The Latest TBX Update

FDOT is in the process of hosting public meetings to discuss a handful of concepts related to the TBX project through Fall 2018.  In January 2019, FDOT officials will present options to Hillsborough County elected officials and members of the public, including the option of doing nothing or returning to the original TBX proposal.

Completion of the entire reset process isn’t expected until late 2019, and that is assuming there is no need for FDOT to hit the pause button as it did with TBX.  The bottom line is hurry up and wait at this point, as FDOT considers all alternatives.

For more information, see the Tampa Bay Business Journal’s recent coverage of this topic.

Gaylord Merlin Ludovici & Diaz Partners Named to Florida Trend Magazine’s 2017 Legal Elite

Gaylord Merlin Ludovici & Diaz partners Andrew Diaz, Blake Gaylord, Cary Gaylord, and Lorena Ludovici have been named to Florida Trend magazine’s 2017 “Legal Elite,” which recognizes the top attorneys in the state based on voting by their peers.  Cary Gaylord also has been named to the Legal Elite “Hall of Fame.”

Actively practicing Florida attorneys were asked to name the attorneys that they hold in highest regard as professionals – lawyers with whom they have personally worked and would recommend to others. The votes are tallied using a formula that gives more weight to votes cast from outside a lawyer’s current firm. The final list of 1,144 lawyers represents less than 2 percent of attorneys in the state in private practice as well as government and non-profit attorneys.

To view the Legal Elite report, click here.

Hillsborough MPO Votes to Move Forward with Tampa Bay Next Project

At a June 14th meeting, the Hillsborough County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) voted to continue with its Transportation Improvement Program.  The program consists of numerous projects, including Tampa Bay Next, which is the rebranded controversial TBX project.  The Tampa Bay Next project includes construction of a new Howard Franklin Bridge, improvements to the SR 60/I-275 interchange in the Westshore District, and the redesign of the I-4/I-275 interchange.  The project also includes adding toll lanes to Tampa Bay Area’s interstate system and accommodations for mass transit.  More than $300 million is allocated for purchasing land and construction over the next five years.


Four Gaylord Merlin Attorneys Named 2017 Florida Super Lawyers & Rising Stars

Florida Super Lawyers magazine has named 4 attorneys from Gaylord Merlin Ludovici & Diaz to its 2017 list for Eminent Domain.

Super Lawyers honors the top 5 percent of attorneys in a state or geographic area who have been voted on by the legal community as well as vetted through independent research for professional achievement, excellence in the practice of law and a high degree of peer recognition. Partners Andrew Diaz, Cary Gaylord and Lorena Ludovici were named as 2017 Florida Super Lawyers.

Super Lawyers also recognizes “Rising Stars” for many of the geographic areas it covers. These attorneys are vetted for excellence in the same way Super Lawyers are, but they must be either under the age of 40 or have been in practice for fewer than 10 years. Partner Blake Gaylord was named a 2017 Florida Super Lawyers “Rising Star.”

Florida Eminent Domain Practice and Procedure Manual 10th Edition Released

The Florida Bar and LexisNexis have released the Tenth Edition of the Florida Eminent Domain Practice and Procedure Manual.  Gaylord Merlin partners Andrew Diaz, Blake Gaylord, Cary Gaylord, and Lorena Ludovici were contributing authors to the publication.  In addition, Andrew Diaz served as Chair of the manual’s steering committee.

The manual provides a comprehensive overview of current legal practice, including a detailed review of proceedings from both the condemnor’s and condemnee’s perspective.  The new edition contains the following:

  • Updated statutes, rules, and case law.
  • Newly revised Introduction by the current Chair of the Eminent Domain Committee of The Florida Bar.
  • Discussion of of hot topics, including:
    • Rights and ownership interests in funds deposited in the court registry, and any interest earned.
    • Excessive litigation by a condemning authority, and the entitlement of additional fees and costs in excess of the typical benefits-based fee.
    • Judicial split regarding severance damages valuation and the proper time to object to an inconsistent verdict.
    • The intentional imposition of, or maintaining, zoning in order to lower property values.
    • Attorney’s fees and what constitutes a “first offer” for purposes of calculating the benefit achieved.
    • The 2015 Florida Legislature’s amendments to Bert J. Harris, Jr., Private Property Rights Protection Act. Ch. 2015-142, Laws of Florida.

For more information or to order a copy of the manual, visit the LexisNexis website.

FDOT Updates to “Reset” TBX Plan

The FDOT recently updated Hillsborough County leaders on the “Reset” TBX plan, a $6-billion project that plans to expand the area interstates by adding express toll lanes.  One update discussed was a possible expansion to rails by adding mass transit as part of Tampa’s transportation plan.  FDOT plans to gather feedback from the public over the next two years before implementing any changes.  This is a change from when the plans were initially announced.  FDOT is now focusing on engaging the community with respect to TBX and plans moving forward.

Gaylord Merlin Sponsors 2017 Lay of the Land Conference

Gaylord Merlin Ludovici & Diaz proudly sponsored the 2017 Lay of the Land Conference hosted by Saunders Real Estate in Orlando, Florida March 17, 2017.  The conference featured informative sessions on topics related to Florida real estate, the economic outlook, and Florida land values, and included a conversation with Governor Jeb Bush.

To learn more about the annual conference, visit the Lay of the Land Conference website.

Dean Saunders conf.

dean saunders 3

Hillsborough Commissioners Approve $812 million, 10-Year Transportation Plan

Hillsborough County Commissioners recently  approved a 10 year, $812 million transportation plan. The majority of the funds are to be used for maintenance, safety and the widening and construction of new roads. In fact,  approximately $346 million is to be spent on roads to relieve traffic congestion. Critics of the plan are concerned that it does not sufficiently address transit options such as buses, street car or other transit programs.  For more information, click here.