and entertainers have earned tremendous amounts of money prior to reaching legal age. This article will focus on three contracting issues apropos to minors: where the contract is judicially approved; where the contract is guaranteed by the minor’s parents; and where consideration is given to the minor, but no judicial approval is obtained. Background on Judicial Approval Florida is one of 38 states that has adopted a version of the so-called Jackie Coogan” Law, named after the child actor whose riches were taken by greedy parents (and who regained his fame in middle age as Uncle Fester in the Addams Family TV show) [See Florida Statutes 743.08, 09, and 095 (1995).] Under the common law, the parents possessed the results of a child’s work in return for their legal … [Read more...]

David S. Willig: Bilingual Mediation Too Often an Afterthought

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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...]