Holiday Gift Drive 2012

Staff members of de la Parte & Gilbert collected holiday cheer in the form of toys and gifts to help give a brighter Christmas to local children through Kids Charity of Tampa Bay. Through their generous donations, employees sponsored several children in the organization’s Help Us Fill the Wagon initiative which provides gifts to abused, neglected and abandoned children who would otherwise not receive them.

Patrick McNamara Joins University of Tampa’s Board of Fellows

The firm’s vice-managing shareholder, Patrick J. McNamara, has recently been afforded the opportunity to join the University of Tampa’s Board of Fellows. The Board of Fellows is a group of distinguished men and women who are recognized as community and business leaders in the Tampa Bay area. The Board serves to increase The University of Tampa’s presence in the Tampa Bay business community and fortify the relationships that The University of Tampa has within the local community.

The Board of Fellows hosts a variety of community business events and social functions each year. These activities allow local business members an opportunity to socialize and network while sharing their accomplishments, plans, and perspectives on current issues of importance. These events also serve as fundraisers that benefit The University of Tampa in many ways, including academic grants for faculty and scholarships for students.

Mr. McNamara is excited about this opportunity to engage with The University of Tampa and the local business community, and looks forward to his year ahead as a member of the Board of Fellows.

Pat has practiced with de la Parte & Gilbert since 1987; he practices in the fields of commercial, civil, and personal injury litigation, health law, construction law and appeals. Pat can be reached at pmcnamara@dgfirm.com.

de la Parte & Gilbert, P.A. Lawyers selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2013

Several of the firm’s attorneys: Richard A. GilbertEdward P. de la ParteDavid M. Caldevilla & Vivian Arenas-Battles were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in the 2013 edition of The Best Lawyers in America®. The Best Lawyers list is compiled after an exhaustive peer-review survey in which thousands of the top lawyers in the United States confidentially evaluate their professional peers.

Lawyers are not allowed to pay a fee to be listed, so Best Lawyers is regarded by both legal professionals and the general public as one of the most definitive guides to legal excellence in the U.S. and inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor.

Mr. Gilbert is a Shareholder with de la Parte & Gilbert and was included in the 2013 list for the areas of Commercial Litigation and Personal Injury Litigation. Rich is Board Certified as a Business Litigation Lawyer and Civil Trial Lawyer and can be reached at rgilbert@dgfirm.com.

Ed de la Parte, also a Shareholder with de la Parte & Gilbert, made the list again for the specialty of Water Law. Mr. de la Parte is Board Certified as a State & Federal Government and Administrative Practice lawyer and can be reached at edelaparte@dgfirm.com.

David Caldevilla, a de la Parte & Gilbert Shareholder, is a Board Certified Appellate Lawyer and was listed in Best Lawyers for Appellate Practice. David can be reached via email at dcaldevilla@dgfirm.com.

Vivian Arenas-Battles, also a de la Parte & Gilbert Shareholder, was selected for inclusion in the areas of Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law.

de la Parte & Gilbert, P.A. Selected for Martindale-Hubbell’s 2013 U.S. Top Ranked Law Firms™

de la Parte & Gilbert, P.A. was recently selected as one of Martindale-Hubbell’s 2013 U.S. Top Ranked Law Firms. The recognition is for having at least one of every three attorneys in our firm achieve the AV Preeminent rating. Less than 2,500 – or, approximately 5% – of firms in the entire United States have achieved this ranking. We are honored by this recognition of our firm’s experience and reputation.

Martindale-Hubbell® is the most comprehensive ratings publication covering lawyers in the world. Each rating is the result of a peer review system based upon the confidential opinions of practicing attorneys and judges.

In addition to individual lawyers who have qualified for the AV rating, the firm of de la Parte & Gilbert, P.A. has also been awarded by Martindale-Hubbell® their highest possible mark, an “AV” rating. The “A” signifies highest levels of legal ability, while the “V” signifies adherence to professional standards of conduct, ethics, reliability, and diligence, along with other relevant factors.

Property owner wins lengthy turf war

By GEORGE WILKENS | The Tampa Tribune | Published: October 01, 2012
TAMPA –

A judge finally has resolved a deed-restriction dispute that spanned 11 years, involved dozens of court hearings, a weeklong jury trial, two appeals and a second trial, and cost tens — perhaps hundreds — of thousands of dollars.

A lawn that long ago withered and died launched the ruckus in 2001 that survived more than a decade in Hillsborough County’s courts.

The civil case, heard most recently during a three-day non-jury trial, resulted in a ruling favoring Edward Simmons, a real estate broker and retired Tampa police captain who steadfastly maintained that the Pebble Creek Homeowners Association acted illegally when it replaced his lawn in January 2002 and filed a $2,212 lien against the house he owns in New Tampa’s oldest subdivision.

A hearing will be scheduled to finalize damages and the big-ticket item: Simmons’ legal costs in the case, argued most recently by his fourth attorney, appellate lawyer David Caldevilla of Tampa.

“Hopefully, we’ll be able to recover all our attorney fees and costs,” Simmons said. “And if we are, that’s a staggering amount,” totaling $222,123, he said.

Additionally, Simmons’ January 2006 contract to sell the house for $215,000 fell through because the lien rendered the house at 9769 Fox Hollow Road unmarketable. Today it is worth $100,000 less, according to the court order factoring the loss into Simmons’ damages.

In his Sept. 21 order subtitled “Anatomy of an HOA Dispute Run Amok,” Circuit Court Judge James M. Barton II states that evidence did not support the association’s contention Simmons’ property “violated community standards of a green, relatively weed-free lawn.” It was similar to many lawns suffering “murderous emergency water use restrictions” during a severe drought that continued through September 2003.

When Simmons received a warning letter from the homeowners association in April 2001, he replied by contending that replacing sod during a drought and once-weekly irrigation restrictions would be a foolish waste of time and money.

A Southwest Florida Water Management District witness testified it would be unreasonable to expect St. Augustine lawns to be lush and green during “the drought of the century.”

Barton determined that the association lacked authorization to record the lien because it violated several of its own rules, including a requirement that three deed-restriction committee members examine a property before issuing such a warning.

Also, only about half the sod for which Simmons was billed was installed on his property, with the balance planted on county right-of-way between the sidewalk and street, or was deemed inferior and disposed of.

“These were my issues the whole time,” Simmons said soon after receiving the court order. “Being a cop, I could read the law. I just couldn’t see justice happening like this because, to me, it was so obvious. It’s caused me so much grief over the years.”

gwilkens@tampatrib.com – (813) 259-7124

Click here to view article as originally published.

 

 

David M. Caldevilla Appointed as Chair of Appellate Court Rules Subcommittee

David M. Caldevilla has been appointed to serve as Chair of the Original Proceedings Subcommittee of The Florida Bar’s Appellate Court Rules Committee. The Appellate Court Rules Committee is a standing committee of The Florida Bar, and is responsible for proposing new rules of appellate procedure and amendments to existing rules, for consideration and adoption by the Florida Supreme Court. David is a Board Certified Appellate Lawyer, and a shareholder at de la Parte & Gilbert, P.A.

Mr. Caldevilla has practiced with de la Parte & Gilbert since 1989. In addition to his appellate cases, he also focuses his practice on administrative, civil litigation, environmental, eminent domain and government cases. David can be reached at dcaldevilla@dgfirm.com.

Richard Gilbert – Leading by Example

Richard Gilbert, one of de la Parte & Gilbert’s Senior Shareholders, was recognized by the Florida Bar Board of Legal Specialization & Education at a reception held on June 21, 2012. The reception was to honor and congratulate a group of esteemed lawyers who have been board certified for 25 or more years. The reception took place at the Gaylord Palms Resort in Kissimmee during the Bar’s Annual Convention.

Vivian Arenas-Battles, David Caldevilla and Patrick McNamara Named To Florida Trend’s Legal Elite

Patrick McNamaraDavid M. Caldevilla and Vivian Arenas-Battles have been named to Florida Trend’s Legal Elite for 2012. Florida Trend’s Legal Elite recognizes the top tier of attorneys as chosen by their peers. These lawyers have each exemplified a standard of excellence in their profession.

Pat McNamara is the firm’s Vice-Managing Shareholder and manages a broad practice including commercial and business litigation, construction litigation, health law, professional liability and personal injury. Pat can be reached at pmcnamara@dgfirm.com.

David Caldevilla focuses his practice on appellate, administrative, civil litigation, environmental, eminent domain and government cases. David is also a Shareholder at the firm and can be reached at dcaldevilla@dgfirm.com.

Vivian Arenas-Battles is a Shareholder with de la Parte & Gilbert and focuses her practice in the areas of administrative law, civil litigation, environmental and eminent domain issues. Vivian can be reached at varenas@dgfirm.com.

Kristin Morris Joins Firm

Kristin Morris, an honors graduate of the University Of Cincinnati College Of Law, has joined the firm practicing in the area of civil litigation. Kristin received her Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting, with honors, from the University of Louisville in 2007.

Super Lawyer Magazine selects de la Parte & Gilbert Attorneys as 2012 Super Lawyers & Rising Stars

The firm is proud to announce that Edward P. de la Parte, Jr. (Environmental Litigation), Richard A. Gilbert (Business Litigation), David M. Caldevilla (Appellate) and Vivian Arenas-Battles (Eminent Domain) were once again honored as “Super Lawyers” in the 2012 issue of Florida Super Lawyers magazine.

Two other Shareholders, Daniel J. McBreen (Business Litigation) and Nicolas Q. Porter (Environmental Litigation) and Associate Kristin Y. Melton (Environmental Litigation) were also selected again in 2012 as Rising Stars among the state’s younger attorneys.