Like Rip Van Winkle, I have woken up, and have returned to these pages to say the things I had previously forgotten to say. This time I have company. I shall bring with me those whom I met while sleeping. To begin, my long time partner and friend, Harry Barr, though mostly retired, still practices in the firm. The firm is still Chesser and Barr, P.A., but his ownership place in the firm has been assumed by Ashley Rogers, a Phi Beta Kappa Georgia graduate who runs our Crestview office. Ashley is one of 17 lawyers to pass The Florida Bar’s real estate board certification test this year, and she will join me in writing this article.
My theory is that although I have about twice the experience of any lawyer available to give real estate advice, I’m also about half as smart as most others; so like Rip who awoke after 20 years sleeping on a stump, that makes me as qualified as anyone else to give unsolicited advice.
Our firm has changed in the year since I last wrote for this space. Most of you know my long time relationship with Old South Land Title, a Company that I own with Gayle Hurst. By the end of October, Old South’s Shalimar office will move across the parking lot from our Shalimar law office. Old South is also in the planning process of opening a location in our Crestview law offices, across the street from the Crestview courthouse. All of our residential real estate closings, except those who wish to close in the law office, will be closed in by one of the Old South offices. Our law firm will continue to perform commercial closings out of both law offices. We believe that a collaborative team effort between Old South and the law firm will best serve the community.
Our law firm has new lawyers who also strengthen our real estate base. Tara Hagan, Lisa Troell, Chuck Comella, and Emily Rogers, all Destin residents, are in our Shalimar office. Tara’s background includes serving as notes editor of the Stetson Law Review, and she does appellate work and is part of our litigation department. Lisa Troell runs our landlord/tenant and owners associations department, managing the legal services for hundreds of rental properties. Chuck Comella is part of our commercial litigation team, focusing primarily on real estate law. Emily Rogers represents clients in litigation matters, she is part of the real estate transactional team, and serves as a liaison to Old South Land Title. Michael Hamby and Brian Corlew, both Crestview residents, practice in both our Crestview and Shalimar offices. Michael Hamby practices tax, estate planning, and probate law. Brian Corlew has a broad range of general practice experience but is currently focusing on family law. Our of counsel lawyers include Nick Peterson who practices criminal law in Shalimar and Jerry Zivan who practices transactional law out of his office in Niceville. We plan to use all these resources for this article when needed.
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