Common Questions About Florida Law
It is natural to have many questions and worries when faced with a legal issue or litigation. The experienced lawyers at DeLoach, Hofstra & Cavonis, P.A., ask many common legal questions and provide useful answers to help get you in making the best decisions for you and your family.
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What is wire fraud?
Wire fraud is a type of fraud that involves the use of telecommunications or the internet. Criminals may commit wire fraud with phone calls, faxes, emails, text messages, social media contact, or other online platforms. In many cases, hackers monitor activity for weeks after breaking into company systems to determine the best way to steal money.
Steps to Take After You Are Victimized by a Fraudulent Wire Transfer
Wire fraud is commonly used to illegally redirect funds during business transactions, such as completing real estate sales or making large payments to vendors. If you have reason to believe a wire transfer fraud has occurred, it is vital that you:
- Call the bank(s). If the transaction took place just hours ago, you may be able to stop the transfer of funds from one financial institution to another. Contact both the sending bank the recipient bank to request a stop payment at both ends of the transaction. Even if the funds can’t be recovered, the banks may be able to help the authorities in tracing the money.
- Report the incident to the FBI. The faster you file a complaint with the U.S. Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), the sooner your local FBI field office can start a Financial Fraud Kill Chain to stop the transfer of funds.
- Talk to an attorney. A lawyer with experience in business email compromise greatly improves your chances of seeing a recovery on your losses. Our legal team can determine what actions you should take, who may be liable, and how to prevent these actions from happening in the future.
- Investigate the breach. Your employer may need to evaluate your emails and computer systems to determine how the hackers got access to the company, both to determine liability and improve online security.
- Evaluate third-party actions. There is often more a bank, contractor, or business could have done to prevent the security breach from happening. We can examine whether the actions or omissions of a holding company, financial institution, vendor, title company, or other participant could have allowed the hacker to gain access.
- Examine your insurance policies. Companies and individuals may have insurance coverage to pay for wire fraud losses, but it may take the help of an attorney to get the payment you need.
The attorneys at DeLoach, Hofstra & Cavonis, P.A. offer free case evaluations for victims of wire fraud. Contact us today to set up a consultation and see how we can help you.
What does it mean when an attorney is “board certified?"
Board certification is a mark of the highest quality of legal services in a particular field. Only seven percent of eligible Florida attorneys have earned board certification in a specialty area, making us extremely fortunate to have two board certified attorneys in our law offices: Board Certified Elder Law Attorney D. "Rep" DeLoach III and Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney Paul R. Cavonis.
Benefits of Hiring a Board Certified Attorney
The certification program is approved by the Florida Supreme Court and administered with rigorous requirements by the Florida Bar. The Florida Bar evaluates all certified lawyers for expertise in a particular area of law, as well as professionalism and ethics in the practice of law.
Certification is the highest level of evaluation by the Florida Bar, and clients who hire certified lawyers should expect:
- Experience. Board certified lawyers must have a minimum of five years practicing law.
- Focus. Certified lawyers received passing grades on comprehensive examinations for their specialty areas; or met strict criteria of knowledge, skills, and expertise to exempt them from the exams. They're also heavily and actively involved in their fields of law.
- Continuing education. In order to maintain board certification, attorneys must continue to practice law and attend Florida Bar-approved continuing legal education courses in their specialty fields. Attorneys must have their certification renewed every five years by meeting education and experience requirements similar to those of initial certification.
- Good standing among peers. Certified lawyers are recognized by their fellow attorneys as having the highest level of competence in their specialty fields. The required peer review assessment also involves opinions on the character, ethics, and professionalism of the certified attorney.
At DeLoach, Hofstra & Cavonis, P.A., we're dedicated to helping our clients through the most difficult times in their lives. To find out how we can help, simply fill out the quick contact form on this page to set up your consultation.
What Are Some Pet Laws in Pinellas County?
Whether you are taking a trip to the veterinarian or are just out for a ride, pet owners often transport their animals in and out of cars. In an effort to protect both pet owners and their four-legged friends, Pinellas County created laws to ensure the safety of animals. Here are a few:
What does the law say about the transportation of my pet?
Most people don’t know this, but your pet must be safely enclosed in the vehicle or protected by a container, cage, cross tether, or another device, which would prevent the animal from falling, being thrown, or jumping out of the motor vehicle in Pinellas County.
Is it illegal to leave my pet in the car?
When the temperature outside reaches 85 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature inside a car can climb to 120 degrees in just 30 minutes, so leaving pets unattended in cars on warm days, even for a short time, can cause irreversible organ damage or even death, according to the Humane Society of the United States.
In Pinellas County, an animal cannot be confined or remain unattended in a vehicle in conditions that would endanger the well-being of the animal due to lack of ventilation or water, heat, or any other condition that pain and suffering, disability, or death to the animal is expected to occur.
If I can’t leave my pet in the car, can I restrain it outside?
No, in Pinellas County, it is unlawful for a person to tether, fasten, chain, tie, or restrain a dog or cat to any stationary object, unless it is within the visual range of the owner.
Is there a leash law in Pinellas County?
Yes, the law states, “No dog or cat shall run at large within the county. Any person who possesses, harbors, keeps, or has control or custody of any dog or cat which is running at large shall be in violation, regardless of the knowledge, intent or culpability of the owner.”
For more information on pet laws, visit the Pinellas County Animal Services website.
What Should You Do When Making a Hurricane Damage Claim Under Your Insurance Policy?
Document all the damage to your property with pictures and video. Preserve any items of personal property that have been damaged so they are available for inspection by the insurance adjuster. Don’t throw out the damaged property. Report the claim to your insurance company by phone and in writing. Keep a log of all your phone calls with your insurance company and save all your written communications (letters and emails). Keeping accurate records of your contacts with the insurance company will be very helpful if there is a dispute later.
What Should You do if Your Insurance Company Either Isn’t Responding or Has Made a Low Offer?
If you are not getting a response, give your insurance company a deadline, in writing, to respond. Tell them that if they do not respond by the deadline, you will hire an attorney. If they do respond and they give you a low offer, get additional estimates to repair or replace your property so you are prepared to support your damage claim. Never accept the first offer from your insurance company. You will get your best offer through negotiations.
How Can We Help?
Call us immediately if you are not satisfied with the response from your insurance company. We can discuss your options. We may be able to take your case on a contingency fee. This means that we would collect our fees and costs from your insurance company and you don’t have to pay them out of your pocket. We are here to help you, so don’t hesitate to call us.