Porges, Hamlin, Knowles & Hawk, P.A.
Home
Areas of Practice
Attorney Profiles
Clients
Current Events & News
Employment
Contact Us
Office Address
1205 Manatee Avenue West
Bradenton, Florida 34205

Telephone:(941) 748-3770
Fax:(941) 746-4160

Non-Judicial and Judicial Modification of Irrevocable Trusts In Florida

Bradenton, FL (May 2016) - "Non-Judicial and Judicial Modification of Irrevocable Trusts In Florida" Presented by Attorney Gregory J. Porges at the Probate & Pumpernickel Luncheon on February 18, 2015.

 


Know the Fire Codes Before Lighting Up That Grill!

Bradenton, FL (September 2015) - Persons in multi-unit dwellings should read on before striking up that barbeque grill! Florida has adopted in part the National Fire Prevention Association Uniform Fire Code (NFPA). Florida’s equivalent fire code states at section 10.11.6.1:

For other than one- and two-family dwellings, no habachi, grill, or other similar devises used for cooking, heating, or any other purpose shall be used or kindled on any balcony, under any overhanging portion, or within 10 ft (3 m) of any structure.

Section 10.11.6.2 states:

For other than one- and two-family dwellings, no habachi, grill or other similar devises used for cooking shall be stored on a balcony.

That means that if you live in a building consisting of three or more attached dwelling units, even single-story buildings, you may not grill on your patio, balcony, lanai or whatever you might call that portion of your unit that is under an overhang. Also, you cannot even store your grill on a "balcony," which term is undefined (so does this mean you can store your grill on a first floor patio? Probably.)

If this applies to you, you cannot light your grill, habachi, fire pit or other similar device unless you move it to the ground floor 10 feet or more away from the building. And if you have a balcony, you cannot even store your grill device on the balcony.

Is any grilling grandfathered in? Section 10.11.6.3 allows for permanently and previously installed grill equipment to be allowed (grandfathered). This would pertain only to built-in grills. Temporary equipment that is attempted to be permanently installed is not permitted, so no, you cannot attempt to attach your Weber grill to your balcony and claim it is permanent. Any permanently installed grills that were built into the unit prior to 2014 can remain and can be used. Future installation of permanent grills in these such 3-or-more-unit multi-story buildings is not permitted.

The national fire code contained an exemption for electric grills, but Florida did NOT adopt that exemption. So even electric grill use is prohibited the same way other grill use is prohibited as explained above.

Condo and multi-dwelling-unit building Associations should read their own Declarations and Rules and Regulations carefully, and see if you need to amend any of your governing documents to come into compliance with this fire regulation.

You might also check to see if your documents contain a "use restriction" that tells the members they may not violate any laws or ordinances. Some such provisions specifically state that the owner/member will be liable for damage to all Association property caused by the owner's violation of any law. If so, depending on the wording of such section, it may be prudent to remind your members by letter or newsletter of the new fire code for grilling, and that violation of the fire code is a violation of the law, and thus a violation of the Association governing documents. This may go a long way in apportioning liability to the owner if someone should ignore the new grilling ordinance and burn down the building.

Let’s hope that doesn’t happen.

Mary R. Hawk is a partner and shareholder in the law firm of Porges, Hamlin, Knowles & Hawk, PA. She is a frequent speaker with CAI and is past president of the West Florida Chapter.

2015 Legislative Session: Something For Everyone

Bradenton, FL (September 2015) - In the recently 2015 Legislative Session that ended in June, there were three bills passed affecting Associations that were signed by Governor Scott and which became law. These were HB 791, now Ch. 2015-97, Laws of Florida, which was the “catch-all” bill, HB 87, now Ch. 2015-165 dealing with construction defect claims under Ch. 558, F.S., and HB 643, now Ch. 2015-175, dealing with the termination of condominiums under Sec. 718.117, FS. There were several other bills filed that would have impacted Associations, including one dealing with the estoppel certificate process, but none of these were passed by the Legislature. Since the construction defects and termination bills have less impact on our CAI member Associations, I am going to first review those briefly before reviewing the impacts of HB 791 in more detail.

HB 87 makes amendments to the construction defects claim process in Ch. 558, FS, including amending the definition of “Completion of a building or improvement” to include the issuance of a “temporary” certificate of occupancy “that allows for occupancy or use” of an entire building. This change may alter the timing of when claims must be made. The section regarding description of alleged construction defects is now amended to require “a visual inspection by the claimant or its agents, the notice of claim must identify the location of each alleged construction defect sufficiently to enable the responding parties to locate the alleged defect without undue burden”, but no destructive testing is required by the claimant for purposes of preparing the notice of claim. If your Association may have possible claims under Ch. 558, Association counsel should be consulted to determine how HB 87 will impact your Association.

HB 63 substantially amends the process of terminating a condominium stated in Sec. 718.117 to address some of the abuses that have been perceived when Investor / Bulk Buyer owners would acquire significant numbers of Units in a condominium, usually having been created through the apartment conversion process, and which those Investors now sought to terminate to the detriment of owner occupants of the condominium. The details of the changes are really beyond the scope of this brief overview, so Association counsel should be consulted if an Association is faced with a “plan of termination” having been presented.

HB 791, sponsored by Representative Moraitis, received considerable input from various Association constituencies, including CAI-FLA, and is the "catch-all" bill for the 2015 Session. This bill contains provisions that will impact Condominium, Co-Operative, and Homeowner Associations members of CAI in various area of Association operations. These changes included in the 30 page bill can be summarized as follows:

1. For all types of associations, proxies need not be originals. As long as the copy
is a "reliable reproduction" it can be accepted.

2. For Condos the insurance statute, sec. 718.111(11)(j), Fla. Stat. has been corrected to finally plug the holes that have existed when losses have not been covered by the policy. They are handled by resort to the documentary maintenance provisions.

3. For Condos and Co-Ops the catch-all for official records has been narrowed somewhat by inserting the word "written" into the phrase, "All other written records of the association not specifically included in the foregoing…." thereby eliminating records kept in other formats, including video and audio formats, and leaving open the question of the status of electronic images.

4. Notice of association meetings (except Condo, Co-Op and HOA recall meetings) may be given electronically, without the need for the authority to do so appearing in the bylaws of the community. All that is needed is the written consent of the member to receive notices in this fashion.

5. For Condos it is no longer necessary to have all of the all line items shown in section 718.504(21), Fla. Stat. Only those that are applicable to a specific association need be included in the budget.

6. For Condos, Co-ops and HOAs, establishes a system allowing their boards, by resolution, to adopt systems for electronic voting. At a minimum, these systems must:

a. Permit voters to consent and to withdraw their consent to voting electronically which may effectively require an Association to conduct voting through both electronic and paper systems simultaneously.
b. Provide a system to authenticate the voter’s identity and to keep the ballot secret and not tied to the voter’s identity.
c. Provide a method to verify that the voter and the electronic voting system can communicate with each other.
d. Transmit a receipt and store the ballot for later inspection and recounting.
e. Consider persons voting electronically to be present for purposes of establishing a quorum at a members’ meeting.
f. Not permit new business of a substantive basis to be presented for vote other than what is on the electronic ballot.

7. It is left to the board of the Condo, Co-Op or HOA to adopt rules to flesh out the electronic voting system.

8. In Condos, Co-ops and HOAs, the results of a bad 2014 case, St. Croix Lane Trust v. St. Croix at Pelican Marsh, have been legislatively reversed, by language that makes it clear (again) that restrictive endorsements on assessment payments do not constitute an accord and satisfaction and can be ignored and applied per the various statutes.

9. For Condos, Co-Ops and HOAs the method of fining and suspension through use of the impartial committee is clarified to ensure that the impartial committee merely approves or vetoes the actions of the Association in levying a fine or suspension.

10. At last, the Condo Act and the HOA statute now properly state that when voting rights are suspended the suspended votes are subtracted from the total number of voting interests in the community.

11. When a Condo or HOA owner owns multiple units, the use rights of all of them can be suspended for violations and delinquencies even though the violation or delinquency only relates to fewer than all of them.

12. Once again, the Distressed Condominium Relief Act has been extended, this time from 7/1/2016 to 7/1/2018.

13. Chapter 720, Fla. Stat, has been formally given a name. It is now, the "Homeowners' Association Act."

14. The definition of the "governing documents" of an HOA is expanded to include the rules and regulations adopted under the authority of the other governing documents.

15. The HOA statute has been helpfully clarified that the failure to record an amendment within 30 days – the time frame stated in the statute to take this action – does not affect the validity of the amendment.

16. The statute addresses the eligibility of delinquent HOA candidates to run and serve on the Board. Eligibility is determined as of the last day the person could be nominated for the board, either by others or by one’s self. Such persons may not be listed on the ballot. Persons who are serving and who fall more than 90 days delinquent in any monetary obligation are deemed to have resigned from the board.

The above is only a brief summary of the changes that have been made to all three of the association Acts, so please consult with your Association’s counsel to further discuss how these amendments will affect your particular Association.

Principal Attorney Jason DePaola attends Elder Counsel’s Elder Law Immersion Camp


Jason M. DePaolaBradenton, FL (June 2015) - From February 4 through February 6, 2015, Principal attorney Jason DePaola attended the Elder Counsel’s periodic Elder Law Immersion Camp in St. Petersburg, Florida. At the “Camp,” Mr. DePaola was provided with extensive information regarding Medicaid and its rules regarding obtaining eligibility in the State of Florida. Additionally, Mr. DePaola was advised as to the practical application of the Medicaid rules as well as what steps one should take in both Pro-Active and Crisis Planning situations pertaining to qualifying for Medicaid. Mr. DePaola also received training on how to implement and incorporate the Elder Law/Medicaid practice into his existing law practice.

Art Creations for the Courthouse

Bradenton, FL (June 2015) - In the autumn of 2014 the attorneys of the Young Lawyers’ Division of the Manatee County Bar Association knew they wanted to provide student artwork to brighten the halls of the new Manatee County Judicial Center, but they did not know quite how to go about accomplishing the task. Attorney Bryony Swift, an Associate at Porges, Hamlin, Knowles & Hawk, P.A., previously interned at a government building decorated with student artwork, so she volunteered to reach out to her previous supervisor regarding the particulars of such a program. Later that very day, Ms. Swift contacted the Director of Visual Programming for Manatee County Schools, Dr. Zadda Bazzy, and Art Creations for the Courthouse began to take shape.

Next, the Art Creations committee chairs, Anne Breitinger and Bryony Swift met with the head of Court Administration to discuss the Art Creations program. It quickly became clear to the young lawyers that they would need grant funds to finance the art exhibit. The young lawyers applied for a grant from the Young Lawyers Division of the Florida Bar. Ms. Swift traveled to the Florida Bar YLD Affiliate Outreach Conference in St. Petersburg to present the grant proposal to the Board of Governors. Not only was the Manatee County YLD grant proposal fully funded, but it was also awarded one of three Gold Awards for outstanding: concept, written presentation, and oral presentation.

With the grant funds, Ms. Breitinger and Ms. Swift ordered high-tech, locking frames, so that the student artwork could be easily displayed and rotated annually. Once the frames were delivered, Ms. Breitinger and Ms. Swift met with Dr. Bazzy at the Manatee County School Administration Building to select the art for the exhibit. Ms. Swift framed the art and delivered it to Court Administration at the Judicial Center, where it was promptly hung outside courtroom 5B. The bold display features art created by talented students from kindergarten through 12th grade, and it adds vibrancy to the area of the Courthouse most likely to be visited by young people.

The Young Lawyers’ Division of the Manatee County Bar Association is hosting a reception, on June 2, 2015, to celebrate the accomplished student artists who have contributed to Art Creations for the Courthouse.



2014 Outstanding Agent Award from Chicago Title Insurance Company

Bradenton, FL (June 2015) - The 2014 Outstanding Agent Award was presented to our firm as an Agent of Chicago Title Insurance Company. This award signifies that our firm has had no claims or audit issues and continues to exemplify the highest standards to be designated as an Outstanding Agent. Congratulations to our Real Estate department.

Attorney Jose Estigarribia recently attended the lunch hosted by the Manatee County Chamber of Commerce featuring special keynote speaker Ambassador Jose Ramon Cabanas.

Jose Estigarribia, Esq.Bradenton, FL (May 2015) - Jose Estigarribia, Esq., with the law firm of Porges, Hamlin, Knowles & Hawk, PA, recently attended the lunch hosted by the Manatee County Chamber of Commerce (sponsored by Mosiac) on Tuesday May 12 featuring special keynote speaker Ambassador Jose Ramon Cabanas. Mr. Cabanas is the Head of the Cuban Interests Section in Washington D.C. The topics discussed focused on trade and investment opportunities in Cuba for U.S. and Florida companies. The new Mariel port project in Cuba was discussed as well and is now functional and ready for shipping and freight purposes. Several different industry leaders and entrepreneurs were present at the luncheon, including those involved in agriculture, textiles, telecommunications and construction. A large part of the speech focused on the history of US-Cuba relations, from pre-Castro to present day, including discussion about the USG dropping Cuba from the list of countries that state-sponsors terrorism. The Port of Manatee stands to benefit from the new relationship as there are several ferry-boat companies that should be operational and carrying passengers to Cuba in the very near future. The diplomatic ties between Cuba and the United States seem to be growing and moving towards a more relaxed relationship which should allow for numerous business opportunities.

Jose Estigarribia is a bi-lingual (English-Spanish) attorney and focuses his practice in the areas of family law, criminal law and immigration.

Attorney Bryony Swift represented Manatee County at the Florida Bar Young Lawyers' Division Affiliate Outreach Conference

Bradenton, FL (January 2015) - Attorney Bryony Swift, an associate with the firm, represented Manatee County over the weekend at the Florida Bar Young Lawyers' Division Affiliate Outreach Conference. At the conference Ms. Swift presented a grant proposal to the Board of Governors and Representatives from across the state. The Board of Governors agreed to fund the grant, which will provide for an art exhibition in the courthouse displaying exceptional works of art created by Manatee County Schools' student artists. Additionally, the grant was awarded the prestigious Gold Award by the Board of Governors for outstanding charitable concept, proposal and presentation combined.
Curtis Hamlin Elected Vice-Chairman of the Florida Legislative Alliance (FLA)

Bradenton, FL (October 2014) - Bradenton Attorney Curtis Hamlin, principal and shareholder of Porges, Hamlin, Knowles & Hawk, PA, was recently elected Vice-Chairman of the Florida Legislative Alliance (FLA). FLA is a committee of the Community Associations Institute (CAI) and is the official voice with legislators and regulators in Florida. CAI FLA exists to speak with one voice on legislative and regulatory matters that affect community associations, community association managers and CAI business partners. CAI FLA is a committee of CAI's national office and is a partner with CAI's chapters within its state. CAI FLA primarily reviews all house bills and senate bills which affect the Florida Condominium Act, the Florida Property Owners Association Act, and the Florida Cooperative Act.

In addition, Attorneys Curtis Hamlin and Bryony Swift of Porges, Hamlin, Knowles & Hawk, PA recently attended the 39th Ralph E. Boyer Institute on Condominium and Cluster Developments in Boca Raton, hosted by the University of Miami. The Institute educates attorneys who practice in the area of Condominium and Homeowner Association law.

Curtis Hamlin and Bryony Swift of Porges, Hamlin, Knowles and Hawk, P.A.
Curtis Hamlin and Bryony Swift of Porges, Hamlin, Knowles and Hawk, P.A.

Curtis Hamlin and Mary Hawk Featured Speakers at CA Day

Bradenton, FL (April 2014) - Curtis Hamlin and Mary Hawk, both principals with the law firm of Porges, Hamlin, Knowles and Hawk, were recent featured speakers at "CA Day," a day of education for all those involved with any type of homeowner association. CA Day is sponsored every year by the non-profit Community Associations Institute (CAI) - West Florida Chapter. This year, Mr. Hamlin wrote and presented the Board Certification topic, Condominium, Cooperative and Homeowner Association Operations, for over 225 homeowner, co-operative, and condominium association board members to receive their certification for board service. Ms. Hawk wrote and presented her continuing education credit class for nearly 200 licensed Community Association Managers, entitled Dealing with the Disabled, Elderly or Hoarding Resident. Both classes were approved by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, condominium and homeowner division.

Mr. Hamlin currently serves as the chairman of the Homeowner Education Committee for CAI - West Florida; and Ms. Hawk is currently President of CAI - West Florida for 2014.

Mr. Hamlin and Ms. Hawk also recently spoke to groups of community association managers and volunteer board members in Bradenton Beach and East Manatee County. They gave a Lunch 'N Learn legal update of recent changes in community association law, and a presentation on community association rule and covenant violations and fining policies.

PHKH has been representing clients in West Florida for over 40 years, including homeowner, co-operative, condominium and mobile home association clients.

Curtis Hamlin and Mary Hawk of Porges, Hamlin, Knowles and Hawk, P.A.
Curtis Hamlin and Mary Hawk Featured Speakers at CA Day

Legacy Society Committee for the Manatee Community Foundation

Bradenton, FL (January 2014) - On January 23, 2014, Porges, Hamlin, Knowles & Hawk, P.A. was proud to co-sponsor the Manatee Community Foundation's Legacy Society Luncheon with CS&L CPAs. Jason DePaola, who is active with Manatee Community Foundation and holds a seat on the Legacy Society Committee, shared a few words at the opening of the luncheon. The mission of the foundation is to connect the charitable interests of their donors with the ongoing needs of the community.

Also speaking was Neil Phillips on behalf of Visable Men Academy (VMA), a highly successful educational program design to meet the needs of Southwest Florida's at-risk population. The mission VMA is to provide boys with outstanding academic, character, and social education in a nurturing school environment. Neil shared the five (5) essential components that drive the VMA school model: (1) Single-gender (all boys); (2) Extended day and year; (3) Visible Men Success Curriculum; (4) Data-Driven Instructional Environment; and (5) An Administration & Faculty deeply connected to unique VMA mission. To learn more about VMA and how you may help, please visit their website at www.vmacademy.org.

Would you like to create your very own legacy for the future by way of planned giving? Contact Jason DePaola and see how Porges, Hamlin, Knowles & Hawk, P.A., can help you.

Pictured below, from left to right, are Lisa Johnson from CS&L CPAs, Neil P. Phillips from Visible Men Academy, and Jason DePaola from Porges, Hamlin, Knowles & Hawk, P.A.
Legacy Society Committee for the Manatee Community Foundation

Timothy A. Knowles, Esq., appointed to 2014 term as President / Chairman of Florida Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs

Bradenton, FL (January 2014) - The law firm of Porges, Hamlin, Knowles & Hawk (PHKH), P.A., is pleased to announce that principal Timothy A. Knowles has been appointed as President / Chairman-elect for the Florida Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs (FABGC) beginning January 1, 2014. Previously, Knowles had served as President / Chairman of the Alliance for six years. FABGC serves to raise and sustain statewide funding for Boys & Girls Clubs in Florida.

A member of the Board of Directors of the Manatee Boys & Girls Club for more than 31 years, Knowles has served on virtually every committee and held officer positions, including two terms as President. A past President of the Manatee County Bar Association, Knowles was honored in 2010 with the William C. Grimes Lifetime Achievement Award for Community Service primarily for his service to the Manatee County Boys & Girls Clubs and the FABGC, and particularly the efforts of the FABGC in raising more than $10 million from state government for the Boys & Girls Clubs in Florida.

Knowles recently represented Florida at the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) Congressional Breakfast, held on September 18, 2013, in Washington, D.C., where the 2013-14 National Youth of the Year was named. The National Youth of the Year program honors young people who have overcome great odds, who have exhibited exceptional character and accomplishments for service to their Club and community, demonstrated high academic success, maintained strong moral character, and contributed to their family. In 2012, Florida Boys & Girls Clubs (FBGC) served 135,365 young people. As non-profit organizations, BGCA and FBGC provide a safe place, caring adult mentors, and offer various daily after-school programs during critical non-school hours to help participating youth develop admirable character traits and advance their academic success.

Knowles has practiced in the Firm of Porges, Hamlin, Knowles & Hawk, P.A. (including its predecessor names) since 1984. His practice has always focused on business transactions including, but not limited to, real estate and banking transactions.

Principals Curtis Hamlin and Mary Hawk recently attended the 38th Institute on Condominium and Cluster Developments, in Boca Raton, Florida.

Bradenton, FL (November 2013) - Principals Curtis Hamlin and Mary Hawk recently attended the 38th Institute on Condominium and Cluster Developments, in Boca Raton, Florida, sponsored by the University of Miami School of Law.

The annual institute is designed to update community association practitioners on the law, and explore in detail particular topics of current interest to condominium, homeowner and cooperative association lawyers. Topics at this year's institute included Legislative, Administrative and Judicial updates; Covenant Enforcement; Comfort and Companion Animals as a Disability Accommodation; Association Director and Officer Liability; Current Issues Facing Community Associations vs. Mortgage Lenders; the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act; Association Borrowing and Loan Financing; and Termination of a Condominium.

Mr. Hamlin and Ms. Hawk have been attending the institute for many years. In doing so, they are better able to represent the needs of their clients by staying at the forefront of the most current issues and topics facing condominium, homeowner and cooperative associations.

Timothy A. Knowles, Esq. ("Tim") attended the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) Congressional Breakfast where Kiana Knolland (Kansas) was named the 2013-14 National Youth of the Year.

Bradenton, FL (October 2013) - Timothy A. Knowles, Esq. ("Tim") attended the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) Congressional Breakfast, held on September 18, 2013, in Washington, D.C. where Kiana Knolland (Kansas) was named the 2013-14 National Youth of the Year. Established in 1947, this award is one of the highest honors a BGCA youth may receive and includes more than $60,000.00 in college scholarships. The National Youth of the Year honor recognizes young people who have overcome great odds, who have exhibited exceptional character and accomplishments for service to their Club and community, demonstrated high academic success, maintained strong moral character, and contributed to their family. Kiana advanced through local, state and regional competitions to be awarded with the national title.

As 2013-2014 National Youth of the Year, Kiana Knolland will be the official BGCA teen spokesperson, advocating for nearly 4 million Boys & Girls Club youth and all of America's young people. Currently, Kiana is a freshman at Howard University studying courses in preparation for a career in the legal field.

Tim, is a principal at Porges, Hamlin, Knowles & Hawk, P.A., also has a long history with the Boys & Girls Club here in Manatee County, Florida. He has been a member of the Board of Directors for more than 25 years serving on virtually every committee post and as an officer, including two terms as President more than 15 years apart. Additionally, Tim has served on the Board of Directors of the Florida Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs, Inc., including multiple terms as Chairman. During his tenure, more than $10,000,000.00 was raised from state government and distributed to Boys & Girls Clubs in Florida. For these efforts, in 2010 the Manatee County Bar Association honored Tim with the William C. Grimes Lifetime Achievement Award for Community Service. Tim has practiced in the Firm of Porges, Hamlin, Knowles & Hawk, P.A. (including its predecessor names) since 1984. His practice has always been focused on business transactions including but not limited to, real estate and banking transactions.

In Florida alone, Florida Boys & Girls Clubs (FBGC) have served 135,365 youth in 2012 through 41 organizations and 235 club sites consisting of 223 non-military clubs and 12 military clubs in 60 of Florida's 67 counties. As non-profit organizations, BGCA and FBGC provide a safe place, caring adult mentors, and offer various daily after-school programs during critical non-school hours to help participating youth develop admirable character traits and advance their academic success. The impacts of such programs result in improved FCAT scores, higher percentages of Grade Promotion, lower Grade Retention, fewer school absences and reduced dropout rates.

To learn more about Kiana Knolland and the National Youth of the Year program and the finalists, visit www.greatfutures.org/YOY. To learn more about Boys and Girls Club of Manatee County, visit www.bgcmanatee.org. And to learn more about Tim Knowles, visit www.phkhlaw.com.


Pictured: L-R Timothy A. Knowles, Esq., Boys and Girls Clubs of Manatee County, Inc. (Bradenton Branch), Director and President-elect, Lisa Hurst, Chief Professional Offices Knoxville Tennessee Boys and Girls Club, and Robbie Calloway, original Vice President Government Affairs Boys & Girls Clubs of America

Pictured: Kiana Knolland Boys & Girls Clubs of America 2013-14 National Youth of the Year.






Principal and shareholder Mary R. Hawk served as a judge in the Sixth Annual National Pretrial Competition.

Bradenton, FL (October 2013) - Principal and shareholder Mary R. Hawk served as a judge on October 11, 2013 in the Sixth Annual National Pretrial Competition held at the Stetson University College of Law campus in Gulfport, FL. The competition was attended by law school teams from across the country and was organized by Stetson's Center for Excellence in Advocacy. The student attorneys argued a fictitious federal court case regarding domicile and the timeliness of removal from state court to federal court. Ms. Hawk heard motions and questioned the student attorneys on their cases. She also presided over a mock evidentiary hearing and made rulings on objections.

Christina L. Adkins welcomed into the position of Chair-Elect of the Manatee County Family Law Section for the 2013-2014 year and will take the position of Chairman for the 2014-2015 year!

Bradenton, FL (July 2013) - On July 11, 2013, Christina L. Adkins was welcomed into the position of Chair-Elect of the Manatee County Family Law Section for the 2013-2014 year and will take the position of Chairman for the 2014-2015 year. Christina is excited for the new opportunity with the Manatee County Family Law Section, excited to conduct bi-monthly meetings, and to organize topics and/or guest speakers. On the top of the agenda for the Manatee County Family Law Section is working to establish a pro se family law clinic and assist the Family Court Professional Collaborative (FCPC) with the development of the Nutshell series.

Greg Porges is honored to be selected as one of Manatee County's top 10 LEGAL LEGENDS to be recognized at LAWYERS & LEGENDS

Bradenton, FL (June 2013) - Greg Porges is honored to be selected as one of Manatee County's top 10 LEGAL LEGENDS to be recognized at LAWYERS & LEGENDS, a multi-media event inspired by Judge Gilbert A. Smith, Jr.'s book "Lawyer & Legends of Manatee County" and set to benefit Legal Aid of Manasota, Inc. on September 27, 2013 6:00 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency, Sarasota. The event will celebrate those extraordinary lawyers, judges and activists who are a part of our nation's and community's rich legal history during a night of dining, dancing and film. In addition, Mr. Porges will be featured in the September edition of Sarasota Magazine.

Be sure to get your tickets early to honor and remember OUR LEGAL LEGENDS as well as support Legal Aid of Manasota, Inc. and help Legal Aid continue to provide quality free legal services to our community's most vulnerable residents including children, victims of domestic violence, the elderly, and veterans. Partial proceeds will also support their Diversity Initiative which provides education and employment opportunities for minority students in Sarasota and Manatee Counties. All dollars raised Remain right here in our community.

Greg Porges, a principal at Porges, Hamlin, Knowles & Hawk, P.A., has more than forty years of experience in the field of trusts and estates. In addition, Mr. Porges has maintained an active practice in corporation and business law, including mergers and acquisitions, as well as in banking and finance, serving as a past director and executive committee member of Barnett Bank of Manatee County for twelve years. Since 1971, Mr. Porges has also provided representation to the Board of Trustees of Manatee Community College and, for many years, has served as legal counsel to major cable television providers with regard to franchise and local government matters.

You can buy tickets http://events.ticketsarasota.com/sarasota_fl/events/show/330608483-lawyers-legends or contact 350-1089.

The National Community Associations Institute (CAI) Conference

Bradenton, FL (June 2013) - Principal Mary R. Hawk attended the National Community Associations Institute (CAI) conference in San Diego in April 2013, to prepare for her tenure as president of The West Florida Chapter of CAI in 2014. In San Diego, she was able to network with other presidents-elect of the more than 64 CAI chapters nationwide, as well as learning how CAI National supports its local chapters.

CAI West Florida serves the educational, business, and networking needs of community associations in Manatee, Sarasota and DeSoto Counties of Southwest Florida. Members include condominium, cooperative, and homeowner associations as well as manager members and those who provide services and products to associations. The West Florida Chapter has over 750 members.

Mary has been active in CAI West Florida as a speaker and CEU instructor for many years, and is in her second year serving on the Board of Directors. The firm has been a long-time member of CAI West Florida and is a Gold Sponsor of the chapter.

Congratulations to Bryony G. Swift, a law clerk with the firm, for being awarded the National Association of Women Lawyers' Outstanding Law Student Award!

Bradenton, FL (August 2012) - Porges, Hamlin, Knowles & Hawk, P.A. would like to congratulate Bryony G. Swift, a law clerk with the firm, for being awarded THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF WOMEN LAWYERS' OUTSTANDING LAW STUDENT AWARD for her contributions to the advancement of women in the law. Not only is Bryony a candidate for Juris Doctor this May from Stetson University College of Law but she is also a member of Cardozo Inn of Phi Delta Phi International Legal Fraternity, the Founder and Inaugural President of Stetson Law Parents Student Organization and Treasurer of the Education Law Association.

When she's not working hard for the firm, being a wonderful mother, maintaining her impressive ranking within her class at Stetson, and preparing to take the Florida Bar exam in the summer, she can be found donating her time volunteering for the Community Law Program, Inc., Bay Area Legal Services, Bay Pines Veteran's Hospital, Center for Higher Education Law, Small Claims Court Assistance Program, Habitat for Humanity and the Red Cross.

We are so fortunate to have such a wonderful, hard-working and multifaceted law clerk this year!

Jose D. Estigarribia Joins the Law Firm of Porges, Hamlin, Knowles & Hawk, P.A.

Bradenton, FL (August 2012) - The law firm of Porges, Hamlin, Knowles & Hawk, P.A. is pleased to announce the addition of Jose D. Estigarribia as attorney. Estigarribia most recently served as a non-equity partner at the firm of Kallins, Little, Delgado & Estigarribia. He is fluent in Spanish and contributes a monthly column for Variedades Magazine concerning immigration issues.

Estigarribia obtained his law degree from Stetson University College of Law in 2002 and is a member of The Florida Bar, Young Lawyers Division and the Manatee County Bar Association. He serves on the board of the Manatee County YMCA and the Palmetto Community Redevelopment Advisory Board. His primary areas of practice are Family Law, Personal Injury, Criminal Law, Immigration and Naturalization Law, and Litigation.

For more than 40 years, Porges, Hamlin, Knowles & Hawk, P.A., has been a leader in Florida's gulf coast legal community providing expertise in a broad range of specialty areas to business, institutional and individual clients. With attorneys serving Florida's Suncoast, the Firm principals are focused on achieving the best possible results for clients while providing unparalleled personalized service. For more information please call 941-748-3770.

US Citizenship Immigration Services announced the new implementation of "Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Process"

Bradenton, FL (June 2012) - This new procedure allows certain people who came to the United States as children and who meet several key requirements the possibility to request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal and then the opportunity to be eligible for work authorization. There are several guidelines that need to be met, including but not limited to: the age of the applicant, when the applicant entered the United States, proving physical presence in the United States, and whether or not the applicant is enrolled in school or has graduated. There are other factors as well and should you have any questions or are interested in determining whether you or a family member qualify, please do not hesitate to contact Attorney Jose D. Estigarribia, Esquire for more information.

Christina L. Adkins Joins the Law Firm of Porges, Hamlin, Knowles & Hawk, P.A.

Bradenton, FL (May 2012) - The law firm of Porges, Hamlin, Knowles & Hawk, P.A. is pleased to announce the addition of Christina L. Adkins as associate attorney. Adkins was recently selected as an Up-and-Comer for Legal Elite 2012. Adkins served as staff attorney for nearly five years at Gulfcoast Legal Services, Inc., where she provided direct representation and advice to individual clients regarding dissolution of marriage, injunction for protection, paternity and other family law matters in Manatee and Sarasota Counties.

Adkins obtained her law degree from the College of Law at the University of Kentucky in 2005 and is a member of The Florida Bar, Manatee County Bar Association and Sarasota County Bar Association. She serves on the board of the Manatee Chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers, and the Manatee County Young Lawyers Division. Her primary areas of practice with the Firm are family law, condominium and homeowner association law, collections, and business transactions and litigation.

For more than 40 years, Porges, Hamlin, Knowles & Hawk, P.A., has been a leader in Florida's gulf coast legal community providing expertise in a broad range of specialty areas to business, institutional and individual clients. With attorneys serving Florida's Suncoast, the Firm principals are focused on achieving the best possible results for clients while providing unparalleled personalized service. For more information please call 941-748-3770.