For the third time this week, an article by one of our firm’s attorneys was featured as the “Board of Contributors” guest commentary column in today’s edition of the Daily Business Review, South Florida’s exclusive business daily and official court newspaper. Today’s article, which is authored by shareholder Oscar R. Rivera, is titled “Appellate Court Strictly Construes FAR-BAR ‘As Is’ Residential Sales Contract.” It focuses on a recent appellate ruling that affirmed an $850,000 award for legal fees and costs in a dispute over a $2.85 million residential sale gone awry. Oscar’s article reads:
The ruling by the Third District Court of Appeal in Diaz v. Kosch, is certainly drawing quite a bit of industry attention, and there are a number of important takeaways from it for buyers, sellers and the professionals who work on their behalf.
The case stems from the sale of a Coral Gables home in 2012 for $2.85 million. After the sales contract was executed and the initial $50,000 deposit had been made, the buyers, who are identified in the ruling as both being “attorneys with substantial experience with real estate transactions and title matters,” notified their broker on the penultimate day of the 10-day inspection period about potential permitting issues with the property. On the following day, the buyers sent an email to the sellers accusing them of “active misrepresentations” and threatening “legal fees and litigation.”
Nonetheless, on the same date, the buyers made the second deposit of $235,000, stating it was “with full rights reserved.” A week and a half later, they emailed a notice of termination to the sellers, who were amendable to it and responded by imposing no conditions on the return of the buyers’ full deposit. However, apparently due to demands for a release from legal liability by the buyers’ own broker (who also served as the escrow agent), the deposit was not returned by the escrow agent.