You have saved and are ready to build the house of your dreams. If you select the wrong contractor, however, it could quickly turn into a nightmare. There are plenty of great contractors in Southwest Florida but there are a few not so great. How do you know the difference? Below are five tips to help you with the contractor selection process: Continue Reading 5 Ways to Protect Yourself Before Selecting a Contractor
G. Donald “Don” Thomson concentrates his practice in the area of real estate, as well as civil and real estate litigation. Don is also a Certified Circuit Civil Mediator by the Supreme Court of Florida. He is admitted to practice in the United States District Court, Middle District of Florida and the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
Throughout his legal career, Don has been recognized by many organizations, including receipt of the Bonita Springs Love of Bonita Award (2012), the Bonita Springs Citizen of the Year Award (2002), the Pioneer Preeminent Award from the Bonita Springs/Naples YMCA and the Bonita Chamber Director of the Year Award.
Don has been recognized by Florida Super Lawyers® magazine (2014-2015), Best Lawyers in America® (2013-2016) for his work in business and commercial litigation. He is also AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell.
Professional and Civic Affiliations
Don is very active in the community. He currently serves on the board of many organizations, including the Speakers Assembly of Southwest Florida, the Center for the Arts Bonita Springs, the YMCA of Bonita Springs, and Imperial River Conservancy. Don also serves on the Government Affairs Committee the Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce. He is also a member of the corporate advisory board of The Terraces of Bonita Springs, a SantaFe senior living community.
Don has been active in the local Collier County Bar Association having served on the board of directors and as past president of the Collier County Bar Association, Trial Lawyers Section. He also served on the 20th Judicial Circuit Committee on Professionalism.
Your neighbors are proud of their beautiful, large fruit trees, which are now growing substantially over your property. The trees have grown so large that a number of branches extend over your house, tool shed, and other improvements, which you believe results in a dangerous condition, not to mention rotten fruit dropping on your patio. What are your options: force the neighbor to remove the tree extending over your land, sue for damages, or something else? You may be surprised.
Is Your Neighbor Legally Responsible?
In Florida, a possessor of land is not liable to others outside his land for nuisance caused by vegetation growing from his land over adjoining properties. Scott v McCarty, 41 So. 3d 989 (Fla.4th DCA 2010). Therefore, your neighbor has no duty to remove or even trim the tree branches that encroach onto your property.
Many home sellers mistakenly consider an “AS IS” sales contract as a release from liability for all faulty or defective conditions on the sale of a home. However, under the landmark case of Johnson v Davis, 480 So. 2d 625 (Fla. 1985) the Florida Supreme Court took a different view.
Florida Supreme Court’s View on “AS IS”
In Johnson, the Florida Supreme Court effectively changed the law in Florida holding that where a seller of a home knows of facts materially affecting the value of the home which are not readily observable and are not known to the buyer, the seller is under a duty to disclose those facts to the buyer.
The effect of Johnson does not make a seller of a home a warrantor of the good condition of the home. Slitor v Elia, 544 So. 2d 255 (Fla. 2d DCA 1989). However, recognizing that in the sale of a home, full disclosure of material facts must be made wherever elementary fair conduct demands it, caveat emptor (or let the buyer beware) is not the rule in Florida residential transactions. Therefore, in the sale of a home, if a seller knows something that materially affects the value of the home which is not readily observable, it must be disclosed. Otherwise, the seller may be subject to various fraud claims or breach of contract claims by the buyer.
But my contract expressly states “AS IS”