On Saturday, March 11, 2017, our CondoFest 2017 Raffle Winning Manager, Marty Gorelick and wife Adrienne, enjoyed a full afternoon of spectacular, equestrian events with Marketing Director, Rhonda Ugowski, as they dined in the “Members Only” International Club at the Winter Equestrian Festival located in Wellington, Florida. Marty stated later that he and Adrienne are “still reeling from this wonderful experience”.
Pictured Marty Gorelick, Rhonda Ugowski and Adrienne Gorelick
Rosenbaum PLLC is a proud corporate sponsor of Gladiator Polo held at the Equestrian Village of Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC). On Friday nights PBIEC is referred to “The Coliseum” in an ode to the Roman Gladiators who are the inspiration of the event. Unlike other events at PBIEC, “Gladiator Polo is a professional arena polo league that combines the world’s best polo players with modified rules that keep the play fast. The event is played in a ring with all weather footing that is approximately 300′ x 150′ which is 1/10 the size of a typical grass polo field. There are three players on each side. http://gp.coth.com/
Rosenbaum attorneys, Crystal Carswell and Lauren Feffer, had the pleasure of attending the event and cheering for the firms’ sponsored team, Priscus, to victory against its worthy adversary, Crixus. The match was a nail-biter with Priscus narrowly winning 13-12.
Rosenbaum PLLC attorneys, Crystal Carswell and Lauren Feffer (pictured left to right) are photographed with the winning polo team, Priscus, and Mark Bellissimo (pictured on right).
The Rosenbaum PLLC attorneys and staff really enjoyed spending time with property managers, clients, prospective clients and vendors at the 2017 Condofest which was held on February 4, 2017. It was a full capacity event and another great opportunity to spend some meaningful time with our friends in the community association practice. Everyone in attendance from the firm took great pleasure visiting with so many of our friends and clients. A few pictures follow. We are all looking forward to next year’s Condofest, where some of the new attorneys who will be joining the firm in 2017 will also be present.
Pictured left to right: Lisa Reves, Daniel Rosenbaum, Rhonda Ugowski, Lauren Feffer, Crystal Carswell, Tatiana Yaques, Liz Herman, Laurel Wiley
For Immediate Release
Lauren Fisher and Sara Cook for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Wellington, FL - January 15, 2017 - Week one of the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) concluded on Sunday, January 15, with a win for Daniel Coyle (IRL) riding Ariel and Susan Grange's Cita in the $75,000 Rosenbaum Mollengarden PLLC Grand Prix at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL. Conor Swail (IRL) and Flower finished second, and Catherine Tyree (USA) and Bokai placed third.
The 12-week WEF circuit runs through April 2, 2017, featuring competition for hunters, jumpers, and equitation, with over $9 million in prize money up for grabs. The Winter Equestrian Festival continues on January 18-22 with CSI 2* and Premier "AA" competition, sponsored by Marshall & Sterling.
Daniel Coyle and Cita
2016 Olympic course designer Guilherme Jorge (BRA) set the tracks for WEF one competition in the International Arena at PBIEC. Jorge saw 52 starters over his first round track for Sunday's grand prix, yielding a 15-horse jump-off, with eight double clear rounds. The top three all finished within the same second, just fractions apart.
For the win, Coyle (22) bested his mentor and Cita's former rider, Conor Swail, who settled for second place riding Finca Horses' Flower. Coyle and the 11-year-old Holsteiner mare (Casall x Pik Ramiro) crossed the timers in 37.05 seconds, just ahead of Swail and Flower's time of 37.16 seconds. Tyree jumped into third place with Mary and Joe Tyree's Bokai in 37.49 seconds.
The top three riders celebrate a great day with a champagne spray.
Coyle began riding for the Granges' Lothlorien Farm at the start of the 2016 season and worked together with Swail all year. After a five year partnership with Lothlorien, Swail left to pursue his own business this fall, and the split left Coyle in the irons of all of his top horses, including Cita.
"This is my first show with that horse and last week was my first week riding her," Coyle detailed. "Conor did very well with her, so we knew she was a good horse. It takes me awhile to get used to them, and when I do, I feel very comfortable. I kind of knew her already from working alongside Conor, so I'm very happy. It is only my second week on her, and I really like her."
Speaking about the change at Lothlorien and his abundance of new mounts for the winter, Coyle stated, "Fortunately for me, Conor left. I have all of these new horses, good horses. I had very good horses before; a lot of younger ones there, but to get his horses as well as the ones that I had, I was very fortunate. It is just going to take me a little while to figure them out for myself, but today went well."
Swail went fifth in the jump-off and held the lead until Coyle came along four rounds later to best his time. Commenting on his trip, Coyle explained, "I had seen Conor's round. I was in the warm-up, and I watched his round because I knew it was going to be fast. Even when we worked together, we were very competitive against each other anyway, so I knew to watch him. Catherine had me very scared as well at the end. It was a great jump-off for somebody to watch, and it was a great jump-off for me to win."
Conor Swail and Flower
For Swail, Nina Fagerstrom's (FIN) former mount Flower is a brand new ride this winter as well, and the rider is just getting to know the 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare (Bon Ami x Randel Z).
"Nine asked me just a few weeks ago if I would be interested in doing something with Flower and I said, 'Absolutely!'" Swail said. "I knew the horse well with her, and so far so good. We have been gelling quite well together. I thought today was her best round with the two of us together, so I am looking forward to the rest of the season."
Swail continued, "Nina's still riding away. She just felt that the mare is quite careful, and maybe my strength would help her a little bit. It seems to be the case. The horse is fantastic. She is seriously careful and quite straightforward to ride. It's fun having a horse to ride around when you know they don't want to knock the jumps down. It makes the job easier for sure."
Despite getting edged out by his former protégé, Swail was happy with his start to the winter circuit and happy to see one of his favorite horses excel under her new rider.
"Last year when I was with Lothlorien, I needed another rider to do the young horses, and I thought Daniel was very well qualified to do that," Swail detailed. "He started here last year and he had done an unbelievable job with all of the horses that he had. Now the situation is a little different, and he has some nicer horses, and he is doing equally as good a job on them. It's great to see him going well, and that was one of my favorite mares there, so it is great to see her going well. I would prefer he was behind me to be honest with you, but it's still good. My new mare jumped very well today, and I was very pleased with my own situation going forward. Obviously leaving a top barn like Sue's and Lothlorien, there is a void. I'm trying to fill that void, and it's nice that I already have some good horses that I can be competitive with at the higher levels."
Catherine Tyree and Bokai
Sunday also saw a top result for young rider Catherine Tyree, who is returning to WEF competition this year after severely fracturing her foot almost to the day one year ago. After taking the time to heal and rehab, Tyree has made an impressive rise back to the grand prix level and has an exciting new partnership with her mount, Bokai. The 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Up To Date x Ferro) previously showed under Norway's Victoria Gulliksen and then The Netherland's Harrie Smolders before pairing up with his current rider this summer.
"I just got him at the beginning of July, so it is a relatively new partnership, but he is such a competitive horse," Tyree noted. "I feel very fortunate to have him. This is his first show back since he showed at the National Horse Show at the end of October and it is like he never missed a beat. He is very sharp, he is very smart, and he is very quick. I knew if I took a shot today, he would be right there with me. Unfortunately, Daniel and Conor are a little bit quicker than I am, but I could not be more pleased with him."
Remarking on her success since returning to the show ring, Tyree stated, "It is definitely a very good feeling. It was one year ago yesterday that I got hurt. To look back at the year, it is unbelievable the things that my horses have done for me. I owe it all to North Run and John (Brennan) and Missy (Clark). They are incredible trainers and incredible people. When I came back, my horses were ready to go, and I felt very confident throughout all of it. This is definitely a very good way to start the circuit, and hopefully it keeps continuing this way."
For her top result this week, Tyree was also presented the award for Leading Lady Rider for WEF 1 competition, the award presented by Martha Jolicoeur of Douglas Elliman in memory of Dale Lawler. Tyree has her sights set on competing in some of the Saturday night grand prix classes this winter and hopes to continue gaining great experience in the top level classes throughout the circuit.
Conor Swail, Daniel Coyle, and Catherine Tyree in their presentation with ringmaster Steve Rector, James and Tatiana Yaques, Dan and Cheryl Rosenbaum, and their children Diana and David.
Representing Rosenbaum Mollengarden PLLC following Sunday's competition, Dan Rosenbaum commented on the fantastic day and top sport that took place.
"It is a highly rewarding experience to be a sponsor of such an excellent event," Rosenbaum said. "The riders were incredible. The competition itself was at a very high level. It was a beautiful day and everything went just as perfectly as it could have been. This is typical of the experience that we have had as a sponsor of the Winter Equestrian Festival since it began. We find it just getting better every year; every year reaches a new level. It is amazing what the Winter Equestrian Festival has become and what the Wellington Equestrian Partners have been able to accomplish."
Also competing in the International Arena on Sunday, Christina Antonucci rode Zonneglans to victory in the $10,000 Equiline Medium Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic. The $10,000 Sleepy P Ranch SJHOF High Junior Jumper Classic saw a win for Coco Fath aboard Hillside Farm LLC's Huckleberry.
Forever Continues His Winning Ways with James Anderson in the FarmVet Adult Amateur Hunters 50+ Sec. B
The men dominated the FarmVet Adult Amateur Hunters 50+ Sec. B over the weekend. James G. Anderson of New York, NY, was crowned champion of the division aboard his own Forever. The pair won the under saddle, and placed first, first, second, and fifth over fences. Taking the reserve title was Brad Wolf and Libretto, who earned first, first, third, and third over fences, and fourth under saddle. Libretto also took the reserve honors in the Performance Working Hunters 3'3" with Victoria Colvin earlier in the week.
Forever and James Anderson
Despite being just seven years old, Forever, the Westphalian gelding by Rock Forever, already has a winning record. Last year at WEF, he won the championship Week 2 in the Antares 3' Pre-Green division with Scott Stewart. Forever went on with Anderson to earn the reserve honors Week 11 and champion Week 12 in the Camping World Adult Amateur Hunters 50+.
"He's as sweet as he is pretty. He's the kindest, most loving horse. He's the perfect amateur hunter," explained Anderson, who purchased Forever a year ago from Scott Stewart and Ken Berkley. Anderson started coming to Wellington in the 1980s and showed in the Amateur Hunters through the 1990s.
Looking forward to remainder of the season, Anderson said, "He'll maybe do the Performance 3'3" and I might try to step up to the 3'3" Amateurs. We're just happy with our consistency and having a good time together."
Forever and James Anderson in their championship presentation with ringmaster Steve Rector.
The 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival continues with its second week of competition, sponsored by Marshall & Sterling Insurance, on January 18-22, 2017. Week highlights include the $86,000 Marshall & Sterling Insurance Grand Prix CSI 2* on Saturday, January 21, and the $25,000 Hollow Creek Farm U25 Grand Prix on Sunday, January 22. For full results and more information, please visit www.PBIEC.com.
Final Results: $75,000 Rosenbaum Mollengarden PLLC Grand Prix
1. CITA: 2006 Holsteiner mare by Casall x Pik Ramiro
DANIEL COYLE (IRL), Ariel and Susan Grange: 0/0/37.05
2. FLOWER: 2005 Belgian Warmblood mare by Bon Ami x Randel Z
CONOR SWAIL (IRL), Finca Horses: 0/0/37.16
3. BOKAI: 2006 KWPN gelding by Up To Date x Ferro
CATHERINE TYREE (USA), Mary & Joe Tyree: 0/0/37.49
4. INDIGO: 2000 KWPN gelding by Indoctro x Unknown
MARGIE ENGLE (USA), Griese, Garber, Hidden Creek & Gladewinds: 0/0/39.66
5. BENTE: 2006 KWPN mare by Oklund x Boreas
CELSO ARIANI (BRA), Fatima Morales & Rodrigo Padilla: 0/0/40.90
6. RETIRO: 2005 Warmblood gelding by Rockefeller Z x Play Boy
PETER LUTZ (USA), Katherine Gallagher & Michael Meller: 0/0/41.53
7. BONZAY: 2006 KWPN by Numero Uno x Heartbreaker
8. VENENO: 2008 Oldenburg gelding by Chacco Blue x Balou du Rouet
LIUBOV KOCHETOVA (RUS), Liubov Kochetova: 0/0/45.05
9. CONTESSINA DELLA CACCIA: 2008 Selle Francais mare by Contefino x Cassini
MCLAIN WARD (USA), McLain Ward: 0/4/38.27
10. COBOLT: 2006 Swedish Warmblood gelding by Cyklon 1083 x Camaro M
SHANE SWEETNAM (IRL), Shane Sweetnam & The Blue Buckle Group: 0/4/39.23
11. HH QUATUOR: 2004 Selle Francais gelding by Col Canto x Rosire
QUENTIN JUDGE (USA), Double H Farm: 0/4/40.98
12. SERINGAT: 2006 Selle Francais gelding by Chef Rouge x Guillaume Tell
CIAN O'CONNOR (IRL), Ronnoco Jump Ltd: 0/7/48.51
Photo Credit: Photos © Sportfot, Official Photographer of the Winter Equestrian Festival. These photos may be used only in relation to this press release and must include photo credit.
(December 2016) – Rosenbaum Mollengarden is proud to be a returning Corporate Sponsor of the Great Charity Challenge (GCC). Started in 2010 by one of the Firm’s clients, Mark Bellissimo, and his daughter, Paige, the GCC continues to make significant, positive impacts in our local community, distributing over $9.2 million to 197 charities across Palm Beach County. On December 3, 2016, the Firm Managing Partner, Dan Rosenbaum, and his family were invited to participate in the “Drawing of the Charities” at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington. At this family-friendly event, 27 local nonprofits were randomly selected for this year's competition, which will take place during the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). Internationally acclaimed, WEF is the annual horse show jumping competition that runs for 12 weeks, beginning in January. At the “Drawing of the Charities.” the Village of Wellington Council started off the drawing, followed by Dan, his wife Cheryl and their kids, Diana and David, pictured below.
About Rosenbaum Mollengarden
We are a true, 21st century law firm that has made the adjustments needed to provide our clients with the highest level of personalized and cost effective legal services. The legal abilities, experience and raw talent of our attorneys span most areas of the practice of law and, in turn, we are well qualified to handle almost any case or matter on behalf of our individual or business clients. Located in downtown West Palm Beach, we are an established firm, whose committed attorneys are well respected in the legal community and beyond.
For more information, please visit www.r-mlaw.com or call 561.653.2900.
November 7, 2016
By Daniel S. Rosenbaum
Some of you may remember the 1998 movie, “There’s Something About Mary”. The movie is an entertaining comedy. The theme is that Mary is a uniquely talented and special individual that seems to attract everyone around her. This is a fitting analogy for our own Lauren B. Feffer, who is the new supervisor of our Collections and Foreclosure Department. Lauren joined RM in 2013 after I relentlessly tried to hire her starting from a very positive referral from our own Elizabeth Hertz who attended law school with Lauren. This occurred when I asked Elizabeth if she knew a lawyer we could hire who is as smart and as good a lawyer as she is. Elizabeth identified Lauren and as things turned out, Lauren is a great lawyer. Lauren proved herself very quickly and became a Senior Associate at RM.
Lauren’s capabilities are extensive. She has worked closely with me over the years and with many of our other lawyers on some of the most complicated and important foreclosure and complex Court cases that our firm has had. She has an unblemished record of success. Her knowledge of the law and her ability to find practical solutions are only matched by her creativity and practical ability to advise, counsel and resolve disputes and perhaps most importantly, her dedication to our clients and her work. Our trust and confidence in Lauren’s legal abilities and service to our clients runs so deep that there are no assignments we would not have her handle. I am extremely confident that you will find her to be highly capable, incredibly responsive, an excellent supervisor of our three collection/foreclosure paralegals, Debra Jones, Rhonda Ugowski and M’Donna Steel, and of equal importance, someone who will make the difficult task of collecting and foreclosing delinquent assessments a positive experience for our clients and their managers.
June 11, 2016
Rosenbaum Mollengarden attorneys Lisa Reves, Liz Herman, Daniel S. Rosenbaum, Lauren Feffer, and Crystal Carswell (shown from left to right) attended the Palm Beach County Bar Association Annual Installation Banquet to celebrate the induction of President John R. Whittles. The event took place at the beautiful Breakers Palm Beach hotel, and included dinner, dancing and swearing in of the new Officers and Directors of the Palm Beach County Bar Association. The Honorable Caroline Shepherd, Fifteenth Circuit County Court Judge swore in the 2016-17 Officers and Directors of the Palm Beach County Bar Association. Founded in 1922, the Palm Beach Bar Association fosters professionalism and enhances the public’s understanding and awareness of the legal system. The Firm proudly supports the Palm Beach Bar and its mission, with our attorneys actively engaged in the Bar’s activities throughout the year and taking leadership roles in its various committees. Rosenbaum Mollengarden also had the honor of being joined by Judge Timothy McCarthy (retired) at the firm’s table during the banquet.
January 17, 2016
ROSENBAUM MOLLENGARDEN SPONSORS $75,000 GRAND PRIX AT PBIEC
For Immediate Release Jennifer Wood and Callie Seaman for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Wellington, FL - January 17, 2016 - The first week of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) wrapped up on Sunday afternoon with the highlight class of the week, the $75,000 Rosenbaum Mollengarden PLLC Grand Prix. A large starting field of 52 entries contested the first round course, and 17 of those advanced to the jump-off. It was the always speedy Laura Chapot (USA) who came out on top of the results with Quointreau un Prince, owned by Chapot and McLain Ward. Abdel Said (EGY) and AS Sport Horses' Hope van Scherpen Donder were second, while Molly Ashe (USA) rode Balous Day Date for Louisburg Farm to third place.
WEF continues in its second week, sponsored by Marshall & Sterling Insurance, on January 20-24.
In the grand prix jump-off, Chapot counted on her long partnership with Quointreau un Prince, a 12-year-old Selle Francais gelding by Diamant de Semilly x Rosire. She has ridden him since he was seven years old. With age, Quointreau has learned how to go fast.
"Now he's a real competitor," Chapot said. "We did the 1.40m jump-off class the first day, and he hadn't jumped since Harrisburg. He walked in the ring, and he felt like he was right back in the game from the start. He really stepped up today and was right there every step of the way."
The riders were competing over a course designed by Eric Hasbrouck (USA). With the large jump-off field, Chapot said, "It kind of throws any kind of strategy out the window." She added, "You just have to go the best you can. There were no playing games; everyone was giving it a go. The leader at the time was already very fast."
Chapot and Quointreau lowered the winning time to 26.265 seconds in the jump-off for victory. Said and Hope van Scherpen Donder were second in 27.082 seconds, while Molly Ashe and Balous Day Date were just behind in 27.694 seconds. Fourth place went to Filip de Wandel (BEL) on Gentley in 28.156 seconds, while Andrew Kocher (USA) rounded out the top five in 28.509 seconds on Ora Del Te Di La San Giorgio.
Chapot and Quointreau won a 1.40m class earlier in the week, giving her a fantastic start to the circuit. "I'm just thrilled my horse started out the circuit so well. It's better than you could ever imagine, to anticipate that you're going to win the grand prix on the first week," she expressed.
For Abdel Said, competing at the Winter Equestrian Festival is a brand-new experience. The rider, who is based in Belgium, first came to WEF last year to watch and decided he had to compete in 2016.
"I have a lot of friends and business partners over here. It's a very famous tour actually," he related. "We always follow it. Even when I was in Europe at the Sunshine Tour, I always watched the classes live on the Internet if the time difference would allow it, or I would follow the results. It's very interesting, with a lot of good riders and horses. Last year I just came to visit for five days to watch my friend Cian (O'Connor's) horse Good Luck. I had so much fun over here, and I said, 'Wow. Why are we freezing in the cold in Belgium while this exists?'"
He added, "Everybody is so nice, and I feel very welcome here. I have a business back home and I've sold a lot of horses to here. It's very interesting to come see the horses and follow up. I'm really enjoying it."
Said brought two horses to WEF and will travel back to Belgium regularly to oversee his operation of 18 horses at home. Hope van Scherpen Donder, a nine-year-old BWP mare by Quadrillo x Balou du Rouet, seemed to fit easily into the Florida scene.
Said has owned her for two years and described her as "an athlete." He continued, "She's very fast, and she really thinks with me. She makes my life easy, and she's very easy in the ring. If I think left, she goes left, and if I think right, she goes right. I think she really enjoys jumping because she's easiest to ride in the ring. If you see her in the warm-up or flatting at home, it's not her cup of tea."
The typey little mare, who stands just 15.2 hands high, takes the grand prix jumps in stride. "She feels big when she goes to the jumps! She thinks she's big," he said with a smile.
Ashe compared Balous Day Date, an 11-year-old Oldenburg mare by Balou du Rouet x Linda-Dolores, to Said's horse, and it turns out they are related through Balou du Rouet. She noted that their heart, speed, and energy helps them in the show ring. She has been paired with Balous Day Date for one year.
"We've gotten to know each other quite well," Ashe said. "Once she gets aimed at the first jump, she's point and shoot. I'm very lucky and happy to have the chance to ride her. I'm grateful to Beth (Johnson) and Louisburg Farm and Paul (Butterfield) for giving me the chance."
Sponsor Dan Rosenbaum of Rosenbaum Mollengarden PLLC spoke to their involvement at the Winter Equestrian Festival and the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.
"We represent the Wellington Equestrian Partners. In late 2005, Mark Bellissimo walked into my law office. We have had the pleasure of not only being a sponsor, but also being the attorneys to help build the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. When you see a jump-off in a grand prix like we had today, with tremendous sportsmanship, tremendous talent, and excellent riding abilities and the horses, it makes you really proud. What it's like to be a sponsor in my situation is really unique, but it's the tenth year now that I've had involvement, and I hope to be here ten years from now with the same type of wonderful people that I'm sitting with here today."
It was a close battle in the amateur ring on Sunday at the Winter Equestrian Festival. Losing one over fences class due to inclement weather, many hunter divisions concluded with only three jumping classes. Earning 16 points over the two days of competition, Jessica Cherry took home the tricolor honors aboard longtime mount, Blue Note. Nancy Hooker, earning 15 points on Castlewalk, settled for the reserve honors in the Karina Brez Jewelry Amateur Owner Hunter 3'3" Over 35 division.
Cherry of Ridgefield, CT, trains with Lyman Whitehead. She was quick to credit all of her success with Blue Note to her trainer. Having trained the horse from an early age, Lyman and Cherry have the benefit of knowing the horse quite well. Now at 13 years old, Cherry and the Holsteiner gelding make a formidable veteran pair.
"He is cocky in the best way possible," Cherry laughed while explaining the gelding's quirky personality. "I feel fantastic," she added about winning today's top honors.
A serious illness sidelined Cherry from competition for almost two years. That is why this win is "extra special," she explained. Quick to compliment her partner, Blue Note, Cherry remarked, "He's just such a special horse. He can go straight from his stall to the show and he's perfect."
Cherry plans to continue showing throughout the 12-week circuit.
Hunter, jumper, and equitation competition continues at the second week of WEF on January 20-24. For more information and full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.
Final Results: $75,000 Rosenbaum Mollengarden PLLC Grand Prix
1 QUOINTREAU UN PRINCE: 2004 Selle Francais gelding by Diamant de Semilly x Rosire
LAURA CHAPOT (USA), Laura Chapot & McLain Ward: 0/0/26.265
2 HOPE VAN SCHERPEN DONDER: 2007 BWP mare by Quadrillo x Balou du Rouet
ABDEL SAID (EGY), AS Sport Horses: 0/0/27.082
3 BALOUS DAY DATE: 2005 Oldenburg mare by Balou du Rouet x Domino
MOLLY ASHE-CAWLEY (USA), Louisburg Farm: 0/0/27.694
4 GENTLEY: 2006 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Bentley vd Heffinck x Major de la Cour
FILIP DE WANDEL (BEL) Filip de Wandel: 0/0/28.156
5 ORA DEL TE DI LA SAN GIORGIO: 2006 ASSI mare by For Pleasure
ANDREW KOCHER (USA), Ora Del Te LLC: 0/0/28.509
6 GALOUS: 2002 Irish Sport Horse gelding by Touchdown x Huff & Puff
DENISE WILSON (USA), Blue Gate Farm LLC: 0/0/29.031
7 INDIGO: 2000 KWPN gelding by Indoctro
MARGIE ENGLE (USA), Griese, Garber, Hidden Creek & Gladewinds: 0/0/29.172
8 BULL RUN'S FAUSTINO DE TILI: 2005 Belgian Warmblood stallion by Berlin x Bijou van De Vijfheide
KRISTEN VANDERVEEN (USA), Bull Run Jumpers Five, Inc: 0/0/29.392
9 GLOBAL VAN'T BRAUNERTHOF: 2006 BWP gelding by Vigo d'Arsouilles x Landetto
MARIO DESLAURIERS (USA), Karen Polle: 0/0/29.718
10 QUALITY GIRL: 2003 Oldenburg mare by Quidam's Rubin x Dobrock
TODD MINIKUS (USA), Quality Group: 0/4/27.178
11 ANDRETTI S: 2005 KWPN gelding by Corland x Animo
LAURA KRAUT (USA), Stars & Stripes: 0/4/27.658
12 HOLD ON TIGHT II: 2007 BWP gelding by Cassini II x Parcival
MARK BLUMAN (COL), Stransky's Mission Farms, Inc.: 0/4/28.837
Photo Credit: Photos © Sportfot, An Official Photographer of the Winter Equestrian Festival, sportfot.com. These photos may be used only in relation to this press release and must include photo credit.
October 8, 2015
Presentation of 2016 Legal Update
Attorneys Peter Mollengarden and Allison Hertz presented the 2016 Legal Update for the Coastal CAMs Connection during a luncheon at the Asian Buffett & Grill in Deerfield Beach on Wednesday, October 8, 2015. Both Peter and Allison skillfully educated the managers and board members on the new legislation affecting community associations and recent case law. They held an attentive audience for the entire two hours, which included many interesting questions answered from the floor.
October 7, 2015
Presentation of 2016 Legal Update
Attorney Peter Mollengarden presented the 2016 Legal Update at the Sherbrooke Golf & Country Club in Lake Worth for The Alliance on Tuesday morning, October 7, 2015. The Alliance is made up of affiliate partners with a quest to educate Board members and Property Managers in the southern half of Palm Beach County by providing continuing education classes. Peter dazzled the crowd with his humor and knowledge as he presented the new legislation affecting community associations which became effective July 1, 2015, and case law update.
Pictured - Peter Mollengarden
October 6, 2015
Executive Managers Association 2015 Business Expo
The Firm participated in the 2015 Business Expo on Tuesday, October 6, 2015 held in the Grand Ballroom of the Marriott North Ft. Lauderdale. It was an outstanding turnout of Managers and Board Members. At 5:00 pm, the Firm presented an interactive 1 hour CEU Course to the managers titled “How NOT to Conduct a Board Meeting”, which was a great learning experience for all in attendance. And, at the conclusion of the Expo, the Firm was able to gift one, very lucky manager with a $50.00 Shell Gasoline card as our raffle prize.
Pictured - Rhonda Ugowski
September 10, 2015
Business Development Board of Palm Beach County Annual Luncheon
Rosenbaum Mollengarden Managing Shareholder Daniel S. Rosenbaum and Attorney Lisa Reves, accompanied by Patrick Koenig, President of Flagler Realty & Development, Inc. attended the PBC Business Development Board’s Annual Luncheon at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach. The featured speaker was Dr. Robert Avossa, School Superintendent of Palm Beach County who spoke on the challenges facing the district school system and his comprehensive approach to rectify those issues. Currently, The Palm Beach County School District is the 11th largest district in the country with a student enrollment of more than 183,000 students. Rosenbaum Mollengarden PLLC is a proud sponsor of the Business Development Board.
April 2, 2015
Board Certification Seminar, Jupiter, Florida:
Attorney Allison Hertz was the guest speaker for a Condo and HOA Board Member Certification seminar held Thursday morning, April 2, 2015 at the Jupiter River Center organized with Desired Results Consulting, an association management, consulting and accounting service provider. Topics of discussion included Condominium/Homeowners operations, annual elections, bids and contracts, addressing resident conflict, understanding financial statements, budgets and reserves, along with excellent questions being raised and answered throughout the entire three hour class. Certificates of completion were presented to board members in attendance as required by Florida Statutes.
Pictured standing left to right – Allison Hertz, Esquire and Lauren VanWie, LCAM, CMCA
March 18, 2015
Board Member Certification Course: Condominium and Homeowners Association, Lake Worth, Florida:
Attorneys Peter Mollengarden and Allison Hertz presented the Board Member Certification Course to clients of Phoenix Management Services at the Springlakes Recreation Center in Lake Worth. The board members in attendance obtained the certificates of course completion required by Florida Statutes. Topics of discussion included Board eligibility for both condominium and homeowners associations, election procedures and requirements and the difference for homeowners associations and condominiums, Board meeting procedures and requirements, official records requirements, budgeting, financial reporting and so much more.
Pictured standing left to right – Allison Hertz and Peter Mollengarden
March 17, 2015
Executive Manager’s Association, Inc. – Spotlight Vendor, Deerfield Beach, Florida:
The Firm was chosen as the Spotlight Vendor for the Executive Manager’s Association, Inc.’s Dinner Meeting/CEU Presentation held Tuesday, March 17, 2015. Attorney Peter Mollengarden and Rhonda Ugowski highlighted to the managers in attendance that Rosenbaum Mollengarden PLLC is a full service law firm with a primary focus on all aspects of community association representation. In addition, Peter was selected as the attorney for the evening to address the Legal Question and Answer period before and during the class.
Pictured are Rhonda Ugowski and Peter Mollengarden
February 24, 2015
Negotiating Construction and Service Contracts; All About Assistance Animals, North Palm Beach, Florida:
Attorney Peter Mollengarden presented two CEU Classes titled Negotiating Construction and Service Contracts, and, All About Assistance Animals to a packed house of managers and Board members for the Property Managers Seminar held at the North Palm Beach Country Club, Tuesday morning, February 24, 2015. He educated the audience on the necessary elements of contracts, compliance with statues, regulations and codes, final payments, insurance needs, and more. Then he moved into the second class on Assistance Animals and held a captive audience for the next full hour, which included many interesting questions answered from the floor.
February 23, 2015
Board Member Certification Course, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida:
Attorney Peter Mollengarden presented the Board Member Certification Course to Board Members of the Crystal Pointe Homeowners’ Association, Inc., Waterford Maintenance Association, Inc., St. Tropez Circle Maintenance Association, Inc., Lalique Maintenance Association, Inc. and LaCristal Maintenance Association, Inc. at a breakfast class held at the clubhouse. The board members in attendance obtained the certificates of course completion required by Florida Statutes. Topics of discussion included Board eligibility, election procedures and requirements, Board meeting procedures and requirements, official records requirements, budgeting, financial reporting and more.
February 17, 2015
Rosenbaum Mollengarden Corporate Sponsorship of the 2015 Great Charity Challenge (Wellington, FL)
Rosenbaum Mollengarden, as it does each year, participated as a corporate sponsor in the 2015 Great Charity Challenge which took place at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington on February 7, 2015. The 2015 Great Charity Challenge included 34 Palm Beach County charities. This year the law firm sponsored the National Wheelchair Sports Fund (“NWSF”) which was founded to raise funds for wheelchair athletes and wheelchair athletic programs. The scope of the NWSF support runs from local grassroots wheelchair sports programs, which may be simple rehabilitation and recreational programs, to the complex task of equipping, training and sending gifted and deserving wheelchair athletes throughout the world to represent the United States. We are proud to be a part of such an important charity event and we honor the riders who donate their time, the staff of Equestrian Sport Productions, LLC who produce the event, and the Executive Directors of these charities, Mark, Katherine and Paige Bellissimo, among others, whose dedication, passion, and commitment make such a significant contribution to Palm Beach County.
February 7, 2015
The Firm participated in the Palm Beach Community Managers Association’s CondoFest 2015 on Saturday, February 7, 2015, at the Embassy Suites in West Palm Beach, Florida. The Firm was able to present a very lucky, raffle winner with two V.I.P. tickets to attend an exclusive Winter Equestrian Festival Event in Wellington. The Firm also provided attendees with an opportunity to have a caricature portrait drawn by a local artist, plus, a chance to enter an extra-special raffle prize drawing consisting of an original Jon Allen handcrafted work of art.
Pictured above from left to right are, Rhonda Ugowski, Allison Hertz and Peter Mollengarden.
January 14, 2015
Board Member Certification Course: Condominium and Homeowners Association, Boynton Beach, Florida:
Attorneys Peter Mollengarden and Allison Hertz presented the Board Member Certification Course to clients of Phoenix Management Services at the Grove Community Clubhouse in Boynton Beach. The board members in attendance obtained the certificates of course completion required by Florida Statutes. Topics of discussion included Board eligibility, election procedures and requirements, Board meeting procedures and requirements, official records requirements, budgeting, financial reporting and more.
Pictured standing: Allison Hertz and Peter Mollengarden
January 8, 2015
Rosenbaum Mollengarden Sponsors Third Annual Trump Invitational
For the third year, Rosenbaum Mollengarden was a corporate sponsor of the Trump Invitational, held on Sunday, January 4, 2015, at the prestigious Mar-A-Lago Club in Palm Beach. The annual event features some of the world’s highest-ranked equestrian riders and is attended by many celebrities and dignitaries. The purpose of the event is to raise money for charities in Palm Beach County, which the event successfully accomplished. The law firm is proud to be an annual corporate sponsor along with other recognizable sponsors such as Rolex, Land Rover and Suncast. This year’s event was a tremendous success and was hosted by Donald and Melania Trump and Mark, Katherine and Paige Bellissimo.
Photo by SPORTFOT
Daniel and Cheryl Rosenbaum (Right side of photo) are shown with Donald Trump, Mark, Katherine and Paige Bellissimo and other corporate sponsors with winner of the competition, Laura Kraut.
Nov 2014 Palm Beach County Bar Association Bulletin
Rosenbaum Mollengarden Co-Sponsors Constitution Day
Constitution Day in Palm Beach County was co-sponsored by Rosenbaum Mollengarden by a celebrated luncheon at the Palm Beach County Bar Association offices in West Palm Beach. A primary focus of Constitution Day this year was a training course to provide adult civic education presentations to community groups. These presentations focus on understanding the Constitution, the various branches of government and the importance of civics in the role of everyday Americans. Rosenbaum Mollengarden Managing Shareholder Daniel S. Rosenbaum and Rosenbaum Mollengarden Associate Attorney Liz Herman, who is Chair of the Law Related Education Committee for the Palm Beach County Bar Association, were in attendance for the firm.
For more information go to http://www.palmbeachbar.org/downloads/Nov_2014_bulletin.pdf
October 28, 2014, 4:00 p.m.
Presentation of 2015 Legal Update
Attorney Peter C. Mollengarden presented the 2015 Legal Update for the Building Managers International (BMI) Palm Beach Chapter at the Embassy Suites on PGA Boulevard to a packed room of property managers. Peter’s entertaining presentation of the new legislation affecting community associations and case law update made the two hour class fly by, which was topped off with a delicious dinner and dessert.
October 28, 2014, 8:25 a.m.
Presentation of 2015 Legal Update
Standing far left, Allison Hertz; center, Peter Mollengarden
Attorneys Peter Mollengarden and Allison Hertz presented the 2015 Legal Update for the Property Managers Seminar held at the North Palm Beach Country Club, Tuesday morning, October 28, 2014. Both Peter and Allison educated the managers and board members on the new legislation affecting community associations and recent case law. They held a captive audience for the entire two hours, which included many interesting questions answered from the floor.
October 23, 2014
Presentation of 2015 Legal Update
Attorney Peter Mollengarden presented the 2015 Legal Update at the Deer Creek Country Club in Deerfield Beach for the Boca Alliance. The Boca Alliance is made up of affiliate partners with a quest to educate Board members and Property Managers in the southern half of Palm Beach County by providing continuing education classes. Peter dazzled the crowd with his humor and knowledge as he presented the new legislation affecting community associations which became effective July 1, 2014, and case law update.
Rosenbaum PLLC is pleased to announce that Attorney Lauren B. Feffer has become a shareholder of the firm effective August 15, 2017. Lauren has been an outstanding member of our team and has made a very significant contribution to the firm and to our clients, doing everything from supervising the Collections and Foreclosure Department, to handling multi-million dollar commercial and high-end residential transactions such as the purchase of the International Polo Club, and addressing the day-to-day needs of our many community association clients. Those of us who have the privilege of working with Lauren understand the depth of her capabilities and her contribution to the firm and most importantly, to the needs of our clients. Congratulations Lauren, this is a well-deserved honor.
April 17, 2017
Steven R. Braten, a well-known and highly respected 23-year community association attorney in Palm Beach County, has joined Rosenbaum PLLC as a Shareholder of the firm. Steve and his many clients are an excellent addition to compliment the established community association practice of Rosenbaum PLLC, given his lengthy and vast experience handling community association and developer matters of all types. Steve was fortunate enough to spend some of the earlier portion of his career working for a large developer on the West Coast of Florida constructing a huge development complete with golf courses, marinas, and other residential and recreational facilities. Not only does Steve handle the day-to-day affairs of a large number of community associations, but Steve has also authored articles about issues in community association law and is a frequent speaker at various types of community association events. The attorneys and staff at Rosenbaum PLLC are excited to have Steve join the firm and continuing to build our already experienced association practice.
By: Crystal B. Carswell
August 5, 2016
On July 13, 2016, the Third District Court of Appeals in Germer v. The Churchill Downs Management, 2016 WL 3711974 (Fla. 3d DCA 2016), affirmed the trial court’s ruling that Florida’s Equine Activities Liability Act (the ‘Act’) immunizes stable owners and horse owners for the injuries from a horse bite while engaged in an equine activity. In Germer, Patrick Germer (“Germer”) was a former licensed jockey who went to visit the Santa Cruz Ranch (“stable”) with his roommate, who owned a horse at the stable. Because Germer’s jockey license had expired, he was required to obtain a guest pass to enter the stables. While he was at the stables he was bit on the chest by a horse that had jumped out of its stall.
The Court reviewed the immunity provision contained in the 2012 version of the Act (Section 773.02, Florida Statutes), which provided in part:
Except as provided in s. 773.03, an equine activity sponsor, an equine professional, or any other person, which shall include a corporation or partnership, shall not be liable for an injury to . . . a participant resulting from the inherent risks of equine activities and, except as provided in s. 773.03, no participant . . . shall have any claim against or recover from any equine activity sponsor, equine professional, or any other person for Injury . . . of the participant resulting from any of the inherent risks of equine activities.
In order for the District Court to make its determination, it reviewed the definition of “participant”. Section 773.01(7), Florida Statutes, defines “participant” as “any person, whether amateur or professional, who engages in . . . an equine activity, whether or not a fee is paid to participate in the equine activity.” (The 2016 version of Section 773.01(7) of the Florida Statutes is the same as the 2012 version.) Notably, the Court also analyzed the definition of “engages in an equine activity” in Section 773.01(1), Florida Statutes, which is defined as:
[R]iding, training, assisting in veterinary treatment of, driving, or being a passenger upon an equine, whether mounted or unmounted, visiting or touring or utilizing an equine facility as part of an organized event or activity, or any person assisting a participant or show management. The term “engages in an equine activity” does not include being a spectator at an equine activity, except in cases where a spectator places himself or herself in an unauthorized area.
(The 2016 version of Section 773.01(1) of the Florida Statutes is the same as the 2012 version.) Thus, the issue for the Court was “whether Germer was ‘visiting an equine facility as part of an organized event or activity’ when he was bitten by” the horse. Id.
The Court found that the intent of the Act “is to limit the liability of Florida equine facilities for injuries resulting from inherent risk associated with equine activities.” In this case, the stable had a policy that required all guests to check in, and receive a visitor’s pass. Having a written protocol for guests to visit the stable created the “organized activity” referred to in the statute. Therefore, the Court found that the defendants were immune from liability.
So what does this mean for stable and horse owners? In addition to already complying with the statutorily required warning notices, stable owners should also require all visitors to sign-in, and receive a guest pass before entering their stables. Additionally, as a stable owner, you should have a written policy for guests coming to your stable other than as a spectator in an authorized area. Having a clear, delineated written policy for guests and employees to follow will help insulate you and your stable from liability.
By: Crystal B. Carswell
August 3, 2016
On August 2, 2016, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Altman Contractors, Inc. v. Crum & Forster Specialty Insurance Company, certified the following question to the Florida Supreme Court: “Is the notice and repair process set forth in Chapter 558 of the Florida Statutes a “suit” within the meaning of the CGL policies issues by C&F [Crum & Forster Specialty Insurance Company] to ACI [Altman Contractors, Inc.]?” The certification of this question to the Florida Supreme Court is critical to the impact of sending a Chapter 558 Notice to a construction professional or contractor.
In Altman, the Eleventh Circuit was faced with the issue of deciding, “whether Chapter 558’s statutorily prescribed notice and repair process constitutes a “suit” under a commercial general liability (CGL) insurance policy, so as to trigger the insurer’s duty to defend.” Chapter 558 of the Florida Statutes sets parameters that must be complied with before a claimant can file a lawsuit. Some of the parameters include serving written notice of the defect, providing a time specific opportunity to cure the defect, investigate the defect both visually, and through destructive testing, request documentation related to the defect, offer to settle the claim, or do nothing at all. After the time set by Chapter 558 has expired, the claimant is then permitted to file a lawsuit. In the present case, Altman Contractors, Inc. (“ACI”) was building a residential high-rise condominium in Broward County, Florida. During the construction of the condominium, ACI was insured by Crum & Forster Specialty Insurance Company (“C&F”). In 2012 and 2013 the condominium served ACI with multiple Chapter 558 notice of claims (“notices”).
As expected, ACI sent the notices to C&F, and demanded that C&F defend and indemnify ACI. C&F initially denied that it had a duty to defend, but later hired counsel to represent ACI without consulting with ACI resulting in ACI filing a lawsuit. Notably, the District Court found that
following the prescribed Chapter 558 pre-litigation requirements did not trigger a “suit” under the language contained in the C&F policies. Thus, C&F had no duty to defend or indemnify ACI because it was a mechanism to guide the parties to a resolution, but not a “proceeding”. However, the Eleventh Circuit did not entirely agree; instead, the Eleventh Circuit found that the Court must focus on the language contained in the insurance policies which will determine if there is a duty to defend. Further, the Eleventh Circuit found that the arguments of both parties were reasonable, but also emphasized the importance and impact this decision will have in Florida.
In one sense, getting insurance counsel involved at the earliest possible opportunity may permit more cases to settle sooner. Without any meaningful involvement of an insurance company or insurance counsel, it is unlikely that there will be active participation by members of the construction industry. The expressed intent of the statute is to have:
[A]n alternative method to resolve construction disputes that would reduce the need for litigation as well as protect the rights of property owners. An effective alternative dispute resolution mechanism in certain construction defect matters should involve the claimant filing a notice of claim with the contractor, subcontractor, supplier, or design professional that the claimant asserts is responsible for the defect, and should provide the contractor, subcontractor, supplier, or design professional, and the insurer of the contractor, subcontractor, supplier, or design professional, with an opportunity to resolve the claim through confidential settlement negotiations without resort to further legal process.
§558.001, Fla. Stat (2016). Thus, if contract professionals do not intend to resolve a claim prior to a lawsuit being filed, the objective of the statute is frustrated. Ultimately, the prescribed procedure of Chapter 558 becomes impractical and a waste of time and money for both claimants and those against whom claims are made. The determination of this certified question by the Florida Supreme Court will have a significant impact on construction litigation, and what terms are contained in insurance contracts. If contractors and design professionals are concerned about upfront costs associated with investigating construction defects without the financial and legal backing of an insurance company, there may be an upswing of parties opting out of the Chapter 558 procedure, and an increase in construction litigation.
1 The right to cure process prescribed under Chapter 558 of the Florida Statutes does not apply to any party that unequivocally opted out of the process in writing prior to the start of a construction project. In that instance, the party asserting a construction defect can file a lawsuit without any concern to the time constraints contained in Chapter 558.
RM’s Managing Shareholder Daniel S. Rosenbaum, has been selected for inclusion in the 2017 Edition (23rd Edition) of The Best Lawyers in America© in Commercial Litigation. The Best Lawyers in America© are chosen through a peer reviewed process. This is the fifth year in a row in which Mr. Rosenbaum was chosen for this prestigious award.
RM’s Managing Shareholder Daniel S. Rosenbaum has been selected as a “Top Attorney in Florida” for 2016 in Commercial Litigation. This award is given in recognition for excellence by peers in the legal community with impressive records of professional achievement and ethical standards. Mr. Rosenbaum has been a recipient of this award annually since 2011.
RM’s Managing Shareholder Daniel S. Rosenbaum has been selected as a Florida Super Lawer for the fifth consecutive year. Only five percent of the attorneys in Florida qualify for selection in Super Lawyers©
Our attorneys continue to be tapped for leadership positions and are highly regarded in the legal community. The Firm is proud to announce the appointment of Senior Associate Yelizaveta ("Liz") Herman to the 2017 Southern District of Florida Bench & Bar Conference Planning Committee. By an administrative order, the Honorable K. Michael Moore, Chief Judge for the United States Southern District of Florida, appointed prominent lawyers and federal judges to this coveted Committee that will organize the biennial bench bar conference. The conference is attended by the Judges from the Southern District and brings over 700 lawyers to an all-day continuing legal education event filled with excellent seminars, prominent speakers and networking receptions. We congratulate Liz, who was only one of three lawyers from Palm Beach County appointed to this Committee!
The Honorable Lisa Small, Fifteenth Judicial Circuit Court Judge, also swore in Liz Herman as the 2016-17 Treasurer of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers Palm Beach County Chapter, and the President of the Palm Beach County Bar Association appointed Liz to Chair the Judicial Relations Committee, which acts as the liaison between the bench (the judges) and the bar (the attorneys). Liz has been with the Firm since 2009 and focuses her practice on construction defect litigation, as well as representing clients with complex business litigation matters, such as environmental, employment law, personal injury and real estate disputes.
June 6, 2016
Recently Rosenbaum Mollengarden PLLC represented our long-time client, Wellington Equestrian Partners LLC, in its purchase of the world-renowned International Polo Club (“IPC”) in Wellington, Florida.The purchase of IPC included 248 acres of real property, in which the main stadium venue and polo activities take place, a private club with spa, fitness center, tennis courts, pool, The Mallet Grille restaurant, and The 7th Chukker lounge. The firm handled the entire transaction, including contract negotiations and drafting, inspections, due diligence, title review, and closing of the purchase, facilitating our client’s acquisition of IPC.
Wellington and the equestrian community was full of speculation upon learning IPC was for sale, and, in March, 2016, Mark Bellissimo, CEO of Wellington Equestrian Partners, formally announced that Wellington Equestrian Partners had entered into an agreement to acquire IPC, including not only the core IPC club facilities, but also the surrounding properties. Wellington Equestrian Partners, which also owns the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, the Equestrian Village and the Wanderer’s Club, announced that it wanted to “ensure that IPC was going to be protected as a long-term venue for polo and other equestrian sports, which is key to Wellington’s economy.” The equestrian world anxiously awaited further news on the proposed sale, and, in late April, 2016, the transaction was closed. Mr. Bellissimo confirmed the completion of the IPC acquisition on April 30, 2016. He announced that the partnership would be “expending significant resources to ensure that the facilities and the polo fields are second to none,” and its commitment to “maintaining the same High Goal Polo calendar for 2017 and beyond.
The purchase of IPC was a highly complex transaction, involving extensive real estate and business assets. We worked closely with our client to ensure that our client was protected and received the full benefit of its bargain. The firm handled all legal issues in the transaction, including contract terms, title, land use, assignment of contracts, and other business issues relating to the ownership and operation of IPC. This transaction was highly confidential until Wellington Equestrian Partners’ announcement of the contract in mid-March.
June 17, 2015
We are honored and pleased to announce that Liz Herman has been appointed to the Florida Bar Judicial Nominating Procedures (JNP) Committee for the 2015-18 term. The JNP is a Standing Committee and its appointed members assist the Governor and the judicial nominating commissions (JNCs) in discharging their respective duties under Article V, Section 11, Constitution of Florida. The committee offers assistance to the Governor with organizing and presenting an annual training program for all JNC commissioners. The training program provides authoritative information on the subject of judicial selection and the judicial nominating process. It also constitutes a forum for the mutual exchange of information by commissioners. Liz’s dedication to the practice of law and strong legal background will be a valued complement to her leadership of this group. The Firm congratulates Liz on this accomplishment!
May 5, 2015
Daniel S. Rosenbaum
Proposed 2015 Amendments to Construction Dispute Laws May Pose More Challenges to Owners
Chapter 558, Florida Statutes, the “Notice and Opportunity to Cure Statute”, has been amended this year by the Florida Legislature. If the new legislation becomes law as expected, effective July 1, 2015, additional requirements will impact owners with construction disputes.
In 2003, the Legislature enacted Chapter 558 as an alternative dispute resolution statute to create mandatory procedures and obligations to resolve construction defect claims prior to a lawsuit being filed. This was done to reduce the number of construction defect lawsuits and the associated expenses. The original legislation enacted extensive procedures and requirements for associations, owners, contractors and design professionals (architects and engineers) to follow before a construction defect lawsuit can be filed. Generally, from the owners’ perspective, compliance was time consuming and frustrating, with little or no value being accomplished in most instances. The construction industry, in turn, complained that the required Notices of Claim were often unclear and unsupported by the documentation required, and that they were incurring significant expense investigating construction defects that often did not exist.
It is with that background that in 2015 the Florida Legislature made further amendments to Chapter 558. The more important amendments are summarized as follows:
While as of this writing the Governor has not signed the legislation yet, and it has otherwise not become law, it is the final legislation and is expected to become law. A previous State House version of this legislation contained far-reaching monetary sanctions that could be imposed by a court after a lawsuit is filed in the event a claimant knew or should have known at the time the Notice of Claim was served, that any of the construction defects were unsupported or were frivolous. These sanctions included paying the responding parties’ pre-suit attorneys’ fees and costs, costs of inspection, investigation, testing and pre-judgment interest. Notably, these purposed sanctions were removed from the final legislation. However, they may be a sign of things to come.
Another bill which relates to the statute of repose for construction defect lawsuits was not passed by the Legislature. This bill would have amended Section 95.11, Florida Statutes, which determines the time period in which lawsuits for claims can be brought. This legislation would have reduced the time in which a claim for a latent defect in the design, planning or construction of an improvement to real property could be brought. This legislation was intended to reduce the time in which a latent construction defect could be brought, from the date it is discovered or should have been discovered with the exercise of reasonable diligence, to a maximum of seven (7) years after the date of actual possession by the owner, the date of the issuance of a certificate of occupancy, the date of abandonment of construction if it is not completed or the date of completion or termination of a contract between the professional engineer, registered architect or licensed contractor and his or her employer, whichever date is latest. This would have been a reduction of three (3) years from the current statute, which permits up to ten (10) years to bring this type of claim. The bill failed to pass during the current legislation session.
The conclusion to be drawn from the 2015 construction dispute legislation and legislative efforts is that construction defect claims of all types, patent and latent, need to be pursued as soon as they are discovered, and that it is very important to undertake actions to determine whether construction has been performed correctly so these claims can be timely pursued. Owners are now clearly on notice that they need to take the initiative and use the various methods available, including timely post-construction testing and professional evaluation, to make sure that the benefit of the construction bargain is obtained.
November 10, 2014
Rosenbaum Mollengarden Managing Shareholder Daniel S. Rosenbaum has announced the continued expansion of the firm’s land use, zoning, planning, environmental and construction law practice areas by the recent addition of Attorney Lisa A. Reves. Lisa is a uniquely qualified attorney, having more than 12 years of experience in all aspects of land use and development, governmental relations and environmental matters. Prior to graduating law school, Lisa provided local, regional and national clients with representation for zoning changes, variances, and other land use development review processes. These services included design and development of commercial, industrial and institutional projects from the initial approval process through completion of construction. Lisa has extensive experience with master plans and site plans including modifications and amendments. Her experience also includes concurrency issues, re-zonings, zoning text amendments and environmental issues of various types. Lisa’s vast experience in governmental relations, land use and planning and her technical knowledge comprise an excellent complement to the skills and experience of Rosenbaum Mollengarden’s existing attorneys who practice in these areas.
October 31, 2014
Peter C. Mollengarden
Reversal of Fortune
In the legal world few things or issues are well settled or can be relied upon with rock solid predictability. Until very recently, one of those was the ineffectiveness of a restrictive endorsement, designation, or instruction placed on or accompanying an owner’s partial payment to a condominium, homeowners or cooperative association. The recent decision of the Second District Court of Appeal of Florida in St. Croix Lane Trust & M.L. Shapiro, Trustee v. St Croix at Pelican Marsh Condominium Association, Inc., 144 So. 3d 639 (Fla. 2d DCA 2014) has pulled the rug out from under associations with respect to this issue.
Sections 718.116(3), 719.108(3) and 720.3085(3)(b) of the Florida Condominium Act, Cooperative Act and Homeowners Association Act, respectively, basically provide that any payment received by an association must be applied first to any interest accrued by the association, then to any administrative late fee, then to any costs and reasonable attorney’s fees incurred in collection, and then to the delinquent assessment. The statutes then provide that the foregoing applies notwithstanding any restrictive endorsement, designation or instruction placed on or accompanying a payment. Therefore, for years this language has been construed to mean that if an owner, for any reason, submitted a partial payment, or otherwise less than full payment, but included a notation on the check, or an accompanying note or letter, asserting “Paid in Full,” or “Full Payment,” or “Accord and Satisfaction,” or other similar statement asserting the payment represented full payment, such restrictive endorsement, notation or instruction was ineffective and could be ignored by the association such that the association could accept the payment and proceed to collect the balance from the owner without adverse consequences. This interpretation of these statutes was upheld by the Third District Court of Appeal of Florida in Ocean Two Condominium Association, Inc. v. Kliger, 983 So. 2d (Fla. 3d DCA 2008).
However, in St. Croix Lane Trust, which involved a dispute over the amount owed the association by an owner, the owner tendered a check to the association accompanied by a letter from the owner’s attorney stating:
Regardless of intent, negotiation of the enclosed check shall be deemed an acceptance of the offer of settlement made herein, and shall be in full and final settlement of all claims . . .
The Court held that, notwithstanding the provisions of the Condominium Act regarding application of payments, upon deposit of the check an accord and satisfaction occurred and the payment was deemed full and final satisfaction of the association’s disputed claim. The Court determined that the situation was controlled by Section 673.3111, Florida Statutes, which provides that, with limited exceptions, a claim is discharged if the party or person against whom the claim is asserted proves that the instrument or an accompanying written communication contained a conspicuous statement to the effect that the instrument was tendered as full satisfaction of the claim. This is more commonly referred to as the law of accord and satisfaction. The Court held that the provisions of the Condominium Act only address the hierarchy or manner of applying a payment, but do not trump or overrule the law of accord and satisfaction.
In light of the conflict between the Second and Third District Courts of Appeal in the St. Croix Lane Trust and Ocean Two Condominium Association cases, St. Croix Lane Trust has been appealed to the Florida Supreme Court. As of this time, the Supreme Court has not rendered a decision on whether to hear the appeal. However, in the meantime, associations must be vigilant in not accepting or depositing partial payments which contain, or are accompanied by, any restrictive endorsement, notation or instruction as doing so may result in the association waiving all rights to the remaining amounts owed. Such waiver of the ability to pursue the remaining amounts owed could have a substantial adverse impact upon the association. For example, in St. Croix Lane Trust the association claimed it was owed over $38,000 and the payment which was held to be full and final satisfaction of the debt was only $850.00. Instead, associations should return any instruments with, or accompanied by, a restrictive endorsement, notation or instruction to the owner, with a demand for payment in full.
Thus, the lesson to be learned is that unless the decision in St. Croix Lane Trust is reversed by the Florida Supreme Court, or this issue is addressed by the Florida Legislature by amending the applicable statutes, associations must be careful not to deposit any partial payment containing or accompanied by a restrictive endorsement, designation or instruction as that may very well preclude the association from any right of recovery of the remaining amount due.
October 6, 2014
We are pleased to announce that two RM attorneys have been selected for the Informed Voters Project (“IVP”). The IVP was started in Florida by Florida Supreme Court Justice Barbara Pariente, with the assistance of several other well-known legal names on a national level, including former United States Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, to educate voters nationwide, on a non-partisan basis, of the importance of electing highly qualified judges in judicial races. The speakers in this program are specially trained for this purpose, and include judges and leading lawyers in the legal community. Palm Beach County participants were personally selected, screened and approved for the IVP by Justice Pariente. Both RM Associate Liz Herman and RM Managing Shareholder Dan Rosenbaum were selected by Justice Pariente to be speakers in the IVP.
In addition to the speaking engagements on this subject that will be offered to our clients, charitable and civic groups, community associations and managers, RM has submitted the program to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation in Tallahassee for approval of one hour of community association manager credit. Once the program has been approved for CAM credit, it will be offered both individually and in conjunction with other CAM programs that are given by RM. The IVP is a very interesting program with an important, non-partisan goal that is helpful to everyone to make sure that the public will elect the most qualified judges possible. This is a continuing program with no end date, which will develop more fully over time, throughout the years. We are proud of our commitment to the IVP, honored by the appointments of two our attorneys to the IVP and look forward to sharing this experience with you.
Effective July 1, 2014, changes were made to Chapters 718, 719 and 720, Florida Statutes, governing condominiums, cooperatives and homeowners associations. Changes to the laws regarding community association management were also made effective July 1, 2014. Please click on the link below to review our Firm’s summary of these changes which directly impact the operation of community associations. Please note that the summary is not intended as legal advice, and you are encouraged to consult legal counsel if you have questions concerning how the new laws may affect your community association.
July 8, 2014
As our firm has developed through the years, we have placed great emphasis on our level of communications with our clients and responsiveness to the needs of our clients. I took a few moments last weekend to try to determine from an objective standard how we are perceived as a law firm generally by the legal and business community. Other than the direct comments that we receive and the questionnaires that are filled out by our clients periodically, I thought this could be helpful. I looked up our firm in Martindale-Hubbell, a long-established and well-recognized law firm and lawyer rating agency, to see how we are rated. The following are Martindale-Hubbell’s ratings for our firm:
All Ratings on 5.0 Scale
Legal Knowledge 4.9
Analytical Capabilities 4.9
Communication Ability 5.0
Legal Experience 5.0
The firm received exceptionally high ratings in the categories pertaining to our legal capabilities, but we received the highest ratings possible in the categories of Communication Ability and Legal Experience. We view this as one reliable measure of our community’s perception of our firm.
While we are proud of these high ratings and the many awards that our attorneys have received, we view all of these as a critique of our past performance, knowing that tomorrow is another day. We not only have to continue to perform at the same level, we must exceed our clients’ expectations. These are not hollow words or idle concepts. These principles are repeatedly discussed and implemented at every level of our firm; attorneys, staff, administration, information technology, accounting and other areas. Our business is about YOU, not just about us.
These days, a lot of people say these things, but we believe actions speak louder than words, so we continue to perform at higher and more efficient levels. If you go on our website and look at the Home Page, at the bottom you will see the following words: Quality, Resilient, Experienced, Proven, Accessible, Involved, Relentless, Unique and Committed. These words are there because they have meaning to us, and hopefully, to you. Simply stated, we are committed at all levels to provide you the highest quality legal services that we possibly can. One of our clients recently described our firm using these words: “You provide large firm quality legal services but have the flexibilities and feel of a small firm”. This is a good description of who we are and who we strive to be. Thank you for being a part of us in one way or another. We look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship.
June 27, 2014
Daniel S. Rosenbaum, Esq.
RM Managing Shareholder, Daniel S. Rosenbaum, has been awarded the SuperLawyer’s designation for 2014, in litigation. Mr. Rosenbaum has been given this award for several previous years as well. SuperLawyers™ are chosen by a distinguished panel of those who are knowledgeable in the legal community of the contribution and abilities of attorneys in various practice areas. Mr. Rosenbaum is rated as an AV Preeminent® Lawyer by Martindale-Hubble™, which is the highest rating a lawyer can receive. Mr. Rosenbaum has also recently been named one of the “South Florida’s Top Lawyers” for 2014. The Firm congratulates Mr. Rosenbaum on these achievements.
May 07, 2014
Daniel Rosenbaum, Esq.
Rosenbaum Mollengarden is pleased to announce that Laurel Wiley, Tatiana Yaques and Mark Keegan have been promoted to shareholders of the law firm. All three attorneys have practiced with RM since the inception of the firm. We are very proud that they have become shareholders and look forward to their continued excellence in the rendition of legal services to the firm’s clients.
February 28, 2014
Daniel Rosenbaum, Esq.
On February 25, 2014, a Federal Court jury in the West Palm Beach Division of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida returned a verdict in favor of the defense on all counts in a landmark case in which an equestrian groom was suing for five years of overtime pay under the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act and for minimum wage violations under both Federal and State law. Rosenbaum Mollengarden represented the defense in the case, styled Lides Arnaldo Soto v. Halo Polo, LLC, et al., Defendants, Case No. 13-80716-CIV-MIDDLEBROOKS/BRANNON. The most critical question in the case is whether the exemption to the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act for agricultural activities applied to the activities of a groom who works with polo horses for his employer in multiple locations, which also included activities that the Plaintiff alleged were “off the farm”. After a very difficult trial, the jury determined that the Defendants did not fail to pay the Plaintiff the overtime pay required by the Fair Labor Standards Act and that the Defendants did not fail to pay the Plaintiff the minimum wages required by Federal law and Florida law.
This case is a major victory for the equestrian industry not only in Florida, but throughout the nation, because of the application of Federal law to the work activities of grooms in the equestrian industry. In addition, while one of the provisions of the United States Code of Federal Regulations provides an exception to the agricultural exemption for activities that are performed by grooms (and others) in connection with race horses, the Federal Court in the Soto case declined to apply that provision, finding that there are material differences between race horses while at the race track, on the one hand, and polo and other equestrian sport activities on the other hand. The case was tried by Rosenbaum Mollengarden Managing Shareholder Daniel S. Rosenbaum and Rosenbaum Mollengarden Attorney Tatiana B. Yaques.
By Liz Herman, Esq., of Rosenbaum Mollengarden PLLC
The Law Related Education Committee continues its mission to reach out to our community and educate adults about civics and the role of the courts. We are working hard to reverse the statistics that reveal, for example, that 75% of those polled did not know what the judicial branch does and 71% did not know what is the supreme law of our land. These are our jurors and fellow voters! The committee members and volunteers have been giving educational, interactive presentations to groups throughout Palm Beach County. Our past speakers bring back tremendously positive feedback:
"It was a great experience and the members of the Wellington Rotary Club were extremely appreciative." —Greg Huber of Zele Huber, P. A.
"The presentation was a rewarding experience. The audience was very excited to discuss the Constitution, and my own understanding of the Constitution was enriched by the discussion." —John J. Bajger, Assistant Attorney General, on presenting to the Kiwanis Club of Boynton Beach with Jared Levy of Diamond Kaplan & Rothstein, P. A.
"The dialogue focus on our responsibilities as citizens to know our laws, educate our fellow citizens, and actively participate in our government by being an involved witness or willingly serving on a jury." —Sherri Collins, Assistant State Attorney, on speaking to the Royal Palm Beach Rotary Club.
Contact Liz Herman at YHerman@r-mlaw.com or (561) 653-2900 if you could suggest another community group to which we could present.
Oct 31, 2013 By Keith Loria
Published in The South Florida Cooperator
There’s nothing worse than being a unit owner in a building and seeing someone on your board breaking a rule and seemingly getting away with it.
Some board members believe that they are “above the law” so to speak, and seem to be operating under a different set of rules than the rest of the building. This could be anything from giving themselves preferential treatment for parking spots, flouting pet rules, fast-tracking their own alteration projects or voting on financial matters when they themselves are in arrears.
Allison L. Hertz, a lawyer with the law firm of Rosenbaum Mollengarden PLLC in West Palm Beach has seen her share of board members try to get away with things, and she does what she can to help right the ship.
“Board members not following their own bylaws happens more than you’d like it to happen,” adds Raymond A. Piccin, a partner with the community association law firm of Katzman Garfinkel & Berger in Fort Myers. “There are two reasons. One is obviously intentional—which is probably the worst-case scenario—and the second is unintentional. A lot of boards usually adopt what the prior board did. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve run into situations where I’ve read the documents to them and they say, ‘We’ve been doing it this way for 20 years.’ That may be so, but that doesn’t make it right. I would say eight out of 10 times it’s innocent, but there is a small percentage [who do things] for nefarious reasons: either they want to get back on the board to get other people off the board or some other reason.”
Rogue board members are awful for building morale, have a corrosive effect on residents’ confidence in their board, and can cause a myriad of problems. In addition, in Florida there’s a law that if a board member is 90 days past due on his or her assessments, they are no longer eligible to serve on a board.
“There are times when a board member tends to think that they are in a position of power rather than one of responsibility and they tend to have a flagrant disregard for the rules and regulations of the community,” says Kelly Ann Vickers, LCAM, the senior business development manager of KW Property Management & Consulting, which has offices throughout Florida. “These situations are far more difficult to manage as a result of the high level of emotion that can be involved and any guidance from an LCAM or a management firm will be viewed as confrontational and personal.”
A fiduciary relationship exists when one party puts its trust in another party and grants to that second party a degree of influence and power. There is the understanding in a fiduciary relationship that the second party has a high level of accountability, including moral accountability, to the first party, and that the second party—the fiduciary—will put the best interests of the first party above his own.
“Essentially, a board member’s fiduciary duty includes acting in good faith and in the best interest of the association and its members,” says Hertz. “It does not mean that a board member must be an expert in every area associated with running the corporation or the building. In discharging his or her duties, a board member may reasonably rely on statements and reports prepared by attorneys, accountants, and other experts, and employees, officers, and committees of the board. A board member is not acting in good faith or in the best interest of the corporation if the board member derives an improper benefit from his or her position as a member of the board.”
According to amended provisions of the Florida Condominium, Cooperative and Homeowners Acts, (respectively, Chapters, 718, 719 and 720 of the Florida Statutes) board members must certify that they have read the association’s governing documents and that they will work to uphold such documents and that they will faithfully discharge their fiduciary responsibility to the association’s members or complete an educational course administered by the Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares and Mobile Homes.
In a black-and-white world, a board member shouldn’t be held to any higher standard than any other unit owner in terms of their obligation to follow rules, but in real life, they must be to keep things running smoothly. If not, unit owners get upset and all of a sudden it undermines a board’s authority and it makes them wonder what else they can be doing wrong—like possibly embezzling—it creates a firestorm of problems.
“A board’s duty is to promote health, maintenance and support of the community so they do have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of everyone and sometimes that’s a difficult thing to do,” adds Piccin. “What it comes down to is that you have to place everyone’s interest above your own. It has to be what’s best for everyone.”
In one building that Vickers managed, board members from the condominium association were participating in several questionable practices, such as voting on a budget without having a meeting or presenting the proposed budget to the membership before they voted on it, refusing to allow members to speak at meetings, and allowing a board member to keep more than the maximum number and type of pets specified in their own documents.
“In instances such as those, it’s important to recognize that they have not had access to guidance from a knowledgeable LCAM or management firm who can caution them on Florida statutes,” says Vickers, “Or emphasize the importance of implementing the golden rule of being fair and consistent in applying the rules to all members of the community.”
Board members who break rules may do so out of a feeling of superiority or it may just be in their nature and they think they can get away with it.
“All of the owners must be treated the same by the association. This includes members of the board,” says Hertz. “In the event a board member violates a covenant or restriction and the board does not take action, other owners will likely raise the defense of selective enforcement if the board attempts to enforce the restriction against them. It may be difficult for board members to confront other board members for violating rules or committing improper acts. However, in my experience, whether the issue is addressed depends on the dynamics of the board. The issue may be resolved relatively quickly or it could lead to a situation where the board cannot get a lot accomplished because of the conflict and the association is subjected to selective enforcement defenses.”
Piccin believes that there should be no differences between how a rule-breaking board member should be dealt with compared to a unit owner who may step out of line. In fact, he believes that the board member should be held to a higher standard and should be setting the example in the community.
Without question, unit owners expect board members to lead by example and comply with the same rules and regulations all unit owners abide by.To do otherwise breeds distrust in the board and lowers the morale of a community.
If a unit owner sees a problem they should contact the managing agent or property manager and complain about the board member’s infraction.
“The first thing to do is make sure you’ve got evidence. You don’t want to start accusing anyone of self-dealing on a whim,” says Piccin. “You want to make sure you’ve got your ducks in a row. And if you do, you’ve got to start documenting things by putting them in writing and sending things to the association. Folks get really emotional in community associations and a lot of times start saying things they shouldn’t be saying. The easiest thing to do if you suspect someone of double dealing is to follow the money trail because they have access to the association’s financial records. That’s where folks trip themselves up. They’ll be checks written to that particular person or they’ll have checks written to a corporation that doesn’t exist. Even if they are a legitimate company you can see who the owners of that company are and 9 times out of ten it could be a family member that owns the company.”
“The first step is to address the concerns in a written letter to the Board of Directors, and request an opportunity to discuss the concerns of the residents with the board members,” says Vickers. “If this proves unsuccessful, the residents can either file a formal complaint with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation which should include proof of the allegations or they can petition the membership to recall the board member(s) which they have concerns about.”
Another thing unit owners can do if they suspect fraud is attend board meetings to follow the issues, speak up at owners’ forums at a board meeting or write the board and management raising issues of concern.
“Condominium and cooperative unit owners are often times required to file a petition for arbitration against the association to address violations,” says Hertz. “Members of homeowners associations may demand pre-suit mediation in certain circumstances, but such mediation is simply a precondition to filing an action in court.”
Then of course the easiest course of action against a board member breaking rules is to simply campaign against them in the next election and make sure they don’t get their position back.
One of the best ways to make sure everyone—board members included—is on the same page is to have a good set of rules with all procedures in place such as a complete set of documents for suspected rule violations as well as guidelines for disputes such as arbitration or mediation.
Keith Loria is a freelance writer and a frequent contributor to The South Florida Cooperator. Staff writer Christy Smith Sloman contributed to this article.