Scott K. Petersen
Scott is Board Certified in Business Litigation by the Florida Bar. Board certification recognizes attorneys’ special knowledge, skills and proficiency in various areas of law and professionalism and ethics in practice. Board certified lawyers are evaluated for professionalism and tested for expertise. Certification is the Florida Bar’s highest level of evaluation of the competency and experience of attorneys. Only 7 percent of eligible Florida Bar members are Board Certified.
As a litigator, Scott believes his job starts long before you the client are faced with the prospect of filing or answering a lawsuit. While having experienced trial counsel on your side is crucial when faced with a lawsuit, even more important is having a lawyer looking out for you in your contracts and business negotiations so you never have to worry about having to file or answer a lawsuit. What questions should you be asking before signing that contract, buying that property or hiring that employee or independent contractor? When a dispute first arises, what steps can you take now that will help you avoid litigation later?
Of course, not all lawsuits can be avoided. But, in the event of a dispute, can your lawyer help you attempt to settle the dispute before it becomes a full-blown lawsuit? Scott learned the art of negotiating cases early, as he was a prosecutor in the District Attorney’s Office in Orange County, California. In a county of over 4 million people, he rose through the ranks quickly as he showed a knack for resolving tough cases without trial. One reason he was able to do so was that he was never afraid to take a case to the jury. In less than 5 years, he performed over 60 jury trials, as well as numerous motion hearings and court trials. He researched, wrote and argued appeals before the California Courts of Appeal. He served in a variety of capacities, including the Juvenile Gangs Unit, Felony Trials, Felony Filing and the Special Prosecutions Unit (involving the most sensitive cases in the office, including police shootings and excessive force, judicial and government corruption and bribery, gambling and bookmaking and fraud). Truly, the District Attorney’s Office was a baptism by fire, but the experience proved invaluable for his career in private practice.
Subsequently, he entered private practice, focusing on civil and commercial litigation, although he also worked on environmental, white collar criminal, probate and insurance matters. He performed several jury and non-jury trials, served as a municipal prosecutor for several towns, cities and villages, and wrote and argued appeals in the Wisconsin Courts of Appeals. Again, the breadth and diversity of his cases shaped and honed his abilities as a trial attorney. In one remarkable case, he stepped in for another lawyer with only two weeks until jury trial on a complex insurance case and won praise from both the judge and opposing counsel for his preparation and presentation.
Upon moving to Florida, he worked for a Sarasota law firm. He again worked on a wide variety of matters, but focused primarily on commercial, real estate and probate litigation matters. Using his trial abilities, he and another attorney successfully represented a client in a trial to the jury in a dispute regarding the Interstate Land Sales Act.
In late 2008, he joined a large Florida law firm during the collapse of the housing bubble and advent of the Great Recession. He quickly developed expertise in the mortgage and lien foreclosure areas of the law to aid the firm’s community association clientele. As a result, he was promoted to supervise all of the firm’s collection and foreclosure departments in the offices on the West coast of Florida (Orlando, Tampa, Sarasota, Fort Myers and Naples). On behalf of his clients, he was awarded the highest amount of sanctions in the state of Florida against a foreclosure mill for its failure to abide by the court’s orders. In addition to foreclosure work, he litigated a wide variety of cases on behalf of community association clients, including covenant enforcement, deed restriction violations, injunctions, quiet title actions and other civil litigation disputes involving community associations. He frequently speaks and writes on topics connected with community associations, especially in the area of mortgage and lien foreclosures, collections and covenant enforcement.
In 2015, he fulfilled a life-long dream when, with the able assistance of his wife, Robin, and support of his family, he opened The Law Office of Scott K. Petersen, PLLC. The mission statement of the Firm is a simple one: To provide professional, competent legal assistance for the protection of the Firm’s clients in an efficient and cost-effective manner. And, when clients must go to court, the Firm will zealously and tirelessly advocate the client’s interests and achieve the best possible outcome.
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