The Orlando Law Group

Litigation

Our attorneys have extensive experience in a wide range of civil litigation, including actions involving personal injury, insurance, professional liability, real estate, construction, and more. While we believe in settling when it is appropriate for our clients, we also believe that there are some cases that should not be settled. Our lawyers can handle all aspects of litigation.

Our attorneys have past experience practicing insurance defense. They defended hospitals, doctors, nursing homes, and surgery centers in medical malpractice claims. They also defended insurance companies regarding slip and falls, product liability and car accidents. Because of this experience, we know how insurance companies think. Additionally, we have the experience to effectively and aggressively litigate your case.

It is important to remember that there are statutes of limitations that apply to personal injury cases. This means that there is a time limit in which you can pursue a lawsuit. For this reason, it is recommended that you contact an attorney without delay to protect your right to file a lawsuit.

Service Offerings:

  • Appellate
  • Business Disputes
  • Landlord Tenant Litigation
  • Mortgage Foreclosures
  • Construction Litigation
  • E-Discovery & Information Management
  • Employment Litigation
  • Insurance Litigation
  • Products Liability
  • Premises Liability
  • Real Estate Litigation
  • State & Local Litigation
  • Trusts, Estates, Guardianship & Other Fiduciary Litigation

Meet Your OLG Attorneys

Jennifer A. Englert

Jennifer A. Englert
Attorney & Managing Partner
(407) 512-4394
jenglert@theorlandolawgroup.com

Jeffrey W. Smith

Sophia Dean

Wendy Hernandez O’Donnell

Wendy Hernandez O’Donnell
Attorney
(407) 512-4394
wodonnell@theorlandolawgroup.com

Jarrod Etheridge

Jarrod Etheridge
Attorney
(407) 512-4394
jetheridge@theorlandolawgroup.com

Marsha Summersill

Marsha Summersill
Attorney
(407) 512-4394
msummersill@theorlandolawgroup.com

Erika De Jesus

Erika De Jesus
Attorney
(407) 512-4394
edejesus@theorlandolawgroup.com

Dan Sanders

Dan Sanders
Attorney
(407) 512-4394
dan.sanders@sanderslegalsolutionspllc.com

Adam C. Herman

Adam C. Herman
Director of Litigation
Chief Operating Officer
(407) 512-4394
Aherman@theorlandolawgroup.com

Jaya Balani

Jaya Balani
Attorney
(407) 512-4394
jaya@balanilaw.com

Did you know?

You might be surprised to find that, every year, 1.3 million people die from car accidents and approximately 25 million are injured. You may be driving safely, but it is others, who are distracted or drunk that are putting you and your loved ones at risk. If you have been involved in a car accident, the best thing to do is speak with a lawyer. Most lawyer’s consultations are free and it is important to know what your options are and what you should do next.

Many people try to handle the settlement on their own, but is that the right choice?

How do you know when you need the help of an attorney after a car accident?

Filing a Claim

You may need to file a claim with the at fault driver’s insurance. The insurance company may also want a recorded statement. This can be overwhelming if this is the first time you have had to handle this. You may also be injured and need to focus on healing.  An experienced lawyer will have substantial experience dealing with insurance companies.  Additionally, having an accident attorney handling the claim may help insurance companies take you more seriously and they may be more open to settlement if a lawsuit seems imminent.

Settlement

If an insurance company offers you a sum to settle your claim, you should not agree to settle and should not sign any agreements without consulting a lawyer first. Insurance companies often offer money right away and this a well-known tactic to prevent substantial claims from being filed.

Organizing a comprehensive settlement demand can be overwhelming especially if you are injured.  A car accident attorney is well versed in putting together a demand that clearly lays out your injuries and requested compensation. 

Medical Bills and Liens

Understanding the complex interactions between your car and health insurances as well as your PIP insurance is frustrating. Many people do not understand that you must pay back your health insurance as well as any providers who weren’t fully compensated out of the settlement money you receive. An experienced attorney can help you navigate this and may even be able to get reductions on some of your medical bills. It’s important to remember that insurance companies are not on your side, they are there to protect their insured and their bottom line.

When trying to recover money for injuries, you’re up against the insurance company, not the at-fault driver, be informed before you make common mistakes.  Many people can be taken advantage without the knowledge of a car accident attorney. Additionally, you may miss medical bills and liens if you don’t know what to look for.  

The Ultimate Point

We won’t pretend like Orlando isn’t a busy location. Living so close to a major city, the unfortunate truth is that you can count on a car accident happening. The good news is that, if it does, you have a legal team that has been here for over ten years, working to make personal injury cases right and those injured whole again. If you have been in a car accident, call an attorney that offers a free consult and will spend them time listening to your case.

Photo of Sophia Dean - Attorney at The Orlando Law Group
By: Sophia Dean
Personal Injury Lawyer

A small-town girl from Ohio, Sophia Dean has become a legal powerhouse, armed with 9 years of legal experience, a unique skill set for delivering justice, and an unwavering dedication to her clients. Attorney Dean is eager to fight for the outcome you rightfully deserve.

She spent a bulk of her legal career in the world of bankruptcy, student loan law, and debt settlement, assisting many people in taking the first steps towards financial freedom. Branching out into the field of personal injury further extends her servant’s heart to help those impacted by someone else’s negligence.

A Will Can Protect

Justifying Your Legacy With A Will

Here’s the truth – you have a legacy that should be protected. Unless you own absolutely nothing and have no possessions, then you have a legacy to care about. The second thought, and one that we often avoid is, “What would happen to everything you own upon your death?” We can attest to the fact that many who have gotten a will with us have all mentioned the same thing: “Why didn’t we think of this sooner?” We believe that’s because people do not fully comprehend the complexities that can occur when you die without a will.

We are the Orlando Law Group, an 11-year-old, full-service law firm located in Central Florida helping our community with all of their legal matters. In this blog, we will discuss the merits of having a complete estate plan, and how that can protect your legacy and its transference to your loved ones. No one wants to think of what would happen if they passed away, but it is necessary to make sure your possessions get passed along the way you prefer, and not caught in the convoluted purgatory of probate.

What Happens When You Die Without A Will?

Dying without a will is called dying “intestate.” If you die intestate the Florida Intestacy Statutes will determine the distribution of your assets at death. This was brought into the mainstream news when Black Panther actor Chadwick Boseman tragically passed away in August of 2020. He, after a four-year battle with colon cancer, died without a will, with an estate at an estimated value of $938,500, according to papers filed in Los Angeles County probate court. The truth is it isn’t uncommon to die intestate. In some situations, you may be content with the plan that the lawmakers determined for you, and in other situations, you may not be so happy with it. Along with not being able to decide who gets your property after you die, there are many other pitfalls that come with dying without a will that you may not be able to foresee.

Time Consuming Constraints

While dying with a will does not mean that the distribution of your property is a quick and painless process, dying without a will is surely a long, drawn-out process. If you die without a will in Florida and probate is required, a Personal representative (commonly known as an “Executor”) must be appointed. If you were to die with a will, you would have designated a personal representative in the will. Without a will, you do not get to choose your Personal Representative. This could potentially open the door for disputes among the beneficiaries as to who should be appointed as Personal Representative. They will quiet literally be forced to guess what your wishes would have been.

Expenses Rising

When you create your will, your attorney will discuss ways to avoid probate. Although probate is not especially expensive or complicated, the fights over who will administer your estate and be in charge of distributing your assets most certainly are, not to mention the fact that they can cause permanent rifts in the family. The cost to not having a plan that comes from you can be grave, and that is where so much of the value in having an estate plan can help. It takes the pressure off of your loved ones to wonder what you would like done with everything you own. Now, instead of guessing and speculating, they can carry out your wishes to specification. For many families, it is a way to come together to make sure your will is carried out, rather than argue and battle over what they thought you would have wanted. Probate is a complicated matter, but if you would like to read more about probate, we discuss exactly that in our blog right here.

Alleviating a Stressful Situation

We at The Orlando Law Group like to look at an estate plan as a gift from you to your family. It sounds odd, and the truth is that they will not realize it’s a gift until they’ve seen what can happen without one. When you observe families that have gone to literal legal war over estates, you realize that it all could have been avoided with the power and authority coming from the deceased. They could have set the record straight on how they wanted their possessions handled, but because they did not, their family is left to try and figure everything out. Emotions become raw, and greed can get the best of even the best of us when we are emotionally vulnerable.

It does not have to be this way. For the most part, having a comprehensive estate plan and someone designated to carry it out creates peace during a time of grieving. You want your loved ones focused on remembering what a beautiful life you lived, not worried about what you would have wanted your estate plan to be. With all that we have gone through in the last year, we know first-hand how precious life is. We fully comprehend how fast a situation can change, whether that be through an unexpected diagnosis or through a freak accident. We say this to help everyone understand what we understand: that a will is not for the dying, but rather for the living.

If you have questions about anything discussed here or involving estate planning, probate, or any of your legal needs, feel free to give us a call at 407-512-4394. You will reach our Waterford Lakes office, which can connect you to any of our other numerous locations. Our attorneys have a wealth of experience when it comes to what is involved in a comprehensive estate plan, and they would be happy to answer any questions that you have. Thanks for reading, and if we could leave you with one thought it is this: “Your legacy matters, so don’t wait to take measures to protect it.”

If you have a child with special needs, you know that the most important thing is that they lead a happy, productive life – especially when they are at school. Individual Education Plans are developed to assist your child with specific needs they may have, but you may be asking yourself, what can you be doing during the summer to maximize the effectiveness of your child’s IEP? When it comes to making sure a student with special needs gets what they deserve to succeed, grow, and feel confident doing so, Cherice Fleming Togun takes the responsibility seriously. The IEP can ensure your child’s success in the classroom and make a huge difference in your child’s life. That is why we want to be thorough and considerate to any needs they may be having.

During this time, it can be stressful, and many points get lost in the fast-paced fun of the summer. Preparing can indeed take that stress away, and we at OLG always employ lists to keep our best tips and tricks at the top of our priorities. In this blog, we will detail some great recommendations for you to improve the effectiveness of your child’s IEP, all from Cherice, one of our excellent paralegals, and a mom with extensive experience on the matter.

Tip Number 1: Create A Bio for Your Child‘s Individualized Education Plan

Of course, you will have the legal document provided by the public school, but we think just talking about your child, their personality, likes and dislikes can really provide a lot of personality as well as provide your direct contact information. This opens the line of dialogue and helps humanize what can sometimes be reduced to a black and white document.

Sometimes, what can happen during these meetings – through no fault of anyone’s – is that, as you are dissecting the child’s needs, the details and nuance can become lost. Furthering that human connection with the teacher really creates that team mentality that betters comfortability, confidence, and an intricate understanding of that student. We recommend to include information about the child’s favorite foods, what they enjoy doing at home as well as how you like to reward them and some of their favorite interests. What is so fantastic is, as your child gets older, they can participate in this and help write their own bio, playing an active role in the team’s objective: which is to make learning fun and effective.

Tip Number 2: When Going to Meet the Teacher, Connect

Have copies of the bio available for the teachers and for the staff. Email works as well, but truly getting to know these individuals and helping them to get to know your student will make a world of a difference. In a school system, there are so many moving parts that, unfortunately, details concerning your child’s Individualized Education Plan can become lost in the processes. It is vital to, what we call, stand out amongst all of the noise that expectedly takes place, especially at the beginning of the year. Having these bios printed off will allow the staff and teachers to have the information readily available in order to focus on understanding your child and their story.  Creating an empathetic relationship where you connect with the teachers will reinforce the fact that you’re a team.

Tip Number 3: A Good Individualized Education Plan Maintains Open Lines of Communication

Effective communication solves problems. It is vital to being able to bridge the gap between home life and school life. Having documented communication can truly help as well. Do not have all your conversations via phone, only because many times certain aspects that we said can be interpreted differently. By having open email communication, you inherently will be able to tell who you talked to, what was said, and when the conversation happened. This is all extremely helpful if an issue comes up in the future. We recommend to always err on the side of, “This is what appears to be happening…” versus accusatory language. Of course, it is so easy to become fighters in this scenario because these are our babies we are talking about! We must remind ourselves we are a team consisting of the child, the parents, and the teachers/ faculty. We all must work together to build a future for this student and have that process be enjoyable.

Generally, the team is not going to want to meet until 8-9 weeks into the school year, that way they have some viable data on your child’s life at school. Get an appointment on the books as soon as possible, and if anything must change to modify that, it can.

Tip Number 4: Get any third-party evaluations if needed

If, for some reason you’re not happy with evaluation the school’s psychologist completed, or even if you have some reports that need to be updated, summer is a perfect time for that. We’ve had schools say they don’t need that much documentation, but if you’re the type of parent that likes to be more thorough than less, then you will want to have more documentation to communicate all the details necessary to make the best decisions for the child’s needs. Our children are complex puzzles, and having solid psychological and medical evaluations will help the teachers and staff to stay in-tune with what that student needs specifically. It eliminates any possible confusion or misunderstandings in the future.

Tip Number 5: Try to Keep The Meeting Light Hearted

Let’s get real: these meetings can be hard. It can feel like you are being attacked, but the truth is that to create an effective plan, we need to be decisive and work together. Keeping things light and letting others feel comfortable in your presence opens a world of possibility for everyone to work as a team. If feel you need a lawyer’s help, reach out to us directly or read out step-by-step process right here. It may sound odd, but we truly believe that first impressions set a tone that reverberates for a long time. That is why we want to be careful and really cultivate a sense of confidence, comfortability, and connectivity.  

As always, if there is a problem where you feel like you need someone to advocate on your behalf, we’re here to help you. You know your child better than anyone else, and many times it can help to get a third, objective party involved. What we recommend is being completely honest about the situation. You do have to let the school know that you will be bringing in someone to assist with a legal background. This can help to recalibrate your objectives, which should always revolve around the betterment of the child. It can truly be a beautiful thing when everyone comes together to work for your child’s best interest, and you really get to see your child blossom and perform to their fullest ability.

In conclusion, the main goal of an Individual Education Plan is to enhance your child’s potential to learn in a positive environment where they feel comfortable and confident. Many times, it takes a proactive approach on the part of everyone involved to have the IEP work effectively. If you have any questions at all, we have experienced attorneys, and we have staff that have worked hard to make their children’s, and their client’s children’s IEPs the best. We’re here to help you, and care so much about this aspect of what we do. A great Individual Education Plan can make a huge difference in your child’s daily life, so if you’re not getting the most out of your child’s IEP, we will make sure that you and your child do.

© 2021 The Orlando Law Group.