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John Chapman Law Articles

Business & Estate Litigation

My Seller Failed to Disclose Significant Damage – Now What do I do?

So you’ve found the perfect house, negotiated over the price, dealt with the bank, and finally closed. Now you discovered that you have a major issue with the house/lot that the seller never disclosed. What do you do? There are a number of ways a buyer can protect himself or herself...

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Non-Compete Agreements: Are They Worth The Paper They're Written On?

Non-Competes - Not Your Typical Contract There are few legal documents as misunderstood as non-compete agreements. There is a perception by many employers that they are worthless or, on the other hand, that there is a perception that the courts will enforce them to the letter. As discussed below, non-compete agreements...

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Construction Plans and Copyright Protection

A. Copyright Protection of Architectural Works and Plans Blueprints and architectural works are subject to Federal copyright protection pursuant to the Copyright Act. 17 U.S.C section 101 et seq.; Arthur Rutenberg Corporation v. Dawney, 647 F. Supp. 1214, 1215 (M.D. Fla. 1986)(citing Imperial Homes Corp. v. Lamont, 458 F.2d 895 (5th Cir. 1972). An "architectural...

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Florida Supreme's Effectively Gut the Economic Loss Rule

If your practice even touches on civil litigation, you are no doubt aware of the Economic Loss Rule ("ELR") and its implications. Throughout the 90's, it seemed like not a month went by without another appellate decision on the ELR. However, in its decision in Tiara Condominium Association, Inc. v. Marsh McClennan...

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Florida Homestead and Exemptions

A. Homestead Exemption What Is Homestead? Constitution Article 10, Section 4 - Homestead Exempted from Forced Sale (a) There shall be exempt from forced sale under process of any court, and no judgment, decree or execution shall be a lien thereon, except for the payment of taxes and assessments thereon, obligations...

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Property Tax Assessment Appeals In Florida

In August, Florida Property Appraisers will send out their TRIM notices, or Notice of Proposed Property Taxes, advising all tax payers of the proposed assessment on their properties. It is VERY important for the taxpayer to carefully review the TRIM notice and quickly determine whether the assessment is fair and accurate,...

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Will Contests Based on Undue Influence: The Shifting Burden of Proof

In 2005, the Florida legislature amended Section 733.107 of the Florida Statutes significantly changing the burden of proof in a contest of a will  based on a claim of undue influence. This article will discuss the law of undue influence and how this statute, and the relevant case law, impacts a...

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Will Contests and Testamentary Capacity

Many “Baby Boomers,” now nearing retirement age, have failed to adequately plan and save for their retirements. Some have anticipated inheritances from their aging parents to supplement, or even completely fund their retirements. When, as often happens, these Boomers discover that their parents left them less than expected, or left them out of their wills...

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