Maritime Attorney Brett Rivkind Sued On Claims Rent Owed For Office Space
Prominent Miami maritime attorney Brett Rivkind's landlord at his longtime office space across from the Dade County Courthouse has filed a lawsuit seeking to evict him and his partner for failing to pay all their rent.
Rivkind, a past president of the Florida Bar admiralty committee and son of former Chief Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Leonard Rivkind, is vigorously fighting the lawsuit filed against his firm, Rivkind & Margulies and has hired Joel Perwin to defend him.
"My position is no rent is owed, all the rent is current and the lawsuit is baseless," Rivkind said in an interview. "This is a frivolous lawsuit, and we will be filing sanctions against the landlord."
The landlord, 2KAS Partners LLC, sued Rivkind & Margulies on Oct. 10 in Miami-Dade Circuit Court.
The law firm leased a portion of the sixth floor at 66 W. Flagler St. in November 2005, according to the complaint. Space in the building directly across from the Dade County Courthouse is coveted for its proximity to civil and family courts.
Rivkind leased about 3,000 square feet for his eight employees, including two attorneys.
The lease agreement was amended to extend through December 2014, according to the complaint.
In January 2011, 2KAS Partners acquired the sixth floor of the building. Under terms of the lease, the complaint said the landlord was entitled to collect additional rent. In April, the landlord made a written demand for $37,160 in additional rent for 2013. When the tenant refused to pay the additional rent or move out, 2KAS sent seven-day eviction notice on Oct. 2. The law firm hasn't budged.
In his response, Perwin acknowledged the lease included a provision allowing the landlord to collect additional rent. However, that rent was to be assessed based on a specific formula, he asserted.
More than eight years after the original lease agreement, Rivkind received a letter from his new landlord demanding extra payment.