real estate

Why You Should Become a Board-Certified Lawyer

The Florida Bar reports there over 93,000 lawyers eligible to practice law. Demand for legal services is on the rise as droves of out-of-state consumers and their businesses relocate to Florida. To meet this demand, law firms have aggressively been recruiting lawyers particularly in specialty areas such as real estate, construction and corporate law. In the wake of these developments, lawyers can best position themselves to achieve success by becoming a board-certified specialist.

Board certification is administered by eight national private organizations with eighteen certification programs accredited by the American Bar Association. These private certification programs include specialty areas in bankruptcy, criminal trial advocacy, patent litigation, and complex litigation. Many state bar associations also administer board certification programs. For example, Florida has the largest number of certification specialty areas, at 27, which range from marital and family law to criminal law, construction, real estate, and workers’ compensation. Board certification is Florida’s official, independent determination of a lawyer’s expertise to practice in a specialty area of law. As noted on its website, “It is the gold standard for Florida lawyers, representing a recognition by a lawyer’s peers that they have attained a level of professional expertise in their chosen field.”

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Bankruptcy filing threatens to delay IMG Center sale effort

A bankruptcy filing threatens to delay a sale of the IMG Center, a 15-story downtown Cleveland office building that has been tied up in court for three years.

James Breen Real Estate LLC, a small company owned by longtime IMG Center steward Jim Breen, filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition on July 20. The move hit the pause button on foreclosure litigation over the IMG Center as a monthslong sales push seemed to be nearing its crescendo.

It’s unclear how long the timeout will last. In Chapter 7 cases, an automatic stay — which stalls lawsuits, foreclosures, repossessions and collection actions against a debtor — typically runs for 90 days or so. But creditors can seek relief from those restrictions.

James Breen Real Estate is not actually a defendant in the foreclosure case, raising the question of whether the stay will have sticking power. At very least, though, the bankruptcy filing complicates an already messy legal fight and adds to the uncertainty around the future of a high-profile property.

Paul Downey, the court-appointed receiver who has been overseeing the IMG Center since October 2019, said he’s unsure about the implications for the sale effort, which he’s conducting with help from

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