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

David-Willig-Attorney-sm3

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

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...]

Hospital Agrees to pay $7 Million in Whistleblower Settlement

TAMPA BAY TIMES -- ST. PETERSBURG — All Children's Hospital has agreed to pay $7 million to settle a whistle-blower lawsuit alleging it violated antikickback laws by paying inflated salaries and bonuses to doctors so that they would bring in more patients and revenues. The suit was filed in July 2011 by Barbara Schubert, who was director of operations for the doctors' practice at All Children's for more than a decade. She claimed the hospital overpaid doctors by about $5 million in 2010 alone, violating laws regulating the financial relationships between hospitals and the physicians who bring in patients. All Children's, which denied any wrongdoing in agreeing to the settlement, relies heavily on the state-federal Medicaid program. In 2010, the year it opened its new facility, 70 percent of its patient care revenues, or $370 million, came from Medicaid, according to an annual … [Read more...]

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...]