The Florida Supreme Court finds no liability for aiding or abetting a fraudulent transfer.
The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals (1) certified to the Florida Supreme Court the question of whether under Florida's Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act (FUFTA) (2) there is a cause of action for aiding and abetting a·bet
tr.v. a·bet·ted, a·bet·ting, a·bets
1. To approve, encourage, and support (an action or a plan of action); urge and help on.
2. a fraudulent transfer when the alleged aider-abettor is not a transferee. The Supreme Court's unanimous answer in Freeman v. First Union Nat. Bank, 865 So. 2d 1272 (Fla. 2004), was an unqualified "No."
This unanimous decision A Unanimous Decision is a winning criterion in several full-contact combat sports, such as boxing, kickboxing, Muay Thai, mixed martial arts and others sports involving striking in which all 3 judges agree on which fighter won the match. impacts all lawyers, accountants, bankers, and any other person who provides services to people transferring their assets. While Freeman involved a banking institution, its legal principles apply to any situation where a client's asset transfers elicit a claim under Florida's Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act. This decision settles, in Florida at least, a contentious, controversial, and recently much-litigated legal issue. Lawyers, accountants, and others whose client is, or may become, a debtor cannot be held liable for simply aiding and abetting their clients' asset transfers found to be reversible under the FUFTA.
Freeman v. First Union Nat'l Bank
In Freeman, the State of Florida filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida alleging that a company called Unique Gems ran a "Ponzi scheme A fraudulent investment plan in which the investments of later investors are used to pay earlier investors, giving the appearance that the investments of the initial participants dramatically increase in value in a short amount of time. ." Unique Gems maintained bank accounts at First Union National Bank. In the course of litigation An action brought in court to enforce a particular right. The act or process of bringing a lawsuit in and of itself; a judicial contest; any dispute.
When a person begins a civil lawsuit, the person enters into a process called litigation. , Lewis B. Freeman was appointed receiver over the company. Plaintiff receiver's second amended complaint amended complaint n. what results when the party suing (plaintiff or petitioner) changes the complaint he/she has filed. It must be in writing, and can be done before the complaint is served on any defendant, by agreement between the parties (usually their lawyers), claimed that First Union National Bank was liable to the receiver for money damages on the grounds that it aided and abetted a fraudulent transfer by allowing Unique Gems to wire transfer money to Liechtenstein even after the state filed the lawsuit. The complaint alleged that although First Union informed Unique Gems in a letter dated February 21, 1997, that it would close its account in 10 days, the bank did not close the account. Subsequently, a court-ordered injunction was entered on March 5, 1997, freezing the Unique Gems account. Presumably pre·sum·a·ble
That can be presumed or taken for granted; reasonable as a supposition: presumable causes of the disaster. , while the motion to freeze its assets was pending, Unique Gems transferred a total of $6.6 million from its First Union account to Liechtenstein. Even after the injunction was entered, and after First Union told Unique Gems that its account would be closed 30 days thereafter, First Union still allowed Unique Gems to wire transfer an additional $2 million to Liechtenstein. Finally, First Union closed the Unique Gems account on July 24, 1997. These facts represent an exceptional and excellent context to analyze the interrelationship in·ter·re·late
tr. & intr.v. in·ter·re·lat·ed, in·ter·re·lat·ing, in·ter·re·lates
To place in or come into mutual relationship.
in between Florida's fraudulent transfer statutes and the common law tort of aiding and abetting by a third party nontransferee.
The district court dismissed the receiver's aiding and abetting claim against First Union with prejudice because it did not state a cause of action under Florida law The jurisprudence of this state offers major differences from doctrines prevailing in the United States at either the federal level or that of the various states.
Homestead exemption from forced sale, the dangerous instrumentality doctrine, the right to privacy, and the Williams . The district court held that the FUFTA allows creditors only to set aside fraudulent transfers. The court considered the FUFTA to be similar to the fraudulent transfer provisions of the Bankruptcy Code Bankruptcy Code may refer to:
On appeal, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals noted that the FUFTA remedies for fraudulent conveyance A transfer of property that is made to swindle, hinder, or delay a creditor, or to put such property beyond his or her reach.
For example, a man transfers his bank account to a relative by putting the account in the relative's name. are different and possibly broader than those of the Bankruptcy Code. The appeals court said that, "While the Bankruptcy Code limits remedies to the recovery of transferred property or its value ... the FUFTA clearly provides additionally for 'any other relief the circumstances may require.'" (4) Thus, the issue before the 11th Circuit was whether the FUFTA remedies, like bankruptcy remedies, include only equitable powers to cancel a fraudulent transfer, or whether the FUFTA's "catchall catch·all
1. A receptacle or storage area for odds and ends.
2. Something that encompasses a wide variety of items or situations: " phrase of "any other relief the circumstances may require" gives rise to common law theories for damages against third party nontransferees. The 11th Circuit felt it could not predict how the Florida Supreme Court would rule on the issue. (5) Specifically, the 11th Circuit asked the Florida Supreme Court, "Under Florida law is there a cause of action for aiding and abetting a fraudulent transfer when the alleged aider-abettor is not a transferee?" (6)
The Florida Supreme Court began its own analysis by reviewing the meaning of the wording "any other relief the circumstances may require" in F.S. [section] 726.108(1)(c)(3). The court concluded that, "We believe that the Legislature intended it to facilitate the use of other remedies provided in the statute, rather than creating new and independent causes of action such as aider-abettor liability...." (7) After further considering legislative intent, the Supreme Court stated, "There is simply no language in the FUFTA that suggests the creation of a distinct cause of action for aiding-abetting claims against nontransferees. Rather, it appears that the FUFTA was intended to codify codify to arrange and label a system of laws. an existing but imprecise system whereby transfers that were intended to defraud creditors were to be set aside." (8) The court stated, "We simply can see no language in FUFTA that suggests intent to create an independent tort for damages." (9) The Supreme Court explained that "[t]o adopt the appellants' position in this case would be to expand the FUFTA beyond its facial application and in a manner that is outside the purpose and plain language of the statute. Consistent with this analysis we conclude that the FUFTA was not intended to serve as a vehicle by which a creditor may bring a suit against a nontransferee party (like First Union in this case) for monetary damages Monetary damages, in civil law, refers to compensation given to an injured party by a liable party. Monetary damages may be restitution, a penalty, or both. arising from the nontransferee party's alleged aiding and abetting of a fraudulent money transfer." (10) In Freeman, the Florida Supreme Court strictly interpreted the Florida Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act and circumscribed circumscribed /cir·cum·scribed/ (serk´um-skribd) bounded or limited; confined to a limited space.
Bounded by a line; limited or confined. the statute's remedies. The Supreme Court's unanimous decision is a remarkably clear and unequivocal rejection of the plaintiff/receiver/ appellant's position.
The court's decision in Freeman is in keeping with a series of recent Florida appellate decisions concerning fraudulent conveyance law. In Yusem v. South Fla. Water Mgmt. Dist., 770 So. 2d 746 (Fla. 3d DCA (1) (Document Content Architecture) IBM file formats for text documents. DCA/RFT (Revisable-Form Text) is the primary format and can be edited. DCA/FFT (Final-Form Text) has been formatted for a particular output device and cannot be changed. 2000), the Fourth District Court of Appeal reviewed an alleged fraudulent transfer of funds to an offshore account. The holding provides a clear definition of a fraudulent conveyance action. The court stated, "A fraudulent conveyance action is simply another creditor's remedy." (11) The court proceeded to define the nature of this remedy as "either an action by a creditor against a transferee directed against a particular transaction, which, if declared fraudulent, is set aside thus leaving the creditor free to pursue the asset, or it is an action against a transferee who has received an asset by means of a fraudulent conveyance and should be required to either return the asset or pay for the asset (by way of a judgment and execution)." (12) The Fourth District Court of Appeal emphasized that a fraudulent conveyance action is not an action against the debtor for failure to pay an amount owing from a prior judgment and does not warrant an additional judgment against the same debtor because of the fraudulent transfer. A fraudulent conveyance action is not a lawsuit against a transferor/debtor, but it is an action against the property or the transferee holding the property.
In Beta Real Corporation, etc. v. Lawrence Graham, 839 So. 2d 890 (Fla. 3d DCA 2003), the Third District Court of Appeal reviewed a situation where a partner in a British law firm allegedly stole $9 million, of which $1.4 million wound up in a Florida bank in the name of a BVI corporation and $675,000 was spent acquiring a Florida condominium. The plaintiff's only argument for in personum jurisdiction in Florida was that the defendant had committed a tortious Wrongful; conduct of such character as to subject the actor to civil liability under Tort Law.
In order to establish that a particular act was tortious, a plaintiff must prove that an actionable wrong existed and that damages ensued from that wrong. act, specifically a fraudulent transfer, within this state. The appellate court A court having jurisdiction to review decisions of a trial-level or other lower court.
An unsuccessful party in a lawsuit must file an appeal with an appellate court in order to have the decision reviewed. held that a fraudulent conveyance is not a tortious act, and therefore not a basis for jurisdiction. However, the court did leave open further proceedings, including assertions of in rem [Latin, In the thing itself.] A lawsuit against an item of property, not against a person (in personam).
An action in rem is a proceeding that takes no notice of the owner of the property but determines rights in the property that are conclusive against all the or quasi in rem jurisdiction The power of a court to hear a case and enforce a judgment against a party, even if the party is not personally before the court, solely because the party has an interest in real property or Personal Property within the geographical limits of the court. , by imposing a constructive trust A relationship by which a person who has obtained title to property has an equitable duty to transfer it to another, to whom it rightfully belongs, on the basis that the acquisition or retention of it is wrongful and would unjustly enrich the person if he or she were allowed to retain , equitable lien equitable lien n. a lien on property imposed by a court in order to achieve fairness, particularly when someone has possession of property which he/she holds for another. (See: equity, constructive trust, lien) , or similar remedy even though the damages could not exceed the amounts which have been traced to the theft and thus recoverable in rein or quasi in rem quasi in rem adj. referring to a legal action which is primarily based on property rights (an in rem action), but includes personal rights as well. (See: in rem, quasi) .
In BankFirst v. UBS UBS Union Bank of Switzerland
UBS United Bible Societies
UBS United Blood Services
UBS United Buying Service
UBS Used Bookstore
UBS University Business Services
UBS Universal Building Society (UK)
UBS Ulaanbaatar Broadcasting System Paine Webber Paine Webber and Company was an American stock brokerage firm that was acquired by the Swiss bank UBS AG in 2000. The company was founded in 1880 in Boston, Massachusetts, by William Alfred Paine and Wallace G. Webber. , Inc., 842 So. 2d 155 (Fla. 5th DCA 2003), the Fifth District Court of Appeal reviewed an asset protection plan where Bankfirst sued a debtor's lawyers and financial advisers for damages on the theory of common law civil conspiracy to make a fraudulent conveyance. The Fifth District, in what is probably one of its most concise decisions, upheld the trial court's dismissal of Bankfirst's civil conspiracy action based on the "conclusion that neither [section] 222.30 nor chapter 726, Florida Statutes, creates a cause of action against the party who allegedly assists a debtor in a fraudulent conversion or transfer of property, where the person does not come into possession of the property." (13) Interestingly, the legal basis for the relatively lengthy dissenting opinion dissenting opinion n. (See: dissent) in that case is now completely refuted by Freeman.
The Third District Court of Appeal, in Danzas Taiwan, Ltd. v. Freeman, 2003 Fla. App. LEXIS 7077, 28 Fla. L. Weekly D 1163, again reviewed the argument that a fraudulent transfer was a tortious act that gave rise to personal jurisdiction within the State of Florida and reviewed an allegation of conspiracy. There was no allegation that the alleged tortfeasor A wrongdoer; an individual who commits a wrongful act that injures another and for which the law provides a legal right to seek relief; a defendant in a civil tort action. Cross-references
tortfeasor n. , Danzas Taiwan, received fraudulently conveyed assets, only that it was paid fees for services rendered to facilitate the physical transfer of assets The conveyance of something of value from one person, place, or situation to another.
The law recognizes that persons are generally entitled to transfer their assets to whomever they wish and for whatever reason. The most common means of transfer are wills, trusts, and gifts. . The appellate court, citing the decisions of both Bankfirst and Beta Real, held that there could be no jurisdiction over Danzas Taiwan for commission of a tortious act in Florida "because there is no cause of action against Danzas Taiwan for conspiracy to engage in fraudulent transfers." (14) Thus, Freeman and its predecessors in Florida's appellate courts unequivocally and unanimously define an action under Florida's Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act as a creditor's equitable remedy Court-ordered action that directs parties to do or not to do something; such remedies include injunctive relief and Specific Performance. Alternatively, a non-monetary remedy, such as an Injunction , and they further agree this statute gives creditors no cause of action in tort against nontransferees for aiding and abetting or civil conspiracy.
The Client's Right to Convey Assets
The Florida courts' characterization of fraudulent transfers as reversible acts, but not tortious acts, is important for the protection of person's assets from creditor attack. Otherwise, it would be difficult and risky for people to design their business ownership and to arrange personal assets defensively if any asset transfer later cancelled as a violation of the FUFTA exposed the transferor and their professional advisors to additional civil damages based on theories of tort liability. Moreover, according to both the Florida Constitution and the U.S. Supreme Court, people have a basic right to both protect and freely transfer their property. The Florida Constitution refers specifically to the protection of citizens' property. Art. I, [section] 2, Basic Rights, provides that "[a]ll natural persons, female and male alike, are equal before the law and have inalienable rights, among which are ... to acquire, possess and protect property." It is clear that constitutional rights are accorded broad interpretation. While there are yet no cases which have asserted the constitutional right to protect property against creditor legal attack, this issue, no doubt, will arise and be examined by the courts.
The U.S. Supreme Court in Grupo Mexicano de Desarrollo, S.A., v. Alliance Bond Fund, Inc., 119 S. Ct. 1961 (1999), solidified a property owner's right to freely transfer his property prior to judgment subject to subsequent equitable remedies under fraudulent conveyance statutes. This case involved an action for money damages where the creditor sought a preliminary injunction A temporary order made by a court at the request of one party that prevents the other party from pursuing a particular course of conduct until the conclusion of a trial on the merits.
A preliminary injunction is regarded as extraordinary relief. in federal court to prevent a defendant from transferring its assets prior to judgment being entered. The majority opinion pointed out prerequisites for equitable remedies as well as the general availability of injunctive relief injunctive relief n. a court-ordered act or prohibition against an act or condition which has been requested, and sometimes granted, in a petition to the court for an injunction. against asset transfers depend on common law principles of equity. The Supreme Court stated, "It was well established, however, that, as a general rule, a creditor's bill An equitable proceeding initiated by a person who has obtained—and is entitled to enforce—a money judgment against a debtor to collect the payment of a debt that cannot be reached through normal legal procedures. could be brought only by a creditor who had already obtained a judgment establishing the debt." The Court reiterated its understanding of the well-established general rule, "that a judgment establishing the debt was necessary before a court of equity would interfere with the debtor's use of his property." (15) In other words Adv. 1. in other words - otherwise stated; "in other words, we are broke"
put differently , under common law a creditor has no property interest in the assets of a debtor prior to the creditor obtaining a judgment, and before judgment, a debtor's property is freely alienable The character of property that makes it capable of sale or transfer.
Absent a restriction in the owner's right, interests in real property and tangible Personal Property are generally freely and fully alienable by their nature. .
The point is that all people, even potential debtors, have fundamental rights to protect and control their property. The transfer of freely alienable property is not unlawful and cannot be restrained by a creditor, absent obtaining remedies allowed under other statutory law such as bankruptcy, even if the transfer could subsequently be challenged under fraudulent transfer statutes.
Prior to the Florida Supreme Court's decision in Freeman, some commentators argued that it was unethical in some circumstances for an attorney to assist a client's property transfer which was subsequently found to be a fraudulent conveyance. The most prevalent arguments were, one, that attorneys had a duty as an "officer of the court" not to impair the collection of a court's money judgment, or two, that assisting a client's fraudulent conveyance constituted the assistance of "fraud." Both ethical positions are inconsistent with the Florida Supreme Court's interpretation of the FUFTA.
To begin with, the Florida Bar Model Rules of Conduct (the "Rules") provides in the preamble that, "A lawyer is a representative of clients, an officer of the legal system and a public citizen having special responsibility of the quality of justice." The concept of lawyer as "an officer of the court" suggests the close working relationship between judges and traditional courtroom practitioners. The phrase "an officer of the court" is relevant primarily to representation involving work in a courtroom. The Florida Supreme Court has explained that an attorney's role as "officer of the court" is to work with the court system, for example, by improving the Bar admissions process, serving on disciplinary committees, and representing indigents. (16) This court has never used the term "officer of the court" to impose on attorneys additional duties that could create conflict with or diminish the attorney's ethical responsibilities to diligently advocate on his client's behalf. (17) Any other meaning would place the attorney in the role of being an ombudsman rather than a zealous advocate.
It is well settled that because of the adversarial nature of litigation and the duty for attorneys to zealously represent their clients with total loyalty and confidentiality, a lawyer lawfully providing services to a client has no legal liability to any third party in contract, tort or for a fiduciary duty because of a client's conduct. (18) More specifically, the general principle is that an attorney has no legal duty to a third party adverse to his client's interest, including a client's potential creditors.
Secondly, there is an important ethical distinction between assisting actual common law fraud and assisting a fraudulent conveyance. Under Rule 4-1.2(d), Scope of Representation, "A lawyer shall not counsel a client to engage, or assist a client, in conduct that the lawyer knows is criminal or fraudulent". (Rule 4-8.4(c) defines professional misconduct professional misconduct,
n conduct inappropriate to the practice of health care.
professional misconduct Behavior by a professional that implies an intentional compromise of ethical standards. to include "engage[ing] in conduct involving dishonesty, Laud, deceit or misrepresentation misrepresentation
In law, any false or misleading expression of fact, usually with the intent to deceive or defraud. It most commonly occurs in insurance and real-estate contracts. False advertising may also constitute misrepresentation. "). Rules 4-1.2(d) and 4-8.4(c) are the only references in the Model Rules to conduct of the attorney or client which involve fraud. The term "fraud" or "fraudulent" is specifically defined by the Rules (19) as de noting "conduct having a purpose to deceive and not merely negligent misrepresentation or failure to apprise another of relevant information." This definition makes no reference to a fraudulent conveyance or fraudulent transfer as under the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act, Uniform Fraudulent Conveyance Act or similar statute. "Fraud" does not include conduct which, although characterized as "fraudulent" by statute or administrative rule, lacks an element of scienter [Latin, Knowingly.] Guilty knowledge that is sufficient to charge a person with the consequences of his or her acts.
The term scienter refers to a state of mind often required to hold a person legally accountable for her acts. , deceit, intent to mislead, or knowing failure to correct misrepresentations which can be reasonably expected to induce detrimental reliance by another.
Florida's Supreme Court and appellate courts have clearly elucidated this distinction between the intentional tort of common law fraud and deceit, on one hand, and remedies under the FUFTA, on the other. By specifically rejecting the notion that the FUFTA creates an independent tort for damages, the Supreme Court in Freeman distinguished fraudulent transfers from the common law tort of fraud and deceit of which damage is an essential ingredient. The court recognized that despite the FUFTA's archaic language including the word "fraud," the statute does nothing more than create a creditor remedy similar to replevin A legal action to recover the possession of items of Personal Property.
Replevin is one of the oldest Forms of Action known to Common Law, first appearing about the beginning of the thirteenth century. or other equitable remedies. Such equitable remedies are different than damages awarded to remedy the intentional tort of common law fraud and deceit which requires all of the elements of misrepresentation, reasonable detrimental reliance, and proximate cause An act from which an injury results as a natural, direct, uninterrupted consequence and without which the injury would not have occurred.
Proximate cause is the primary cause of an injury. as well as damages.
The Florida Supreme Court also differentiated fraudulent transfers from common law fraud in Havoco of America, Ltd. v. Hill, 790 So. 2d 1018, 1028 (Fla. 2001). In Havoco, the court focused on exemption of a Florida homestead from remedies under the fraudulent asset conversion provisions of the Florida Statutes and the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act. The court concluded that homestead property is protected from the FUFTA's equitable remedies except where funds were obtained through fraud or egregious conduct. In sum, the court held that a fraudulent conveyance is not fraud and not egregious conduct.
As previously discussed, several recent Florida appellate court decisions contrasted tortious fraud and fraudulent conveyance. The Third District Court of Appeal has twice stated that a fraudulent transfer is not a tort, and therefore unrelated to the intentional tort of common law fraud. Though not addressing the issue directly, the Fifth District Court of Appeal, in its Bankfirst decision, cited several federal appellate cases to support its holding, including the Ninth Circuit decision of Elliott v. Glushon, 390 F.2d 514 (9th Cir. 1967), which held that fraudulent transfers in the context of bankruptcy include a great variety of actions which are not common law fraud. Thus, the Florida Supreme Court and Florida appellate courts have made clear that a fraudulent transfer falls outside the definition of fraud, under the law of deceit, proscribed PROSCRIBED, civil law. Among the Romans, a man was said to be proscribed when a reward was offered for his head; but the term was more usually applied to those who were sentenced to some punishment which carried with it the consequences of civil death. Code, 9; 49. by Florida's ethical rules, and is not otherwise considered egregious conduct.
The Florida Supreme Court in the case of Freeman v. First Union Nat'l Bank clearly holds that Florida's fraudulent conveyance statute is only a creditor collection tool and is not a basis for damage claims against nontransferees such as third-party financial consultants or legal advisors. This Supreme Court decision, together with earlier opinions from Florida appellate courts, definitively distinguishes fraudulent transfers from the intentional tort of common law fraud. It is clear that a fraudulent conveyance under the Florida Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act is not common law fraud. Freeman is another milestone in the ongoing balancing of creditor remedies and debtor rights under Florida law. As to an attorney's previous concerns regarding exposure to third-party liability claims and ethical considerations involving client transfers under FUFTA, following Freeman an attorney may be deemed to have an affirmative duty to competently advise clients as to their rights under the law so a client may acquire, possess, and protect property.
(1) Freeman v. First Union Nat'l. Bank, 329 F. 3d 1231 (11 Cir. 2003)(per curiam [Latin, By the court.] A phrase used to distinguish an opinion of the whole court from an opinion written by any one judge.
Sometimes per curiam signifies an opinion written by the chief justice or presiding judge; it can also refer to a brief oral announcement ).
(2) FLA. STAT. ch. 726.101 et seq et seq. (et seek) n. abbreviation for the Latin phrase et sequentes meaning "and the following." It is commonly used by lawyers to include numbered lists, pages or sections after the first number is stated, as in "the rules of the road are found in Vehicle Code . (2002).
(3) 11 U.S.C. [section] 550(a).
(4) Freeman, 329 F. 3d at 1233.
(5) The appeals court believed there was conflicting guidance from Florida's intermediate appellate courts on the nature of Florida's Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act, its remedies, and its relationship to the Bankruptcy Code and therefore it certified this question to the Florida Supreme Court.
(6) Freeman, 329 F. 3d at 1234.
(7) Id. at 1276.
(8) The court cited its recent decision in Friedman v. Heart Institute of Port St. Lucie, Inc., 863 So. 2d 189 (Fla. 2003), to illustrate the FUFTA's narrow focus. Id. at 1277.
(9) Id. at 1277.
(11) Yusem, 770 So. 2d at 749.
(15) Grupo Mexicano de Desarrollo, S.A., v. Alliance Bond Fund, Inc., 119 S. Ct. at 1969 (1999).
(16) In re: Petition for Advisory Opinion Concerning Applicability of Chapter, 316 So. 2d 45 (Fla. 1975).
(17) Rule 4-1.3.
(18) Limited exceptions have been curved out in probate on the theory of a fiduciary duty involving wills and trusts cases in relation to deemed or intended third party beneficiaries.
(19) Terminology. (4-8.4(c)).
Denis Denis, king of Portugal: see Diniz. A. Kleinfeld is a principal of The Kleinfeld Law Firm, with offices in Miami, London, Moscow, and Geneva Geneva, canton and city, Switzerland
Geneva (jənē`və), Fr. Genève, canton (1990 pop. 373,019), 109 sq mi (282 sq km), SW Switzerland, surrounding the southwest tip of the Lake of Geneva. , and Four Points Management LLLP LLLP Limited Liability Limited Partnership in the USVI USVI United States Virgin Islands
USVI US Vision, Inc. (stock symbol)
USVI United States Vegetation Index . He graduated from the University of Illinois University of Illinois may refer to:
Jonathan Alper practices law in Heathrow. Orlando, with a focus on corporate planning, asset protection, and bankruptcy law. He received his J.D., with honors, from the University of Florida University of Florida is the third-largest university in the United States, with 50,912 students (as of Fall 2006) and has the eighth-largest budget (nearly $1.9 billion per year). UF is home to 16 colleges and more than 150 research centers and institutes. in 1975. Mr. Alper also holds an M.A. from Harvard University and a B.A. from Northwestern University.
This column is submitted on behalf of the Tax Section, Richard JR Comiter, chair, and Michael D. Miller, Normarie Segurola, and Benjamin A. Jablow, editors.