Header graphic for print

New Miami Blog

Insights and Commentary on the Gateway City's Expanding Global Significance

Cyber Security Top Priority in Today’s Tech-Savvy World

While 2014 Has Seen Miami Emerge as a Growing Technology Hub, the Year Has Also Highlighted Significant Risks that Technology Poses for Businesses of all Types

Technology continues to be a hot industry throughout the world and particularly in Miami.  The burgeoning tech scene in Miami is being driven in part by companies looking to capitalize on the City’s connections to Latin America.  Some of the events adding to the Miami tech buzz this year include the inaugural eMerge Americas technology conference, the opening of the first U.S.-based Microsoft Innovation Center, at Venture Hive in Downtown Miami, and Citrix acquiring South Florida startup, Virtu.al.

However, with our ever-increasing reliance on technology comes new risks that now affect businesses of all types, ranging from retail to hospitality businesses and financial institutions.  Data breaches and cyber attacks have become a common occurrence, resulting in significant class action litigations, shareholder litigations and FTC enforcement actions.  As the number and scope of data breaches increase, so will the legal actions.

Continue Reading

Florida’s Medical Marijuana Amendment Defeated, but Zoning Issues Loom for Charlotte’s Web Law

In our previous post about the legal challenges that have been raised in the wake of the State of Florida’s establishment of selection rules for the issuance of licenses for growing and selling medical marijuana pursuant to the newly enacted Charlotte’s Web law, we mentioned that there are claims in the lawsuits filed against the State that involve the zoning regulations that are associated with the new law.

Zoning issues relating to medical marijuana will not cause as much havoc as was previously expected given the failure of Amendment 2, which would have legalized medical marijuana (and not just the low-THC strains used to treat epilepsy and cancer) via a constitutional amendment, to receive the 60% approval needed for its adoption in this week’s mid-term elections. Nevertheless, an opinion has not yet been rendered in the legal cases involving Charlotte’s Web and various municipalities have taken steps to delay the growth and sale of marijuana in their municipalities until they have established their own governing regulations.

Continue Reading

All Aboard Florida to Hold Public Information Workshops

All Aboard Florida broke ground on the first phase of the development this week, beginning construction on the Fort Lauderdale station and generating even more excitement around what is already a highly anticipated project. All Aboard Florida is an express passenger rail service unlike any other in the country. Offering services connecting major Florida metropolitan areas like Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Orlando, All Aboard Florida will reduce congestion on Florida roads, cut fuel emissions and increase tourism. It will be an excellent resource for vacationers, business travelers and local residents alike.

Continue Reading

Lincoln Road Property Prices Soar

Lincoln Road property values are soaring to new heights with tenant rents and property prices at record highs. Dating back to the 1920s, Lincoln Road has seen its share of transitional decades, but experts say this time it’s noticeably different:

“[i]n the realm of commercial real estate, Lincoln Road has taken its place among the most regaled ‘high streets’ of the world.”

With Lincoln Road’s star so clearly on the rise, investors and owners are capitalizing on the opportunity. The most recent, and likely most celebrated to date, was the sale of Terranova Corp. and Acadia Realty Trust’s joint venture six-building portfolio for $342 million—nearly 200% above its sales price just three years beforehand. “This transaction highlights the rapid evolution of the pedestrian mall, which has drastically transformed itself since the recession.”

Continue Reading

Ruling Highlights Court’s Inclination Toward Arbitration

You have been sued in Florida state court. Your agreement with the plaintiff contains an arbitration provision that may apply to the particular type of claim that plaintiff has brought against you. You may want to ask the court to compel arbitration, but you are concerned that by doing so you may be waiving certain challenges to the lawsuit if the court declines to compel arbitration. On the other hand, by raising those challenges first, you worry about the risk of waiving your right to compel arbitration.

Continue Reading

Canada’s P3 Success

Guest blog post written by Marc-André Hawkes, Senior Trade Commissioner, Canadian Consulate General in Miami.

Thinking of Canada conjures up a variety of images. Some will picture soaring mountains and crystal clear lakes surrounded by snow; others will focus on the world’s strongest banking sector and low corporate tax rates; while others still may have eyes only for the best national hockey team in the world. What may not immediately come to mind is the robust experience Canada has developed in the realm of Public Private Partnerships (P3s) over the last two decades.

Continue Reading

New Miami Breakfast Insights

Our New Miami Breakfast, Miami: The Next Entrepreneurial Frontier,”  was heavily attended by nearly 200 of Miami’s business community members. Our co-moderators, Bilzin Sumberg Partners Javier Aviño and Melissa Pallett-Vasquez, touched on Miami’s initiatives to attract both entrepreneurs and investors, before our esteemed panelists dove in.

Matt Haggman, Miami Program Director of The Knight Foundation, discussed some of the challenges and struggles facing Miami on its way to becoming a global hub for entrepreneurship, and explained the Knight Foundation’s plan to make Miami more of a place where ideas are built.

Continue Reading

Court Blocks Developers’ Ploy to Avoid Additional Payments

We are often asked when representing a client in defense of a claim whether the client could avoid the liability asserted by the claimant by potentially buying the cause of action out from under the claimant. The most common circumstance is when the plaintiff has an adverse uncollected judgment or, perhaps, owes money under a promissory note in default.  Prior decisional law has been sparse, particularly in Florida. Until now.

In a case decided last week, the Third District Court of Appeal foiled developers’ plan to strategically foreclose its own mortgage in order to wipe out a construction lien recorded against the same property by the general contractor.  In CDC Builders, Inc. v. Biltmore-Sevilla Debt Investors, LLC, et al. No. 3D13-603, 2014 WL 4628515 (Fla. 3d DCA 2014), the Court reversed the lower court’s ruling which had permitted a related entity to purchase the developers’ own construction loan from the construction lender, and thereafter foreclose the loan for the central purpose of wiping out a contractor’s construction lien on the property.

Continue Reading

Condo Developers Getting Relief From Washington

In an uncharacteristic bipartisan style, the House of Representatives of the U.S. Congress passed H.R. 2600 on September 26, 2013, and almost a year later, on September 19, 2014, the Senate followed by enacting S.2101.  These identical bills exempt developers of condominiums from compliance with the filing requirements of the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act, commonly referred to as ILSA.  Both bills passed their respective chambers with a unanimous vote in favor. The legislation was signed by the President on September 26, 2014.

Continue Reading

Citrix Acquires South Florida Startup

South Florida’s tech startups are causing a commotion in the industry — and tech giants are taking notice.  In hopes of enhancing its mobile workplace delivery platform, software behemoth Citrix Systems announced last week that it had acquired Virtu.al, a four-month-old IT security startup in Delray Beach, Florida, for an undisclosed amount.

Citrix’s latest acquisition gets them not just the technology, but also Virtu.al’s personnel. Virtu.al’s technology team, including CEO Chris Wade, are expected to join the Citrix team and help transform Citrix’s mobile application infrastructure to simplify IT security management. Continue Reading