Becker & Poliakoff


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Webinar: Out with the Old and In with the New: Upgrading Your Community Association Documents

 Operating a community association with outdated governing documents is risky business. Your documents should be updated to stay current with the law and the operation as it has evolved under unit owner control, not under developer control. Also, there is a benefit to clarity in the documents, particularly as regards the allocation of maintenance […]

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Becker Celebrates Nick Matthews’ Outstanding Achievement: Recipient of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance’s ‘Corporate Council Leadership Award’

Becker is proud to announce that Nick Matthews has been selected as the recipient of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance’s ‘Corporate Council Leadership Award.’ Gail Bulfin, Senior Vice President of Investor Relations for GFLA, praised Nick’s remarkable contributions, stating, “Nick has chaired councils, underwritten events, traveled on leadership trips, and has consistently represented GFLA accurately […]

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What a Difference an A Makes: Attorney-Client Privilege for In-House Counsel

In-house attorneys, who offer both business and legal advice, were looking forward to some judicial clarity on the scope of the attorney-client privilege. Instead, they’ve been left disappointed. SCOTUS decided to dismiss an appeal styled In re Grand Jury, which would have settled what standard should govern privilege in these dual purpose communications situations: Only […]

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Backyard Storage Woes: Does the New Backyard Storage Statute Apply to Your Homeowners Association?

While there has been a lot of buzz about changes made in the 2023 Florida Legislative Session to laws affecting our Association clients, one potentially important change has been largely overlooked. The seemingly innocuous flag bill – House Bill (HB) 437 — creates the new Florida Statute 720.3045 prohibiting homeowners’ associations from regulating certain backyard storage.

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Becker’s Washington Weekly: Week of September 18, 2023

The House: House lawmakers return to Washington this week with a stopgap funding proposal from Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and his leadership team to keep the government open past the September 30th deadline to allow more time to negotiate a full funding package. The stopgap would last through October 31st and would make an across-the-board […]

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“Voting Requirements After Merger Questioned” – News-Press

Q: In your previous column from 2022, it clearly addresses which documents control in the example of when a sub-association’s documents are stricter than the master. Which documents prevail in the following situation? My community had a master association and also four smaller sub-association. The sub association declarations have a 75 percent approval requirement by […]

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Take It To The Board: Lessons in Leadership – A Discussion with Becker’s Managing Partner, Gary Rosen

For more episodes of Take It To The Board, click here! Get set for an insightful exchange as host Donna DiMaggio Berger dives into the world of effective leadership with guest, Gary C. Rosen, Managing Shareholder and the commanding force behind Becker & Poliakoff. Donna and Gary discuss what leadership truly means, and the qualities one must possess to […]

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Becker’s Washington Weekly: Week of September 11, 2023

Congress Back in Session Washington, D.C. is back in full swing with the House returning from its month-long August recess. Both Chambers return to a packed agenda, including floor votes for various appropriations bills ahead of the September 30th deadline to avoid a government shutdown. The House will also vote on legislation dealing with sanctions […]

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“Bar Program Designed to Resolve Fee Disputes Quickly” – Florida Bar News

A little research, and an updated fee agreement, could spare clients and attorneys a lot of time and expense, assures veteran Ft. Lauderdale attorney Steven B. Lesser. “One of the most uncomfortable issues we deal with as lawyers is when we have a fee dispute with a client,” Lesser said. Board certified in construction law, […]

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Becker Construction Law Shareholder Sanjay Kurian Contributes Chapter to ABA Technology in Construction Law Book

Construction Law Practice Group Shareholder and noted expert on technology and the law Sanjay Kurian contributed a chapter entitled, “Lawyer’s Duty of Technological Competence” to the recently published American Bar Association (ABA) legal guidebook, Technology in Construction Law.  According to Sanjay, “Lawyers need to know how to keep up with relevant technology to help their […]

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“Emergency Voting by E-mail Questioned” – News-Press

Q: I am on the board of my condominium association, and we are in the process of repairing our building following damage from Hurricane Ian last year. The board of directors must make numerous decisions regarding the reconstruction process. To facilitate the reconstruction, the board has been using an online system where each board member […]

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“Florida Anti-Mandate Law About Masks, Vaccinations Imperils Senior Communities” – The Palm Beach Post

In her Op-Ed, “Florida anti-mandate law about masks, vaccinations imperils senior communities” published in the August 25, 2023, Palm Beach Post, Becker Community Practice Group Shareholder Donna DiMaggio Berger weighs in on how a new Florida law effectively ties the hands of community associations that want to keep their common areas safe and open during […]

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“Where Is the Money Coming From?” – Florida Community Association Journal

With all the new laws, especially for buildings three stories in height or higher, along with reserve funding requirements, condominium living has just gotten a lot more expensive. With only one steady source of income, namely the assessments paid on a monthly or quarterly basis from unit owners, sometimes those funds are just not enough […]

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Becker’s Washington Weekly: Week of September 4, 2023

Congress Returns from Recess The Senate returns to DC this week from its month-long August recess, with the House to follow next week. Members have a lengthy agenda to attend to in the coming weeks, including passing a government funding package by September 30th to avoid a shutdown. Senate appropriators have marked up all 12 […]

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Community Update – August 2023

Hurricane Idalia is reported to be the worst hurricane to make landfall in Florida’s Big Bend in 100 years. Our hearts are with everyone affected and we are always here to help. Our website contains a significant amount of educational information for your community. Should your property incur damage, the firm’s affiliated public adjusting company, Association […]

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You May Be Able to Extend Your Permit Expiration Dates Due to Hurricane Idalia – Here’s How

As Hurricane Idalia heads for Florida’s Gulf Coast, some property owners, developers, construction industry professionals, and other building permit- and authorization-holders may be eligible for extensions to preserve their development and construction rights. A Florida law allows certain qualifying permits and authorizations to be extended beyond their current expiration dates once the Governor issues a […]

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Housing For Older Persons

In 1968 the Federal Fair Housing Act (also known as Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act) was enacted to prohibit discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Subsequently, in 1988 the Act was amended to add discrimination based on disability and family status and in 1995 the Housing for Older Persons […]

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Take It To The Board: Medical Marijuana and ESA Trends – Checking in Again with FHA Expert JoAnn Nesta Burnett

For more episodes of Take It To The Board, click here! Are you confused about whether your board can stop residents from smoking marijuana in your community even if they claim it is for medical purposes? Join Donna DiMaggio Berger and guest JoAnn Nesta Burnett, Shareholder at Becker, as they unravel the intricacies of marijuana use within community […]

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Keeping Your HOA’s Covenants Alive

The Marketable Record Title Act’s (MRTA) purpose is to extinguish old interests and use restrictions on lands and to allow for land sales to be completed more easily and with less expense. Unfortunately, aged homeowners’ association covenants are amongst the interests that can be extinguished by MRTA, and preventing such extinguishment is a very important […]

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Can Anything Be Done About Solar Panels?

If you are living in a homeowners association you probably know that the Association cannot prohibit the installation of solar panels (or “solar collectors”). But what about a request to install such devices on the roof of a condominium? Section 163.04, Florida Statutes, provides: A deed restriction, covenant, declaration, or similar binding agreement may not […]

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Jennifer Biletnikoff Quoted on

Are board members allowed to attend violation hearings? What should be the appropriate response when condo/HOA owners request contract access? Additionally, as EV chargers are becoming more popular in community associations, what essential information should your association be aware of when considering the installation of charging stations? In the latest series of articles and questions […]

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No Pets In Publix

Upon my weekly visit to Publix supermarket recently, I was met with very large signs stating: “No Pets Allowed. This Includes Emotional Support Animals.” Well, technically, emotional support animals are not “pets,” but I get what Publix is trying to do. Animals and food just don’t mix. They are cracking down on animals being brought […]

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“Legislature Limits HOA Rental Amendments” – News-Press

Q: Is a homeowners’ association permitted to adopt amendments changing the leasing rights of owners in the community? I was recently told that the statute was changed, and rental restriction amendments are no longer permitted. Is this correct? (W.K., via e-mail) A: Not exactly. Chapter 720 of the Florida Statutes is called the Florida Homeowners’ […]

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The Counsel’s Corner: Is the Chevron Doctrine a Ghost Ship Waiting to Sink?

Is the Chevron Doctrine a Ghost Ship Waiting to Sink? The Supreme Court has granted review in a case where the petitioner has asked to overturn the Chevron doctrine. Justice Jackson has recused herself. From the 8 justices who will consider Chevron, it seems that Chief Justice Roberts as well as Justices Thomas, Gorsuch, and Kavanaugh have already criticized it […]

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