Resume and Experience
GERALD R. COLEN
ATTORNEY AT LAW
7243 Bryan Dairy Road
Largo, Florida 33777
Ph. (727) 545-8114
Date of Birth:
July 1, 1941, in Toledo, Ohio.
- B.A. Degree from the Ohio State University, 1963.
- J.D. Degree from the University of Texas School of Law, 1966
- Federal Trade Commission— involved in unfair trade practices investigations and anti-trust investigations—1969 - 1970.
- Associate with law offices of Harry R. Chadwick, Jr. --1967 – 1970.
- Shareholder: Law Firm of Devito and Colen, P.A. -- 1970 to present. At present, I am the only shareholder.
- Officer, Director and Shareholder: Marion Title and Escrow Company – 2005 to present
My Law Practice:
Although in the past, I have been involved in many diverse litigation cases, at present, I restrict my law practice to the matters listed in this resume and also as I have explained in my website. I concentrate my law practice in simple and complex real estate transactions, title insurance issues, simple and complex estate planning, business and corporate advice, elder Law, condominium and homeowners association matters.
I see myself as a “Family Lawyer” and in my opinion this is quite different from that of a general practice attorney. The society in which we now live is more complex than ever before. As a “Family Lawyer” I want to help my clients to deal with many of the problems they confront from time to time. I might have phone calls from clients where they simply want to know where they would go to find out the answers to some legal or ethical or even medical questions. I might not actually handle matters in the particular field about which a client has questions, but I can be a “sounding board” or someone who can refer the client to another professional that can handle the particular matter about which I was called. When I get a phone call from someone who is seeking to know “who to call” or “where to look”, I never charge for the referral. It, after all, is what a family attorney does—he helps you out!
Below in this section of my website, you will see a list of some of the matters I have handled and the experience I had and still have.
- Wills, Trusts, Probate. I have drafted an innumerable number Wills and Trusts throughout my legal career. These range from very simple documents to excessively complex ones as well.
- Probate matters. I have handled many, many probate files, including very small estates and quite large ones as well.
- Trust Administration. I assist clients who are named in Trust documents with the administration of the trusts.
- Estate Planning Documents. I prepare, Wills, Trusts, Durable Powers of Attorney, Advance Directives, Pre-nuptial and Post-nuptial agreements as well as most every kind of document that members of a family might need in order to conduct their lives with care and comfort.
- Legal counsel to the following condominium/community associations and their management associations:
- On Top of the World Condominium Association from 1971 to present. This is the largest condominium association in Pinellas County, consisting of more than 4,900 condominium units located in Clearwater. I have been involved in the preparation and drafting of condominium documents including the declarations of condominium, by-laws, rules and regulations, condominium corporate documents, amendments to all such documents, lien matters including demand letters to unit owners, lien foreclosure actions, golf course maintenance and management issues, recreation management and maintenance issues, private roads and rights of way issues, responses to resident issues, advice to the Board of Administration on issues such as taxation of association property, ADA issues, Pinellas County Human Relations Department issues, unit owners rights and obligations to the association members as well as to the association itself, drafting letters on behalf of the association to vendors and suppliers, drafting letters on behalf of the association’s management company regarding matters such as dealing with insurance companies, dealing with requests from residents for modifications to units, initiating or responding to matters before the state of Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, initiating or responding to litigation filed by or against the association. I have appeared at meetings of the Board of Administration and at the annual meetings of the association’s unit owners.
- Clearview Oaks Condominium Association from 1970 to approximately 2000. This is a condominium association in St. Petersburg consisting of approximately 350 units. It is thought to be the oldest known condominium association in Pinellas County, Florida and perhaps in the entire state of Florida as it was established before 1963, which was prior to the enactment of Florida’s first condominium statute. I was involved in lien matters including demand letters to unit owners, lien foreclosure actions, parking issues, ADA issues, St. Petersburg Human Relations Department issues, unit owners rights and obligations to the association members as well as to the association itself, drafting letters on behalf of the association to vendors and suppliers, drafting letters on behalf of the association’s management company regarding matters such as dealing with insurance companies, dealing with requests from residents for modifications to units, initiating or responding to matters before the state of Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, initiating or responding to litigation filed by or against the association.
- Clearview Oaks Management Association from 1970 to approximately 2000. This is a community association that is part of the Clearview Oaks community but is not a condominium association. It was created in 1958 and is managed by a management company rather than by a condominium association or a board of administration. I wasinvolved in all of the same legal issues as represented above, in regard to the Clearview Oaks Condominium Association.
- Treasure Island Tennis and Yacht Club #2 from 1984 to approximately 2000. This is a waterfront condominium association located in Treasure Island, Florida. I have been involved in drafting amendments to the declaration of condominium, the by-laws and the rules and regulations. I have handled lien foreclosure actions including sending letters to unit owners and bringing foreclosure actions. I have prepared contracts for painting the entire building, contracts for re-surfacing the parking lot, drafting letters on behalf of the association’s management company regarding matters such as dealing with insurance companies, dealing with requests from residents for modifications to units. I have attended meetings of the Board of Administration, met with the association’s officers to discuss legal strategies in relation to litigation with an insurance carrier and to discuss other legal issues that arise from time to time.
- Oakhurst Gardens Condominium Association from the year 1999 to the present. This is a 48 unit condominium association in Seminole, Florida. The condominium association was actually established in the late 1970s. However, all 48 units were owned by one person who managed them as rental units until 1999 when they were sold to individual owners as individual residences. I did not become involved with this condominium until the owner of all of the units decided to sell them. I was retained to handle the transition from the owner to the new unit owners. I also handled the real estate transaction where all the individual units were sold to the new unit owners. Since, the transition from the single owner to all unit owners, I have remained as the association’s general counsel. I have provided advice on methods of resolving homeowner disputes regarding parking issues, pest control, document amendments, and delinquent community services fees. I have also filed suit to foreclose the association’s lien for failure to pay community services fees.
- Sandalwood Condominium Association from approximately 1998 to 2004. This is a condominium association located in Wildwood, Florida, consisting of some 108 units. I provided legal advice in regard to all of the various condominium documents including the declaration of condominium, by-laws, rules and regulations. I provided advice in regard to board of administration meetings and condominium association meetings of all unit owners. I was involved with homeowners disputes with members of the board of administration, lien foreclosure proceedings, pest control issues, rights of the association to obtain entry into a unit owner’s home for the purpose of providing pest control. I also provided legal advice in regard to a substantial claim that the association brought against a national pest control company that failed to provide proper pest control.
- The Gardens Condominium Association from approximately 1998 to the present. I have provided legal advice in regard to all of the various condominium documents including the declaration of condominium, by-laws, rules and regulations. I have provided advice in regard to board of administration meetings and condominium association meetings of all unit owners. I have been involved with homeowners disputes with members of the board of administration, lien foreclosure.
- Parkway Maintenance and Management Company. I have represented this company as its general counsel from approximately 1975 to the present. This is a management company that manages both condominium properties and homeowners’ association properties in Clearwater and Ocala, Florida. This company is responsible for the management and maintenance of approximately 7,000 condominium and homeowners association units plus all common areas and recreational areas. I have advised this company in regard to homeowner disputes ranging from association lien foreclosures and litigation related to lien foreclosures, uninhabitable units, pest control, bankruptcy of unit owners where issues regarding outstanding community services fees are included in the bankruptcy proceedings and, essentially, all legal matters that might be presented to this company in the day to day activities it performs on behalf of the associations it manages.
- Country Club Condominium Association, Inc. (#s 4 and 6) I have represented these two condominium associations from approximately 2007 to the Present. I have provided advice in regard to board of administration meetings and condominium association meetings of all unit owners. I have been involved with homeowners disputes with members of the board of administration, lien foreclosure.
- District Legal Counsel to the following community development districts.1
- Circle Square Woods Community Development District from 1985 to 2011. I have attended all meetings of the Board of Supervisors, provided legal advice in regard to inter local agreements with other CDDs and with adjacent CDDs and county-wide government. This CDD is now dissolved and I was legal counsel and obtained the Resolution of Dissolution from the Florida Cabinet. To do so, I had to file several pleadings, attend a hearing and then attend a meeting of the Florida Cabinet in Tallahassee.
- Bay Laurel Center Community Development District from approximately 1989 to the present. I have provided legal advice in regard to homeowner assessments for utility services, advice in regard to bankruptcy proceedings of Winn Dixie, which was a consumer of utility services for the CDD, litigation services in regard to delinquent payments for utility services. I have also provided advice in regard to a bond offering of the CDD.
- Candler Hills East Community Development District from approximately 1990 to the present. I have provided similar services to this CDD as I have to both Circle Square Woods CDD and Bay Laurel Center CDD.2
- Indigo East CDD from approximately 1991 to the present. I have provided similar services to this CDD as I have to Circle Square Woods CDD, Bay Laurel Center CDD and Candler Hills East CDD.
- City Attorney for the City of St. Pete Beach, Florida from 1975 to approximately 2005. Along with my now retired former partner Mr. James A. Devito, I was city attorney for this beach municipality. I handled matters involving zoning and planning, construction defects, fire and police issues, employee grievances, matters involving the State of Florida’s Public Employees Relations Commission, preparation and drafting of ordinances, resolutions, contracts. I handled litigation at the trial court level on through the Florida Supreme Court.
- Miscellaneous. In addition to the above experience, I have testified as an expert witness in real estate matters and also in matters involving a will contest, in the Circuit Court in Pinellas County, Florida. Also, I write a monthly newspaper column in local condominium and homeowners association newspapers. Circulation of the 2 newspapers exceeds 10,000.
1 A community development district (CDD) is a unit of local government that has been formed in accordance with Chapter 190 Florida Statutes for the purpose of providing various utility services, recreational services and to provide infrastructure. For example, a CDD might provide sewer and water to a community and might also provide recreational services such as parkland areas and community buildings.
2 I have not, however, been primary legal counsel in regard to issuance of the bonds but have provided support advice to the Board of Supervisors.
Resume and Experience
My Newspaper Columns |
Florida Notary Services
Real Estate |
Professionals and Business Planning
Estate Planning |
Trusts & Probate
Elder Law Matters
Florida Topics |
Mr. Colen is also available for private conferences at the On Top of the World community
in Ocala, Florida.
GColen.com Gerald R. Colen all rights
reserved Florida Attorney at Law Tampa Bay Law Firm Tampa Attorney