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Category: What We Do

Florida Appellate Lawyer

In the News Sep 14, 2023
post about Florida Appellate Lawyer

Knowing when to file a notice of appeal, or a motion for rehearing can be confusing. A recent case tells you not to wait when dealing with non-final orders. Your Florida appellate lawyer should know when to avoid motions and also how you can use them to your advantage. ( Very important: there are special rules for probate appeals. ) Final and Non-Final Orders When handling a matter a trial, the best time to consider an appeal is before your trial begins. Not after the judgment is entered. Are you ready for an appeal if you win? And, maybe more importantly, are you ready for an appeal if you lose? Can you anticipate issues which may be challenging? Like what issues? Evidentiary issues. Hearsay. Even jurisdictional issues. Most people know that you have 30 days for your Florida appellate lawyer to file an appeal. (There are unique and special rules for appealing rulings on attorneys fees.) What does that mean? Florida Appellate Lawyer An appeal is initiated under the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure. A notice of appeal must filed in the trial court. Pay the filing fee at the District Court of Appeal and with the trial court’s clerk. Start to get the record sent up to the DCA. This means that you need everything in the court docket, and used by the judge, which addresses, or deals with, what you believe is error. This may be more than just the court-filed documents. So, if there was a hearing […]


Florida Charging Lien

FAQs Sep 9, 2023
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Many lawyers incorrectly assume they automatically have a Florida charging lien. Here’s what you need to know about this weird legal concept. To read more about this topic for free, you can CLICK HERE. Florida Charging Lien Some lawyers in Florida let a client “float” and not pay their bills for a while. Others are more “business-focused” and want invoices paid monthly. Many lawyers will file a motion to withdraw when they don’t get paid, or are fired by the client. Regardless. When a lawyer ceases work, and she is owed money, what can she do? Most lawyers file a charging lien. (For a short free video: click here). Some have said that there are 4 elements to a charging lien. Often, those elements can be demonstrated, or proven, by a legal services contract and simple emails (notices and communication). Attorney John Pankauski, managing partner of Pankauski Lazarus, gave a Florida Bar-approved continuing legal education course webinar on this subject. Understanding Florida Law A recent 4th District Court of Appeal opinion dealt with this issue. (scroll to Case 22-1827 to read it for free). This recent Florida charging lien cases involved a contingency fee. There are distinct differences for charging liens for CONTINGENCY cases vs. so-called “hourly” cases. And if a client fires the lawyer, was it “for cause” or not? A fired attorney, and the successor counsel, may need to resolve “who gets what”. Often times, the discharged, fired or withdrawn attorney will file a notice of charging lien […]


Lis Pendens Florida — everything you need to know (well….almost)

In the News Sep 4, 2023

Dealing with a Lis Pendens Florida? Need to preserve your rights? Read a new opinion on this Florida Real Estate Legal topic to learn just about all you need to know . For a free legal video on this subject you can also CLICK HERE. (no one will ask you for your name or any data or information) A lis pendens Florida may be needed to assert your rights to real estate. #lispendensflorida Real Estate Litigation in Florida There are a lot of disputes regarding Florida real estate. Sometimes, a closing does not go as planned. The buyer and the seller have a disagreement after signing the purchase and sale contract. Which shouldn’t happen, right? After all, that’s why you put things in writing in the first place. But, sometimes a real estate contract just doesn’t address certain issues or rights. But, more often then not, lots of probate disputes involve real estate. Especially homestead. Especially when someone like an heir or a personal representative of an estate is trying to sell the real estate quickly. Maybe they did not give you notice. Maybe it’s really supposed to be YOUR real estate. And when you are “fighting” about homestead litigation or real estate litigation, everyone wants to know about a lis pendens. Lis Pendens Florida To read about the statute in Florida, click: Florida Statute 48.23. To read a new 3rd DCA opinion on this subject, click here. Scroll to case 23-1180 dated 8/30/2023. Here is a list of “bullet […]


Will Litigation Lawyer Florida

Our Firm Aug 15, 2023

A will litigation lawyer Florida may be needed to assist getting your inheritance. But before you start interviewing, here are some insights that may prove helpful. (To learn more about the Florida probate process, you can click this link.) Where’s my inheritance? Ever wonder why it takes some trustees so long to get your inheritance to you? Beneficiaries and family members sure do ! Same question about estate executors or personal representatives. I can’t tell you how many prospective clients call our firm each week complaining about their fiduciary. Did you know that an estate is supposed to be administered “expeditiously?” Common complaints which are repeated over and over again: Will Litigation Lawyer Florida So, do you know the signs of a “good” one? (I know, I know…. what’s “good”?) Here are some considerations . Some questions to ask when you are interviewing attorneys to assist you with your Florida estate or probate matter. Remember: try to interview as many as you have time for.


Will Lawyer Florida

Our Attorneys Aug 13, 2023
post about Will Lawyer Florida

A will lawyer Florida may be needed to help you get your inheritance. Here are the 3 ways to navigate receiving your inheritance. (Hint: one involves hiring your own probate litigator, although that may not be necessary.) What does a will lawyer Florida do? (what do you NEED?) A will lawyer Florida typically deals with the “disposition of assets at death.” One who is knowledgeable about the transfer and receipt of plain, simple, expensive and unique assets and properties at death. Beneficiary rights. Obligations of a trustee or executor. That’s a fancy way of saying one deals with dirt, dollars & death! (For short legal blog on who inherits at death, click that link. It’s free, fast and no “cookies” or data collection.) Wills. (And, of course, such other, so-called, “dispositive vehicles” like a revocable living trust, or pay-n-death or transfer-on-death accounts.) Why? Well, the rules are different for giving property when one dies. During life, right?, I can give my property to whoever I want in any way I choose. But the rules are different when we pass. The rules change when you die Death changes everything, right? There’s the Florida Probate Rules, the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure and of course the Probate Code. (For the rules, just go to the Florida Bar website, www.FloridaBar.org, and they are there for free.) Don’t get mad at me ! I didn’t write them or create them. Our legislature did. And those statutes, and those rules, are the guiding light to […]


Homestead Lawyer

Our Attorneys Aug 12, 2023
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Sometimes, a homestead almost gives you a “guaranteed” inheritance when a family member passes away. Most Floridians own a homestead worth hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars. And, normally, sometimes (maybe??) homestead goes to the HEIRS. That’s why so many sons and daughters and spouses hire Alpha-Dog probate litigators. (To try to “get” “theirs”.) Finding an accomplished and successful homestead lawyer who has handled trials and appeals on this unique (weird?) Florida topic can be a challenge. Here are the issues to consider and what to look for. What is homestead and “heirs” Heirs are the spouse and descendants. That means kids, grandchildren, and a spouse. Note: not ALL of them inherit, or inherit EQUALLY. To read more about who is an heir in Florida, simply click this link. See also Florida Probate Code Statute 731.201 (20). Homestead is that one abode, one residence, that a Floridian calls home. You know, where you file your taxes from, where you consider returning each time that you are away. Florida has unique homestead laws when there is no will and, sometimes, even when there is a will or a deed. Or a prenup. So……….don’t assume that someone gets the homestead. Talk to an experienced homestead lawyer in Florida who has actually litigated and appealed this topic. Homestead lawyer Florida So, if you are in a legal dispute in a probate or estate, or maybe a deed, about homestead, what do you need to know to hire some “firepower”? Here are […]


Palm Beach Inheritance Attorney

Our Attorneys Aug 12, 2023
post about Palm Beach Inheritance Attorney

Need a hand with that Florida probate or estate? If you need a Palm Beach Inheritance Attorney, be sure you know what you are looking for. Palm Beach Inheritance Attorney: looking for the right DNA There are two kinds of Palm Beach Inheritance Attorneys in the world. Those who may choose diplomacy or discussion. And those that choose action. Managing Partner John Pankauski says he seldom “writes letters”, other than to put someone on notice. Pankauski should know, as the lead trial attorney at his boutique probate litigation law firm covering all of Florida. He explains that many times, prospective clients want to hire him to simply “write a letter” to a potential defendant. Why? Maybe a trustee won’t give you your inheritance. Or an executor won’t show you the books. Maybe a POA took your money. Writing letters, he cautions, is often a waste of time and money. He explains that a letter typically won’t solve your riddle. “If someone was going to do the right thing ” so the thinking goes “they would have not wronged you in the first place.” Getting a letter or an email from a law firm that uses fancy legal jargon won’t cause the “bad legal actor” to give you your money. More often than not, they use the money they took –YOUR MONEY– to hire a lawyer to fight you. Choosing the “right” Palm Beach Inheritance Attorney may be about finding the right DNA. How to match up with your lawyer So, […]


Palm Beach Guardianship

Our Attorneys Aug 12, 2023
post about Palm Beach Guardianship

Here’s the FIRST thing you MUST know about a Palm Beach Guardianship. Is it contested or not-contested? If it’s not-contested, probably any old guardianship lawyer will do. If it’s contested, that’s a different story. Consider finding an experienced guardianship litigation lawyer. Understanding Guardianship in 2 Easy Steps (sort of) How can you learn all about Florida guardianships quickly? First, read Florida Statutes Chapter 744, also called the Guardianship Code. These are the Florida Statutes which tell you about how a guardian is supposed to act, whether she is a fiduciary, how the legal process works and how to end a guardianship. It will also introduce you to new words and phrases. Like “incapacity”, “alleged incapacitated person”, “lesser restrictive alternatives”. And, it will tell you what to do if there is a power of attorney. Second, interview as many guardianship lawyers as you have time for. Look for those who SPECIALIZE in this area and are experts. How will you know if the Palm Beach Guardianship lawyer is an expert? You’ll know………………………….. Here is a list of questions which you may want to ask when you interview: Palm Beach Guardianship So, to learn more about Florida guardianship law, you can click on THIS LINK for free videos. No credit card, no “cookies” to accept or reject, and no personal data required. In the end, there are a LOT of lawyers in South Florida who say they “do” guardianship. Most are probably uncontested matters. If are “fighting” about whether someone is incapacitated […]


Palm Beach Probate Attorney

Our Attorneys Aug 11, 2023
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How do you find a good estate lawyer? You know….the kind that has been involved in hundreds of millions, billions (?) of dollars, of estates over his career. A good Palm Beach probate attorney will fight hard, advise you well, give you legal options and explain everything in plain-English. Everything that your lawyer is doing, right? Secret to finding How do you find a decent Palm Beach Probate Attorney? After all, there are hundreds of Florida lawyers, right? And lots of estate lawyers. Look for a lawyer who LOVES her job. Can’t wait to get into the office. Talks to clients at night. Weekends. Someone who loves being creative, and is passionate about representing his clients How will you know? Believe me………………you’ll know ! Palm Beach Probate Attorney So, here’s more about what is Florida probate. And here’s more about the Florida probate process. Here’s a list of considerations for your search for your “Alpha Dog” probate attorney:


Fiduciary Duty Florida

In the News Aug 10, 2023
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A recent appellate opinion helps you understand what is fiduciary duty Florida. While common in Florida probate and trust cases, this one was about a contract. Who owes you a fiduciary duty Florida? There are three important “legal actors” who you need to know about when considering fiduciary duty Florida. First, there are those who are so-called “official” fiduciaries. Like Trustees, Personal Representatives or executors of estates. And powers of attorney, also called an attorney-in-fact. Those legal actors are, by definition, fiduciaries. They have agreed to serve, and owe duties of loyalty to their principal or beneficiaries. The law is clear. And there can be a LOT of fiduciary duties. They also agree to put the interests of those who they have agreed to serve above their own. There are a LOT of duties for a trustee. Same for a Personal Representative or executor of a Florida probate or estate. A POA = same thing. (even though the Florida laws call a POA an “agent.”) Who else owes you those duties? Working hard…… The 2nd group? Those who are not “per se” fiduciaries, may become one. How? If they accept a role of serving another. If they are given trust and confidence, and they accept that, and act on it. They then owe a duty. Or maybe multiple duties. And, if they screw up, they can be sued for breach or even surcharge. To read free Florida legal blogs about breach, click here. Contracts = no duty But most contractual […]