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Widerman Malek Law Blog

The Wild World of Discovery…What Can’t They See?

No matter how hard TV shows try, they are just not the reality they portray. Prime example is law related shows. First you have the crime or the incident and then you are in trial, the most exciting part. But what happens in the middle can be the deciding factor whether your case survives, settles, or […]

Why is the Timing of Substantial Completion so Important?

Why is the Timing of Substantial Completion so Important?

The contract is the first place to look to determine the specifics of when a certificate of substantial completion should be issued. Assuming it is the point where a certificate of occupancy (CO) is also issued, this means that the governing authority has to approve the building to be occupied and used for its intended use. At this point, the contractor will often prepare a list of items to be completed for the architect and/or engineer to review and inspect. The architect and/or engineer will prepare the certificate of substantial completion and set a deadline to complete the final items. Depending on the contract, this is usually the point where the owner will have to pay the “final” payment minus costs to complete the final items. This is the number one reason issuance of the certificate of substantial completion is so important to a contractor (and/or subcontractor).

Mediation: Strategies for a Successful Settlement

By: Eric L. Hostetler, Esq. Mediation, in most cases, is a required step in the litigation process. Understanding the mediation process is one thing, but being prepared is the goal to a successful resolution for your client. This article will address some strategies for a successful mediation. 1. Know your case This may sound elementary, […]

Mediation: Lights, Camera…Action?

By: Eric L. Hostetler, Esq. Mediation has proven to be a very beneficial procedural tool in my career so far in resolving cases and conflicts. The basis of its effectiveness revolves around three factors: 1) Plaintiff’s counsel; 2) Defense counsel; and 3) the Mediator. Notice that I did not list as one of the factors […]

Oral Modifications to Written Lease/Rental Agreements: Are They Valid? Vol. 1

I have been approached lately with the issue of oral modifications made outside the main written lease/rental agreement and what impact they have on the lease/rental agreement. Are they valid? Are they enforceable? If the landlord doesn’t live up to his end of the oral modification, do I have any recourse? What do I do? […]

I Have a Judgment and Now I Want to Collect Vol. 4

Your deposition has ended. You have all your documents, including bank statements, pay stubs, deeds to property, titles to vehicles, etc. What do you do with all this information? It depends on the status of your defendant. What I mean by status is you have to determine whether or not your defendant qualifies as “head […]

I Have a Judgment and Now I Want to Collect Vol. 3

If you have reached this stage, either the defendant did not fill out the Financial Information Form pursuant to the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure or the form was not attached to your final judgment. It has been over 30 days since the Judge granted your judgment and you haven’t been paid, no offers have […]

I Have a Judgment and Now I Want to Collect Vol. 2

As discussed by on my June 6, 2013 blog, there are certain basic tools that you can utilize to try to collect on your judgment. In most cases, when I reference a judgment in this blog and any follow up blogs, I am simply referring to a money judgment.  There are other types of judgments […]

Loan Modification, Stipulated Judgment, Deed in Lieu,…What do you do?

Loan Modification, Stipulated Judgment, Cash for Keys,…What do you do?

It is best to talk to an attorney before you ever get to the point where you start falling behind on your mortgage. Before things start to go downhill too much, you might be able to save yourself a lot of future problems by talking with a professional up front. Having said that, if you find yourself at the point where you have already missed a mortgage payment, or several, you likely still have several options available. For the purposes of this article, we will assume that the mortgage is on your Florida homestead property.

Is your agreement binding and enforceable?

Is your agreement binding and enforceable?

One question that has to be answered in nearly every breach of contract case is was there a contract or was there an agreement? Although this sounds simple enough, and often times it is, there are several different types of agreements and in Florida, there are several ways to make an agreement, modify an agreement, or make a counter-offer and you may not even realize you have done it. Black’s Law Dictionary has several definitions for a contract, and lists numerous types of contracts, but the basic definition is “[a]n agreement between two or more parties creating obligations that are enforceable or otherwise recognizable at law.”

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