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Articles Posted in Community Involvement

MichaelHymanFirm shareholder Michael L. Hyman is prominently featured and profiled in a new book from the Community Associations Institute titled “Creating Community Association Law: True Tales from Early Pioneers.”

The new volume focuses on the history behind the laws governing homeowners and condominium associations. Author Marvin Nodiff delves into the creation of states’ first association laws and the attorneys who led the charge to enact them.

Hyman first began work with condominium associations and HOAs in 1970. The book discusses his work in the 1970s and ‘80s in filing lawsuits to free communities from triple-net leases that left buyers and owners responsible for paying developers rent for shared recreational amenities for up to 99 years. CAI-book-300x300He was appointed to The Florida Bar’s first condominium commission, which conducted hearings throughout the state, and he was one of the authors who rewrote the condominium statute to provide operational rights to owners.

Hyman became the first attorney in South Florida to launch a major practice dedicated to the representation of community associations.

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Oscar-Rivera-2015-hi-res-200x300Oscar R. Rivera, our firm’s managing shareholder, was the first and the penultimate local business leader quoted in the Sun Sentinel‘s article on the repercussions of Hurricane Ian featured on the front page of today’s edition of the newspaper.  The article, which is titled “Survivors’ Decision: Rebuild or Relocate?”, focuses on the consequences of the devastating storm for residents and business owners throughout the impacted areas.  It reads:

Hurricane Ian gave southwest Floridians plenty of reasons to leave: It killed at least 115 people, crushed countless homes and businesses, turned area waterways into toxic soups and caused at least $50 to $65 billion in damages.

But as residents and business owners assess the devastation and reach for insurance policies that may or may not cover all of their losses, there appears to be an emerging consensus for rebuilding, and not relocating to areas perceived to be less vulnerable to catastrophic storms.

ORivera-SS-clip-for-blog-10-10-22-134x300It is a mindset, analysts say, driven by a long-standing affinity for Gulf Coast living, a strong resolve among public and private sector interests, and a growing tolerance of devastating hurricanes as life disruptors.

“We have already been contacted by numerous clients and potential clients,” said Oscar Rivera, managing shareholder of the Siegfried Rivera law firm in Miami, which represents condominium owners, associations and commercial real estate investors. “Everyone we have spoken to is committed to rebuilding.”. . .

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All too often, the other community association attorneys at our firm and I are asked for help on how to prevent unruly behavior from disrupting board and owner meetings. Since items addressed at these meetings generally have a significant impact on the welfare of an association and the financial responsibilities of its owners, conversations dealing with topics such as special assessments and annual elections can quickly become contentious. The following are helpful tips on how to try to keep your meetings on track and in order:

  1. Use Robert’s Rule of Order – This common form of parliamentary procedure for meeting protocol allows meeting facilitators to manage time effectively, all while ensuring that everyone stays on topic. Many people are already familiar with this method, making it easy for participants to follow and respect the meeting procedures that are in place.

meet-300x1662. Be specific about who can attend – The association should establish rules determining who can participate in advance of the meeting. Generally, owners, or owners and residents are the only people allowed to participate in such meetings. Counsel for an owner is likewise permitted to attend.

3. Make the purpose of the meeting clear – Prepare an agenda that outlines the specific items that will be discussed. Be sure to be transparent about the topics, providing participants with any supplemental documents they may need to make educated decisions.

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As we noted in our blog earlier this year, we would like to congratulate associate attorney Georg Ketelhohn on being named the recipient of the 2011 Eddy McIntyre Community Service Award by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. We are very proud to have Georg as a member of the firm.

George Ketelhohn receiving award.jpg

Pictured above is Georg receiving the award from Cindy Brown, last year’s winner, at the 15th annual Miami Recognition Dinner on Saturday, Oct. 15, at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach. More than 1,000 attended the event, including The L Word star Pam Grier; Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey; Andrew Tobias, treasurer of the Democratic National Committee; Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez; and Miami Beach Mayor Matti Herrera Bower.

In 2002 prior to joining our firm, Georg resigned his position as an associate attorney with another South Florida law firm where he had worked for more than five years in order to serve as the unpaid campaign manager for Save Dade’s successful “No To Discrimination” campaign, which defeated an attempt to legalize discrimination against lesbians and gays.

“Georg is the consummate activist. He sacrificed his law career to co-chair the successful campaign to defend the Human Rights Ordinance against repeal,” says Liebe Gadinsky, Task Force board member. “It was then that he became a hero to me and countless others, who may not know him but will forever benefit from his leadership, dedication and brilliance.”

Click here to read more and see additional photos from the event.

George KetelhohnThe law firm of Siegfried, Rivera, Lerner, De La Torre & Sobel would like to congratulate our associate attorney Georg Ketelhohn on being named the recipient of the 2011 Eddy McIntyre Community Service Award by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. We are very proud to have Georg as a member of the firm.

Here’s an excerpt from The Miami Herald’s “Gay South Florida” blog on the announcement along with a link to the complete article:

WASHINGTON, May 11 — The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force announced today that it will honor Georg Ketelhohn at the 15th annual Miami Recognition Dinner on Saturday, Oct. 15, at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach. This major fundraising event recognizes individuals for their outstanding contributions to the social, cultural, political and humanitarian needs of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

“Georg is the consummate activist. He sacrificed his law career to co-chair the successful campaign to defend the Human Rights Ordinance against repeal,” says Liebe Gadinsky, Task Force board member. “It was then that he became a hero to me and countless others, who may not know him but will forever benefit from his leadership, dedication and brilliance.”

Ketelhohn, who will receive the 2011 Eddy McIntyre Community Service Award, is a litigator with the firm of Siegfried, Rivera, Lerner, De La Torre & Sobel, P.A., and serves as board treasurer for Florida Together, Florida’s statewide federation of LGBT and allied organizations.

Click here to see the full story on The Miami Herald’s blog.

Every year our firm and attorneys support important and worthwhile organizations, and this year we are pleased to serve as an “Comic Relief Sponsor” for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America’s 2nd annual “Comedy Night,” which marks the start of the Fort Lauderdale edition of Take Steps, the CCFA’s largest annual fundraising event.

ccfa_logo.gifThe kick-off event, which will feature hilarious comedians and fantastic raffle prizes, will take place at the Improv Comedy Club at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood on Wednesday, Feb. 16, from 6-9 p.m. Last year’s event raised more than $24,000 for the organization, which focuses on funding research to find a cure for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, and on improving the quality of life of children and adults affected by these diseases.

Click here to learn more or purchase tickets, which are only $25 and benefit CCFA, or call Liz Korfin for more information at (305) 218-5369.

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