News

December 05, 2017

Attorney Jed L. Frankel Recertified in Civil Trial Law by the Florida Bar

Categories: News, Practice Focus - Admin @ 4:37 pm



HOLLYWOOD, FLA. – The Law Firm of Eisinger, Brown, Lewis, Frankel & Chaiet, P.A. announced that partner Jed L. Frankel, B.C.S. was recently Re-Certified in Civil Trial Law by The Florida Bar’s Board of Legal Specialization and Education through 2022. Frankel was originally Certified in 2007 and has maintained Certification since that date. He continues to represent clients in trial and appellate matters, as well as contested administrative proceedings.

Mr. Frankel was recognized by The Florida Bar for his commitment to excellence and professionalism in the practice of law. As board certified, he has the distinction of having “special knowledge, skills and proficiency in Civil Trial law as well as character, ethics, and a reputation for professionalism in the practice of law.” The Supreme Court of Florida has stated its view that attorneys who are board certified have a special responsibility to maintain high standards of conduct and professionalism and are preeminent in competence and ethics.

Frankel is also certified as a Circuit Mediator by The Supreme Court of Florida and is authorized to mediate in all Florida’s Judicial Circuits. He can be reached at jfrankel@eisingerlaw.com or (954) 894-8000.
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December 04, 2017

Eisinger, Brown, Lewis, Frankel & Chaiet, P.A. To Host Free Board Certification Course on Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Categories: Education Courses - Admin @ 8:59 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 (Sections 718.112(2)(d)(4) and 720.3033(1)).

Refreshments will be served.

WHEN: Wednesday, January 24, 2018, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Residence Inn Marriott, 19900 West Country Club Drive Aventura, FL 33180

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 04, 2017

Eisinger, Brown, Lewis, Frankel & Chaiet, P.A. and Centennial Bank Host “How to Run Your Condo or Homeowners Association as a Business” Free Course on Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Categories: Education Courses - Admin @ 8:54 pm

WHAT: Condominium and Homeowner Association board members are invited to attend a free educational event which will provide a practical and business-oriented perspective for anyone serving on a Board of Directors. Topics covered will include financial and collection aspects, fiduciary duty of directors and an array of vendors/members issues. Refreshments will be served.

WHEN: Tuesday, January 16, 2018, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: North Miami Beach McDonald Community Center, 17051 NE 19th Avenue, North Miami Bch, FL 33162

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

ABOUT: The 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, and Centennial Bank which specializes in Association Banking Services.
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September 15, 2017

Hurricane Irma Take-Aways for Community Associations

Categories: Community Associations, HOA, News - Admin @ 4:40 pm



1 – Review and Update Insurance Policies. All insurance policies should be reviewed and updated as necessary, at least annually. Review dates should be calendared well in advance and incorporated into other annual must-do tasks.

2 – Maintain Landscaping and Ensure Potential Projectiles are Secured. Trees and shrubbery grow extensively in Florida’s wet, summer months, causing potential problems in strong winds. Trees can block roads and down powerlines when they fall. Items like ladders, paint cans, supplies, outdoor furniture, etc. which may normally be stored outside have the potential to become airborne projectiles posing threats to people and property and must be secured responsibly once a hurricane watch is issued. Landscaping and exteriors should be inspected regularly to minimize these potential threats.

3 – Establish Lines of Communication with Local Governmental Authorities. Determine well in advance who at your city hall is responsible for hurricane response and obtain contact information, including phone numbers and emails. Make sure that the association is included on notification lists (e-mails, texts, and/or voicemail) and that residents have access to transportation in the event an evacuation is ordered.

4 – Adopt Action Plan for Association Hurricane Response. Divide responsibilities among officers/directors and management for operations under emergency hurricane conditions. If evacuation is a possibility, have a reliable means of communication to relay messages to residents, such as evacuation orders and transportation options. If association staff will be asked to work during the storm make adequate accommodation arrangements. This will ensure that they are on-site when needed, as well as avoiding travel that will be impossible during a storm.

5 – Ensure Equipment in Good Working Order. Many communities have a back-up generator, water pump, and elevator systems. These systems, like all others, require regular maintenance to ensure that they are in good working order when needed and especially in emergencies. If your equipment has not been inspected recently, now is an opportune time.

Jed L. Frankel, Esq., B.C.S.

Eisinger | Brown | Lewis | Frankel | Chaiet, P.A.
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September 05, 2017

Facebook “Friends” Not Enough for Judicial Disqualification

Categories: E-Blasts, News, Practice Focus - Admin @ 3:11 pm

TOP REAL    ESTATE   LEGAL ISSUES:

WHAT’S TRENDING NOW



In a thorough opinion recognizing changing technology and the important role social media plays in today’s society, Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal opened the door for state court judges to connect with attorneys on social media such as “friending” on Facebook without fear of disqualification.

In Law Offices of Herssein and Herssein v. United Services Automobile Association, the plaintiff, a law firm, sued its former client USAA for breach of contract and fraud.  Plaintiff accused a USAA executive of witness tampering and indicated she was a potential witness as well as a potential defendant in the case.  In response, USAA hired a former circuit court judge to represent the executive.

The plaintiff law firm filed a motion to disqualify the presiding trial court judge after it discovered the executive’s attorney was listed as a “friend” on the trial judge’s personal Facebook page.

Two officers of the plaintiff law firm submitted affidavits in support of the motion and swore that they feared they would not receive a fair and impartial trial because the judge was Facebook friends with the executive’s attorney and that the attorney had influenced the judge as result of that Facebook connection.

The trial court judge denied the motion to disqualify as legally insufficient. The plaintiff law firm then brought the issue to the Third District, asking for a writ of prohibition to disqualify the trial court judge. In considering the petition, the Third District addressed competing prior decisions from Florida’s Fourth and Fifth District Courts of Appeal.

The Third District identified the issue before it as “whether a reasonably prudent person would fear that he or she could not get a fair and impartial trial because the judge is a Facebook friend with a lawyer who represents a potential witness and party to the lawsuit.”  The Third District answered the question in the negative and examined the two prior Florida appellate decisions dealing with Facebook.

In Domville v. State, 103 So.3d 184 (Fla. 4th DCA 2012), the Fourth District, basing its decision a 2009 Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee Opinion, held that recusal was required when a judge was a Facebook “friend” with the prosecutor.  The Fifth District questioned the Fourth District’s reasoning in Chace v. Loisel, 170 So. 3d 802 (Fla. 5th DCA 2014):  “A Facebook friendship does not necessarily signify the existence of a close relationship. Other than the public nature of the internet, there is no difference between a Facebook “friend” and any other friendship a judge might have. Domville‘s logic would require disqualification in cases involving an acquaintance of a judge.”  The Fifth District expressed concern that such a rule would – in smaller counties where everyone in the legal community knows each other – would be unworkable and unnecessary.

In siding with the Fifth District and denying the plaintiff law firm’s petition, The Third District recognized the important role of social media and the exponential evolution that has taken place since the 2009 Opinion relied on by the Fourth DCA. The Third District cited three factors for its decision. First, a Facebook “friendship” does not necessarily signify a close relationship, especially given the large number of “friends” that some Facebook members have. Second, given the large number of friends” – the Court cited two cases where each member had in excess of one thousand friends” – they often cannot recall every person they have accepted as friends” or who have accepted them as friends”. Third, and perhaps most importantly, the Court observed that many friends” are selected based on Facebook’s data-mining technology and proprietary algorithms rather than personal interactions. Facebook’s suggestion of “People You May Know” as potential friends” is a powerful tool to build personal and professional networks, not an indication of a close or intimate friendship that would require judicial recusal.

The Third District denied the request for recusal and distinguished between a close friend and a distant acquaintance – because a “friend” on a social networking website is not necessarily a friend in the traditional sense of the word, the mere fact that a judge is a Facebook “friend” with a lawyer for a potential party or witness, without more, does not provide a basis for a well-grounded fear that the judge cannot be impartial or that the judge is under the influence of the Facebook “friend.”  With the differing opinions from Florida’s District Courts, the issue may ultimately need to be resolved by the Florida Supreme Court, especially as social media continues exponential growth.  
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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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