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Winter 2011

Comprehensive Tax Reform: Has Its Time Come Around Again?

Published: December 15th, 2011

By: Charles H. Egerton

Can History Repeat Itself? It has been 25 years since the last major overhaul of the nation’s income tax laws under the Tax Reform Act of 1986 (“TRA-86”). The world has changed dramatically since that time and the nation’s economy has been replaced by a global economy. The tax laws have become outmoded and no longer work efficiently, and Congress has added to the problem by constantly attempting to use the Code as an instrument of social, economic and political change. There have been literally thousands of changes to the Code since TRA-86 resulting in inscrutable complexity that threatens to remove the “self” from our once efficient self-assessment system of taxation.

Dean Mead’s Litigation Department Provides Ethics Program on “Privilege” to Association of Corporate Counsel

Published: December 19th, 2011

On November 17, 2011, Dean Mead attorneys Darryl Bloodworth, Nicky Mooney and Marc Chapman presented a CLE seminar to 45 members of the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) Central Florida chapter in Orlando. The topic of the seminar was “Is That Privileged?”: Tips for In-house Counsel on Protecting Communications. This interactive program highlighted attorney-client and work-product privileges issues that may confront corporate and outside counsel in business litigation, as well as conflicts and conflict waivers; when corporate counsel may represent corporate officers; communications with experts; and cooperating with co-parties. Audience members were asked to “vote” on their view of the outcome of hypothetical scenarios, and then panel members addressed the issues and the likely outcomes.

ERC’s Approval of Florida’s Water Quality Standards

Published: December 15th, 2011

By: Dennis G. Corrick

In the past month, there have been several developments relating to Florida’s response to the EPA’s proposed Numeric Nutrient Standards, which have been the focus of much debate and discussion since they were proposed. The federal standards were widely criticized by agricultural and other business interests as overly-broad, not adequately supported by science and as needlessly expensive to implement. Implementation cost estimates (outside the EPA, which provided the lowest estimate) ranged from $1 billion to $8.4 billion annually. Much of that cost was directly related to agriculture, but much was projected to be paid directly by water utility customers.

Fort Pierce Office Shares in the Gift of Giving

Published: December 19th, 2011

Dean Mead’s Fort Pierce office knows the importance of giving back to their community. An annual tradition, attorneys and professional staff donated to The Village of CRC – Counseling and Recovery Center, a local drug rehabilitation facility for women. The office received a special “wish list” filled with the names and ages of the children of the residents of the facility.

Have You Checked Out Dean Mead’s New Website?

Published: December 15th, 2011

This fall, Dean Mead was pleased to launch the firm’s new corporate Website at deanmead.deme.dev. The site design is more comprehensive and interactive through the use of video content and social media technology.

We also invite you to check out the firm’s Estate and Succession Planning Blog whereby its editors and contributors constantly monitor the latest developments in both tax and non-tax laws affecting our clients. We share weekly updates about regional and national issues, legal trends and key legislation on our Florida Trusts and Estates Blog at http://www.floridatrustsestatesblog.com.

Holiday Cheer Abounds as Orlando Office Raises $2,000 in Support of the Angel Tree Project

Published: December 15th, 2011

Once again this year, the Orlando attorneys and staff rang in the holiday cheer through their strong support of The Angel Tree Project, all to help children in our local community be remembered and feel special this holiday season. Through the leadership of Orlando associate and CFAWL president, Melanie Griffin, the children we “adopted” from the Angel Tree Project are students at Rock Lake Elementary School in Orange County, as well as children in Devereux foster care, which provides shelter and behavioral health services to the most underserved and vulnerable members of our local community.

Lauren Detzel Honored by Central Florida WEC

Published: December 15th, 2011

Lauren Y. Detzel was recently honored by the Central Florida Women’s Executive Council as a 2011 Outstanding Professional at the organization’s 40th Annual Women’s Achievement Awards in Orlando.

President’s Message

Published: December 15th, 2011

By: Michael D. Minton

Water is the key to Florida’s past, present and future. There is always too much or too little and very little ability within our current system to manage either extreme. For years, communities throughout Florida have been exploring ways they can provide adequate water supplies to residences, businesses and the environment. At some point, the Central Florida region will be forced to stop relying on mostly ground water from the Floridan aquifer as the demand is outpacing the supply and recharge ability, and will be forced to turn instead to alternative sources, such as surface water, reclaimed water and the most expensive alternative, desalinization plants that convert salt or saline water to drinking water. Identifying the alternative sources is easy. Paying for the alternative source and dealing with the impact of higher water costs upon the consumer is the challenge. In Central Florida, the logistics (along with the politics) of locating the alternative water source and transmitting from the source to the taps of users who span three water management districts, seven counties and 86 municipalities, exacerbates this challenge.

The New Florida Power of Attorney Act

Published: December 19th, 2011

By: Robert J. Naberhaus III

The Florida Power of Attorney Act (the “Act”) went into effect on October 1, 2011. This Act governs all powers of attorney used in Florida and all powers of attorney governed by Florida law. More importantly, the Act applies retroactively to valid powers of attorney signed prior to October 1. Some of the changes resulting from the Act include the following: