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Construction is Designated an Essential Business, Allowing Construction Sites to Remain Open During Covid-19 Pandemic

March 31, 2020
Jeffrey R. Margolis  |  COVID-19, Coronavirus

While many businesses have been ordered closed to try to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the Department of Homeland Security, as well as state and local officials in many jurisdictions following federal guidance, have designated construction as an “essential” business. This includes both Miami-Dade and Broward Counties as well as the City of Fort Lauderdale and the

Estate Planning in Times of Uncertainty

March 31, 2020
Robert S. Beraha  |  Wealth, Estate Planning, Coronavirus, covid19, Will, Wealth Management

We are currently living though a crisis without precedent. The COVID-19 pandemic has had an overwhelming effect on global financial markets and its full impact has yet to be determined. Beyond the uncertainty we are feeling about our financial well-being, we have been forced to confront the vulnerability of not only our health, but the health of those we care about the most. Even as we experience the upending of our everyday lives, it is important to maintain a balanced perspective, be prepared to the extent possible and even consider availing yourself to opportunities that emerge during troubling times.   
 

DBPR Clarifies that Emergency Powers are Available to Condominium and Homeowners’ Associations

March 30, 2020
COVID-19, Coronavirus

My March 16, 2020 post explained that it was not clear whether the emergency powers available to condominium and homeowners associations were applicable to address matters related to COVID-19 given the language in the statutes limiting their applicability to matters “in response to damage caused by an event for which a state of emergency has been declared.” 

The Florida OIR Encourages Insurance Carriers to Work with Policyholders during COVID-19 Pandemic

March 30, 2020
Madelyn Rodriguez  |  COVID-19, Coronavirus

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (“OIR”) has issued additional guidelines for insurance carriers and other regulated entities during this time of uncertainty. OIR notes that actions taken in accordance with these guidelines, and implemented in a non-discriminatory manner, will not be considered unfair trade practices or violations of underwriting guidelines. 

COVID-19: Cyber Readiness for Remote Access Workers

March 27, 2020
Gavin C. Gaukroger  |  COVID-19, Coronavirus

With employees abiding work-at-home directives and IT departments adding resources, buying equipment, and generally transitioning to full-scale remote operations, the propensity for exposure to cyber risks is heavily magnified.  In the last week, clients, competitor law firms, and certainly many other businesses within and outside of Florida have been struck by cyber attacks, spoofed email accounts, and ransomware demands. These attacks create additional strains on already stretched IT departments, including the

UPDATE: Can Development Orders and Permits Be Extended as a Result of COVID-19?

March 25, 2020
Jeffrey R. Margolis  |  COVID-19, Coronavirus

Prior to July 2019, Florida Statutes provided for an unconditional automatic extension of development orders and state and local permits when the governor issued a declaration of a state of emergency. The tolling and extension applied in any circumstance. During the 2019 legislative session, the legislature placed a limitation on the extension of development orders and permits, ending unconditional automatic extensions of development orders and state and local permits during a general state of emergency. Effective as of July 2019, Section 252.363, Florida Statutes, provides that the

Fair Use and Distance Learning in the Time of COVID-19

March 25, 2020
Heidi Howard Tandy  |  COVID-19, Coronavirus

Copyright laws in the United States were created when nearly all duplication of content was done by corporate entities, schools or government offices in specific locations. While laws protecting creative works have been modified over time to envelop the Internet age, most primary and secondary educational institutions (and many colleges and universities) have not had to consider a scenario where all students attend classes remotely, through synchronous virtual classrooms and videoconferencing technology. 

The Florida Legislature Passes a Comprehensive Commercial Real Estate Property Receivership Act

March 24, 2020
Anthony J. Carriuolo  |  Commercial Real Estate, Bankruptcy

Commercial real estate is, of course, big business in Florida. And many constituents are financially dependent on it. Business owners and operators generate revenues while lenders advance monies to acquire those properties and provide working capital for operations.

Homeowners Association and Condominium Association Legislative Update

March 23, 2020
Jeffrey R. Margolis

The 2020 regular Florida legislative session ended on March 13, 2020.  Although several proposed bills relating to homeowners associations and condominium association were introduced during the regular session, only one bill, Senate Bill 476, was passed by the legislature and signed into law by the governor.  Senate Bill 476, which was signed into law by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, amends both Chapter 718, the Florida Condominium Act, and Chapter 720 which governs Homeowners Associations, proscribing certain prohibitions on parking of law enforcement vehicles.  Specifically, the statutes were amended to

Insurance Carrier Continuity Plans in the era of COVID-19

March 20, 2020
Madelyn Rodriguez  |  COVID-19, Coronavirus

In response to the state of Florida’s COVID protocols and declaration of emergency, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) has issued an informational memorandum (OIR-20-03M) providing guidance and reporting requirements for all insurers and entities regulated by OIR.  To protect members of the public, insurance carriers have been directed to heed all recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and the Department of Health. OIR has directed all insurance carriers to

The Regulatory Impact of Florida’s COVID -19 Emergency Declaration

March 18, 2020
Sha`Ron James  |  COVID-19, Coronavirus

Stephen Covey said, “If there’s one thing that’s certain in business, it’s uncertainty,” and today his statement is proven loud and clear.  We are in an unprecedented time which calls for unprecedented measures, for the good of our families, our communities, and our state.  As communities prepare and brace for the effects of Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (“COVID-19”), it is important for businesses operating in Florida to understand Florida’s current emergency declaration and to assess the short and long-term impact it has on your organization and industry.   On March 9, 2020, Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order Number 20-52, declaring a state of emergency because

COVID-19: Considerations for Homeowners and Condominium Associations

March 16, 2020
Jeffrey R. Margolis  |  COVID-19, Coronavirus

With over 10 million Floridians living in a community association such as a condominium or homeowner’s association, Florida has more community associations than any other state.  With residents living in relatively close quarters to their neighbors and sharing common areas, there is a rising concern and heightened anxiety about contracting the COVID-19 virus which has been declared by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a global pandemic. As the outbreak continues to expand in the United States, including Florida, community associations should be

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