Practice Areas

Lake County Attorneys Knowledgeable in Civil Litigation, Bankruptcy, and Transactional Matters

At the Shipley Law Firm, we handle matters related to bankruptcy, business and corporate law, civil litigation, family law, real estate, and estate planning. Our principal is licensed not only as a lawyer but also as a Florida Certified Public Accountant. This allows us to provide comprehensive representation that takes into account a client’s financial position as well as their legal options. If you need a Lake County civil litigation lawyer or guidance in a bankruptcy case or in a wide range of transactional matters, we can develop a strategy to pursue your goals.

Bankruptcy Law

We handle consumer bankruptcies under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, as well as corporate bankruptcies under Chapter 7 or Chapter 11. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is also known as liquidation bankruptcy because a bankruptcy trustee is able to sell any of a debtor's nonexempt property for the purpose of paying back a portion of his or her debt. A debtor may only file this type of bankruptcy if he or she meets the criteria of what is known as the "means test." In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, a debtor commits to paying back his or her creditors over three to five years. To file under Chapter 13, you must have sufficient income to make monthly payments. Chapter 11 bankruptcy is usually filed by corporations and partnerships that want to continue operating but carry substantial debt that must be reorganized and repaid over time.

Business & Corporate Law

Our attorneys handle a wide range of business and corporate transactions, including business formation, commercial leases, the purchase or sale of businesses, and commercial real estate transactions. We also handle business litigation, such as breach of contract, unfair competition, and breach of fiduciary duty cases.

Often, business disputes involve a breach of a contract. A contract is valid and enforceable in Florida if there is an offer, an acceptance, sufficiently definite terms, and an exchange of consideration. Consideration may include promises to provide goods, services, or money, or to take specific actions. However, contracts may also be binding if one party acts in reliance on another party’s promise to perform, to the relying party’s detriment. Our attorneys are well-versed in the needs of businesses as well as the legal standards that govern these claims, and we can help make sure that the contracts drafted for your business are thorough and take into consideration how a court would likely interpret a contract in case of litigation.

Civil Litigation

We represent individuals and businesses in business litigation, probate and estate litigation, construction disputes, and real estate litigation. During or after a construction project, for example, significant disputes may arise between the parties, including disputes about payment, construction defects and workmanship, compliance with contractual obligations, and indemnity issues. Under Florida Statutes Chapter 558, a construction defect claimant is required to follow certain procedures. These give the contractor, subcontractor, supplier, or design professional alleged to be responsible for the defect an opportunity to resolve the claim by using confidential settlement negotiations before defending against an expensive lawsuit. Civil litigation can be extremely expensive, and our attorneys work to achieve a favorable outcome while being mindful of cost-effective strategies.

Family Law

We handle family law matters that involve adoption, re-adoption, divorce, child custody, visitation, child support, spousal support, property division, and the preparation of pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements. In Florida, a divorce is known as a "dissolution of marriage." It may be obtained without showing fault as long as one of the spouses can prove that their marriage is irretrievably broken. It also must be proven that one spouse has been a resident of the state for the six months immediately before the petition for dissolution of marriage is filed.

Although fault need not be shown to obtain a divorce, it can affect a court's decision when determining spousal support and property distribution, among other things. Florida is an equitable distribution state. This means that marital property may not be split 50/50 but will be divided according to principles of fairness.

Real Estate & Title Insurance

We represent individual and business clients in closings, easement disputes, property boundary disputes, quiet title actions, enforcement of real estate contracts and deed restrictions, evictions, landlord-tenant litigation, and homeowners' association disputes. We also assist lenders in foreclosure actions and negotiations with homeowners.

Many buyers do not appreciate the importance of purchasing title insurance during a real estate closing for their home. Title insurance can help protect you in case someone has an interest in your property that is not recorded or could not be discovered. Another method of resolving conflicts over who has an ownership interest in property is a quiet title action. These can be filed in circuit court to resolve disputes when there is a break in the chain of title or "clouds" on title, such as liens and prior owners' claims.

Wills, Trusts & Estate Planning

We draft wills, trusts, and other estate planning instruments for our clients. Our attorneys help our clients determine how to best protect their wealth and assets through careful estate planning that takes into account the tax consequences of various arrangements. There are certain types of trusts we can set up that can help minimize taxes owed for wealthy clients.

For example, we can help you put your assets into an irrevocable life insurance trust in order to reduce federal estate tax if you have an estate that is worth more than the exempt amount. The irrevocable life insurance trust becomes the owner of the life insurance policy, which means proceeds are not taxed against the insured's estate. The trust may be for the benefit of a surviving spouse, children, or other beneficiaries. The insured must select a highly responsible individual other than him or herself to serve as the trustee, and that person is responsible for paying premiums and fulfilling other duties.

Consult a Transactional, Litigation, or Bankruptcy Lawyer in Lake County

Our firm provides knowledgeable legal representation for individuals and entities in a wide range of legal matters. We can assist clients who need a Lake County bankruptcy attorney or guidance in litigation or transactions. We represent people and businesses in communities such as Mount Dora, Eustis, Astatula, Fruitland Park, Groveland, Lady Lake, Leesburg, Minneola, Montverde, Sorrento, Tavares, and Umatilla. Contact the Shipley Law Firm at (352) 383-3397 or by using our online form to set up an appointment.

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