An Opinion By Jan Bergemann 
President, Cyber Citizens For Justice, Inc.

Published August 3, 2017


Well, it seems that not all "specialized" attorneys are interested when it comes to implementing new laws?

Remember, there have been lengthy discussions about the NEW RECALL PROVISIONS in HB 1237 -- and the fact that it's no longer the right of the board to certify or not certify the recall if done by written agreement. The recalled board or certain board members) is removed "effective immediately" after the board meeting that still has to be held latest 5 business days after the recall petitions have been served. Remember, the whole former paragraph of the old recall provision was removed.


The recalled board members may file for arbitration to challenge the validity of the recall, but they have to do it on their own dime since they are no longer board members. And they obviously have to hire their own attorney since the association attorney would have a serious conflict of interest representing the recalled board members. Remember: According to the new law the recall is "effective immediately" -- no more certification of the board required.


Even if it may or may not right and may even be "dangerous" it's the new law -- effective on July 1, 2017 -- signed into law by Governor Rick Scott,


In my opinion that clearly means that any recall served to a board after July 1 falls under the provisions of the new laws.


I was surprised to see a FILING FOR RECALL ARBITRATION PETITION by association attorney Shantel W. Ocampo, Esq. (DHN Attorneys, Orlando) that uses "BUSINESS AS USUAL" -- using the old -- no longer effective -- recall provisions. The board was served on JULY 14, 2017 -- clearly after the new recall provisions were officially enacted. According to my information, the old recalled board is still doing business, the arbitration fees have been been paid from association funds -- and the association  attorney is still representing the "effective immediately" recalled board?


In my opinion the new law is effective since July 1 -- and the new procedures have to be used -- or are attorneys above the law?

Yes, the Division hasn't updated the Florida Administrative Code -- we all know that they are slower than snails latest after the Miami/Dade Grand Jury Report -- but that doesn't give an attorney the right to blatantly ignore the new statutes and -- as far as I know -- advise the "former" board to go by the old version of the recall provisions.


The "new" board -- as far as I read the new statutes -- should in my opinion consider filing a malpractice lawsuit against the "association" attorney who seems to think that she can create her own "interpretation" of the new statutes, causing possibly serious financial damage to the community members.


Why should the Florida Legislature enact new laws if some attorneys plainly ignore it?