Albert Moore, Attorney at Law

What Particular Areas Does Your Firm Cover In Real Estate Law?

We handle the transactional and litigation areas of real estate law. The transactional portion deals with the preparation, review and amending of documents for any type of real estate transaction. Those transactions could involve problems with the listing of a property or problems with the closing, the latter of which would include the contract for the sale and purchase, addendums and the closing documents. The litigation portion deals with disputes that may arise prior or subsequent to the closing of the real estate purchase or sale.

What Are Some Specific Problems That Might Be Resolved Through Litigation?

Disputes regarding whether or not security deposits are refundable might be resolved through litigation. If one party decides to back out of a contract, there are suits that involve the interpretation of terms within the purchase and sale contract. There are also disputes that arise at the closing of a sale regarding which party is responsible to pay for which fees. There may be litigation with third parties in order to ensure that a title is clean or to quiet a title.

Can Real Estate Issues Ever Be Litigated Without An Attorney?

If the party is an individual and not a corporate entity or an LLC, then a case could be litigated without an attorney. However, it is not advisable. There are three different jurisdictions in the Florida trial court when you’re talking about the civil law. The first is small claims court, which involves damages that are claimed below $5,000. County court deals with damages in the range of $5,000 to $15,000. Circuit courts deal with anything over $15,000, which is the category in which most real estate issues fall. The judges expect you to know the rules of civil procedure, how to operate in a courtroom, how to enter evidence, and which objections to make. So, it’s not advisable for individuals to represent themselves. If the party is a corporate entity or an LLC, then an individual must have counsel to represent them.

Can I Settle My Real Estate Disputes Out Of Court?

Yes, you can settle your real estate dispute out of court. In fact, many of the contracts have provisions for alternative dispute resolution. The simplest alternative dispute resolution is the negotiation, so there is no third party involved. Instead, the parties and their counsel try to work out a settlement before anything is filed. Mediation involves a third party who does not have the authority to settle, but who is licensed to bring the two parties together to reach a settlement. There is also arbitration, which can be binding or non-binding and involves a third party who acts as a judge by listening to the evidence and testimony before making a ruling. If it’s binding, then that ruling has to be abided by both parties. If it’s non-binding, then the losing party can file in court even though they lost in arbitration.

Can You Help Resolve Jointly Owned Property Disputes Through Real Estate Litigation?

Yes, we can help resolve jointly owned property disputes through real estate litigation. It is obviously easier if both parties agree to a sale, but if the parties cannot agree and there’s been no buyoff, then you could petition the court to figure out which party is entitled to what portion. You would have to get a court order before doing that; you could not just go in and say, “I am going to go ahead and sell it even though these other parties aren’t agreeing to it.” You have to have some deeds that are written with rights of survivorship so that if a grantee or an owner pursuant to a deed passes away, their interest passes via the deed to the other party. If that’s not the case, then all the parties have to agree to sell.

Should I Try To Mediate Or Arbitrate A Real Estate Dispute Prior To Litigation?

Whether or not you should try to mediate or arbitrate a real estate dispute prior to litigation depends on the situation. Firstly, a judge will more often than not order that the parties mediate before there is a trial. So, even if it’s not pursuant to the statute or ex-statute, they should say that you need to mediate or arbitrate before filing a suit. Judges will often say that you have to mediate the case in good faith before it is tried. So, you may end up having to mediate even if you don’t want to. There are instances where you know from the negotiations that one party or the other has their heels planted so firmly in the ground that they’re just absolutely not going to settle, even with the introduction of a mediator. If you aren’t forced to mediate the case, then you would try to just litigate it.

For more information on Areas Of Real Estate Litigation In Florida, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (772) 242-3600 today.

(772) 242-3600

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