News

July 17, 2017

Attorneys Dennis Eisinger and Jed Frankel Recognized as 2017 Super Lawyers

Categories: News, Press Coverage - Admin @ 4:30 pm

HOLLYWOOD, FLA. – (July 17, 2017) – The law firm of Eisinger, Brown, Lewis, Frankel & Chaiet, P.A. announced that managing partner, Dennis J. Eisinger and partner, Jed L. Frankel were recently honored as Top Rated Attorneys by Super Lawyers.

Mr. Eisinger was recognized for the seventh consecutive year as a Top Rated Real Estate Attorney and Mr. Frankel was honored for the fourth consecutive year as a Top Rated General Litigation Attorney.

Super Lawyers is an independent rating service which recognizes outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The patented selection process includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations.

Eisinger, Brown, Lewis, Frankel & Chaiet, P.A., a full service Florida law firm focusing on community association law, real estate law, developer representation, commercial litigation and insurance law. For more info visit eisingerlaw.com or facebook.com/EisingerLaw.
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May 18, 2017

No Smoking Anywhere: This Attorney Wants Condo Associations to Completely Ban Cigarettes

Categories: News, Press Coverage - Admin @ 4:33 pm

Samantha Joseph, Daily Business Review

5/15/17- Fort Lauderdale— Dennis J. Eisinger, with Eisinger, Brown, Lewis, Frankel & Chaiet, P.A., and principal, OceanLand Investments. J. Albert Diaz

There’s no smoking allowed in attorney Dennis Eisinger’s condominium projects. Not in the units. Not at the pool. Not in the parking garage.

And if Eisinger had his way, that would be the case in every Florida condominium.

“Smokers are not a protected class” under the federal Fair Housing Act, he said. “You want to smoke and kill yourself? Fine. But why impede someone else’s right?”

The real estate lawyer-turned-developer is on a two-tier mission: help associations amend their governing documents to prohibit tobacco use, and lobby state lawmakers to champion a bill to impose legal penalties on condo owners who allow emission of secondhand smoke from one unit to another.

But that won’t happen without opposition from smokers who’ll likely argue the effort infringes on their right to quiet enjoyment of their homes.

“It’s easier said than done,” association mediator Michael Gelfand of Gelfand & Arpe in West Palm Beach said. “They can’t even enforce no smoking on airplanes without threatening to eject smokers at 35,000 feet … But it’s an interesting proposal to regulate literally in one’s home and bedroom, when the (political) rallying cry now is there should be no regulation.”

But in an era of landmark verdicts and class actions against tobacco manufacturers, Eisinger is poised for the fight, working with community organizations that want to change their rules to ban tobacco. As founder and managing partner of Eisinger Brown Lewis Frankel & Chaiet in Hollywood, his firm represents real estate developers and about 600 community associations across Florida and encourages them to make the switch, according to marketing materials. He also influences future attorneys as adjunct professor of law at the University of Florida Levin College of Law in Gainesville, and guides executive decisions as a partner at a real estate development firm erecting tobacco-free luxury condos in Fort Lauderdale.

Eisinger said no personal history or illness-related tragedy drove the quest that has since seen him become a board member of the American Lung Cancer Association’s Broward chapter. But he offered early advice to Dr. Joyce Starr, an advocate who authored “Smoke Free Condos” and led a campaign to convince 75 percent of owners to vote to amend an Aventura association’s declaration.

“He was recommended for being a phenomenal attorney with a deep heart,” Starr said. “At that time he was not a developer, but I think the interaction heightened his sensitivity to how this affects people in condo associations.”

The process was arduous, according to Starr, who spent about 10 months building support for the change after a few neighbors’ smoking reportedly grew so excessive the fumes permeated most of the building. It involved gaining a seat on the association board, convincing others to seek the amendment, contacting unit owners on several continents, arranging a vote, and then mailing and counting ballots. In the end, the association spent between $8,000 and $10,000 in legal fees and administrative expenses.

“It has to follow the letter of the law. Every ‘T’ has to be crossed and every ‘I’ dotted. It needs to be a perfect process, or it could be contested later on,” Starr said. “‘There is no right to smoke in a multifamily building under law. But if you want to stop it, you have to take legal steps.”

Eisinger took those steps upfront for the projects he’s co-developed, creating incorporation documents that ban tobacco smoking in units and common areas, except for private terraces outside units.

“I always said if I ever built anything I’d make it no smoking,” Eisinger said. “No developer has ever done this, because theoretically it’s not good for sales. You’re going to freeze out a large percentage of buyers who are smokers, but I think the tide is changing.”

As a partner in Ocean Land Investments Inc., he co-developed AquaVita Las Olas condos, Aqualuna Las Olas, AquaMar Las Olas, and AquaBlu Fort Lauderdale.

The projects each offer 20-35 units priced between $1.2 and $2 million, which have all sold out despite prohibiting tobacco smoking from the outset, according to Eisinger.

“There’s absolute disclosure relative to that,” Eisinger said. “I feel very confident that there will be no challenges.”

Full story can be found here: http://www.dailybusinessreview.com/id=1202786478065/No-Smoking-Anywhere-This-Attorney-Wants-Condo-Associations-to-Completely-Ban-Cigarettes?mcode=0&curindex=0&curpage=ALL  
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April 04, 2017

The Florida Bar Introduces Board Certification for Attorneys Specializing in Condominium and Planned Development Law

Categories: Community Associations, News, Practice Focus - Admin @ 3:01 pm

The Florida Bar announced it is adding standardized Board Certification in Condominium and Planned Development Law to its current roster of 26 defined areas of law. This is positive news for Eisinger, Brown, Lewis, Frankel & Chaiet, P.A. which has focused its practice in these well-defined areas of law for more than 20 years.

The Florida Bar’s application filing period begins this summer and since Eisinger Law has a demonstrated history of proficiency in these specialized areas of law, several of the firm’s attorneys are already in the process of applying.

Conditions of Board Certification necessitate that each practice area has set standards that have been approved by the Supreme Court of Florida and incorprated into the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar. The standards include specific practice or experience criteria, passing an examination, advanced continuing education, and supportive peer review which sufficiently assesses qualifications such as competence, skill experience, professionalism and ethics.

The application process is extremely comprehensive but Eisinger, Brown, Lewis, Frankel & Chaiet’s attorneys are exceedingly experienced and qualified. In addtion to representing the interests of condominium and homeowners’ associations and co-ops in South Florida and statewide for the past three decades, managing partner Dennis J. Eisinger is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Florida’s School of Law, teaching a class on condominium and community development law. Partner, Jed L. Frankel has represented numerous clients, including community associations, before administrative, trial court and appellate panels across the State. Frankel is “AV” rated by his peers and is Board Certified in Civil Trial Law by the Florida Bar.

“Board Certification is a strong indicator of our firm’s expertise and principal way we can best serve our clients and ensure our attorneys remain at the forefront of this specialized and continuously evolving area of law,” said partner Jed. L. Frankel.

Accordingly to The Florida Bar, a lawyer who is board certified is recognized as “having special knowledge, skills and proficiency in the practice area and good character, ethics and a reputation for professionalism in the practice of law.”   Board certification establishes an independent measure of competence, professionalism and peer acknowledgment and we anticipate it will also become a valuable referral resource within the legal community. Once a lawyer achieves Board Certification they may use the initials B.C.S. after their name to indicate they are a Board Certified Specialist.

With more than 600 Florida homeowners and condominium associations as clients, Eisinger, Brown, Lewis, Frankel & Chaiet, P.A. a full service Florida law firm focusing on community association law, real estate law, developer representation, commercial litigation and insurance law. For more information call 954-894-8000 or visit eisingerlaw.com.  
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March 27, 2017

Why Homeowner Associations Need to Know About MRTA

Categories: Community Associations, E-Blasts, HOA - Admin @ 2:27 pm

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March 21, 2017

Association Board Member Town Hall Meeting Free Event Thursday, March 30 at Noon

Categories: E-Blasts - Admin @ 1:53 pm

HOA and Condo Association Board Members are invited to an open forum on Thursday, March 30 at noon at the West Regional Library to discuss community association management with all the considerations of legal, financial, and insurance matters, including fiduciary duties and how to minimize liability as Board Members. Speakers will include Tom Spino with Seacrest Services and guest panelists: Nicole Johnson, CPA; Dennis Eisinger, Esq.; Alessandra Stivelman, Esq.; and Curt Levine for candid questions and answers. A complimentary lunch will be served.                                                                                                       WHERE:        8601 W. Broward Blvd., Room 103   Plantation, FL 33324                                            RSVP:           Email education@SeacrestServices.com      
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March 17, 2017

Eisinger, Brown, Lewis, Frankel & Chaiet, P.A. Wins the Florida Community Association Journal’s 2017 Readers’ Choice Award with Diamond Honors

Categories: E-Blasts - Admin @ 7:14 pm

HOLLYWOOD, FLA. – (March 17, 2017) – The law firm of Eisinger, Brown, Lewis, Frankel & Chaiet, P.A. was recently honored with the Florida Community Association Journal’s 2017 Readers’ Choice Award, winning a prestigious a Diamond Level for Legal Services. The FLCAJ Readers’ Choice Awards is a unique recognition program that shines a spotlight on the positive and productive contributions by community association service providers across Florida. They are presented to service providers that demonstrate through their commitment to the community associations they serve an exemplary level of proficiency, reliability, fairness, and integrity. This is the third consecutive year the firm has been recognized with the esteemed distinction for excellence. Eisinger, Brown, Lewis, Frankel & Chaiet, P.A. was selected for the award by being collectively voted as a favorite provider of legal services by community managers, board members, fellow service partners, clients and the readers of the Florida Community Association Journal. Thousands of votes were cast for hundreds of nominated service providers, but only a few were chosen as winners. Since being founded in 2013, the Awards have grown every year, with more than 340 service providers nominated for this year’s awards and approximately 6,000 votes cast and winners chosen based solely on the total number of votes. Eisinger, Brown, Lewis, Frankel & Chaiet, P.A., a full service Florida law firm focusing on community association law, real estate law, developer representation, commercial litigation and insurance law. For more info visit eisingerlaw.com or facebook.com/EisingerLaw.
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March 16, 2017

HOA Fees in South Florida Among Highest – Sun Sentinel Article

Categories: News - Admin @ 7:39 pm

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March 16, 2017

FREE BOARD CERTIFICATION COURSE TUESDAY, MARCH 21 AT NOON

Categories: Education Courses - Admin @ 5:41 pm

Seacrest Services, Inc. cordially invites HOA and Condo Association Board Members to attend a complimentary certification course presented by Dennis Eisinger, Esq. and Alessandra Stivelman, Esq., partners at Eisinger, Brown, Lewis, Frankel & Chaiet, P.A. The event will take place on Tuesday, March 21 from noon to 2:00 pm at the Northwest Regional Library (SECOND FLOOR, ROOM 214).To reserve a seat, email education@SeacrestServices.com The educational program is the perfect introduction for all new board members and a great review for anyone currently serving on a board. This course satisfies community association board member State certification requirements. Topics covered will include: recent legislative changes affecting condominium and homeowner associations; roles of the officers and fiduciary duties; how board members navigate through the governing association Florida statutes and more. This course fulfills community association board member State certification requirements (Section 718.112(2)(d)(4) and 720.3033(1)). 
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January 24, 2017

Free Board Certification Course on Wednesday, February 22

Categories: Community Associations, Education Courses, News - Admin @ 5:56 pm

WHAT: Condominium and Homeowner Association board members, as well as property managers, are invited to attend a free board certification course. The educational program is the perfect introduction for all new board members and a great review for anyone currently serving on a board.

Managing partner Dennis J. Eisinger along with partner Alessandra Stivelman of Eisinger, Brown, Lewis, Frankel & Chaiet, P.A., will lead the DBPR-approved board certification course. The two experienced attorneys will review recent legislative changes affecting condominium and homeowner associations, explain the role of fiduciary duties and guide board members through the applicable statutes governing community associations in Florida. This course fulfills community association board member State certification requirements (Section 718.112(2)(d)(4) and 720.3033(1)).

Refreshments will be served.

WHEN: Wednesday, February 22, 2017 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Young at Art Museum 751 SW 121st Avenue Davie, FL 33325

RSVP: jgrace@eisingerlaw.com or call 954-894-8000 x 241

ABOUT: The board certification course is sponsored free of charge by Eisinger, Brown, Lewis, Frankel & Chaiet, P.A., a full service Florida law firm focusing on community association law, real estate law, developer representation, commercial litigation and insurance law. For more info visit eisingerlaw.com
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December 19, 2016

Q&A: What Are the Ramifications of a Management Takeover?

Categories: Community Associations, News, Practice Focus, Press Coverage - Admin @ 3:48 pm

 
coop


BY ALESSANDRA STIVELMAN 2016 OCTOBER

Q: I am a unit owner in a condominium association containing 189 units. We manage ourselves and wouldn’t ever want to have a management company manage our property. However, the question has often been asked as to what happens when a management company takes over. Obviously, the care and upkeep is taken care of by management. What happens to the association articles and bylaws? Does the management company have authority over those? Can it now change the monthly assessment fee without the consent of the association members? In other words, what are the legal ramifications of being professionally managed?

—Self-Managed in South Florida

A: “The responsibilities of a management company (and the manager, if one is assigned to the association) should be governed by a contract between the management company and the association,” says attorney Alessandra Stivelman of the Hollywood, Florida-based law firm of Eisinger, Brown, Lewis, Frankel & Chaiet.  “In Florida, there is a statute that governs management contracts for condominium associations. Among other matters, the statute requires that the contract is in writing and contain specifications regarding the services, obligations and responsibilities of the parties to the contract.

“Since the management company will be an agent of the association, the board of directors should determine the manager’s responsibilities in writing.  Furthermore, the contract with the management company should contain a strong indemnification/hold harmless provision and insurance requirements to protect the association. The management company should follow the instructions of the association’s Board of Directors, subject to the limitations in the contract.

“While a management company should work with the association’s board members to effectively and uniformly enforce the association’s governing documents, the management company does not have the unilateral authority to modify or amend the governing documents. Generally, governing documents, such as the association’s Declaration of Condominium and Bylaws, can only be amended by the approval of a certain percentage of unit owners (as specifically required in the governing documents, and if no procedure is contained in the governing documents, as provided for by applicable state statute).

“As far as monthly assessment fees, those are generally based on the association’s budget, which should be adopted by the association’s Board of Directors. As such, the management company would not have the authority to modify the Association’s budget. The manager can certainly suggest changes to be considered by the board members and if approved by the board, a revised budget needs to be voted upon and approved as required by applicable state statute.

“A management company is an important aspect of the daily operation of an association. Since management contracts sometimes provide for more than a one year term (with automatic renewal provisions) and liquidated damages in the event of early termination, we always recommend that an association consult with legal counsel before hiring a management company.
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