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The Magic City Harvard Lawyer The Magic City Harvard Lawyer

Developments in business litigation with a particular emphasis on Florida commercial, real estate, and condominium law.
By Jared H. Beck, Esq.

Post Frequency: 0.2/day

Last Entry: September 08, 2011 at 02:00:44

Recent Entries: 53

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Who?s To Blame For The Great Florida Condo Crash? Florida Appellate Court Suggests It May Be . . . Escrow Agents

Posted on September 08, 2011
While the global economy remains in the doldrums, recent reports have the South Florida condo market showing signs of recovery, even robustness. Still, the fallout from the Great Real Estate Crash of several years ago remains undecided in critical ways...

Donald Trump Is No Leader

Posted on April 24, 2011
Lately, Donald Trump has been dominating headlines as a potential presidential candidate. Much of the discussion so far has concerned the seriousness of Mr. Trump’s plans. Commentators have noted past announcements of a Trump candidacy that never materialized, and his … Continue reading →

An Apology To My Readers

Posted on March 09, 2010
Has it really been five months since my last article on this blog? I can only apologize to those readers who have been awaiting further analysis of the growing body of case law emerging out of the country’s latest real estate crash. Unfortunately, the day-to-day demands of legal practice, including the growth of my firm’s nationwide [...

Stein And Starwood: Two Important New Chapters In The Great American Real Estate Crash Story

Posted on October 09, 2009
September and October of 2009 saw two momentous new chapters in the ongoing saga of the great American real estate crash: a new titan in South Florida real estate development, and a major new opinion on the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act from the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals...

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Navigating The ILSA Minefield: How Have Courts Applied The Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act In An Era Of Economic Crisis?

Posted on July 06, 2009
Back in October 2007 — when the Florida real estate market had just started its precipitous decline, but before the onset of the global credit crunch — I asked whether the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act (ILSA) was a “land mine ready to explode” for developers...

The Trump Facade Is Cracking (Again); With It, The Licensed Condo-Hotel Model

Posted on May 15, 2009
Donald Trump and his businesses have had their share of financial problems over the years, typically the result of being over-leveraged at the wrong time. Now, the vaunted Trump name faces a new type of tarnishment: the kind that comes from branding a new condo-hotel as a “Trump” property, and then pulling off the “Trump” [...

The New Wave Of ILSA Case Law: Charting The Course Of Consumer Protection For The Next Real Estate Boom Out Of Lessons Learned From The Present Crisis

Posted on April 12, 2009
When I began writing about the explosion of lawsuits filed in Florida in 2007 under the federal Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act (ILSA), these cases were often characterized simply as “buyer’s remorse” suits. At the time, with the Florida real estate market starting its dramatic freefall, the generally accepted wisdom was that such cases [...

Can ILSA Provide Troubled Mexican Trump Resort Buyers With American Justice?

Posted on February 12, 2009
Donald Trump, Trump Ocean Baja Resort, Arbitration Clause, ILSA, ILSFDA

As Real Estate Market Stays Sour, Courts Punish Builders Who Stray From Construction Schedules, Relieving Buyers From Contracts

Posted on January 19, 2009
Back in September of 2008, as knowledge of the global financial crisis was both broadening and deepening, I predicted that of the myriad lawsuits being filed by real estate buyers in hopes of recovering their initial preconstruction deposits, among those with the highest probability of success were scenarios in which the developer failed to deliver [...

Federal Court Endorses Financial Crisis As Basis For Relief From Pre-Existing Contractual Duties; Could Real Estate Contracts Be Affected?

Posted on December 31, 2008
My recent poston Donald Trump’s legal arguments in defense of his failure to pay off a contruction loan on the Chicago Trump Tower project has spawned a number of inquiries. Many have asked specifically about the theory that the “world financial crisis” could constitute a valid defense to Trump’s performance of a contractual obligation...

New Rules Under Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) Could Trap Unwary Developers And Lenders

Posted on December 28, 2008
Passed into law by the U.S. Congress in 1974, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) was intended to shield homebuyers from the predatory practices of settlement service providers such as lenders, realtors, and title insurers. Owing to their vulnerable position at the closing table, homebuyers were historically ripe for exploitation by such companies, many [...

Appellate Courts Weigh In On Both Sides Of The Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act

Posted on December 10, 2008
Yesterday, in a closely watched contract rescission lawsuit brought by buyers under the federal Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act (ILSA), the Eleventh Circuit reversed the lower court’s controversial interpretation of the statute and its award of the deposits back to the buyers...

Global Financial Crisis As ?Force Majeure?: A Trump Card For Donald Trump?

Posted on December 03, 2008
Legal doctrines are typically pushed to their logical extremes in times of crisis. The litigation surrounding Donald Trump’s 92-story condo project in Chicago offers a prime example. As reported last week in Chicago Business Today, Trump and one of the project’s main lenders, Deutsche Bank, have filed countervailing lawsuits over Trump’s failure to timely pay off [...

Courts? Disagreement On ILSA Reflects Uncertain Times

Posted on November 03, 2008
Since my last post over one month ago posing questions aboutwhat was a then-proposedWall Street bailout, key events have unfolded at an almost shockingly rapid pace. For better or worse, we now have an economic bailout package. On the political front, a historic U...

What Will A Wall Street Bailout Mean For The South Florida Housing And Condo Market?

Posted on September 29, 2008
September 2008 will be remembered as an extraordinary month in the history of financial markets: It started with the federal government’s decision to take over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (September 5). Then, Bank of America agreed to buy out Merrill Lynch, while Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy (September 15)...

A Word On The Opera Tower Decision, Boilerplate Disclaimers, And The Teeth Of ILSA

Posted on September 12, 2008
Among recent decisions inlawsuitspitting condo buyers against developers, a federal opinion from the Southern District of Florida concerning the Opera Tower Condominium in Miami has garnered an exceptional amount of media attention. In Weaver v. Opera Tower LLC, the Courtdismissed claims brought by buyers seeking to rescind purchase contracts due to alleged misrepresentations in advertising [...

Developers Suing Lenders: Paving The Way To Lender Liability Claims From Real Estate Buyers?

Posted on August 28, 2008
In the litigation fallout from the real estate market crash, the latest round of lawsuits in Floridainvolves developers of troubled projects bringing claims against their lenders. Here are three major examples from recent weeks: the original developer of the Il Lugano condo hotel in Fort Lauderdale sued KeyBank for allegedly erecting “unreasonable hurdles” as a [...

Has The ILSA Land Mine Exploded Yet? A Mid-Summer Update On Recent Federal Cases Interpreting The Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act

Posted on August 01, 2008
It was back in October of 2007 when I asked on this blogwhether thefederal Interstate Land Sales Full DisclosureAct (ILSA) was a “land mine ready to explode for condo developers.” (Based on the number ofpage views, that article remains one of the most popular on this site)...

The Hypocrisy Of Jorge Perez: Chasing Ambulances And The Morality Of Litigating To Recoup Your Investment

Posted on July 22, 2008
Time Magazine recently published a general overview of the current economic malaise enveloping Florida. Of course, a big chunk of the report is devoted to the Miami condo glut and the resultant explosion in foreclosures, as well as lawsuits broughtby buyers seeking to recover preconstruction deposit monies paid under purchase contracts to developers...

The Shame Of HUD And Its Abandonment Of The Real Estate Buying Public

Posted on July 07, 2008
As loyal readers of this blog know, the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act (ILSA) is an often overlooked federal law that has ascended in importance over the past year, owing to the fact that it is one of the major sources of potential rights for buyers under real estate purchase agreements, including contracts for [...

Will Condo Deposit Lawsuits Slow Down In The Wake Of The Marina Grande Decision? The Answer Is No

Posted on June 24, 2008
There is no doubt that the recentMarina Grande opinion from the Fourth District Court of Appeal in Florida is a key decision and, as I’ve written about here, it is an important object of analysis on the issue of what constitutes a “material and adverse” change sufficient to enable a condo buyer to recover his [...

Score A Win For The Developer In The Marina Grande ?Material And Adverse? Battle: But Is It Really A Victory For Developers In The Long Run?

Posted on June 23, 2008
The Fourth District Court of Appeal has spoken in likely the most watched condominium contract case in recent memory,D & T Properties v. Marina Grande, and the Court has sided with the developer against condo buyers seeking to recover their preconstruction deposits...

Reaching For The Deep Pocket In Real Estate Litigation: Does The Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act (ILSA) Have A ?Long Arm??

Posted on June 02, 2008
From my vantage point as a practitioner in the trenches, the ongoing litigation battle between residential real estate developers and buyers (which, in my opinion, is but a subset of the broader category of litigation related to the subprime crisis) has entered a new dimension...

A Federal Court?s Strong Analysis Of The Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act, And Some Thoughts On How The HUD Regulations Can Shed Light On ILSA

Posted on May 27, 2008
Due to a busy month, it has been several weeks since my last post. Numerous topics call out for exploration, owing to the worsening U.S. residential housing market and attendant legal developments. Fortunately, the Memorial Day weekend permitted me to catch up on some writing...

Turning Condo Cancellation Cases Into Divorces: More Thoughts On The Legal Definition Of ?Material And Adverse? As A Florida Appellate Court Ponders The Condo Contract Case That Everyone Is Watching

Posted on May 06, 2008
Oral argument was held last week in the D & T Properties vs. Marina Grande Associates appeal in Palm Beach County. As I wrote on this blog some months ago, Florida real estate market watchers and condo lawyers have an intense interest in the outcome because the court is being asked to clarify under what [...

My Response To A Call By Developers? Attorneys To Gut The Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act

Posted on April 21, 2008
In recent days, a number of readers kindly sent methis opinion piece which appeared in last week’s South Florida Sun-Sentinel. The commentary, entitled “HUD, congressional action needed to stop tide of condo lawsuits,” was written by Alan S...

Condo-Hotel Litigation: The Lawsuit Boom Following The Burst Of Some Of The Riskiest Real Estate Investment Vehicles

Posted on April 14, 2008
Recently, the Wall Street Journal had a short but incisive item provocatively titled, Rooms With a Bubble View: Condo-Hotel Buyers See Investments Sour as the Market Weakens. The article characterizes condo-hotels as “one of the most dangerous investments of them all,” and then briefly discusses some of the lawsuits being brought against condo hotel developers [...

A Federal Court In Florida Tosses Out Developer?s ?Real Estate Speculator? Defense In Condo Contract Rescission Case

Posted on April 10, 2008
The Middle District of Florida recently chimed in somewhat negatively on a defense often raised by developers in the many lawsuits brought by buyers of condominiums looking to recover their preconstruction deposit monies in oversupplied and tanking residential real estate markets such as Florida...

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