Category Archives: Uncategorized

Beggs & Lane Adds Bill Linne As Partner

Beggs & Lane is pleased to announce that William Linne has re-joined the firm.

Bill is an honors graduate of Michigan State University in accounting.  While attending law school he worked summers for two of the “Big 8″ accounting firms: Ernst & Ernst and Lybrand, Ross Brothers and Montgomery.  After receiving his law degree from the University of Virginia in 1972, Bill practiced as a trial lawyer for the law firm of Steiner, Crum and Baker in Montgomery, Alabama.  He obtained his LLM tax degree from the University of Florida Graduate Tax Program in 1975, graduating with highest honors.

His practice as a trusts and estates lawyer with Beggs & Lane began in September 1975.   Bill’s primary supervisor and mentor at Beggs & Lane was Mr. E. Dixie Beggs, a well-known and respected trusts and estates lawyer and a former President of the Florida Bar.  Bill’s philosophy about the practice of law can be traced directly to the training he received from the partners in Steiner, Crum & Baker (Walter R. Byars and Roland M. Nachman) and his partners in Beggs & Lane (Mr. Beggs and the Hon. C. Roger Vinson – now Senior U. S. District Judge for the Northern District of Florida).

From 1986 to 2013, Bill worked as a solo practitioner in a successful estate planning practice in Pensacola, Florida.  We are thrilled to have Bill re-join Beggs & Lane as head of the firm’s Trust, Estate and Tax Section.

Bill is Board Certified in Tax Law by the Florida Board of Legal Specialization and Education.  He is also AV rated under Martindale-Hubbell’s peer review rating system.

Bill’s trusts and estates practice is geared to serve high net worth individuals as well as those clients of modest means.  In his over four decades of practice, Bill has developed estate plans for well over 7,500 clients.   He presently maintains a continuing professional relationship with over 2,500 families, administers on the average over 100 estates per year, and develops between 100 and 200 sophisticated estate plans each year. These estate plans typically involve the preparation of Wills, Revocable and Irrevocable Trusts, Qualified Personal Residence Trusts, Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts, Grantor Retained Unitrusts, Intentionally Defective Grantor Trusts, Charitable Lead Trusts, Charitable Remainder Trusts, Private Foundations, Private Operating Foundations and other sophisticated trusts and estates documents.

He advises local charities concerning their operational activities and has prepared a large number of organizational documents for such charities, having prepared many Form 1023’s and associated documents for the qualification of charitable organizations.

Bill prepares and manages through audit and appeal many sophisticated estate and gift tax returns. He has also developed a reputation for resolving post-death estate administration problems, typically the result of poor lifetime estate planning, mistakes by other professionals and/or unique family situations. This includes the use of such post-mortem documents as disclaimers and the use of court approved reconstruction of poorly drafted estate planning documents.

For more information, contact Beggs & Lane at (850) 432-2451.

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Beggs & Lane Wins Utility Case at Florida Supreme Court

The Florida Supreme Court recently affirmed a ruling by the Florida Public Service Commission granting Gulf Power Company the exclusive right to provide electric service to a proposed 170-acre mixed use development within the City of Crestview, Florida.  Gulf Power’s right to serve the development was challenged by a neighboring utility provider which claimed that it could serve the development more reliably and at a lower cost than Gulf Power.

The Supreme Court found that the Florida Public Service Commission was correct in awarding Gulf Power the right to serve the development.  This decision marks the first time in over a decade that the Florida Supreme Court has resolved a utility territorial dispute.  In addition to representing a significant victory for Gulf Power, the Court’s opinion provides valuable guidance concerning Florida’s territorial laws to utilities across the State of Florida.

The Court’s full opinion can be found here.

Gulf Power Company was represented by Beggs & Lane attorneys Steven R. Griffin and Russell A. Badders.

ImageSteve Griffin

ImageRussell Badders

For more information, please contact Steven R. Griffin at (850) 432-2451 or srg@beggslane.com.

Are Facebook Posts Discoverable in Personal Injury Cases?

Facebook postings can be a treasure trove for attorneys in litigation.  But they may not always be discoverable by the opposing party.  A recent opinion from Florida’s Second District Court of Appeal indicates that Facebook data can be discoverable – but only if the information is relevant to the issues in the case.  In Root v. Balfour Beatty, the 2nd DCA held that the plaintiff’s Facebook postings weren’t discoverable by the defense because it was not immediately apparent that this information was relevant to the wrongful death claims asserted by the plaintiff.

The Short Version:  Courts can restrict discovery if they feel that the opposing party’s requests are nothing more than a “fishing expedition.”  

If you have questions about the scope and limits of discovery in Florida cases, contact the law firm of Beggs & Lane.  Our firm is one of the oldest law firms in Florida, and we’ve been handling these issues for a long time.  

Contact: 

Charlie Wiggins    ctw@beggslane.com      (850) 432-2451

 

Jan Langford Joins Beggs & Lane’s Estate Planning and Tax Group

Beggs & Lane welcomes Jan Langford as an associate attorney.   She is a graduate of Stetson University Law School, and has been a member of the Florida Bar since 1981.  Her practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and the administration of estates and trusts. Her estate planning practice includes will and trust drafting to meet a range of client needs from simple to complex. Each estate plan is drafted and implemented with personalized attention to accomplishing the client’s wealth transfer objectives, including minimizing federal estate and gift taxes and the expenses and delay of a probate administration. Her estate and trust administration practice is designed to help clients fulfill their testamentary dispositions while strengthening the family relationship. Jan works with the firm’s estate planning and tax group in preparing estate tax returns and formation of business organizations, including profit and not-for-profit corporations, limited liability companies and limited partnerships.

Jan can be contacted at (850) 432-2451 or jel@beggslane.com.

Marc Huff Added As New Beggs & Lane Partner

Beggs & Lane is pleased to announce that Marcus A. Huff has joined the firm as a partner.  Marc practices in the firm’s litigation group where he represents companies and individuals in both state and federal courts.  His litigation experience includes a variety of cases involving business disputes and government contracting claims.

Marc is a magna cum laude graduate of Clemson University, where he received his degree in financial management.  He received his law degree from the University of Alabama, where he was an Articles Editor for the Alabama Law Review.

Marc is admitted to practice in Florida and Alabama.  He is also admitted to practice before the United States Court of Federal Claims, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida.

Marc can be contacted at (850) 432-2451 or mah@beggslane.com.

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Beggs & Lane Adds David Taylor As New Partner

Beggs & Lane is pleased to announce that David Taylor has joined the firm as a partner.  David practices in the areas of commercial and residential real estate, condominium development, and business litigation.  He represents owners, developers and lenders in a variety of real property transactions.  

David has been with the firm since 2006.  He obtained his undergraduate degree magna cum laude in political science from the University of Mississippi in 2002.  He is an honors graduate of the University of Mississippi School of Law.  He is licensed to practice in Florida and Mississippi.

While at Ole Miss, David was a member of the varsity baseball team.  He was recently elected to the Board of Directors of the Pensacola Sports Association.  David is married to Amy Rambo Taylor and has two children, Beck (3) and Luke (6 months).  

David can be contacted at (850) 202-3341 or dbt@beggslane.com.

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A New Start for the New Year: Expunging or Sealing Your Criminal Record

Background checks by employers are more extensive and inquisitive than ever. 

Example Job Application Question:  “Have you ever entered a plea of no contest, nolo contendere or guilty to any charge other than a traffic ticket?”

This is a pretty broad question, and includes even “slap on the wrist” sentences for possession of alcohol by a minor, disorderly intoxication, petit theft, etc.

A “yes” answer may or may not be a deal-breaker for your potential employer…but why take the chance?  Florida law allows many people to have their criminal history expunged or sealed from the public eye.  What’s more, Florida law allows a person who has had his or her record expunged or sealed to answer “no” when most employers ask this question.  Not everyone with a criminal record is eligible to have their record expunged or sealed.  Are you?

Beggs & Lane offers a free consultation to determine if you are eligible to have your criminal record expunged or sealed.   If you are eligible, we handle all expungement/sealing cases on a flat fee basis.   For more information, call Charlie Wiggins of Beggs & Lane at (850) 432-2451.