Volk Law Offices, P.A. is celebrating its 24th year in business.
We like to say VolkLaw means business. It has the expertise, experience, and resources to effectively represent entities and individuals in their financial affairs. We strive to deliver excellent service and quality work in a better-cheaper-faster context while remaining detail oriented. Clients trust us; we strive to reward that faith.
This is not a jack of all trades Melbourne lawyers law firm. We focus on Lawsuits, Business, Real Estate, Construction, Employer Rights, and Creditor Rights including Bankruptcy.
LAWSUITS We help resolve money, property, business operation, and deal problems. Our extensive experience and systems enable us to handle virtually any problem. We do more of this than anything else. The same procedures apply and the cases vary only by the particular legal rights at issue and the amount or value of the rights at stake. From a small claims matter to a $5,000,000.00 housing development foreclosure, to a legal status matter involving tens of millions of dollars, we have handled an immense variety of lawsuits. Routinely handling lawsuits makes us more careful in the other areas we work in.
BUSINESS We help businesses start up, survive, and succeed. This includes planning ahead and managing risk with our help through things like effective contracts; getting answers to questions about things like overtime pay; and dealing with overzealous government regulators. It is not enough to know the parts of a contract to be able to advise a client. Our litigation emphasis allows us to easily explain contract terms, understand the real world implications of contract breaches, the material risk of such breaches, and the how a Court would handle such a matter since that is what a client needs to know to make informed decisions in the negotiation, drafting, and enforcement stages.
REAL ESTATE We help clients buy, sell, and own real estate. Helping with contracts and other papers affecting real estate, closings, foreclosures and alternatives, evictions, partitions, and construction and property association liens are some examples of complex issues we can make easier.
CONSTRUCTION We help prepare and review contracts, change orders when the scope of your work needs to be modified, compliance with lien rights and contractual procedures, resolving change order disputes, legal rights and remedies in dealing with non-performing subcontractors and delays, claims for damage to your work by others, insurance coverage issues, claims and litigating or arbitrating actions. Successful navigation of these issues promotes efficiency and profitability. Our extensive experience enables us to handle virtually any problem that may arise so that you can minimize your costs and maximize your profits.
EMPLOYER RIGHTS We provide advice and counsel on labor and employment issues arising at any stage of the employment relationship. Whether it's advising on fair and legal hiring practices, avoiding the pitfalls in leave administration, ensuring that any discipline is administered lawfully, or counseling on whether and how to terminate should that be necessary, we are here to help. We can guide you through the "alphabet soup" of employment laws (like Title VII, ADA, ADEA, FMLA, FLSA) and do practice in front of the state and federal agencies that enforce them (such as EEOC, DOL, OFCCP, NLRB, PERC).
CREDITOR RIGHTS INCLUDING BANKRUPTCY We assist clients with money owed and owing. A win-win approach usually works the best. It often takes time to get the other side to realize that, but we are effective at getting the message across. We are experienced in virtually all aspects of bankruptcy. We have represented creditors, debtors, the Trustee, and professionals in bankruptcy proceedings, including personal, manufacturing, real estate, construction, and restaurant reorganizations, liquidations, stay proceedings, claim disputes, fraud/preference litigation, and discharge litigation. This dovetails neatly with litigation. Often a litigant will threaten or actually pursue bankruptcy. We can often remove the threat by explaining to the other side the dire consequences that will entail and if that does not work, effectively assert our client's rights in the bankruptcy as that forum has many options available to a creditor.
Going to court is usually a drawn out process with strategy and tactics of utmost importance. We stay focused on the client objectives and take actions consistent with that. You don't just work on a case. You work on a case to achieve specific objectives. As a full service commercial practice, we evaluate and work up a matter to make sure we build a winning case or to minimize the risk if on the wrong side of the facts or the law. Lawsuits are a mixture of asserting rights and managing risk. The following are examples of types of matters we are able to handle. It is just too long a list to describe in detail.
Lawsuits Quick Links
- Contract Cases
- Breach of Contract
- Breach of Implied in Fact or Implied in Law Contract
- Breach of Third Party Beneficiary Contract
- Promissory Estoppel
- Specific Performance
- Tortious Interference with Contract
- Unjust Enrichment
- Breach of Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing
- Business and Commercial Cases
- Noncompete, Trade Secret, and Confidentiality
- Account Stated
- Equitable Accounting
- Antitrust Act
- Misappropriation of One's Name
- Breach of Fiduciary Duty
- Cancellation of Deed
- Civil Conspiracy
- Misleading Advertisement
- Money Lent
- Open Account
- Promissory Note
- Civil RICO
- Interference with Advantageous Business Relationship
- Constructive and Resulting Trusts
- Breach of Joint Venture Agreement
- Warranty Cases
- UCC Warranty
- Common Law Warranty
- Statutory Condominium Warranty
- Implied Warranty
- Indemnity-Common Law, Contractual, Implied
- Employment Cases
- Florida Civil Rights Act Discrimination
- Retaliatory Discharge
- Federal Protected Class Discrimination
- Defamation and Privacy
- Governmental Intrusion
- Violation of Security of Communications Act
- Invasion of Privacy
- Intentional Torts
- Intentional Infliction of Severe Emotional Distress
- Civil Theft
- Procedural Torts
- Abusive Process
- Malicious Prosecution
- Physical Torts
- False Imprisonment
- Forcible Entry and Detention
- Real Property Actions
- Prescriptive Easement
- Inverse Condemnation
- Slander of Title
- Implied or Statutory Way of Necessity
- Consumer Protection
- Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act
- Worthless Checks Collection
- Florida and Federal Consumer Collection Practices Acts
- Procedural Remedy Cases
- Declaratory Judgment
- Government Disputes
- Taxes and Fees
- Code Enforcement and Change Requests
- Government Contracting
REAL ESTATE SERVICES
VolkLaw offers a full array of real estate services. As a full service commercial practice, we offer a well-rounded knowledge of how to best serve and protect our clients in this important area. The following are examples of real estate services we are able to provide.
Real Estate Quick Links
- Negotiating, Drafting, and Reviewing Real Estate Contracts The most common type of real estate service sought by clients. Real estate sales and purchases are complex, and should be done with the advice of an attorney. Often agents or the parties themselves draft their contracts. Transactions without the use of an attorney often lead to avoidable litigation. Counseling our clients in these areas makes them more informed, and their contracts better protect their interests.
- Documents Clients may need real estate advice or documents prepared even if there is no contract pending. Deeds, life estates, mortgages, promissory notes, easements, and corrective instruments all should have the assistance of a competent attorney.
- Foreclosures and Alternatives VolkLaw represents borrowers and lenders in foreclosure actions. Foreclosures skyrocketed over the last several years. If an owner fails to file an effective response to a foreclosure complaint, it can result in the owner losing the case and the property in a few months and being found to owe additional money called a deficiency. We recognize the issues in foreclosure and file effective responses to facilitate better outcomes. Walking away is a high risk maneuver.
- Leases and Evictions A lease can be a minefield. Price and duration are the easy part. Who pays for property expenses such as taxes, insurance, and common areas are among the dozens of issues which should be addressed in an effective lease. Evictions are generally not difficult, but it is challenging to provide these services on an efficient basis if an attorney is not comfortable with the procedure.
- Quiet Title Actions Quiet title actions usually arise due to mistakes that occurred in the past in the chain of title. The defects can be found in a title search when the owner wants to sell the property or refinance the mortgage on the property. Quiet title actions are also an option for properties purchased at tax deed sales. A quiet title action becomes necessary in order to make the title to the property marketable. Often, the parties who were responsible for the mistakes are dead or cannot be found, so a diligent search and the appointment of an attorney ad litem are usually required. Taking title insurance underwriting requirements into account is very important, as the goal of the client is typically to sell the property or refinance the mortgage upon obtaining a final judgment.
- Constructions Liens The construction lien law (f/k/a the mechanic's lien law) is changed seemingly every year. It establishes liability and priorities with respect to the players involved in providing or purchasing improvements to real property. Parties are often shocked by what the law provides. Imagine paying twice if your contractor fails to pay his subcontractors and suppliers. Most owners do not know that if they fail to pay their contractor or a subcontractor with a valid claim, they can end up with a lien on their property, and that their homestead is not exempt. Subcontractors and material suppliers often do not realize they must provide notice to owner within a certain amount of time and that they also have a certain amount of time in which to file their claim of lien. Otherwise, the lien is forfeited. The law is full of deadlines, notices, and definitions that can be confusing.
- Condominium and Homeowners Association Liens and Disputes Association covenants and restrictions affect many properties. They govern most aspects of use. They provide for collection of assessments, dictate enforcement provisions including liens for non-payment, and fines for non-compliance. Condominiums and homeowners associations are regulated and require special procedures such as mandatory non-binding arbitration.
- Tax Certificates and Deeds A little knowledge in this area goes a long way. When a property owner fails to pay county real estate taxes, the county auctions tax certificates. Certificates can be a good investment, because the investor may get a high rate of return on his money or will have the chance to obtain property for below market value. This is because a tax deed trumps other liens in terms of priority. VolkLaw can help owners and real estate investors understand the risks and benefits association with tax certificates and tax deed sales.
- Partitions When two or more people own real estate and cannot all agree on whether to dispose of it, the remedy of any owner is court partition. Partition does not require the consent of all parties. It is forced upon the other owners by an owner who no longer wants to own the property with the others. The action determines the owner's interests in the property, and typically requires the property to be sold at either a private sale or public sale.
- Homestead Issues Florida's Constitution provides for the most generous homestead protections in the nation. Generally speaking, a homeowner cannot lose his homestead to claims of creditors except in limited circumstances, including failure to pay taxes, a default under a mortgage secured by the homestead, failure to pay for construction labor or materials that improved the homestead, and failure to convey the homestead when the owner is under contract to do so. A judgment on a claim unrelated to the homestead will usually not constitute a lien on the homestead. If the owner takes certain steps, he can sell or refinance his property even if there is a judgment against him, and the proceeds of the sale can also be protected. It is possible for a property to lose its homestead status and the protections that go with it. Understanding the breadth and scope of this protection and its limitations is important to creditors and debtors alike.
- Easement and Boundary Issues Knowing what is legally permissible avoids encroachment or interference with valid use of an easement. Dealing with bad behavior by others is often as easy as educating them on what they can or cannot do.
- Non-Disclosure and Fraud A home owner must disclose to a buyer facts he is aware that materially affect the value of the property and which are not readily observable or that have not been previously disclosed to a buyer. We advise our seller clients how to properly comply with this requirement. The same rule does not apply to commercial property sales. There, the law is "buyer beware." If an owner covers up a defect or lies about it, it can constitute fraud.
- Specific Performance When a seller refuses to sell real estate without a proper basis, the buyer can file an action called "specific performance" to require the seller to perform the contract including closing on the transaction and conveying title in exchange for the purchase price.
The Firm assists those starting a business or dealing with changes to a business such as taking in a "partner" or making a growing business more formal. Aside from making the business decision about whether the enterprise will be a good choice, our clients must decide on a form of business. The choices are a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company, or professional service corporation. This decision will affect all other aspects of your business -- how your income is reported, what tax forms you fill out, how your employees are paid, what benefits and expenses may be deductible, and on and on. The Firm advises clients as to numerous requirements businesses must comply with.
Once operational, business client regularly need advice as situations arise. For instance, employees are a routine source of challenges and having a skilled litigator advise you on how to handle a situation can head off litigation. As another example, government problems arise from time to time in areas such as code enforcement. Such matters should be handled deftly. The untethered bad bureaucrat is dangerous. Our concept is, cooperate and yet assert rights as appropriate.
Contracts are, simply put, a set of promises between contracting parties. The contract is not a formality. The deal you agree to determines what you are entitled to, what you must do, and the remedies if something goes wrong. Given the Firm's high level of litigation experience, we know many disputes can be avoided by a well thought out and drafted contract. At the beginning of any relationship, good will and cooperation are the normal state of affairs. That can change and, while all possible future problems are hard to envision, most can be foreseen by the parties and an agreement reached on how to deal with such issues if they arise.
As stated above, we have experience in virtually all areas of bankruptcy law.