Law office by day, art gallery by night

Visiting Kluger Kaplan’s Miami office overlooking Biscayne Bay feels like you stumbled upon a secret upscale art gallery more than a characteristic law office.

After hours the space transforms into an art gallery and welcomes non-profits and businesses who make a charitable contribution at the firm, for an intimate cocktail hour and art tour. All proceeds are donated to the charity’s organization.

Founding partner, Alan Kluger, and his wife, retired Miami-Dade Circuit Judge, Amy Dean, have been collecting artwork for more than 30 years. Kluger hand-picked from his private collection and moved several pieces into the office.

This past month, Kluger Kaplan hosted The Tribe, a group of Jewish young professionals looking to grow both personally and professionally in various leadership capacities.

The group received a personal guided tour from Alan, who showcased his latest collection featuring artists from countries throughout the world. Each piece reflects Kluger’s desire for understanding other cultures.

With Art Basel approaching, below are some pictures from The Tribe’s recent tour and a preview of some of the notable pieces that adorn the walls of Kluger Kaplan.

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The piece titled “Vision in Green” by Haitian-born painter and sculptor Edouard Duval-Carrie, represents how the Haitian population was decimated after the European conquistadors brought plague ad disease to the land.

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Alan Kluger’s passion for art is evident as he tells the story behind his latest collection.

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The piece titled “Hoy” was created by Douglas Arguelle Cruz, an artist who lives and works in Miami, Florida, originally from Havana, Cuba.

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Alan Kluger pictured with The Tribe during their visit.

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Cuban American artist Jorge Pantoja is known for his series of drawings, that have been called visual haikus. This piece titled “Perfectionist” demonstrates his use of intimate scale and meditative strokes.

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Los Carpinteros is a Cuban artist founded in Havana in 1992 by Marco Antonio, Castillo Valdes, Dagoberto Rodriguez Sanchez, and Alexandre Arrechea. In their work, the artists incorporate aspects of architecture, design and sculpture such as this piece titled “Downtown Verde.”

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This piece titled “Rapsodia en Azul” was created by Gonzalo Cienfuegos. Gonzalo was born in Santiago, Chile in 1949, and has exhibited in various countries including Argentina, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay, Spain, France and the United States.

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Members of The Tribe socializing after their personalized art tour, lead by Alan Kluger.

 

 

The Best Lawyers in America Recognizes Nine Kluger Kaplan Attorneys

BestLawyersLogo1The Best Lawyers in America© once again recognizes Kluger, Kaplan, Silverman, Katzen & Levine for its legal expertise and excellence in its 2019 edition.

“We are thrilled that our team members have been recognized again for this great honor,” said Founding Member Alan Kluger. “It’s a testament to our dedication to the legal profession and affirms the stellar reputation our attorneys have earned through delivering outstanding client service while practicing with integrity and professionalism.”

The following attorneys were featured in this year’s list:

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Deborah S. Chames

* Family Law

 

Abbey L. Kaplan

* Commercial Litigation

* Entertainment Law- Motion Pictures and Television

* Litigation – Mergers and Acquisitions

* Litigation – Real Estate

 

Bruce A. Katzen

* Commercial Litigation

* Securities / Capital Markets Law

 

Alan J. Kluger

* Commercial Litigation

* Family Law

* Litigation – Banking and Finance

* Litigation – Real Estate

 

Todd A. Levine

* Litigation – Real Estate

 

Philippe Lieberman

* Commercial Litigation

 

Jason R. Marks

* Family Law

 

Steve I. Silverman 5 years

* Commercial Litigation

 

Minneapolis, MN

Daniel N. Rosen

* Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law

Best Lawyers lists are compiled based on an exhaustive peer-review evaluation. Almost 87,000 industry leading lawyers are eligible to vote (from around the world), and the publication has received almost 10 million evaluations on the legal abilities of other lawyers based on their specific practice areas around the world. For the 2019 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America©, 7.8 million votes were analyzed.

Anatomy of a Case: Kluger Kaplan Sets New Standard for Upholding Residential Real Estate Contract

Case: Diaz v. Kosch, Third District Court of Appeal of The State of Florida

Thanks to the arguments of Kluger Kaplan attorneys, Alan Kluger and Ashley Frankel, along with Scott Kravetz of Duane Morris, the Third District Court of Appeal of The State of Florida recently set a new standard for strictly upholding the provisions of the Florida Bar’s standard contract for real estate home purchases.

AJK High ResolutionBackground:

The case began in 2012 with a real estate transaction gone bad.  Coral Gables homeowners, David and Tiffany Kosch, entered an agreement with Miami attorney, Richard Diaz, to sell their home “as-is” for nearly $2.8 million.  The purchase agreement followed the standard form for a real estate contract established by the Florida Bar.

As part of the purchase agreement the sellers completed a disclosure statement affirming, among other things, that they had no knowledge of improvements constructed in violation of applicable building codes, without necessary permits, or with any open permits not closed with a final inspection to the property or the presence of toxic substances. The prospective buyer deposited $50,000 in escrow for the purchase with a further deposit of $235,000 due when the 10-day right of inspection and right to cancel period expired.

AFrankel232During the 10-day inspection/termination period, the buyer raised concerns regarding unpermitted renovations; however, they did not negotiate an extension of the inspection period or terminate the transaction. On the final day of the right to terminate period, the buyers deposited the additional $235,000 in escrow, per the agreement, but also threatened legal action against the sellers.

Shortly before the closing date on the purchase, the buyers terminated the transaction demanding return of the money deposited in escrow. The buyers also filed a lawsuit against the sellers and brokers asserting claims for breach of contract, conversion, fraud in inducement, fraud in concealment, negligent misrepresentation, and conspiratorial fraud, with a claim for punitive damages asserted as well. The buyers also alleged the property contained radon contamination requiring extensive remediation.

The Ruling:

The litigation over the failed sale was extensive, lasting more than four-and-a-half years during which the buyer filed multiple motions for punitive damages. Ultimately, Judge Eric Hendon of the Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County issued a summary judgement in favor of the sellers, ruling the buyers did not properly exercise their right to terminate in the period allowed by the contract, and so were not entitled to a return of the money held in escrow. Additionally, the judge awarded the sellers attorneys fees in the case. In June 2018, the Third District Court of Appeal affirmed Judge Hendon’s decision.

The court ruled that the allegations in the plaintiffs’ complaint were contradicted by the language in the “As Is” Residential Contract for Sale and Purchase, which included non-reliance provisions. The court further ruled that the buyers could not attempt to get around these provisions by effectively creating a “conditional tender” of the second deposit, which would make the sellers liable for repairs, permitting issues and other circumstances.

Impact:

This was a landmark decision that reinforces the strict, but enforceable provisions in contracts governing residential real estate transactions. It affirms that purchasers and sellers must carefully review and comply with the letter of each provision in the Florida Bar’s standard form.

Parties in a home purchase must adhere to the wording of the “As Is” contract, which states that once a deposit is in escrow, the purchaser cannot change the terms of the agreement, and must either move forward or walk away. Purchasers are not allowed to create a “conditional tender” with a second deposit to reserve their right to purchase but hold the sellers liable for repairs.

The Real Deal: Trump Doral to pay tenant’s legal fees tied to lease dispute

Doral resort will have to pay more than $2.5M in legal bills.

Trump National Doral Miami is running up an expensive tab in a long-running legal war it’s losing against Florida Pritikin Center, a rehabilitation spa leasing space at the luxury resort.

On Wednesday, the Third District Court of Appeal affirmed a 2017 final judgement ruling by Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Jose Rodriguez against Trump Endeavor 12, the entity that owns the Doral golf resort managed by Donald Trump Jr…

…By the time the bills are tallied up, Trump Endeavor will have to pay more than $2.5 million in attorney fees in its failed bid to evict the spa from a 40,000-square-foot-space at Trump Doral, said Pritikin’s lawyer, Philippe Lieberman, a partner with the Miami firm Kluger Kaplan Silverman Katzen and Levine.

“The exact amount will be determined by Judge Rodriguez in the next couple of months,” Lieberman said. “Our client is very happy. He is looking forward to putting this behind him and recovering his legal fees from Trump.”

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Trump Endeavor attorney Bruce Rogow did not respond to a request for comment.

Pritikin sued Trump Endeavor in June 2015, alleging breach of contract. According to court documents, Pritikin had a lease with the prior owner dating back to 2009 that was still in effect when Trump Endeavor purchased the golf resort in bankruptcy court three years later. The company affirmed the lease and Pritikin was forced to remain while the Trumps renovated the property, the lawsuit states.

“At that point, the property was in disrepair and bad condition,” Lieberman said. “Trump would not reduce the rent or allow Pritikin out of the lease. When the lease was up for renewal, it coincided with when construction was coming to a close. Trump wanted to bully us off the property.”

Pritikin’s lawsuit claims that Trump tried to increase a special room rate for Pritikin clients by 583 percent, would not replace worn-out refrigeration units in the spa, attempted to reject the tenant’s option to extend the lease until 2019 and tried to improperly terminate the agreement. “We resisted,” Lieberman said. “We pushed back.”

In February 2015, Rodriguez granted Pritikin declaratory relief, which forced Trump Endeavor to honor the lease, as well as decrease its clients’ room rates by 15 percent. The developer won a subsequent appeal to the Third District Court, which sent it back to Rodriguez to provide a better explanation as to why he ruled in Pritikin’s favor, Lieberman said.

“He did that in 38-page judgement filed in June 2017,” Lieberman said. “Trump appealed that judgement and the appellate court ruled in Pritikin’s favor this Wednesday.”

Read the full story in The Real Deal. 

Miami Herald: Trump loses appeal to Doral golf resort tenant whose rent he tried to raise 583 percent

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A Trump-owned company that operates the president’s Trump National Doral Miami golf resort has been ordered to pay the legal fees of a spa owner whose rent Trump attempted to raise fivefold during a lease dispute in 2013…

…Alan Kluger, a Pritikin attorney, said Trump had planned to “build a billionaire’s club” and the spa did not match his vision for the resort.

“He did everything he could to force him out,” Kluger said. “He and his team just tried to bully Pritikin. They took outrageous positions, they threatened him. It was really unconscionable.”

golfcourseThe trial judge sided with Pritikin, and on Wednesday Miami’s Third District Court of Appeal agreed.

Kluger and his colleagues are seeking $2.5 million in compensation for legal fees. The appeals court granted Pritikin’s motion for attorney fees — and added attorney fees for the appeal process as well. Pritikin attorneys are now working to set up a September hearing to determine an exact number.

A spokesperson for Trump Hotels did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“The overwhelming credible and substantial evidence reflects that Trump Endeavor undertook a series of pretextual maneuvers in an effort to force Pritikin to vacate the leased premises,” Circuit Court Judge Rodriguez wrote in his 2017 ruling siding with Pritikin. “The court finds that Pritikin is the prevailing party on the significant issues of the case and is entitled to an award of reasonable attorney’s fees and costs.”

Kluger said Trump Endeavor has a right to file a petition with Florida’s Supreme Court but that it was unlikely to go through.

“For all intents and purposes, all their appellate rights are done,” said attorney Philippe Lieberman. “Now all that needs to be decided is the amount of legal fees that Trump needs to pay Pritikin, and that number is going to be substantial.”

Read the full story in the Miami Herald.