Corporate Transparency Act: New Federal Reporting Requirements Affecting Legal Entities Frequently Used in the Business Community

The National Defense Authorization Act for 2021 was enacted on January 1, 2021. While this Bill appears to apply only to the Defense Department, Division F deals with money laundering and contains Title LXI, the Corporate Transparency Act. This legislation will have a broad reach affecting the creation of legal entities used in a variety of business contexts. The purpose of the Corporate Transparency Act (“Act”) is to disclose the individuals behind faceless legal entities to try to inhibit money laundering, putting new reporting requirements in place for legal entities that often have few employees and nebulous ownership information formed as single purpose entities (SPEs) – a commonly favored entity in the real estate sector and other business activities.

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Changes to Circuit Court Appellate Jurisdiction

In its last session, the Florida Legislature passed a law that changes the appellate jurisdiction of Florida’s circuit courts and District Courts of Appeal for certain types of cases. Codified here, the new rule went into effect on January 1, 2021, and strips the circuit court of appellate jurisdiction in some instances. In these instances, appeals will be required to be filed directly with the District Courts of Appeal. Notwithstanding, the circuit courts notably retain jurisdiction over certain cases, including, but not limited to, the following:

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New Appellate Case Raises Issues For Mixed Use Developments in Florida

A recent decision by Florida’s Third District Court of Appeals could have significant implications for mixed-use developments, particularly those that contain hotels and residential condominium owners. The case considered whether the declaration of condominium for the IconBrickell condominium in downtown Miami violated Florida’s Condominium Act because it eliminated what might be treated as common elements in the condominium. Although it attempts to clarify the essential common elements, the Court’s decision does not settle the uncertainties associated with common elements in mixed-use developments that increasingly concern developers, owners and hospitality operators.

Details of the Court’s decision and what it could mean for local mixed-use development moving forward can be found by clicking here.

Open for Business: Miami Welcomes Corporate Arrivals

Miami is on the rise- again. A city well-known for its resiliency, Miami has been bouncing back from the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic with a vigor that is the envy of other major American metropolitan areas. One of the main factors driving this growth is the relocation of companies and C-Suite executives from other parts of the country looking to capitalize on Miami’s advantages.

In a way, COVID-19 has accelerated a process that was already underway, as businesses from across the corporate spectrum began to recognize that the metro Miami area had developed the right mix of entrepreneurship, innovation, talent and quality of life and cost advantages that warranted serious consideration of a relocation or expansion. Florida’s absence of individual income and capital gains taxes was already fueling wealth migration from other parts of the country, particularly after the Trump Administration’s roll back of state and local tax deductions. Then with the onset of COVID-19, the floodgates opened as much of the business world migrated to remote work.

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Legal Magic: Turning Real Property Foreclosures Into Uniform Commercial Code Sales

Remedies for defaults under loans secured by real property varies on a state-by­-state basis. In the eastern part of the country, enforcement is mostly by mortgage foreclosure. In the western states, there are enforcement proceedings by way of a deed of trust. There is a spectrum of debtor protections afforded to borrowers depending on the state involved. States like Georgia permit a lender to effect remedies against a defaulting borrower within four to six weeks. In California, a lender can complete an enforcement proceeding in 120 days. But there are states like Florida, where a contested foreclosure can run more than a year; some may take several years. Continue Reading

A Growing Need in South Florida: A Q&A with Al and Terry About Affordable Housing

The pressing need for affordable housing in our region is not new, but it has undoubtedly become more palpable. Those of us involved in developing these housing options expect the demand to continue growing, regardless of the current economic conditions or the unfolding of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As concerns over the growing need for affordable housing prompt public and private sectors to explore creative solutions, I sat down with long time colleague and newest member of our Bilzin Sumberg team, Terry M. Lovell, to share our thoughts on the market. Terry, who has focused his practice on the financing of affordable housing for more than 20 years, recently joined our firm to head our Affordable Housing & Tax Credit Practice.

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City of Coral Gables Updates its Zoning Code

For the past century, the City of Coral Gables has been known for the high quality of the original plan implemented by George Merrick in the 1920s and its thoughtful application of high standards for zoning and architectural design. Over the years, the Zoning Code has served as the main document that has preserved the City’s Spanish Mediterranean aesthetics. Now, at the request of the City Commission, the Zoning Code is in the process of being updated to be reorganized and streamlined.

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Coral Gables Adopts Emergency Order Expanding Temporary Use Permits Due to COVID-19

In recognition of the impacts of COVID-19 on the local economy, the Coral Gables City Commission recently tasked staff with finding additional creative ways to support businesses and encourage individuals to participate in the local economy. On Tuesday, July 14, 2020, the City Commission adopted an emergency ordinance adding a section to the City’s Zoning Code to provide expanded opportunities for outdoor/open-air dining.The City also incorporated certain flexibilities for civic uses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Data Security for Owners – Protecting Your Construction Investment From Catastrophic Loss

Even before the COVID-19 global pandemic, the construction industry has been “going global” using available technology and Cloud-based data storage and file sharing on all phases of projects. For example, an owner might hire a London-based architect to design a transportation hub in the United States. The London architect might delegate its Building Information Modeling (BIM) work to a company in New Zealand. Cloud and internet-based platforms make all this possible, enabling the General Contractor or Construction Manager to offer as part of its services one-stop paperless project management, stored on the Cloud and password protected.

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Stronger than Before: A Q&A with Al and Joy About the Future of the Development and Redevelopment of South Florida

Referring to the disruptions brought on by the COVID-19 crisis as the “new normal” has quickly become part of our everyday lexicon. Rising above a crisis, however, is more about adapting to change and innovating than it is about preserving the status quo. While we look at the pandemic as only the “current normal”, we are pushing our way through,focused on being stronger than we were beforehand.

As the country starts its slow crawl towards reopening, I sat down with respected colleague and Construction Law attorney, Joy Spillis Lundeen, to talk about changes brought on by the crisis and how the construction industry will move forward post-pandemic.

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