Firm News Feed Dec 2018 00:00:00 -0800firmwise | Jones Foster Welcomes John P. Martin<p>We are pleased to announce that John P. Martin has joined the Firm as an Associate in the Private Client Services, Corporate, and Tax practice groups. &ldquo;We are excited to have John join our growing team,&rdquo; says Tasha Dickinson, Firm Board Member and Private Client Services Practice Group Leader. &ldquo;His insights and focused experience will benefit clients and colleagues alike.&rdquo;</p> <p>Martin concentrates his practice in the areas of estate planning, estate and trust administration, taxation, and transactional corporate law. He has significant experience advising high-net-worth individuals, business owners, entrepreneurs, executives, and corporations with regards to their business, estate, federal income, gift and taxation planning.</p> <p>Martin earned his LL.M in Taxation and J.D. from the University of Miami School of Law and received his Bachelor of Science in Business Management and Economics from Florida State University.</p> <p><b>About Jones Foster</b></p> <p>Jones Foster is a commercial and private client law firm headquartered in West Palm Beach, Florida. Established in 1924, the Firm has consistently served as an integral part of South Florida&rsquo;s growth and prosperity. Through a relentless pursuit of excellence, Jones Foster delivers original legal solutions that help clients, colleagues, and the community to move forward. The Firm&rsquo;s attorneys focus their practice in Real Estate, Litigation &amp; Dispute Resolution, Private Client Services, Corporate &amp; Tax, and Land Use &amp; Governmental. For more information, please visit</p>Firm News07 Dec 2018 00:00:00 -0800 | Brian Kennedy Featured Speaker at Florida Domicile Event<p>Brian Kennedy presented as a featured speaker at the Florida Domicile Seminar hosted by The O&rsquo;Hare Group on December 5, 2018. Brian addressed the crucial steps that should be taken to establish Florida domicile during the 2-hour luncheon at Trump National Jupiter.</p> <p>Brian concentrates his practice in the areas of Estate Planning, Trust and Estate Administration, Taxation and Corporate Law. He is a frequent speaker on his areas of focus and is actively involved in various community and industry organizations, including the Florida Bar Tax Section, the American Bar Association, and the Palm Beach County Bar Association.</p>Firm News06 Dec 2018 00:00:00 -0800 | Scott Hawkins & Joanne O'Connor Appointed to West Palm Beach Federal Courthouse Committee<p>Firm Shareholders Scott Hawkins and Joanne O&rsquo;Connor have been appointed by the United States District Court Southern District of Florida to serve on the newly established West Palm Beach Federal Courthouse Committee. Scott and Joanne will serve on the committee for a three-year term where they will address issues relating to the Southern District of Florida's facilities in Palm Beach County.</p> <p>Scott Hawkins, the firm&rsquo;s Vice-Chair and a Florida Board Certified specialist in Business Litigation, is a nationally recognized corporate and business litigation attorney. He is a past-president of the Florida Bar and actively involved in various legal and community organizations. Scott focuses his practice in commercial and corporate litigation with an emphasis on intellectual property, trade secret disputes, covenants not to compete, securities, and real estate litigation.</p> <p>Joanne O&rsquo;Connor is a Florida Bar Board certified specialist in Business Litigation and focuses her practice in the areas of complex commercial litigation including business torts, real estate disputes, and lawyer and law firm defense. Joanne has been listed among Florida&rsquo;s Leading Lawyers in Litigation by <i>Chambers USA</i>, one of the oldest and most prestigious legal listings in the world, and currently serves as the Vice President and President-Elect of the Federal Bar Association Palm Beach Chapter.</p>Firm News04 Dec 2018 00:00:00 -0800 Matters | Pie it Forward Fundraising Event<h4>Meals on Wheels | Buy a Pie and Feed a Senior</h4> <p>Jones Foster is proud to support <a href="">Meals on Wheels Palm Beaches</a> this Thanksgiving through the organization's <a href="">Pie it Forward</a> fundraising event. Our team purchased over 40 pies, each underwriting an entire week&rsquo;s worth of hot, nutritious meals for a local, homebound senior.</p> <p><a href=";A=3457&amp;format=xml">Sidney Stubbs</a>, Senior Litigation Shareholder, is a member of the Founders Council for Meals on Wheels Palm Beaches, an organization dedicated to supplying meals to elderly citizens in Palm Beach County, providing them with a connection to the outside world through the companionship of volunteers.</p> <p><a href=""> Click here to learn more about Meals on Wheels Palm Beaches.<br /> </a></p> <a href=""> <br type="_moz" /> </a>Firm News20 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0800 Alert | 2019 Exemption Amounts Announced<p>The Internal Revenue Service has announced that the basic exclusion amount for determining the unified credit against the estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax in 2019 is $11,400,000. This amount is based on a $10,000,000 exclusion amount under Code Section 2010, adjusted for inflation. Therefore, starting next year, decedents having a gross estate worth less than $11,400,000 will not owe federal estate, gift, or GST tax. For married couples, the basic exclusion amount is &ldquo;portable,&rdquo; meaning that if a portability election is made on a timely filed estate tax return for the first decedent spouse, the surviving spouse will be able to add the first deceased spouse&rsquo;s unused exemption (&ldquo;DSUE&rdquo;) to his or her own. In 2019, a married couple leaving a combined gross estate worth less than $22,800,000 will be able to avoid owing federal estate, gift, and GST tax.</p> <p>Under the so-called &ldquo;Tax Cuts and Jobs Act&rdquo; of 2017, the basic exclusion amount will sunset after the year 2025 without further act of Congress. This means that unless another law is passed, in 2026 the basic exclusion amount will return to $5,000,000, adjusted for inflation. For persons who are not United States citizens or legal residents (green card holders), the basic exclusion amount for determining the unified credit against the United States federal estate tax remains limited to only $60,000 unless treaty relief is available.</p> <p>The annual gift exclusion for 2019 remains at $15,000, meaning that the first $15,000 of any gift made to any individual during the calendar year is not counted as a taxable gift.&nbsp;</p>Firm News16 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0800 | Trial Preparation: Florida Construction Law & Practice<h2>Chapter 9: Trial Preparation</h2> <h2>The Florida Bar, Florida Construction Law &amp; Practice, Ninth Edition</h2> <h2>By Robert Wilkins &amp; Michael Gore</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This chapter provides an overview of critical factors to be considered when preparing for trial in construction litigation matters. The same or similar preparation techniques can be used to resolve the case via negotiated settlement, mediation, or arbitration.<br /> <br /> A significant first step in construction litigation is acquiring a full understanding of the elements and facts of the case. The attorney often identifies the general elements of a claim without considering the factual predicate required to prove the case. In construction litigation, there is no substitute for attention to details and scrupulous case preparation.<br /> <br /> Construction projects are, by their nature, costly, lengthy, and complex. To prepare for complex litigation such as construction litigation, the attorney should involve the client in discussions early on to develop the necessary elements for possible claims or defenses. The client often has technical skills and/or other specific knowledge that can help identify areas of focus or the need for additional investigation. Keeping the client engaged in the process allows direct access to information, which allows for a quicker transition to the discovery phase of trial preparation.</p> <p>&nbsp;From the time that the attorney is first introduced to the dispute by the client, he or she should be developing a pretrial plan for obtaining, organizing, and ultimately presenting the evidence. The attorney must understand the practical aspects of the dispute&mdash;what the problem is and how it occurred within the construction context. The attorney must do any legal research necessary to ascertain the applicable claims or defenses available to the client. With a general grasp of the factual context and the law, discovery and analysis of documents and witnesses crucial to the issues in dispute can take place&hellip;.</p> <p><br /> <a href="">Click here for a full copy of the <i>Florida Construction Law &amp; Practice, Ninth Edition</i>. </a></p> <p><em>Reprinted with permission from the &ldquo;Trial Preparation&rdquo; chapter of Florida Construction Law &amp; Pracitce, 9<sup>th</sup> edition, published by the Florida Bar. Copyright 2018. All rights reserved.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p>Firm News08 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0800 | Recent Developments & Common Pitfalls in the Creditor Claims Process<h2>Speaking Engagement | Florida Bar RPPTL Probate Law Seminar</h2> <h3>Speaker | Theodore S. Kypreos</h3> <p>Theodore S. Kypreos discusses <i>Recent Developments and Common Pitfalls in the Creditor Claims Process</i> at the 2018 Probate Law seminar in Tampa, Florida, on November 2, 2018.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif;color:#222222">The annual event, hosted by the Florida Bar Real Property, Probate &amp; Trust Law Section, is an educational opportunity designed for probate practitioners in Florida. Topics covered include a wide range of probate-related material including ethical traps and pitfalls that practitioners may encounter in the probate process, as well as the most up-to-date information regarding statutory and common law changes in Florida probate law.</span><span style="font-family:&#10;&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif"><o:p></o:p></span></p>Firm News02 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0800 | 2019 Best Law Firms<p>Jones Foster is pleased to announce that <em>Best Lawyers&reg;</em> has recognized the Firm in the 2019 edition of Best Law Firms. The annual report ranked 12 Jones Foster practice areas based on a rigorous evaluation process. Earlier this year, more than half of Jones Foster&rsquo;s Shareholders were named among&nbsp;<em>The Best Lawyers in America&copy;</em>.&nbsp;</p> <h2><strong>2019 Best Law Firms Rankings:&nbsp;</strong><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif;mso-ascii-theme-font:&#10;minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-latin"> <br /> </span></h2> <p><strong><u>Metropolitan Tier 1 / West Palm Beach</u></strong></p> <ul> <li>Commercial Litigation &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</li> <li>Litigation &ndash; Banking &amp; Finance</li> <li>Litigation &ndash; Environmental</li> <li>Litigation &ndash; Intellectual Property</li> <li>Litigation &ndash; Labor &amp; Employment</li> <li>Litigation &ndash; Real Estate</li> <li>Litigation &ndash; Trust &amp; Estates</li> <li>Real Estate Law</li> <li>Tax Law</li> <li>Trust &amp; Estates Law&nbsp;</li> </ul> <h4><span id="1541074451513E" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span></h4> <p><strong><u>Metropolitan Tier 2 /West Palm Beach</u></strong></p> <ul> <li>&nbsp;Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law</li> <li>&nbsp;Litigation &ndash; Land Use &amp; Zoning&nbsp;</li> </ul>Firm News01 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0800 | Estate Planning & Long-Term Care Seminar Series<h3><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif;&#10;mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri;mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-ansi-language:&#10;EN-US;mso-fareast-language:EN-US;mso-bidi-language:AR-SA">Navigating through the Medicaid &amp; VA Maze</span><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif;&#10;mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri;mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-ansi-language:&#10;EN-US;mso-fareast-language:EN-US;mso-bidi-language:AR-SA"><br /> </span></h3> <div> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif">Genny Bernstein, Senior Counsel and Florida Bar Board Certified Elder Law attorney, will host a series of estate planning and long-term care seminars October 22-25. These informative sessions will discuss the importance of estate planning, understanding Medicaid for nursing homes, assisted living, and home care, the impact of recent Veteran Benefit regulation changes, and how VA Benefits can help with long-term care.<o:p></o:p></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif">The below seminars are conveniently located at two of the Firm&rsquo;s office locations.<o:p></o:p></span></p> <h3><b><u><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif">Seminar #1<o:p></o:p></span></u></b></h3> <p><b><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif">Date</span></b><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif">: Monday, October 22, 2018<o:p></o:p></span></p> <p><b><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif">Time</span></b><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif">: 1:30pm<o:p></o:p></span></p> <p><b><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif">Location</span></b><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif">: 505 South Flagler Drive, 4<sup>th</sup> Floor, West Palm Beach, Florida 33401<o:p></o:p></span></p> <h3><b><u><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif">Seminar #2<o:p></o:p></span></u></b></h3> <p><b><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif">Date</span></b><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif">: Tuesday, October 23, 2018<o:p></o:p></span></p> <p><b><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif">Time</span></b><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif">: 10:00am<o:p></o:p></span></p> <p><b><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif">Location</span></b><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif">: 4741 Military Trail, Suite 200, Jupiter, Florida, 33458<o:p></o:p></span><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span></p> <h3><b><u><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif">Seminar #3<o:p></o:p></span></u></b></h3> <p><b><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif">Date</span></b><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif">: Tuesday, October 24, 2018<o:p></o:p></span></p> <p><b><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif">Time</span></b><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif">: 6:00pm<o:p></o:p></span></p> <p><b><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif">Location</span></b><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif">: 4741 Military Trail, Suite 200, Jupiter, Florida, 33458<o:p></o:p></span></p> <h3><b><u><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif">Seminar #4<o:p></o:p></span></u></b></h3> <p><b><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif">Date</span></b><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif">: Monday, October 22, 2018<o:p></o:p></span></p> <p><b><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif">Time</span></b><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif">: 1:30pm<o:p></o:p></span></p> <p><b><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif">Location</span></b><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif">: 505 South Flagler Drive, 4<sup>th</sup> Floor, West Palm Beach, Florida 33401<o:p></o:p></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span></p> <h4><b><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif">Please RSVP. Seating is limited.<o:p></o:p></span></b></h4> <p><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif"><strong>Email</strong><strong>:</strong>&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif"><a href=""></a></span></p> <p><strong>Phone:</strong> 561.805.5500</p> </div>Firm News18 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0800 Highlight | Residential Architecture & First Amendment Speech<h2 style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;&#10;mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri;mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-ansi-language:&#10;EN-US;mso-fareast-language:EN-US;mso-bidi-language:AR-SA">Southern District of Florida Weighs in on Whether Residential Architecture</span><span style="font-size:12.0pt;font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;mso-fareast-font-family:&#10;Calibri;mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-ansi-language:EN-US;mso-fareast-language:&#10;EN-US;mso-bidi-language:AR-SA"> </span><span style="font-size:11.0pt;&#10;font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri;mso-fareast-theme-font:&#10;minor-latin;mso-ansi-language:EN-US;mso-fareast-language:EN-US;mso-bidi-language:&#10;AR-SA">is Protected First Amendment Speech</span></h2> <p><strong>U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom has approved the report and recommendation of U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart in the matter of Donald Burns v. Town of Palm Beach, a significant opinion in the area of land use and constitutional law. Only one other court in the country has squarely addressed the issue of whether a resident has a protected First Amendment right to express himself in his architecture.</strong></p> <p>Donald Burns, a longtime resident of the Town of Palm Beach, argued that the Town&rsquo;s architectural review commission violated his constitutionally protected First Amendment right to freedom of expression when it denied his application to demolish his traditional-style home and construct a new International/modern-style home on the ocean front lot he has owned for almost two decades. Mr. Burns had testified that he wanted the design of his new home to communicate his &ldquo;evolving personal philosophy with an emphasis on few possessions and simplicity in lifestyle.&rdquo; Because his lot was undersized and non-conforming, his application required a special exception and site plan approval.<br /> <br /> By a 5-2 vote, the Town commission determined that the proposed residence would be &ldquo;excessively dissimilar&rdquo; from other homes within 200 feet in terms of architectural compatibility, arrangement of components, appearance of mass and diversity of design. Professional architects and neighbors opposed the application. Mr. Burns did not appeal to the Town Council or seek certiorari review in state court but sued the Town in federal court.<br /> <br /> No appellate court has addressed whether a residential structure constitutes visual art protected by the First Amendment. Only one reported federal decision from a district court in Nevada had previously weighed in on the issue. (Committee for Reasonable Regulation of Lake Tahoe v. Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, 311 F. Supp. 2d 972, 1004 (D. Nev. 2004).)<br /> <br /> In recommending judgment in favor of the Town, U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart observed that the First Amendment extends only to conduct that is &ldquo;inherently expressive.&rdquo; U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom adopted the Magistrate Judge&rsquo;s report in its entirety. She agreed that although Mr. Burns intended to communicate a message with his proposed home, the predominant purpose of Burns&rsquo; structure was not expressive art but to serve as a residence. Further, Mr. Burns failed to show a great likelihood that a reasonable observer would understand his proposed structure to predominantly communicate a message. Pointing to the Eleventh Circuit&rsquo;s recent opinion <a href="">(Fort Lauderdale Food Not Bombs v. Fort Lauderdale, 2018 WL 4000057 (11th Cir. Aug. 22, 2018),)</a> Judge Bloom emphasized that &ldquo;context matters&rdquo; in First Amendment analysis. Judge Bloom also dismissed Mr. Burns&rsquo; void for vagueness, overbreadth, substantive due process and equal protection claims. <br /> <br /> The Town of Palm Beach is represented in the case by <a href=";A=3433&amp;format=xml&amp;p=4295">Margaret Cooper</a>, <a href=";A=3450&amp;format=xml&amp;p=4295">Joanne O&rsquo;Connor</a> and <a href=";A=4950&amp;format=xml&amp;p=4295">Daniel Widboom</a> of Jones Foster.</p> <h5>Related: <a href="">Judge recommends dismissal of suit against Palm Beach over rejected modern house</a></h5> <p>&nbsp;</p>Firm News10 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0800