Welcome to the inaugural edition of “Martella Memos”. This is our monthly newsletter that we are sending out to our clients, colleagues, friends and family to keep you updated on the latest happenings with our firm as well as provide you with useful information and, hopefully entertain you a little bit as well. In each edition of our Newsletter, you will find an item of interest on the front page with regard to either legal or business issues facing our communities here in Southwest Florida. On the inside we will attempt each month to give you a legal tip to help you with your business or personal life. Our goal is not to present the information in a “legalese” manner but, rather, to do it in an entertaining, informative and easy to read format. Additionaly, in order to also provide you with some mental relief, we will give you a random review about a local restaurant, book or movie as well as information featuring a non-profit in our area and what may be going on with that featured non-profit. On the last page, we will feature one of our team members so that you can get to learn more about each member and what they like to do and their involvement outside of the office. We hope you will find this newsletter informative and entertaining and if you would like extra copies to go to your friends, clients, colleagues, or family members, please let us know by e-mailing Kim at kim@martellalaw.com and we will be happy to add them to our monthly mailing list.

One of the hats I have the pleasure of wearing this year is as President of the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce. Recently, I was interviewed by CNN Money online magazine regarding the Punta Gorda metropolitan area being recognized as one of the top ten turnaround areas in the Country. That announcement was followed up by a feature front page article in the Charlotte Sun. When asked by the reporter who was calling me from New York City why I thought we were coming back so strongly, I merely asked him “what is the temperature where you are?”. Fortunately, we have many great advantages to promoting this area such as the weather, beaches, golf and fishing. At the same time, it is those factors along with “irrational exuberance” regarding lending , and some of the mindless lending practices of the big banks supported by the greed of Wall Street, that lead us down the path to depression-like numbers in unemployment and the related foreclosures and family strife. As we start to see a comeback, we need to make sure that the comeback is based upon sound financial principals while, at the same time, not stifling lending restrictions. Once of the biggest complaints I hear from our local small banks and the lenders trying to help small businesses is that the pendulum has swung so far in the other direction with regard to regulation requirements that even some of the best qualified candidates are having difficulties getting financing. Therefore, while there are signs of a financial comeback in Southwest Florida, we must be vigilant in not relaxing too much and thinking we are out of the woods as the foreclosure filings are ticking upwards and we face record gas prices this summer.
For these reasons, while I anticipate that we still have bumps in the road, the road is going in the right direction and we must not let small detours deter us from continuing to do all of the great work that has been done to move our area forward and be recognized as one of the top ten comeback places in the country.