Practices

Real Estate and Construction Litigation

We represent clients across the industry in all aspects of real estate and construction litigation, mediation, arbitration, and other forms of alternative dispute resolution.

Real estate developers, owners, and lenders trust us with their disputes because we approach litigation as a vehicle to achieve their business objectives – not as its own objective. Our internally supportive and collaborative approach allows us to identify and deploy the right resources to each engagement, regardless of geography.

We also have experience with many different types of clients—developers, owners, lenders, commercial landlords and tenants, REITs, private equity and venture capital groups, builders, contractors, management companies, housing authorities, and design professionals. This gives us the ability to see different sides of an issue and serves us well in dispute resolution or litigation.

Delivering a Win for Howard University in Development Dispute

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Experience 

Loan/Financing Litigation and Workouts

  • For several years, we have represented Fidelity National Title Insurance Co. (and a number of its subsidiaries) in a series of class action lawsuits pending in federal and state courts in Pennsylvania. The lawsuits allege that Fidelity's agents overcharged for title insurance sold in connection with home refinancings. Of the nine cases we originally handled, four remain – two in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Schwartz v. Lawyers Title Insurance Company and Coleman v. Commonwealth Land Title) and two in the Court of Common Pleas, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania (Patterson v. Fidelity National Title Insurance Co. and Fidelity National Title Insurance Co. of New York and DeCooman v. Lawyers Title Insurance Company). Both sets of cases are in the midst of class certification proceedings.

Receiverships and Foreclosures

  • In a case of national significance, we obtained preliminary and permanent injunctions preventing the mezzanine lender from foreclosing on a major luxury resort in derogation of the rights of the senior lender.

Commercial Landlord/Tenant Disputes

  • We won a $1,350,000 judgment following trial for the plaintiff/landlord in a commercial lease dispute with the tenant.

Contract Disputes

  • We represent Johnstown Regional Energy, a processor of landfill gas, in issues and disputes with landfill owners involving the processing and collection of gas, protocols for landfill management, and other issues with landfills.

Land Use

  • We repeatedly represented owners and developers of fossil, nuclear, and renewable energy projects in assessing the risks associated with planned and ongoing projects and developed and implemented strategies that successfully reduced and mitigated those risks.
  • We represented an industrial company and its principal shareholder in lawsuits arising from the PCB contamination of the company's property; one case involved the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the other was against a major utility.

Fair Housing and Americans with Disabilities Act Claims, including the defense of housing discrimination and accessibility complaints

  • We defended a national property management company in a high-profile federal discrimination lawsuit brought against federal agencies, city police, and the owner and management company of a residential property disrupted with gang activities. The case was about to go to trial, but was settled in negotiations and settlement conferences with a Magistrate Judge.

Title Disputes

  • We won an appeal on behalf of an insured homeowner in a dispute over a judgment lien that was recorded against the seller after the sales contract was executed but before all contingencies had been satisfied. That judgment creditor sought to enforce the lien against the buyer after title to the property had been transferred.
  • We represent a large national title insurance company in several class actions alleging that consumers were overcharged for title insurance in violation of RICO and state consumer protection statutes. We previously obtained a ground-breaking class decertification decision in a similar case, which spurred federal courts in the Third Circuit to decertify three other title insurance overcharge class actions.

Condominium, Hospitality and Resort/Timeshare Litigation

  • We represented a condominium developer in an important case of first impression in Pennsylvania affirming the developer's right to continue to control unallocated parking spaces after control of the association's executive board has passed to the unit owners.
  • We represented a national real estate investment concern in litigation and arbitration regarding contractual contributions for the renovation of a major New York City hotel.

Deficient Design and Construction Disputes

  • We represented Gloucester County Utility Authority in litigation with a design-build contractor for a wastewater sludge incinerator.

Construction Delay and Disruption Disputes

  • We represented the developer of an urban high-rise condominium complex in litigation with the general contractor over construction defects, delays, and design-build deficiencies. The case was settled early in discovery.

Contractor Disputes

  • We represented an owner of a petroleum refinery in New Jersey and its general contractor in construction lien litigation related to upgrades and enhancements to the refinery after a subcontractor declared bankruptcy. The matter resulted in a favorable clarification of the New Jersey Construction Lien Law regarding limitations on an owner's liability to lien claimants in multi-tier construction contracts and was subsequently settled.

Bankruptcy Matters

  • We represented a publicly traded REIT as the largest landlord creditor in bankruptcy filed by national grocery chain.