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Florida Issues Rules Permitting Senior Living Visitation [Gray Area of the Law]

September 02, 2020

Shareholders John Ruffier and James Walson discuss the requirements that a facility and visitors must meet under the Division of Emergency Management’s new executive order. 


Since March, the Division of Emergency Management for the State of Florida has suspended visiting rights at senior living facilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic to all but “compassionate care” situations (i.e., end of life situations) and “essential caregivers.” On September 1, 2020, the Division of Emergency Management issued Emergency Order No. 20-009 which expanded the list of potential facility visitors if a facility and the visitor meet certain requirements.

Although full and unrestricted visitation rights otherwise mandated by the Florida Statutes remains suspended, the new order now allows general visitation and “essential visitors” under certain circumstances and provides facilities with more guidance as to what standard they must maintain to allow such visitors. [...]

This is an excerpt from a blog post originally written on Gray Area of the Law. To read the entire post, click here.


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John

John Ruffier concentrates his legal practice on commercial real estate, representing clients within Florida and across the nation. As the firm's Senior Housing Group chair, he also helps companies build their senior living portfolios from the ground up. 


Whether representing companies that are developing, acquiring or selling commercial real estate, or lenders who are making or modifying commercial loans, John’s skills garnered from his championship rowing days serve him well. After all, rowing is a lot like business: both require a clear vision and goal, a well-developed plan, manageable milestones and a laser-like focus – with the flexibility to adjust when necessary.

Restaurants, big box retail stores, office buildings, golf courses, and senior living facilities are among the real estate transactions in John’s dossier, both in Florida and across the United States. Clients appreciate John’s holistic approach to deals – like in his rowing days, John ignores distractions and always keeps his focus on the goal line of getting the deal done. With senior housing, John and his team work on such diverse issues such as land use, licensing, financing, labor and employment, management and operations, all to provide clients with advice that carefully looks at both immediate needs and the long-term prospects for potential transactions.

When he is not practicing law, John is heavily involved in The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. He founded Orlando’s HRC Steering Committee which has received numerous national awards since its inception. Although still involved on a local level, John now focuses his service as a member of the organization’s national Board of Directors and will take over as Board Chair next year.  John is also the past President of the Hope and Help Center of Central Florida, an AIDS service organization in Orlando. The organization has awarded him the “Chuck Hummer II Visionary Award” in recognition of his leadership in the LGBT community.

James

James Walson represents title insurance companies, commercial landlords, property owners, buyers and lenders throughout Florida – in both transactional and litigation real estate matters. 


James Walson’s passion for advocacy began at an early age through watching his father, Pete, serve as a City Commissioner in Stuart, Florida and continued through high school and college as an award-winning debater. Today, Jamie, as he is called by clients and friends, is a real estate lawyer representing title insurance companies, commercial landlords, property owners, buyers and lenders throughout Florida – in both transactional and litigation matters. He has negotiated commercial leases, purchase and sale agreements for retail space, office buildings and medical offices.

Many clients turn to Jamie for his real property litigation experience as well. He has litigated matters involving contracts, title insurance liability, commercial landlord / tenant matters, easements, fraud, deed warranties, boundary disputes, adverse possession, lien priority and access rights. In addition, he has conducted appeals before the Second District Court of Appeal and the Fifth District Court of Appeal.

A fan of – and participant in – improvisational theater, Jamie counts on his humor in navigating difficult negotiations and litigation.  He is an avid golfer, is on the board of the First Tee of Central Florida, and is a father to three boys.

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