Lawsuit Claims Real Estate Attorney Failed to Check Property’s Zoning Before Client Made $2.2M Land Buy

Warren Trazenfeld Photo 2

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 … [Read more...]

Altman: Scott cost FL 50,000 Jobs, $2.4B and High-Speed Rail

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By DONNA BALANCIA TALLAHASSEE -- Florida's Sen. Thad Altman (R-Rockledge) has accomplished much since getting elected to the Florida Senate in 2008. He has worked to help Florida's military families, he promotes space exploration, and he is an avid supporter of the restaurant and tourism industries. His one regret: He couldn't do more to keep in Florida a high-speed rail, a project that he says could have employed 50,000 people -- many of them displaced aerospace workers. The project which was cancelled last March, still represents a sore spot for Altman, who waged a court battle to keep the Florida portion of the project alive. Altman says Gov. Rick Scott's wanted to sabotage President Barack Obama's plan for the first phase of the  high-speed rail -- as well as all the jobs and the $2.4 billion that went with it. "Gov. Scott is a pick-pocket," Altman said. "Gov. Scott … [Read more...]

News-Journal Investigation takes Lifeguards to task

Courtesy of the Daytona Beach News-Journal Does Volusia County's Beach Patrol condone a "culture of sexual abuse and depravity" where underage lifeguards are expected to have sex with officers as a "rite of passage"? The News-Journal reviewed thousands of pages of documents and found scant evidence to support the strongest claims in a civil suit filed against Volusia County in federal court. But that doesn't necessarily mean the case is a loser, legal experts said. After reading the 40-page complaint, Stetson law professor Charles Rose said the case's fate hinges on whether attorneys can really prove a "culture" that county management knew about -- or should have known about -- and not just the misdeeds of a few officers. "Usually, it's one or two bad apples, and the fight comes down to whether or not the county knew about it," Rose said. "Then you have to prove actual … [Read more...]

OCBA’s Legal Aid Powered by the People

Jamie Bilotte Moses, Frank Bedell and Glenn Adams

By DONNA BALANCIA, The Florida Law Journal Photo (c) by DONNA BALANCIA, The Florida Law Journal ORLANDO -- It's fundraisers and events that enable most bar associations to help the Legal Aid Society, but in Orlando, the devotion of attorneys keeps the machine moving. "I volunteer at Legal Aid because I believe I need to give back to the community," said Glenn Adams, a partner at Holland & Knight who is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Legal Aid Society. "The goal of Legal Aid is for us to help provide self sufficiency for our clients." Before several hundred legal professionals at the OCBA Legal Aid Society Breakfast, Adams also delivered sobering news in that while the Guardian Ad Litem section of the Legal Aid Society was helping out kids in need, the economy is having an impact. "This year we are truly in need," he said. "The reality is, thanks to our … [Read more...]

Florida Sues Feds Over Water Rule

Calling it "unfair," Florida's Attorney General Bill McCollum said the state is suing the federal government for imposing a water quality rule that interferes with Florida's environmental plans. McCollum says the rule wasn't based on a "sound methodology," and was put in place to appease environmental groups. Those who join McCollum are Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bronson, AttorneyGeneral-elect Pam Bondi and the newly-elected Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam. The federal government announced in November newwater pollution standards that set specific numeric caps on pollutant levels for Florida lakes and rivers. We all want clean water for Florida, and we all believe that scientifically sound and responsible numeric nutrient criteria will improve efforts to achieve this goal," McCollum said in a statement. "Florida was in the process of developing such criteria under … [Read more...]