Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cost to consult an attorney?

The Xander Law Group provides a free initial consultation. The attorneys at the Xander Law Group will meet with you to review your case and will provide you with an initial legal assessment. There is no obligation to use Xander Law Group once you have discussed your case with us.

Is this going to cost me a lot of money?

Not necessarily. The client’s goals and the complexity of each case will be assessed. However, some cases do require more time whether in court, drafting, review, research or alternative dispute resolution. Xander Law Group strives to achieve the most cost efficient, while not impairing our ability to zealously advocate your interests.

Will I need to go to court?

Not necessarily. This depends on whether you are seeking assistance in relation to a civil law matter or a bankruptcy matter. In bankruptcy, a debtor is required to attend a 341 hearing where a trustee and any creditor can ask you questions about your bankruptcy schedules, your assets and your liabilities. Furthermore, should the legal matter go to trial, you might be called as a witness.

What is business law?

Business law encompasses the rules, statutes, codes and regulations that are established which govern commercial relationships and provide a legal framework within which business are conducted and managed. This can include:

Business formation
Contract formation and disputes
Business planning
Mergers and acquisitions
Business negotiations

Do I need a business lawyer?

Hiring a business lawyer is crucial to any successful business. An experienced and knowledgeable business law attorney can help expedite the process by assisting in navigating the complexities of business law, advise you of the best organizational method and provide vital assistance in almost every aspect of your business – from zoning compliance and copyright to litigating lawsuit – to ensure your success.

What types of business entities are there?

There are a wide variety of business entity formats to choose from, including limited liability companies (LLCs), limited liability partnerships (LLPs), corporations, joint ventures, sole proprietorships and partnerships.

How do I chose the right business entity when forming a business?

The attorneys at Xander Law Group will assist you to make the right choice for your situation. Each business entity type has its own set of rules and regulations concerning taxation, distribution of profits, owner liability, asset protection and other matters. The best way to make an informed decision is to bring your business plan and other documentation to a competent attorney for counsel.

What is commercial litigation?

Commercial litigation involves legal disputes between businesses and/or individual people in matters pertaining to areas such as:

Breach of Contract
Breach of Fiduciary Duty
Business Torts
Purchase/Sale Agreements
Debtor/Creditor Disputes
Employment Disputes
Non-Compete Clauses
Libel, Slander and Defamation of Character

What is involved when litigating a commercial/business dispute?

While each commercial litigation issue varies, in general, commercial litigation follows all the steps involved in a civil lawsuit – getting an attorney, filing pleadings, engaging in settlement negotiations, trial, and possibly appeal.

What is appellate litigation?

It is a distinct practice area involving sophisticated legal analysis, appellate procedure, and persuasive advocacy. Appellate litigation is based on a defined record, which is created at the trial court level to preserve issues for appeal. Appellate litigators argue whether proper procedures were followed, that the law was applied correctly in the trial court, or even advocate for a change in the law.

Does it ever make sense to consult an appellate lawyer early on, while the case is still proceeding in the trial court?

Yes. Many times an appellate lawyer can help trial counsel identify and get around legal issues that could be problematic for a later appeal. The attorneys of Xander Law Group litigates in both Federal and State trial and appellate Courts. Our firm is uniquely positioned and aware of the various techniques in which to pursue in trial court to best represent you on appeal, if need be. Xander Law Group does not have to bring in outside counsel in which help strategize in case of appeals.

How much time do I have to file an appeal?

The rules governing the deadline for filing an appeal can be surprisingly complicated, and because a failure to file an appeal within the deadline is jurisdictional. Generally, a party has thirty (30) days from the date of issuance of a final order to file an appeal, but calculating that deadline depends upon which Court to file the petition, whether authorized motions for rehearing or post-judgment relief are pending, or whether the order is truly “final” or is an interlocutory ruling.

What is bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy refers to a federal court procedure that allows debtors to catch up on their debts by having some of them discharged and others repaid, depending on the type of bankruptcy. It is ultimately a tool that can help you manage your debt.

What is Chapter 11 bankruptcy?

Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code generally provides for reorganization, usually involving a corporation or partnership. A Chapter 11 debtor typically proposes a plan of reorganization to keep its business alive and pay creditors over time.

What do I need to begin the filing process?

You will need to fill out our questionnaire and bring it with you to our initial consultation. Furthermore, you will likely need to provide us with six (6) months financial statements, three (3) years tax return and other financial documents. The following link will allow you to access our questionnaire.

Do I need to be insolvent to file for bankruptcy?

No. You do not need to be insolvent prior to filing for bankruptcy.

When will the debt collectors stop calling?

An automatic stay on all collection activities is imposed at the moment you file for bankruptcy. This prohibits your creditors from contact you anymore. However, the filing of a petition does not operate as a stay for certain types of actions listed under 11 U.S.C. § 362(b). If a creditor continues to call you after you have filed for bankruptcy, the court can sanction the violating party.

What is estate planning?

When someone passes away, his/her property must pass to another individual or entity. In the United States, any competent adult has the right to choose the manner in which their assets are distributed after their death. Estate planning employs certain strategies to minimize potential estate tax liability and the future disposition of your assets. Additionally, it will also incorporate eventualities of carrying out your wishes regarding health care matters should you become disabled, provide for the maintenance of your surviving spouse, provide for the maintenance of a special needs individual that you care for, or provide for the maintenance of pets.

Why is having an estate plan important?

Having an estate plan has many advantages. Primarily maximizes the control over distribution of your assets after your death. Sadly, many disputes can form after an individual’s death between family members, which can be avoided through estate planning. Furthermore, through the use of estate planning techniques, a deceased estate can limit, or avoid, probate; therefore, the State and/or Federal government having a say in the distribution of your assets. Through a proper estate plan, an individual can minimize the estate assets, estate tax, take advantage of the certain tax provisions in the Internal Revenue Code and facilitate an easy, smooth administration of the deceased estate and funeral expense.

You moved to Florida for a fresh start, but your marriage did not get better. Do you need to go back to your old state to divorce?

No, but you or your spouse needs to be a Florida resident for six (6) months – even if you live apart – prior to filing for dissolution of marriage in a Florida court.

What is mediation and is it right for you?

Mediation is an alternative for many spouses who are seeking a divorce or separation. It can facilitate a smoother transition, division of assets, and give you more of a say in the division of assets and setting a parental plan if there are minor children involved. Mediation is not always appropriate for everyone, and the attorneys of Xander Law Group discuss with you the pros and cons after a review of your case.

Do you need an attorney for a pre- or post-nuptial agreement?

No. You do not require representation before entering into a nuptial agreement. However, it is highly advantageous and encouraged that you do seek legal representation prior to entering into such an agreement. An attorney can guide you through the process so that you agree to a fair and just agreement regarding your assets and the like should a divorce occur.

How are assets divided in a Florida divorce?

Florida is an equitable distribution state. This means that only marital, not separate, property will be fairly divided upon divorce. The complexities of asset division usually come in the form of deciphering what is marital property and what is non-marital property.

At our recent annual meeting there was a very contentious vote on whether the association should update the clubhouse. The vote failed. Now certain owners who were in support of the project have requested to inspect the proxies. These documents show how every owner voted. Are other owners allowed to see this information?

Yes. Annual meeting materials, including ballots and proxies, are “official records” that are available for inspection by every unit owner and must be maintained for one year from the date of election, vote or meeting to which the document relates. Any unit owner has the right to inspect and copy the association’s official records, subject to certain exceptions for documents protected by privacy laws. The same rule applies in the homeowners’ association context, except that election and meeting materials must be kept for a period of seven years.

I live in a condominium and recently ran for the board. There were five candidates for three seats and I came in fourth. A few weeks after the election one of the newly-elected directors resigned from the board. The board then appointed an owner who did not even run in the election to fill the vacancy. Can they do this? 

Yes. The board could likely appoint a replacement director of its choice, without regard to the results of the election. Both the Florida Condominium Act and the Florida Homeowners’ Association Act provide that, unless otherwise provided in the bylaws, a majority of the remaining board can appoint a person to fill a vacant seat on the board. There is no requirement that unsuccessful candidates in previous elections be given any preference.

Is mediation for any homeowners’ association disputes still available through the BPBR?

No. The Legislature amended section 720.311, Florida Statutes, to provide that parties to homeowners’ association disputes may use private mediators to assist them in resolving their issue.

What is the difference between a cooperative and a condominium?

In a ‘condo’, you are the legal owner of a unit within a building containing multiple units. Typically, you have a right to common areas such as club houses, hallways and swimming pools. Monthly payments to a condominium association are made to go towards expenses associated with the common areas. In a ‘co-op’, you do not own your specific apartment in the building. Rather, you own shares in the cooperative housing corporation that legally owns the building and its units. Your lease of that unit from the corporation is determined by formula based on the apartment’s size. As a shareholder in the cooperation, you have a voice in the election of the Board of Directors who manage the cooperative.

Under what circumstances can Board Members be removed from office?

Florida Statutes provide minimal requirements for eligibility for service on the Board. Members must be: 1) over the age of eighteen (18); 2) have no prior felony convictions (unless their civil rights have been restored); 3) have to be no greater than ninety (90) days delinquent in the payment of any fee to the Association. If unit owners believe board members are not adequately protecting their interests, they can remove them by petition, by a majority of the unit owners.

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