Based on the breadth and depth of his legal, policy and management experience, John provides counsel that is uniquely valuable to clients who seek to advance the Rechtsanwalt Kassel public good through sustainable and thriving enterprises, both for-profit and non-profit. He is Of Counsel to the firm, and available to clients and colleagues as needed.
From the firm’s infancy in 2002 until 2009, John helped to develop the firm’s robust energy, environmental and exempt-organization practices, which his partners and colleagues have expanded in both scope and sophistication. He departed in 2009 to become President of Conservation Law Foundation, in Boston. He returned to the firm in 2016 and served as Managing Partner through 2019, shifting to Of Counsel status in January 2020.
Prior to his time at the firm John served from 1994 to 2000 as General Counsel, Deputy Secretary and Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources during the administration of Governor Howard Dean. He was a criminal prosecutor in Chittenden County from 1992 to 1994 and a commercial litigator with a firm in Burlington before that. He served as a law clerk to Hon. Joseph L. Tauro, U.S. District Judge for the District of Massachusetts, in 1986-87. He earned his JD, magna cum laude, from Cornell Law School, in 1986 and his BA, magna cum laude, from Middlebury College, in 1980. He taught middle school between college and law school.
John understands the strengths and limits of the private sector, government authorities (executive, legislative and judicial) and non-governmental organizations like few people in our region today. As a result, his counsel is widely sought by entities on all sides of public and private issues, on both legal and strategic issues, across New England and nationally. Philanthropists also seek his counsel to enhance the impact of their charitable investments.
At Kassel Law Group, our real estate lawyers have handled all aspects of real estate transactions and litigation throughout Tampa Bay. We litigate real estate contract disputes, title disputes, commercial landlord/tenant issues, and many other real estate litigation matters. Our services also include the closing of residential and commercial sales and refinances.
At Kassel Law Group, our lawyers provide legal representation to creditors in post-judgment debt collection and defend consumers and businesses against the garnishment or attachment of assets. We have extensive experience representing plaintiffs and defendants in collection and foreclosure matters which allows us to anticipate our opponent’s strategy and develop effective tactics to meet our clients’ objectives.
If you are a homeowner or business owner and have been served with a summons and foreclosure complaint, it is important you consult with a real estate attorney as soon as possible. Once you have been served you have 20 days to respond. If you fail to respond, the bank or homeowners association can obtain a default judgment against you and take your property.
All landlords should be careful to strictly comply with the pre-eviction notice requirements set forth in Chapter 83, Florida Statutes. A failure to do so could result in the dismissal of an eviction and an award of attorney’s fees for the tenant.
- A condition precedent (i.e., a legal prerequisite) to a residential eviction for nonpayment of rent is a 3-day notice given to the tenant either by mail or by posting the notice on the door of the residence in substantially the same form as provided in F.S. §83.56(3). A tenant cannot waive the notice requirement in the lease. F.S. §83.56(4).
- A condition precedent (i.e., a legal prerequisite) to a residential eviction for noncompliance of a non-monetary provision of the lease or the statutory obligations in the Residential Act is a 7-day notice.
There are two types of 7-day notice:
- Type 1: Noncompliance is of a nature that the tenant should be given an opportunity to cure.
- If the noncompliance falls under this category, the landlord must deliver a written notice to the tenant specifying the noncompliance, and stating that if the noncompliance is not corrected within 7 days from the date the notice is delivered, the landlord will terminate the rental agreement by reason thereof. F.S. §83.56(2)(b).
- Type 2: The noncompliance is of a nature that the tenant should not be given an opportunity to cure.
- Examples include but are not limited to, a subsequent or continuing noncompliance within 12 months of a written warning by the landlord of a similar violation or destruction, damage, or misuse of the landlord’s or other tenants’ property by an intentional act or a subsequent or continued unreasonable disturbance.
- Kassel Law Group also prosecutes unlawful detainer actions to remove occupants of the property. An unlawful detainer action may be appropriate if there is (a) a transient occupant on the property who forced entry and refuses to vacate or (b) an occupant, who at one time was permitted to be on the property, but now refuses to vacate. Unlawful detainer is only appropriate where no landlord-tenant relationship exists.
COMMERCIAL LANDLORD-TENANT LAW ATTORNEY
Kassel Law Group represents commercial landlords and tenants with the drafting, review, and negotiation of commercial leases, including retail, office, industrial, and leisure facilities in various Florida counties. In addition to providing transactional leasing services, we represent landlords and tenants in eviction matters and other lease agreement disputes, including the collection of debt. We represent large and small companies alike and understand the importance of structuring individual solutions for each business.
Like residential tenancies, termination of a commercial tenancy is appropriate both for certain monetary and non-monetary related defaults. Generally, Florida courts are more likely to uphold the landlord’s termination of a commercial tenancy based on a monetary default than a non-monetary default.
- Examples of monetary defaults may include but are not limited to the tenant’s failure to pay rent timely, the tenant’s failure to pay taxes, maintenance costs, or costs for repairs.
If a commercial landlord seeks to terminate the commercial tenancy based on a tenant’s non-monetary default, the tenant’s noncompliance must constitute a material breach of a material obligation under the lease agreement. An example of a non-monetary breach where a Florida court upheld the termination of the lease agreement is a tenant’s failure to carry proper liability insurance as required by the lease.
A commercial tenant seeking to lease a large space shared by many other tenants, i.e., a shopping mall, may enter into a lease agreement including a covenant not to compete. A covenant not to compete in a commercial lease is a restrictive covenant, which means that it restricts the landlord’s ability to directly compete with its tenant and prevents the landlord from leasing neighboring space to a tenant’s competitor. In the event a commercial landlord is in violation of a covenant not to compete, the appropriate remedy for the tenant could be an injunction. An injunction is an action filed in court to prevent the landlord from violating the restrictive covenant. A competing tenant or landlord could result in major financial implications for the tenant and can influence the tenant’s ability to perform under the lease.
REAL ESTATE LITIGATION ATTORNEY
Real estate litigation encompasses several different practice areas and requires a real estate lawyer with well-honed business law acumen and in-depth knowledge of real estate, and in some cases estate planning. Kassel Law Group’s law office fit that standard. In addition to our fine-tuned litigation and trial skills, our law firms have experience in real estate sales, handling title disputes for national underwriters, and syndicating sophisticated, high exposure deals. We have provided investors, developers, and landowners with creative solutions to resolving any real estate dispute.
Failure to Disclose Defects
A robust real estate market attracts many ‘flippers’ who renovate homes for a quick resale. While not every rehabber cuts corners at the expense of the buyer, some will. Some may even ignore or conceal material defects in the property. When an unsuspecting buyer purchases the property, these rehabbers will often point to an “as is” clause in the purchase and sale contract to escape liability. Do not be fooled. If you purchased a property with an undisclosed material defect in the foundation, roof, plumbing, electrical, or other structural components of the house, Kassel Law Group may be able to recover damages for the seller’s failure to disclose.
Sometimes joint owners of the property cannot agree on what to do with their piece of property. Fortunately, almost every state has a legal procedure to divide real property when the joint owners decide to go their separate ways. One owner can file what is called an action for “partition”. Typically if the joint owners are related they may be inclined to consult a family law firm where really a real estate attorney is the appropriate choice.