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Keeping Your Personal Finances Confidential in a Miami Lawsuit

Uncategorized Jan 17, 2021
post about Keeping Your Personal Finances Confidential in a Miami Lawsuit

If you are involved in a Miami lawsuit, does your Miami litigation law firm know how to keep your personal finances confidential? A January 13, 2021 opinion from the Third District Court of Appeal https://www.3dca.flcourts.org/ reminds Miami lawyers, especially Miami probate lawyers, how to protect one’s private personal finances in the middle of litigation, even probate litigation. And, this Miami Dade appellate court opinion also reminds us what the law is when the other side wants to see your personal finances. https://www.3dca.flcourts.org/content/download/700566/opinion/201459_DC03_01132021_110929_i.pdf Discovery. Can one party to a lawsuit issue a subpoena or a request for production under the rules of civil procedure including Fla. R. Civ. Proc. 1.350 https://www-media.floridabar.org/uploads/2020/08/ADA-0-Civil-Procedure-Rules-Updated-8-18-2020.pdf to a party or non-party and get to see all your personal finances? Are you even comfortable showing them your tax returns, financial statements, loans, investments? Must you? Well the Miami-Dade appeals court case of Thomas v. State Farm Florida Ins. Co. reminds us that many times your personal finances are confidential. What’s the Test to Get Financial Information?: In Miami probate matters, where there is a will contest or an undue influence case, many times, one side wants to see all of your personal finances. But in Florida, our courts recognize that such data is private and typically kept secret. While the rules of discovery in probate lawsuits, and, indeed most lawsuits, are wide, your Miami lawyer must be careful regarding personal financial data. There is a “heightened standard” to get to see all that information. The requesting party […]


Civil Contempt, Sanctions + Miami Lawsuits

Uncategorized Jan 17, 2021
post about Civil Contempt, Sanctions +  Miami Lawsuits

Are involved in a Miami lawsuit ? Did you hear the word “contempt” or “sanctions“? Not a good thing. A recent 3rd District Court of Appeal opinion from January 13, 2021 deals with civil contempt. It reminds all Miami trial lawyers about this sensitive subject. If you were found in contempt, one question which you have no doubt asked your Miami litigation law firm is: “Can I appeal this order of contempt?” Florida Civil Contempt Has an order of civil contempt been filed against you in a Miami lawsuit? If so, have you spoken to a Florida appellate attorney about seeking a writ of certiorari before Florida’s 3rd District Court of Appeal? A writ of certiorari is a “request” by a litigant, non-party, or party, asking the appeals court to review a trial court’s order. A recent, January 13, 2021 opinion from the appeals court for Miami-Dade deals with contempt. It reminds us of one important tenet of Florida law. Most Miami business litigators know this. “A party cannot be held in contempt for non-compliance with a court order if there party did not have the present ability to comply with the court order.” This quote is from the case of Children’s Home Society of Florida v. K.W., et al. You can read the entire opinion here: What is Contempt? A trial judge may enter an order of contempt for parties that don’t comply with court orders. Sanctions in a Miami lawsuit are a related but different concept of punishment. […]


Miami Business Lawsuit & LLCs– recent appeals case re judgment creditor

Uncategorized Jan 16, 2021
post about Miami Business Lawsuit & LLCs– recent appeals case re judgment creditor

Are you involved in a Miami business lawsuit? If you won your case, do you know how to get paid from your defendant? A January 13, 2021 appeals court opinion from Florida’s 3rd District Court of Appeal https://www.3dca.flcourts.org/reminds Miami business litigation lawyers about judgment creditors and Florida LLCs. If you are a Miami business owner involved in a lawsuit, what can you learn from this case which had a $30 Million judgment? Let’s say that you won your business lawsuit and you got a judgment against your defendant. And your defendant is an investor in some Florida limited liability companies. Now, you want your Miami business litigation attorney to explain how you get paid. Florida business lawyers would describe you as a “judgment creditor.” How do you get your judgment “satisfied” after the Miami business trial ? Is it possible to obtain or get the other side’s units or interests in those limited liability companies? Well, start reading Florida law on judgment creditors and Florida limited liability companies. You can read all about the Florida Revised Limited Liability Company Act, or Chapter 605, by clicking this link: http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0600-0699/0605/0605ContentsIndex.html In the recent case of Ramos v. Mississippi Real Estate Dispositions, LLC, from the Miami Appeal Court, there was actually a charging order regarding Membership Units or shares of a multi-member limited liability company. Could the judgment creditor, with a $30 Million judgment, get those LLC units or interests or shares? The trial court for the business lawsuit in Miami-Dade County entered […]


Do You Need Legal Representation in Your Miami Guardianship Case?

Uncategorized Dec 20, 2020
post about Do You Need Legal Representation in Your Miami Guardianship Case?

Are you involved in Miami guardianship litigation? Are you a family member trying to become the guardian or prevent someone from being guardian? If you understand the difference between an “elder law attorney” and a serious guardianship trial lawyer, you are on your way to understanding Florida guardianship law! http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0700-0799/0744/0744.html Adults Guardianships in Miami At Pankauski Hauser Lazarus, we handle many guardianship cases throughout Florida. When people hear the word ” guardianship”, they tend to think of minors. However, our firm handles guardianships over adults, not minors. Adult guardianships in Florida are frequently filed by friends or family members who believe that someone is incapacitated and can’t care for him or herself. For example, a daughter may choose to file for guardianship of her mom who is struggling from severe Alzheimer’s or dementia. In certain circumstances, adults may be deemed incompetent, or in need of a guardian, if a disability or mental illness is preventing them from being able to carry out daily life tasks and/or make financial decisions. Miami guardianship lawyers know that guardianship law is governed by Chapter 744 of the Florida Statutes. If you are involved in guardianship litigation in Dade County or anywhere in Florida, you should refer to this chapter of the Florida Statutes. You should also consider interviewing an experienced Miami guardianship lawyer. Types of Adult Guardianship in Miami There are different types of adult guardianships in Florida. Your Florida lawyer can tell you that there are limited guardianships and plenary guardianships. A limited guardianship allows […]


Divorce and Inheritance Rights in Florida

Uncategorized Dec 17, 2020
post about Divorce and Inheritance Rights in Florida

If you are divorced, can you still inherit from your ex-spouse under his or her Florida will? How does divorce affect inheritance rights in Florida? What if an ex-spouse is a beneficiary named in the decedent’s Florida will? Does it matter if my ex-wife wrote her will before we got married rather than during our marriage?  How can divorce affect an inheritance? Did you know that getting a divorce could have a substantial effect on your inheritance rights in Florida? Palm Beach probate lawyers know that certain probate statutes limit the inheritance rights of ex-spouses in Florida. Frequently, trust and estates litigators, like the lawyers here at Pankauski Hauser, encounter cases involving ex-spouses who believe they should be inheriting what had been left to them in a will that was written during their marriage. Is that ex-spouse entitled to inherit from his or her former spouse’s Florida will even though they got a divorce? This answer can prove to be tricky, and it depends on several factors. For example, one factor to be considered is whether the will was created BEFORE the marriage or DURING the marriage. Therefore, if you are getting a divorce in West Palm Beach or anywhere in Florida, you may wish to speak to your divorce lawyers and estate lawyers about this. You may also wish to read Florida Statute 732.507(2). What is Florida Statute 732.507? If you are the ex-spouse of a decedent, and you are named in the decedent’s Florida will, you may still be out […]


Miami Guardianship Litigation and the Removal of Rights

Uncategorized Dec 16, 2020

If I am subject of a guardianship in Miami, does that mean I do not have the right to make any decisions for myself? What rights can a guardianship take away from a person deemed incapacitated in Florida? What is a ward in a Florida guardianship? All of these are good and serious questions which experienced Guardianship Litigators deal with in court every day. Can a ward get married? Can a ward vote? Can a ward hire his or her own attorney? Guardianships are serious as certain rights can be taken away from a person deemed incapacitated. If you are considering petitioning for guardianship over someone, you may want to read Florida Statute 744.3215. Florida Guardianship Law 744.3215 This Florida statute is very important as it outlines the rights a person determined incapacitated retains and which rights can be removed. Here are rights that can be removed by a guardianship court in Florida: 1) right to marry 2) right to enter into a contract 3) right to vote 4) right to personally apply for government benefits 5) right to have a driver license 6) right to travel 7) right to seek or retain employment 4) right to sue and defend lawsuits 5) right to manage property or to make any gift or disposition of property 6) right to determine his or her residence 7) right to consent to medical and mental health treatment 8) right make decisions about his or her social environment or other social aspects of his or her life. […]


Florida Trust Lawsuits and Attorney-Client Privilege

Uncategorized Dec 15, 2020
post about Florida Trust Lawsuits and Attorney-Client Privilege

What is attorney-client privilege? What does attorney- client privilege have to do with a Florida trust lawsuit? What should I know about attorney-client privilege if I am involved in West Palm Beach litigation? Can the other side request documents directly from my Florida trust lawyer? Can a Florida trial court compel my probate law firm to disclose records of a trust or estate? These are all issues which John Pankauski and his team of trust experts deal with each week. He should know, after all, Pankauski wrote the book: Pankauski’s Trustee’s Guide: 10 Steps to Family Trustee Excellence. Attorney-Client Privilege and Discovery Disputes regarding attorney-client privilege may occur during a Florida trust or probate lawsuit. This is because, during inheritance litigation, trust beneficiaries, and other party’s to the lawsuit, usually have their Florida lawyer conduct extensive discovery. During discovery, a party to a trust lawsuit may request the disclosure of financial documents. A party may also try to request other documents from the law firm that represents the trustee or opposing party, including email communications, internal notes about the case, etc. Can a Florida law firm just hand over documents to the other side without the consent of his or her client? Florida Statute 90.502 Attorney-Client Privilege can prove to be a very valuable privilege during litigation. It can protect you from having to disclose certain confidential information. It is important that you become familiar with your rights regarding attorney-client privilege. Your West Palm Beach trust attorney should be able […]


Florida Family Law and Inheritances: If I Inherit a Car During My Marriage, Will It be Classified As A Marital Asset If I Get Divorced?

Uncategorized Dec 13, 2020
post about Florida Family Law and Inheritances: If I Inherit a Car During My Marriage, Will It be Classified As A Marital Asset If I Get Divorced?

Have you inherited a trust or vehicle from a Florida estate? Were you married at the time you received an inheritance in Florida? What happens if your mom passes away in Miami and leaves you a car prior to a divorce? What does Florida probate law have to do with Miami family law cases? When do I need to hire a Miami civil appellate attorney? Hiring Miami Litigators and Appellate Lawyers If you are in the process of hiring a Florida law firm to assist you with Miami probate litigation, you may want to look for a law firm that is experienced in both litigation and appeals. In the early stages of litigation, many people fail to consider the possibility of an appeal being filed. However, in the probate world, appeals do occur. What if you win a trust or divorce lawsuit and the other side decides to appeal? You will want to make sure you have an appellate attorney, who is knowledgeable about the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure and familiar with the Florida appeals courts. At Pankauski Hauser Lazarus, one of the law partners, Robert Hauser, has been named a Board Certified Specialist by The Florida Bar in Appellate Practice. Florida’s Equitable Distribution Statute and Inheritances If you want to know what is considered to be a marital asset in Florida, you should read Florida’s equitable distribution statute. The statute provides the following in part: (a) 1. “Marital assets and liabilities” include: a. Assets acquired and liabilities incurred during […]


Miami Inheritances and Alimony

Uncategorized Dec 7, 2020
post about Miami Inheritances and Alimony

What do Miami family law or alimony modification lawsuits have to do with Florida inheritance matters? Why are Florida divorce cases relevant to probate cases? What do South Beach estate litigators need to know about prenups and alimony? How important is it to hire an experienced Miami Beach appellate attorney for an alimony appeal? How can an appellate attorney help me to appeal a court order denying an alimony modification? Miami Prenups and Inheritances Your Miami estate planning lawyer or probate attorney can tell you that a prenuptial agreement (prenup) can protect your inheritance from your spouse in the case of death or divorce. In a prenup, you can specify how to divide up property and inheritances at the end of a marriage. Miami family law and probate lawyers know that inherited assets can be considered in the award of alimony. However, by fixing the term and amount of alimony in a prenup, entangling an inheritance with a divorce can be avoided. In the case of death, inherited assets are treated just as any other asset. Therefore, in the absence of a prenup, inherited assets are subject to spousal claims just like any other asset. If you don’t have a prenup, you may find yourself needing to hire a Miami family law attorney to represent you in an alimony battle, a probate attorney to fight for your inheritance, and even a West Palm Beach appellate attorney if the modification lawsuit leads to an appeal. Florida Alimony Modification Appeals If you are involved in alimony litigation, or questioning whether or not you should […]


Florida Appeals and Voluntary Dismissal

Uncategorized Dec 2, 2020
post about Florida Appeals and Voluntary Dismissal

What is an appeal? When can you file an appeal in Florida? When do you need to consult with a West Palm Beach appellate attorney? What does the voluntary dismissal of a lawsuit have to do with an appeal? If you voluntarily dismiss a Florida probate lawsuit, can you later appeal a trial court ruling that occurred during that lawsuit? Why is it important to consider the possibility of an appeal during litigation? Florida Inheritance Litigation and Civil Appeals Florida lawyers know that some trust or estate cases can lead to an appeal. If you disagree with a final judgment or order, you may be able to file an appeal. Also, if you win a Florida probate case, the other side may choose to appeal. Therefore, it is important to anticipate the possibility of having to hire a West Palm Beach appellate attorney. If you are in the process of hiring a Florida law firm to assist you with probate or trust litigation, you may want to look for a firm that is experienced in both litigation and appeals. If you hire a law firm that limits its practice to civil litigation and appeals, you may end up at advantage. Florida attorneys with both litigation and appellate experience know what to do during trial to ensure that issues are preserved for appeal. In addition, having experienced trial lawyers and appellate lawyers in one firm is beneficial because you may save time and money during an appeal due to the fact […]