A Record of Performance for Local Governments
The Vose Law Firm and its attorneys have successfully handled all aspects of City Attorney and local government attorney work over the last 41 years while holding the following positions:
1) City Attorney, Deltona, Florida
2) City Attorney, Winter Garden, Florida
3) City Attorney, Edgewood, Florida
4) City Attorney, St. Cloud, Florida
5) City Attorney, Eagle Lake, Florida
6) City Attorney, Longwood, Florida
7) Town Attorney, Windermere, Florida
8) Town Attorney, Oakland, Florida
9) City Attorney, Bunnell, Florida
10) Assistant City Attorney, Orlando, Florida
11) General Counsel for Green Swamp Land Authority
12) General Counsel to the Orange County Charter Review Commission
13) Attorney for City of Orlando Code Enforcement Board
14) General Counsel for North Lake County Hospital Board of Trustees
15) Special Counsel to City of Deltona Charter Review Committee
16) Counsel to Orange County Fire and Life Safety Code Board of Adjustments and Appeals
17) Assistant County Attorney, Seminole County, Florida
18) Special Litigation Counsel, Town of Oakland, Florida
19) Special Counsel to Orange County as to Environmental Claims and Litigation
20) Special Counsel to Town of Oakland for land development work
21) Special Counsel to Orange County as to §1983 Civil Rights Litigation
22) Special Counsel to Orange County as to Code Enforcement Foreclosures
23) Special Litigation Counsel to Orange County Property Appraiser
24) Special Conflict Counsel to City of Casselberry
25) Special Litigation Counsel to City of Orlando as to Eminent Domain matters
26) Special Conflict Counsel to City of Ocoee
27) Special Counsel to Orange County Sheriff’s Office
28) Special Litigation Counsel to Orange County as to constitutional challenges to county ordinances
29) Counsel to City of Deltona Planning and Zoning Board
30) City Prosecutor for City of Deltona
31) City Prosecutor for City of Orlando
32) City Prosecutor for City of Edgewood
33) City Prosecutor for City of Winter Garden
34) Eminent Domain Mediation Services for Florida Department of Transportation
35) Eminent Domain Mediation Services for the Florida Turnpike Authority
36) Eminent Domain Mediation Services for Seminole County
37) Eminent Domain Mediation Services for Hillsborough County
38) Eminent Domain Mediation Services for Lake County
39) Eminent Domain Mediation Services for Polk County
40) Eminent Domain Mediation Services for Osceola County
41) Eminent Domain Mediation Services for Orange County
Experience in preparation and drafting of ordinances and advising governmental entities on revision of ordinances, codes or charter issues
The Vose Law Firm and its attorneys have comprehensive experience drafting, amending, and litigating a plethora of ordinances, ordinance amendments, (routine and specialized), city policies, and charter amendments on virtually all subjects dealt with by local governmental agencies, as well as advising elected officials and staff of governmental entities, on newly created ordinances, revisions to ordinances, and charter issues. Some of the less common ordinances or policies drafted and/or litigated by members of the Vose Law Firm include:
1) Plasmapheresis (blood plasma sales)
2) Short term rentals of residentially zoned property
3) Historic Preservation
4) Regulation of back-yard chickens
5) Internet Cafes/Simulated Gambling
6) Cat Trap, Neuter and Release
7) Special Assessment Liens and Procedures
9) Disposal of Excess Municipal Property
10) Debt Policy
11) Entertainment and Block Parties
12) Solicitation on Public Rights of Way
13) Rental Properties
15) Half-way Houses
16) Funerals and Memorial Services
17) Stormwater Discharge Pollutant Control
18) Burglar alarms
19) Florida-Friendly Fertilizer Use on Urban Landscapes
21) Sexual Offenders and Sexual Predators
22) Scrub Jay habitat mitigation
23) Special Assessments – Stormwater Utility, Solid Waste, and Street Lighting
24) Flood Control
25) Natural Resources Protection
26) Construction Industry Board of Appeals
27) Emergency Services and Fire/Rescue
28) Adult entertainment and bookstores
30) Tax Increment Financing
31) Business licenses and revocation
32) Going out of business sales
33) Qualifications for election
34) Arbor ordinance
35) Film production
36) Advertising, signs, and billboards
37) Parks and recreation
38) Sexual harassment
39) Alcoholic beverages
40) Age discrimination
42) Special assessments
43) Taxis and busses
44) Cable TV
45) Light Pollution
47) Parking and Towing of Vehicles
50) Cell phone towers
Attendance at governmental board meetings or City Commission meetings
The Vose Law Firm and its attorneys have represented governmental entities at hundreds of board and commission meetings. Each of the first sixteen (16) governmental entities listed in Section “A” above consistently held regular public meetings while represented by the firm, at which meetings the firm’s attorneys provided legal opinions and counsel.
In addition, each of the nine (9) municipalities listed above not only had regular City Commission meetings, but also had various city board meetings, (ie. Boards of Adjustment, Planning and Zoning Boards, Code Enforcement Boards, Community Redevelopment Agencies, Parks and Recreation Commissions, Building Licensing Boards, Historic Preservation Boards, Fire Board of Appeals, Civil Service Commissions, Water Boards, Utilities Boards, etc.). The firm’s attorneys frequently attended the various city board meetings and provided legal advice and counsel to the board members and members of city staff. Such attendance was regular as to some boards, and attendance at other board meetings was on an “as requested” basis, usually when it was expected that a legally sensitive issue would be raised at the meeting.
Knowledge of public finance
Due to the firm’s long history of local government representation, the attorneys of the Vose Law Firm have broad knowledge and understanding of public finance. While representing various local government agencies, the attorneys of the Vose Law Firm have provided legal advice and counsel on such matters as budgets and adoption procedures, TRIM compliance, internal audits, impact fees, capital planning and expenditures, cash management and investment, bond issues, reporting requirements, retirement plans, utility billing and collection, lien collection and foreclosure, bidding for purchases and construction, bid evaluation, delay damages for construction services, fees for services, and intergovernmental assistance and grants.
While representing the cities of Deltona, Orlando, Winter Garden, St. Cloud, and Longwood, Ms. Vose was actively involved in the application for and obtaining of Community Development Block Grants for various projects which significantly supplemented those cities’ budgets with federal funds.
The Vose Law Firm has provided legal services to the Cities of Deltona, Winter Garden, Longwood, Edgewood, Eagle Lake and St. Cloud relating to employee pension plans including Florida Statutes, Chapter 175 (firefighter) and Chapter 185 (police) plans.
The attorneys of the Vose Law Firm have represented the cities of Deltona, Orlando, Winter Garden, St. Cloud, Edgewood and Longwood relating to the creation, amendment and administration of impact fee ordinances concerning transportation, public safety, recreation and open space, and drainage, and successfully defended challenges to some of those fees.
The attorneys of the Vose Law Firm have provided counsel and advice to the Cities of Deltona, Orlando, Winter Garden, Longwood, and St. Cloud, relating to both tax free municipal bond issues, and Industrial Development Bond (IDB) issues, and have acted as local bond counsel for the issuance of municipal bonds and IDBs. The firm has also defended municipal bond issues at bond validation proceedings at the Circuit Court and Florida Supreme Court level.
The Vose Law Firm has provided general legal services in the areas of special assessments and special assessment collections and liens for each of the cities represented by the firm. In addition, the firm did major work for the City of Longwood in reviewing and collecting long over-due special assessments, and the firm has represented Orange County as to Code Enforcement Board (CEB) lien foreclosures and settlements for the last 21 years.
The Vose Law Firm has provided legal services to the Cities of Deltona, Winter Garden, Longwood, Edgewood, and St. Cloud relating to Tax Increment Financing Districts. In addition, as general counsel for the North Lake County Hospital Board of Trustees, the firm developed significant experience dealing with the interplay of a municipal tax increment financing district and a special taxing district.
Knowledge and practice in the area of land use, zoning, real property, and community development issues, including growth management and comprehensive plan amendments
The Vose Law Firm and its attorneys have practiced in the field of land use law as part of their representation of the cities of Deltona, Orlando, Longwood, St. Cloud, Winter Garden, Edgewood, Eagle Lake, Windermere, Bunnell, and Oakland, and have represented numerous private clients before local governmental agencies not represented by this firm.
The attorneys of the Vose Law Firm have vast experience writing and interpreting zoning and land use ordinances and dealing with Florida’s Comprehensive Growth Management Act, zoning, redevelopment districts, code enforcement, development agreements, development orders, enterprise zones, Developments of Regional Impact, and the Bert J. Harris, Jr. Private Property Rights Protection Act.
While acting as City Attorney for nine (9) different cities, the Vose Law Firm has represented various boards relating to the areas of land use, zoning, community development issues, impact fees, Developments of Regional Impact, growth management and comprehensive plan amendments, as well as advising board members as to requirements under Florida law relating to quasi-judicial boards.
Members of the firm also have been involved in significant land use litigation on behalf of public clients as well as private clients. The reported case of City of Orlando vs. The School Board of Orange County, 362 So.2d 694 (Fla. 4th DCA 1978), was handled by Ms. Vose and helped establish the appellate law in Florida relating to the effect of municipal zoning on other public uses.
The firm’s attorneys also have extensive expertise in commercial real estate law, and have been actively involved in various governmental clients’ property acquisitions, (through both negotiation and eminent domain), as well as acting as counsel when governmental entities either lease property for their use, or lease out governmentally owned property to private individuals or entities, or to other governmental agencies. The Vose Law Firm writes title insurance through First American Title Insurance Company, and Old Republic National Title Insurance Company.
The Vose Law Firm has also had voluminous experience handling land use and real estate related matters for private clients and entities. For a period of over eleven (11) years, Becky Vose represented BellSouth Telecommunications, Inc., in well over 100 real estate transactions ranging from the purchase of a high-rise office building in south Florida, to numerous lease and sub-lease issues. Another example of this work is the firm’s representation of a group of clients from Belgium who purchased the controlling interest in the Deltona Corporation, which was then listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The Vose Law Firm handled the complete real estate due diligence relating to the over 1,000 parcels of property scattered throughout the State of Florida that were owned by the Deltona Corporation.
Knowledge and practice in the area of Environmental Law
The attorneys of Vose Law Firm have represented public and private clients with regard to environmental matters in conjunction with governmental representation and private real estate practice. The firm was hired by Orange County as its outside counsel for environmental litigation. In that capacity, the firm represented the county as to numerous environmental lawsuits, including one relating to contamination resulting from a solid waste disposal site, and another relating to ground water contamination due to petroleum contamination.
The firm was counsel to the Green Swamp Land Authority, which representation included extensive dealings with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Community Affairs, and two water management districts. While an Assistant City Attorney for Orlando, Ms. Vose worked on the permitting for the Iron Bridge Road Sewage Treatment Plant and for various drainage and other public works projects. As the City Attorney for Longwood, the firm represented the City in matters relating to a RCRA site on City property and was responsible for negotiations with the Florida Department of Environmental Regulation, [now the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)], and for matters relating to negotiations with the environmental company hired to evaluate the clean up of the property.
In private practice, the attorneys of Vose Law Firm have been extensively involved in the permitting of various environmental features to private developments and have also represented numerous property owners in negotiations with the FDEP and in litigation over environmental contamination issues.
Ms. Vose co-authored the book, Environmental Survival Kit for Realty Professionals, a book designed to protect realty professionals from losses due to environmental problems. The Florida Board of Realtors purchased the rights to such publication for purposes of including the publication among its educational materials.
Knowledge and practice in the area of public works issues, including utilities and utility franchise agreements
The Vose Law Firm has wide-ranging experience rendering legal advice and drafting documents relating to utility taxes and utility franchise agreements. The representation of the cities of Orlando, St. Cloud, Longwood, Winter Garden, Eagle Lake, Windermere, Ocoee and Edgewood included the drafting and reviewing of numerous franchise agreements with various utility companies relating to such matters as cable services, solid waste pick-up, recycling services, electric, water, gas, telephone, and cellular towers.
The firm’s representation of the City of St. Cloud included handling the complex transaction between the Orlando Utilities Commission and the City of St. Cloud as to the voluntary “take over” of the St. Cloud electrical system by the OUC, which resulted in a lowering of electric rates, reduction in outages, and a higher financial return to the City of St. Cloud.
As the City Attorney for Longwood, the firm represented the City in matters relating to a RCRA (Resource Conservation and Recovery Act) site on City property and was responsible for negotiations with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), and for matters relating to negotiations with the environmental company hired to evaluate the clean up of the property. Also, while City Attorney for Longwood, the firm drafted ordinances providing for a new city-wide storm drainage system, and the imposition of new special assessment taxes to pay for the improvements.
While an Assistant City Attorney for Orlando, Ms. Vose was the attorney in charge of the approvals and permitting for the Iron Bridge Road Sewage Treatment Plant, and she worked extensively with representatives of the EPA and what is now the FDEP on that project. The approvals and permitting for that plant were particularly problematic because it was geographically located outside the City of Orlando, and was actually located in Seminole County. Lengthy and broad negotiations were needed to reach an inter-local agreement between the City of Orlando and Seminole County before plans could be finalized for the plant. Ms. Vose also represented the City of Orlando in litigation over compliance with state standards issues relating to the Bennett Road Sewage Treatment Plant, including the appeal of the case to the District Court of Appeals.
As City Attorney for each of the cities the firm has represented, the firm provided legal advice and assistance to the public works department, or its city engineer, with obtaining its National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit.
The attorneys of the Vose Law Firm have comprehensive experience representing both public and private clients as to virtually all aspects of construction law, including construction relating to public works projects, bid solicitations, bid protests, construction contracts, construction defects, construction litigation, warranty issues, delay damages, etc.
The attorneys of Vose Law Firm have represented public and private clients with regard to environmental matters in conjunction with governmental representation and private real estate practice. As counsel to the Green Swamp Land Authority, the firm had extensive dealings with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Community Affairs, and both the St. Johns River Water Management District and the South Florida Water Management District.
Representation of entities in litigation
The attorneys of the Vose Law Firm have wide-ranging experience in the representation of local government entities in litigation taking place in Circuit Courts, County Courts, District Courts of Appeal, Florida Supreme Court, U.S. District Court, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, and Federal Appeals Court. The cases handled by the firm run the gamut of eminent domain, requests for injunctive relief, declaratory judgments, claims for monetary damages, environmental claims, §1983 Civil Rights Claims, Code Enforcement Board foreclosures, prosecution of ordinance violations, lien defense, quiet title actions, defense of ordinance cases, inverse condemnation, personal injury, property damage, foreclosure of special assessment liens, zoning litigation, breach of contract claims, statutory actions, intellectual property litigation, and construction litigation.
In addition, the attorneys of the Vose Law Firm have practiced extensively representing local governments in administrative litigation including administrative hearings before the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the Orlando Civil Services Board, the St. Johns River Water Management District, the South Florida Water Management District, the Department of Community Affairs, the Department of Transportation, the Public Services Commission, and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Orange County has repeatedly hired the attorneys of the Vose Law Firm to represent the county in various complex litigation cases. The firm has defended the county in several lawsuits by property owners over alleged environmental contamination, has defended numerous §1983 Civil Rights lawsuits against the county, and has handled Code Enforcement Board foreclosures, including appeals.
While City Attorney for Deltona, the attorneys of the Vose Law Firm successfully represented that city in an inverse condemnation case based upon a situation where the City of Deltona adjusted water control facilities to flood vacant land outside the city to protect populated areas in the city during flood conditions. When the Vose Law Firm was hired to represent Deltona the litigation over the issue had been going on for over six years. The attorneys of the Vose Law Firm immediately analyzed the issues, recommended and got the City Commission to authorize an offer of judgment, then set the case for trial. Trial ensued with the city being completely vindicated and the court finding that the City of Deltona was not liable to the property owner. Based upon the offer of judgment, the plaintiffs that had sued the city ultimately paid the city $100,000 to cover the costs and fees involved in the lawsuit.
The Orange County Property Appraiser’s office hired the Vose Law Firm to handle complex intellectual property litigation relating to the alleged illegal use of the software system used by that office to conduct its business. The result of the litigation was quite favorable to the property appraiser’s office.
While City Attorney for Longwood, Ms. Vose represented the city in various litigation, including the defense of a §1983 Civil Rights claim that was tried in U.S. District Court. The plaintiff in that case received a $0 verdict from the jury.
While working for the City of Orlando, Ms. Vose represented the city in a large number of litigation matters including the defense of §1983 Civil Rights claims, a challenge to the City’s election districting determinations, civil service board appeals, defense of claims against police officers acting in the line of duty, defense of several zoning code provisions, inverse condemnation cases, a case to determine the qualification to hold office by a city council candidate, defense of determinations by the Historic Preservation Commission, suit against the Orange County School Board to prevent that entity from violating City of Orlando zoning code provisions, alleged unlawful employment termination cases, bond validations, defense of appeals and requests for certiorari from various board determinations, and a myriad of other municipal law related matters.
The Vose Law Firm’s eminent domain litigation experience includes the full range of eminent domain practice including initial pre-litigation advice and drafting of resolutions, preparation of all pleadings, numerous contested as well as uncontested Order of Taking hearings, settlement negotiations and drafting of settlement documents, mediations, jury trials and appeals. In addition, the firm has broad experience dealing with issues of public use, incidental private use, necessity, inverse condemnation, business damages, severance damages, damages to non-profit entities, historically significant properties, cost to cure, consolidation of parcels and down-zoning issues.
As both an Assistant City Attorney for Orlando and as Special Counsel to the City of Orlando, Ms. Vose represented the City of Orlando for over 15 years in eminent domain litigation. During that time, she represented the City as to numerous acquisitions, including rights-of-way, pedestrian walkways, park lands, land for parking areas, easements for sewage transmission lines, sites for public utility facilities, as well as many other public use projects. As Special Counsel to the City of Orlando, she handled on a contract basis, the acquisition of the property for the Gertrude Walk pedestrian walkway through downtown Orlando, as well as the City of Orlando Arena property (Phases II and III).
The Vose Law Firm’s experience in litigation representing local governments includes significant appellate work, including the following reported appellate cases: City of Orlando v. School Board of Orange County, 362 So.2d 694; Chastain v. Civil Service Board of Orlando, 327 So.2d 230; City of Orlando v. Ashlock, 342 So.2d 1002; and Wilson v. County of Orange, 881 So.2d 625. Three additional reported appellate cases were also handled by members of the Vose Law Firm: Department of Transportation v. Lake Beulah Groves, Ltd., 617 So.2d 1089; Residence Inn by Marriott v. Cecile Resort Ltd., 822 So.2d 548; and Wisconsin Real Estate Investment Trust v. Rouse, 466 So.2d 289.
The Vose Law Firm’s litigation experience also includes hundreds of civil cases handled for private clients. An example of one of those cases is Cecile Resort, Ltd. vs. Residence Inn by Marriott, which was actively litigated by the firm for over 7 years, involved interlocutory appeals to both the Fifth District Court of Appeal (5th DCA) and the Florida Supreme Court, two ancillary cases in California relating to discovery, and a related Bankruptcy proceeding. Becky Vose and Wade Vose tried the case before a jury in Osceola County in a two week trial that ended just before closing arguments with a settlement extremely favorable to the Vose Law Firm’s client.
Experience or practice in advising entities on Florida Sunshine and public records law, and practice and procedures before local government, legislative, and quasi-judicial bodies
The Vose Law Firm and its attorneys have provided advice and counsel to elected, appointed, and staff officials for all the local governmental agencies represented by them including: the cities of Orlando, Longwood, St. Cloud, Edgewood, Winter Garden, Eagle Lake, Windermere, and Oakland, and special districts represented including the Green Swamp Land Authority, and the North Lake County Hospital Board of Trustees.
The firm is available to its clients at any time to provide prompt verbal and/or written opinions and advice regarding all issues of concern to local government officials and staff. In addition, the firm typically offers to provide periodic orientation and workshop presentations to governmental entities it represents covering such topics as:
1. The “Sunshine Law”
2. “Public Records Law”
3. The ethical standards of elected officials
4. Home Rule
5. Exercise of police power
6. Practices and procedures of local governments
7. Legislative vs. Quasi-judicial matters
8 Voting conflicts and other conflicts
9. Full and public disclosure of financial interest
10. Election and campaign finance law
13. Other matters relating to public service as an elected official
14. Other areas of municipal law
The Vose Law Firm and its attorneys have provided such counsel to all the local governmental agencies represented by them including: the cities of Orlando, Longwood, St. Cloud, Edgewood, Winter Garden, Eagle Lake, Windermere, and Oakland and the special districts represented including the Green Swamp Land Authority, and the North Lake County Hospital Board of Trustees.
Depth of firm and ability to provide comprehensive services
As reflected in the foregoing statements of qualifications, the Vose Law Firm is extremely well qualified and able to provide high quality and comprehensive legal services to a Central Florida city. The Vose Law Firm has four highly competent lawyers, and if required by an unusual circumstance, all four of them are ready, willing and able to devote virtually all of their time to providing municipal legal services.
In addition to having held fourty-two (42) local government positions over the last 41 years, Ms. Vose has taught at numerous continuing legal education seminars and presentations to other attorneys relating to city attorney and other local government matters. In addition, she has made innumerable presentations to local government officials at regular and special meetings, workshops, orientation seminars, and League of Cities meetings. Wade Vose also has very significant local government representation experience. He has represented Orange County in §1983 Civil Rights litigation, both at the trial court and appellate court levels. He has acted as Special Counsel to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, and as counsel to the Orange County Fire and Life Safety Code Board of Adjustments and Appeals. He has also acted as Special Litigation Counsel to Orange County in constitutional challenges to county ordinances, and he has been foreclosure counsel to the Orange County Code Enforcement Board.
Both Ms. Vose and the Vose Law Firm are rated A-V, which is the highest rating given by Martindale-Hubbell. Ms. Vose and the Vose Law Firm have also been listed in the Martindale-Hubbell Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers.
The attorneys of the Vose Law Firm are active members of both the Orange County Bar Association, the Florida Bar, and the City, County, and Local Government Law Section of the Florida Bar. Becky Vose has received numerous citations for exceptional service by the Orange County Bar Association for her volunteer services as a guardian ad litem, and for providing free legal services to the homeless. Wade Vose currently serves as Vice-President of the Orlando Lawyer Division of the Federalist Society, in addition to his active participation in the Young Lawyers Section of the Orange County Bar Association.