Heather A. Patchen, Esq. of Patchen Law, P.A. recently spoke at CLE International’s 19th Annual Eminent Domain Conference held at the Sheraton Riverwalk in Tampa, Florida on October 15-16, 2015. Addressing a group of over 100 eminent domain practitioners, appraisers, and other industry professionals, Patchen provided strategies on what to do when unique facts and circumstances affect market value, making it difficult to obtain full compensation. For a complete copy of the presentation, please click on the following link: Measuring Full Compensation Under Unique Facts & Circumstances
Based in Denver, Colorado, CLE International has been a provider of continuing professional education programs throughout the United States and Canada since 1983. Its seminars, which focus on the cutting edge of emerging legal issues of vital importance to attorneys and their clients, real estate professionals, accountants, consultants and government agencies, have received wide acclaim from bench and bar for the high quality of its faculty (all of whom are recognized experts in their fields of specialty) and its efficient organization of detailed and useful information. www.cle.com
Heather A. Patchen has been appointed Vice Chair of the Florida Bar’s Eminent Domain Committee for 2015 -2016. The next meeting of the Eminent Domain Committee will take place on Friday, September 18th at the Tampa Airport Marriott.
The scope and function of the Eminent Domain Committee is to study and keep informed of recent developments in the field of condemnation of private property for public use by governmental agencies or private companies who have the power of eminent domain. Through quarterly meetings and a Committee newsletter, members of the Bar are kept informed of significant developments in this particular area of law.
Patchen Law, P.A., is proud to serve Lawyers For Children America, Inc. (LFCA) by providing free legal representation to children, who are victims of abuse, neglect, and abandonment in the dependency court system. In Florida, where children in dependency court are NOT entitled to government-funded attorneys, unlike their parents, LFCA fills a critical gap in services to this vulnerable population.
“As a law student, I was proud to serve as a Guardian Ad Litem for abused and neglected children, advising the dependency court as to ‘the best interests of the child.’ In the capacity of an Attorney Ad Litem with LFCA, I am now responsible for advocating the actual needs and desires of my client children, ensuring that their voices are heard in court,” said Heather A. Patchen, Esq.
“Often times the children in foster care are told nothing about what is happening to them and they have no one they can confide in or trust. Many are left scared and confused while they get shuffled through the system. My goal is to make sure my client children are in a stable environment and to guide them through the process so they feel safe and know that there is at least one person in their corner fighting for them,” she added.
LFCA educates volunteer attorneys with an extensive two part day-long CLE training on legal representation for children. LFCA also provides ongoing support to the volunteer attorneys including consulting with the pro bono attorneys at every step of the case, accompanying them to court hearings, reviewing legal pleadings, keeping them apprised of new developments in law, and helping them obtain community resources for child clients.
In addition to the training provided to volunteer attorneys, LFCA sponsors the Miami Chapter of Florida Youth SHINE (Striving High for Independence and Empowerment), a leadership and advocacy organization led by current and former foster youth who advocate to improve the system.
About Lawyers for Children America
LFCA is a lead child advocacy non-profit organization protecting the rights of children, who are victims of abuse, abandonment and neglect, by providing quality pro bono legal representation and collaborating for systematic change to improve the lives of children. The LFCA Miami chapter was established in 1998 under the leadership of the late John Edward Smith of the law firm of Steel, Hector & Davis and the Honorable Rosemary Barkett, Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Since its inception, the LFCA Miami chapter has recruited, trained, and supported over 1,000 pro bono attorneys, who have provided free legal representation to over 3,000 abused and neglected children in our community. For more information about LFCA visit: www.lawyersforchildrenamerica.org.
LFCA Miami – 200 South Biscayne Boulevard, Suite 4000, Miami, FL 33131. Phone: 305-577-4771.
The scope and function of the Eminent Domain Committee is to study and keep informed of recent developments in the field of condemnation of private property for public use by governmental agencies or private companies who have the power of eminent domain. It should keep the members of the Bar informed of developments of great significance in this field, maintain liaison with private companies and governmental agencies who have and use the power of eminent domain, and study and consider legislation, law or problems in the area of eminent domain law as developed by the committee or assigned by the president or the Board of Governors.
As a complement to the firm’s practice, Patchen Law is entirely dedicated to issues involving property with a particular emphasis in the areas of eminent domain, property rights, real estate and title closings.
Senior Lawyers Committee charts its course
By Gary Blankenship
Passing along professionalism standards and practice skills to younger lawyers.
Finding a way to use lawyers who no longer represent clients but want to remain active in Florida Bar activities.
Getting assistance with ever-changing technology.
Those were among the many topics and suggestions raised at the initial meeting of the Bar’s new Senior Lawyers Committee.
Chair Jake Schickel opened the meeting, held January 23 at the Bar’s Winter Meeting in Orlando, saying, “What we’ll do today is talk a little bit about what we’d like to see done, where we’d like to go, and organize a little bit.”
He added: “This is not to be a substantive law committee; this is to help us with the lifestyle and what we might do in continuing to practice and work. We’re not an enforcement group. The committee is to do ‘for’ lawyers and not ‘to’ lawyers.”
There was no lack of suggestions and observations from the several dozen lawyers of all ages in attendance.
Heather Patchen of Miami Lakes said she practices with her father and joined the committee “to learn how I can help him with the transition [to a reduced practice] because I know he loves it.”
Glenn Roderman, of Ft. Lauderdale, said he’s concerned with the declining ethics in the profession.
“I’m really into the old school ethics, which I don’t see much anymore,” he said. “I think there’s a lot we can do here in terms of ethics and mentoring.”
Martin Haines of Lake Park, a former chair of the Family Law Section, agreed.
“What I see is an evolving practice of ‘gotcha.’ And it’s the ‘gotcha’ element that started to piss me off,” Haines said, adding he wants to see judges welcome lawyers into the courtroom and lawyers welcome decisions from judges, not become angry about them.
Marie Antonados of Coral Springs isn’t interested in slowing down.
She said she doesn’t like being asked, “‘Are you trying to wind your practice down?’ No, I’m trying to keep it wound. I don’t want to be an old attorney who is sent out to pasture. I want to be an older lawyer with as much dignity as possible.”
George Waas of Tallahassee noted he retired after 40 years, including 32 years with the state, mostly in the Attorney General’s Office. He said he doesn’t want to hang out a shingle or join a law firm, but he does want to remain active in Bar activities even if he’s not practicing law.
“There should be a category of membership between active and inactive. I’m very much in favor of that,” he said. “If you’re not seeking clients, you ought to be able to remain an active member of the Bar.”
West Palm Beach attorney Leonard Singer, who has practiced since 1965, said, “The older I get the more I want to work. The biggest problem I’ve found is technology. Fortunately, I have two daughters who live near me and help me with technology.”
Daniel Vaughen of DeLand has the opposite wish. He wants to scale back his practice, except for clients who refuse to be referred elsewhere, and concentrate on helping other lawyers with technology issues, especially related to Apple products.
And so the meeting went.
Young lawyers who wanted to help senior members with technology or who want to scale back their practices to only cases they want to do. Older attorneys seeking to mentor younger attorneys and help them deal with the business of law so they can enjoy the practice of law and have a better balance between work and their personal lives.
Bar President Eugene Pettis and President-elect Greg Coleman attended the meeting and invited members to give their suggestions.
“We’re looking forward to your ideas and input,” Pettis said.
Schickel said he will appoint subcommittees based on ideas and interests expressed at the meeting, and also consider a website and newsletter for the committee.
“Now we take all the enthusiasm and ideas and try to put them into practice,” Schickel said after the meeting. “We are dividing into committees and subcommittees and will send everyone out with the message to bring back to the committee, at the Annual Convention, a game plan by which we can implement all these great ideas.”
For further information about the committee, email Lani Fraser at The Florida Bar at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Patchen Law, P.A. proudly appears in the Professional Profiles section of the 2014 South Florida Legal Guide of Top Lawyers (on page 130). Of Counsel, Brian P. Patchen (Law Office of Brian P. Patchen, P.A.) was named to the South Florida Legal Guide’s 2014 list of Top Lawyers in two categories: Civil Litigation (page 91) and Real Estate – Eminent Domain (page 105). Mr. Patchen has been named a Top Lawyer in Real Estate – Eminent Domain in the South Florida Legal Guide consecutively since 2006. A complete electronic version of the 2014 South Florida Legal Guide can be found by clicking here.
Mr. Patchen has devoted his entire career to eminent domain, representing landowners and business owners throughout the State of Florida. He has handled hundreds of cases involving every aspect of eminent domain for over 30 years. He is a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer by The Florida Bar and is rated AV by Martindale-Hubbell. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, admitted in New York and Michigan as well as Florida. He is past Chairman and Vice Chairman of The Florida Bar Eminent Domain Committee and has been a contributing author to to the Florida Bar’s Eminent Domain Practice and Procedure, currently the chapter on Compensation. Mr. Patchen has also lectured on eminent domain at various CLE conferences, including the conference of Florida Circuit Court Judges.
Today, Mr. Patchen continues to practice in eminent domain out of his Miami Lakes office, which he shares with his daughter Heather A. Patchen of Patchen Law, P.A. Following in her father’s footsteps, Heather focuses her practice in eminent domain and works tirelessly to ensure that her clients’ property investments are well protected. In addition to her work in eminent domain, Heather’s practice involves both litigation and transaction work in a wide array of property related matters including landlord/tenant claims, first party property claims, and serving as a Guardian Ad Litem in foreclosure proceedings, as well as conducting title closings and drafting various contracts related to property leases and purchase agreements.
The inaugural meeting of the Senior Lawyers Committee took place last Thursday, January 23rd at The Florida Bar Winter Meeting at the Hilton Buena Vista in Orlando, Florida. I am both honored and humbled to be a member of this passionate group of attorneys, and hope to serve as a bridge between the “new” and the “experienced” attorneys.
Over 40 committee members, many of whom with careers spanning over 40 years and still in practice, were in attendance, as well as a number of members who participated via conference call. Committee Chair Jake Schickel began the meeting by emphasizing that the Committee’s mission has nothing to do with determining or enforcing the “fitness” of a senior lawyer. Instead, the mission of the Senior Lawyers Committee is focused on helping lawyers find a meaningful, dignified approach to transition from full time practice to the next phase in their career or possibly retirement.
Discussion opened up with a number of attorneys expressing a real concern over the lack of professionalism shown among many of today’s practitioners, and a desire of many to see the talk of professionalism put into action through a senior lawyer advisory council for existing and new lawyers, as well as judges in each circuit. Many also expressed a strong desire to pass along their wealth of knowledge through a mentorship program with new attorneys. Others discussed openly their frustration over not yet being ready to retire, but also not wanting to keep up the same pace.
The overwhelming theme throughout the discussion among members was a strong desire to share their knowledge and experience, and give back to the legal community as well as the community at large. As a professional who is relatively new to the practice of law, I am excited to be a part of what will surely be a ground breaking endeavor and look forward to being a part of the development of the Senior Lawyers Committee.
Heather A. Patchen will speak at the upcoming Eminent Domain Committee, Florida Bar Winter Meeting this Friday, January 24, 2014. The presentation entitled, “Moving Costs in Eminent Domain: A Mélange of Damages” will provide insight into the various overlapping remedies for damages available as a result of a taking, and will discuss the implications of the 2009 Florida Supreme Court case Systems Components Corp. v. Fla. DOT, 14 So. 3d 967 (Fla. 2009).
While attending the Florida Bar Winter Meeting, Heather will also participate in the inaugural meeting for the Senior Lawyers Committee. The Senior Lawyers Committee shall serve the interests and needs of the profession by fostering an interchange of ideas, sharing the accumulated knowledge and experience of its members and addressing issues that are of particular significance to senior lawyers. Heather was appointed to the Senior Lawyers Committee in November of 2013 and will serve a term until 2015.
Patchen Law is pleased to announce that the firm is now an officially registered agent with Secure Settlements, Inc. (SSI). As a registered agent, Patchen Law has been included in a national pool of qualified and respected closing professionals who meet the risk management standards set by SSI’s mortgage lender clients. To be included in the pool of qualified closing professionals, the firm was required to undergo a rigorous vetting process to evaluate operational risks.
SSI is the first company to offer a standardized risk management process and information database of fully vetted mortgage closing professionals that protects both consumers and lenders – reducing fraud and ensuring that federal regulatory requirements are met. The Secure Settlements process delivers the most advanced closing fraud risk analysis in the industry and meets all risk management requirements for third-party vetting of vendor relationships, as outlined by CFPB, OCC, HUD, FDIC, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the National Credit Union Administration.