Hiring a Commercial Real Estate Attorney is a Valuable and Cost-Effective Investment

The sale or purchase of a commercial property is one of the most significant and complicated financial deals that a person undertakes. However, many people choose to take their chances and not engage an experienced and knowledgeable commercial real estate attorney.

Among other things, a commercial real estate attorney will:

  1. Review complex purchase and sale agreements, closing documents and other documents for non-customary and problematic terms and conditions, and modify the contract or other document to correct the problem and/or advise the client regarding its options and risks.
  2. Address title, lien and survey issues that the buyer of a commercial property may not understand, or may neglect in the rush to close a purchase. A buyer cannot assume it will obtain proper title from a title commitment issued by a title company for the purchase of the property. Any title and lien issues identified in that title commitment and/or a survey of the property must be resolved prior to closing.

As an example, prior to our client buyer’s purchase of a commercial property, we identified, addressed and resolved a problematic adjoining property owner’s use restriction that prevented the client from operating its business on the property it was purchasing. Without our commercial real estate expertise and counsel, the client would have purchased a commercial property that it could not use.

Considering how important a commercial real estate attorney is to protecting your legal interests before, during and after a sale or purchase, the cost of retaining a commercial real estate attorney (that is experienced in handling commercial real estate transactions on a regular basis) is a valuable and cost-effective investment.

If you are purchasing or selling a commercial property, or involved in a lease or other commercial real estate or business transaction, please contact our Real Estate and Commercial Transactions Practice Director and Member, Blake D. Bringgold.

Direct Line: 813.347.5580; Email Address: blake@mcintyrefirm.com.

Do I have a medical malpractice case?

do i have a medical malpractice caseAs one of the leading causes of death in the United States, medical negligence is not only relatively common, but can have serious and lasting consequences. While people often assume only doctors can be sued for medical malpractice, many other healthcare professionals can be held responsible for their actions, including pharmaceuticals, hospitals, anesthesiologists, and nurses. When it comes to your health and wellbeing, it is important to be able to trust the healthcare professionals working to keep you healthy.

If you are suing your doctor for medical malpractice, there are a couple points you should keep in mind. You must be able to prove that an official doctor-patient relationship existed between you and your physician, even if it was just one appointment. However, most informal advice given by friends or family will not be considered as official. Secondly, you must be able to prove the doctor was negligent in your care. In most cases, a testimony from an expert in the field will be able to prove this by setting a standard of care, or reasonable course of action that any competent doctor would have followed. Lastly, your doctor’s negligence must have caused you some sort of harm, whether financial, physical, or mental. If you think your doctor’s actions, or lack thereof, caused you harm, contact one of our medical malpractice attorneys today.

While the types of medical malpractice cases can be vast, each one could have had a better outcome for the patient. A doctor’s failure to diagnose a patient correctly, or in a timely manner, could cause the patient significant pain and suffering, as they continue to endure the symptoms of their illness. Improper treatment, or incorrectly administered treatment can become quite costly, and again result in unnecessary suffering. Failure of duty of informed consent, or not warning patients of known risks to treatment and medications, can also lead to unexpected, and occasionally dangerous, side effects. The patient has a right to be aware of the risks of treatment. If a pharmaceutical company failed to explain these risks, they may be liable. Likewise, if a hospitable did not properly vet their staff, or did not have enough nurses or doctors on hand to properly treat their patients, they may be held responsible.

If you have been harmed by the negligence of a medical professional, you may be able to receive compensation for unnecessary medical bills, lost income, as well as physical and mental suffering. Contact McIntyre Thanasides today at (844)511-4800 for help with your case.

The Deadline to Register for the NFL Concussion Settlement is August 7, 2017

Retired NFL players who have qualifying medical conditions now have the outlet, through the NFL Concussion Settlement, to file claims and receive compensation for the physical sacrifices they made for the game. This is an uncapped settlement, approved by Federal District Judge Anita Brody, which offers up to $5 million per person, based on age and disease. If you or someone you know has played for the NFL, contact a NFL concussion attorney today to secure your rights in this settlement before it’s too late.

It is strongly recommended that all retired NFL players register in the settlement regardless of whether they ever file a claim. If you do not register in the settlement before August 7, 2007, you will never be able to make a claim, even if your symptoms occur years in the future.

 

What is the NFL Concussion Settlement?

In this lawsuit, Plaintiffs claimed that retired NFL players experienced head trauma during their NFL careers, resulting in brain injuries. Plaintiffs accused the NFL Parties of being aware of the evidence and risks associated with repetitive traumatic brain injuries, but failed to warn and protect players against the long-term risks. The NFL Parties denied these claims. After extensive settlement negotiations, plaintiffs and the NFL Parties agreed to the Settlement. Benefits of the Settlement are three-fold:
• The Baseline Assessment Program, providing baseline neurological exams, medical testing, and treatment.
• Monetary Awards for diagnoses of death with CTE, ALS, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and Dementia.
• Educational Programs, providing $10 million in funding to promote safety and injury prevention with respect to football players, including initiatives in youth football.

Over the next six months, the NFL must make six monthly deposits of $20 million into a special account for players covered by the Settlement.

How can I register for the NFL Concussion Settlement?

If you do not Register by the August 7, 2017 deadline, you will not be eligible for any benefits.

Although it is possible to apply for compensation from the NFL Concussion Settlement without an attorney, it is wise to have an experienced NFL Concussion attorney on your side. The process is more complex than just applying and collecting a check. In order to ensure that you receive the maximum amount you are owed, contact the McIntyre Law Firm. Call us today at 844-511-4800.

Arrive Alive, Florida campaign: What you need to know

Whenever a fatal crash occurs on one of our roads, somebody loses a son, daughter, brother, sister, spouse or friend. In an effort to keep Florida citizens safe on the road, the Florida Highway Patrol reinitiated the “Arrive Alive” campaign across the state.

Arrive Alive was originally introduced in 1970 when fatal car crashes were at a peak. The initiative helped plateau the number of deadly accidents until the past three years. Unfortunately, fatal crashes in Florida have recently been on an unexpected rise. Causes often include unclear signs or paint on the roads, cell phone distractions and DUI incidents.

Between 2014 and 2015, Florida faced a 17.7 percent increase of fatal car crashes. Major Joseph Franza, the commander of Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) Troop C, which services Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Polk, Hernando, Citrus and Sumter Counties, said at a news conference last month that he “would not stand for that,” reinitiating the Arrive Alive effort.

Rather than having FHP troops monitor roads that are quick and easy places to write tickets, Franza told attendees of the news conference that troops will patrol places where deadly crashes frequently occur. By targeting the specific locations of fatal crashes, necessary changes can be made to prevent them in the future. Sometimes these changes are as simple as a fresh paint job on road lines or adding additional, clear signage.

In every case, however, road safety starts with the drivers. Be cautious, attentive and responsible to keep yourself and others safe on the road so you can “Arrive Alive.”

If you or somebody you know has been involved in a personal injury case related to a car accident, you are not alone. At McIntyre Law Firm in Tampa, we have attorneys proficient in personal injury, especially regarding auto crashes and DUI cases.

If you or someone you know has been charged or arrested for any criminal traffic offense in the Tampa Bay Area, The McIntyre Law Firm in Tampa has experienced attorneys with decades of experience defending criminal defendants.

For a free consultation and evaluation of your case, call 844-511-4800 today.

Tampa School Bus Driver Cited with Reckless Driving Charges After Crashing into Pond

tampa_school_bus_driverA Tampa Bay area school bus driver has been cited for careless driving after a crash last week that ended with the bus overturned in a pond.  The accident occurred last Thursday afternoon as the bus carried students home from school.  Twenty-seven Mary E. Bryant Elementary students were on board at the time the bus crashed into the pond and thankfully, none were seriously injured.  One of the students received much deserved recognition for his heroic efforts – fifth-grader Nicholas Sierra helped a kindergartner safely out of the partly underwater bus and then went back to help two more students. “It wouldn’t be fair if they died and I lived,” said Sierra.

Upon investigation, it was discovered that mechanical failure was not a factor in the crash.  Officials also utilized GPS data from the bus as well as reviewed video taken by a nearby security station surveillance camera.  The bus was said to be traveling 48 mph in a 35 mph zone. The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office has said that the bus veered into the pond due to “excessive speed” and “carelessness” and it is believed that the driver pressed down on the brake and accelerator at the same time, causing the bus to lose control.

According to the Hillsborough County school district, 54-year-old Lenoir Sainfimin was fired on Tuesday.  He had been cited for careless driving in 2014 related to a crash involving a commercial vehicle.  He was found guilty and points were added to his driving record.

What are the penalties for reckless driving in Florida?

Reckless driving is generally a second-degree misdemeanor (or lower) and is not considered to be as serious an offense as DUI. Reckless driving is defined in Fla. Stat. § 316.192 as “the operation of a motor vehicle with a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.”

Punishments for reckless driving in Florida can include the following:

  • First offense – $25 – $100 fine, up to 90 days of prison or no more than 6 months’ probation and four points added to your driving record
  • Second or subsequent offense – $50 – $1,000 fine, up to 6 months of prison and 4 points added to your driving record

 

If the reckless driving causes property damage or bodily injury, the punishments can be much more severe.  If you are facing a reckless driving charge in Florida, contact TJ Grimaldi at McIntyre Thanasides Bringgold Elliott Grimaldi & Guito, P.A. immediately to discuss the options available to you.

 

Lessons Learned from NFL Players – Know Your Florida Fireworks Laws

In the days following the busy Fourth of July holiday, it’s nearly impossible to ignore the media buzz surrounding two professional football players who experienced severe hand injuries due to fireworks they set off themselves over the weekend.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback C.J. Wilson lost two fingers in a fireworks accident and University of South Florida graduate, Jason Pierre-Paul, also was injured to the point of needing to have his right index finger amputated.  Pierre-Paul could potentially lose a $60 million contract with the New York Giants over concerns with his health.  The Giants have said they “fully intend” to keep Pierre-Paul on their roster, but nothing has been confirmed at this point.

Many of us enjoy lighting our own fireworks displays for the 4th, but how safe is this exactly and is it even legal? Should there be enhanced regulation when it comes to the purchase of fireworks by consumers in Florida?  These may be questions you find yourself wondering the answers to in the wake of hearing about the unfortunate mishaps that occurred over the holiday weekend.

What are the Fireworks Regulations in Florida?

Florida’s fireworks laws have recently changed and you may be surprised to learn that just because a firework is sold in the store or by a roadside vendor, does not mean that it’s legal to purchase or use it. Florida Statue 791.02 covers the rules regulating the sale of fireworks. The only fireworks that are technically allowed to be purchased without a permit are sparklers, which in addition to the handheld version also include fountain displays and others not shot off into the air.  You can check to see whether certain fireworks are approved by visiting the Florida Fire Marshal’s List of Approved Sparklers.

Florida law prohibits any fireworks that fly through the air or explode for recreational purposes, and these can only be used for agricultural purposes, such as to scare birds away from farms or fish hatcheries. Enforcing the rules can be somewhat complicated.  Police officials will respond to complaints from a resident about a neighbor’s illegal fireworks, for example, but otherwise the use of fireworks is not monitored; having said that, there can be hefty penalties (up to $1,000) and even some jail time if you are found to be illegally using fireworks.

When you purchase fireworks, you will be asked to sign a waiver acknowledging the fireworks will be used for agricultural purposes.  This exemption form does not guarantee the consumer protection from the law, but in most cases it will absolve the vendor of any legal responsibility. So technically, these forms protect the seller but do nothing to protect you, the end user.

We hope everyone will take this into consideration for future fireworks purchases and hope it was a safe holiday for all. If you have questions over the laws in Florida regulating the sale and use of fireworks, contact Tampa personal injury attorney TJ Grimaldi today.

Tips to Avoid Damages in Commercial Lease Disputes

Commercial landlords may encounter situations where a tenant’s rent payment is due and there is no sign of the check. Weeks may pass without any indication of whether rent will be paid. Unfortunately, scenarios like this are not uncommon in the commercial real estate world, particularly during down markets like we’ve experienced over the last several years. The inability to pay may be voluntary, in protest to the landlord’s alleged breach of contract, or involuntary, as a result of a business loss or even bankruptcy. The important aspect is whether a breach of the lease agreement has occurred.

There are careful considerations landlords should take into account to avoid any legal implications for property owners if the matter is not handled correctly. If you are involved in a tenant dispute or have what appears to be an abandoned premises, it can be a serious matter, and taking the wrong steps can expose you to damages and costs. First and foremost, you should speak to an attorney who can provide guidance as to the appropriate steps you should take.

A properly executed lease should provide the landlord the right to seek damages if a tenant fails to properly vacate or leaves behind unwanted items such as equipment, materials or furniture. Under Florida law, if a commercial tenant fails to pay rent, landlords are required to give the tenant at least three days’ notice before beginning eviction proceedings. With respect to unwanted items left behind, the landlord typically has the right to collect from the tenant the cost of removing the items. There is an obligation of the landlord to properly notify the tenant about personal property left behind. The landlord must contact the tenant at the address they have on file to inform them of the unwanted property. It is important to note that a landlord is not allowed to physically remove the tenant’s property or lock them out until they have assistance from police officials by means of a Court Order and Writ of Possession.

To summarize, below are the key steps a landlord should consider when evicting a tenant:

  • Three-day notice: A landlord must provide to the tenant, in writing, notice that he or she has three days to comply with the lease or vacate. Such notice must comply with the lease notice and applicable Florida statute notice requirements.
  • Complaint filed and served: If a tenant fails to respond to a three-day notice, the landlord can proceed with filing a complaint for commercial eviction with a local court and serve tenant with a summons accordingly.
  • Litigation or default judgment: The tenant may challenge the allegations in the complaint. If there is no response to the complaint, the landlord can obtain a default judgment.
  • Writ of possession: If the landlord wins in court or obtains a default judgment, a writ of possession will be issued, which allows the sheriff to remove the tenant from the premises, including any items left behind.

Avoiding mistakes under default

A default does not necessarily mean a lease is being terminated. In a case where a default has occurred under a commercial lease, a landlord should follow certain guidelines to prevent any missteps. In addition to having a proper lease in place, landlords should follow the lease when exercising remedies and mitigate damages after a tenant default.

While it may seem obvious that you should abide by the lease, failure to follow the default and remedy process as outlined in the lease could prevent the eviction altogether. Or worse, it may lead to a claim by the tenant for a wrongful eviction. This type of claim could cause costly damages to be incurred by the landlord.

Following the default process in a proper lease allows the landlord to exercise its remedies, yet a landlord must also mitigate its damages. This minimization may seem unfair, but the law requires the landlord lessen damages after a tenant default. One example of mitigation is the duty to re-lease the premises after a tenant abandons the property. A lease should offer flexibility such as allowing the landlord to re-let the property at fair market value, even if higher than rent specified in the lease and for a shorter or longer term to meet financial requirements.

For more information on the rights and duties of landlords and tenants in Florida, click here.

If you are weighing the options under a commercial lease default and wish to get input from an experienced attorney, McIntyre Thanasides Bringgold Elliott Grimaldi & Guito P.A. can help. Contact attorney Blake Bringgold today for a consultation.

Five Things You Need to Know Before Entering Into a Franchise Lease

You have made a decision to purchase a franchise which requires that you have retail space – so what do you do  next?  Some of the most recognizable businesses in the marketplace are franchises, however, buying a franchise does not guarantee financial success.  Often the preliminary discussions and negotiations involved for your new business can be intimidating and overwhelming.  There is much to consider in terms of potential business and legal risks before entering into such an agreement, particularly if it is your first franchise lease.  In our legal practice, our real estate lawyers help businesses evaluate franchise options before a deal is closed to ensure all the proper precautions are taken.

The following are five tips to help make the franchise lease process a little less stressful, and more successful, for prospective franchisees:

  1. Make sure your lease is directly associated to the franchised business.  For example, if your franchise involves the sale of any goods or merchandise, your lease must give you permission to sell them.
  2. The lease must also be directly associated to the franchise agreement.  What this means is that if the franchisor requires certain hours of operation for your business, the lease also must specify that you are permitted to operate during those hours.  Other tenants should have similar operational hours and the appropriate security, lighting and other services required for your business to run should be provided, per the agreement.
  3. For purposes of displaying any signage or modifications to the exterior of the building required for your business, the lease as well as any related zoning ordinances must allow you to do so.  The best approach is to submit these plans and materials to the landlord for approval, prior to signing your lease.
  4. Involve your franchisor, if possible, in the site selection and lease process from the very beginning.  The franchisor will have experience and suggestions as to which locations are preferable for the type of business you will be operating as well as know what to look for in terms of layout and other factors pertinent to the company’s success.  Obtaining your franchisor’s input from the onset will help you avoid the trouble of getting stuck with a lease that will not work for the particular franchised business.
  5. The lease should have an element of flexibility should the landlord have the option to relocate to another space.  Your franchise agreement must allow for such a move in order to not be considered a breach of the franchise agreement.  Often times, you may specify in your lease that the landlord’s right to relocate is contingent upon the franchisor’s approval.

It’s always advisable to involve an experienced real estate attorney to guide you through the franchise lease process and handle negotiations from the start to prevent unforeseen circumstances prior to signing any documents as well as to prevent problems that could arise down the road.  Our attorneys are well-equipped to provide the guidance you need in getting your franchise lease and business off to the right start.  Contact attorney Blake Bringgold today for a consultation.