Real Estate Litigation

Practical Solutions to Your Litigation

Real estate’s significance for nearly every business and individual makes it a common subject of litigation.  Lurie, Zepeda, Schmalz, Hogan & Martin represents all parties involved in real estate matters – developers, landlords, tenants, brokers, financial institutions and individuals – in wide-ranging disputes.  Whether you are embroiled in high-stakes litigation or private arbitration, we strive to conduct a thorough investigation, then plan and implement a strategy to achieve your goals as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.

Some of Our Real Estate Litigation Cases

  • Successfully defended commercial landlord against tenant for fraud related to the leased building’s condition and for rescission of triple-net lease agreement. Achieved dismissal of all of tenant’s fraud and breach claims through four consecutive motions for summary adjudication, and prosecuted cross-complaint against tenant for breach of lease. While the building contained construction and/or design defects, convinced court that fraud claims were untenable because the lease agreement was on “as is” basis and the tenant was an engineering firm. Immediately before jury trial, settled client’s claim against tenant for damages relating to breach of lease on terms favorable to client. Secured tenant’s eviction, allowing client to timely contribute property to new shopping center venture.

  • Fifty years after a legal description recording error of a lot split in the 1960s, filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court to conform the legal description of client’s residential property with the authorized lot line.  Case was resolved in clients’ favor, eliminating the risk of clients losing a large part of their driveway and garage.

  • In construction litigation, successfully defended land developer against claims that homes built on adjacent property suffered soil subsidence and foundation failure due in part to grading activity on client’s down slope property.  Obtained summary judgment based on statute of limitations.  The contractor who had built the affected homes was out of business and its records difficult to recover, complicating the ability to determine precisely who was responsible for soil subsidence.

  • Successfully sued celebrity and former studio president for encroaching on client’s property by building a gate and gatehouse.  Case was settled through an advantageous sale and lot line adjustment.

  • Successfully defended shopping center developer against former secured lender’s claim for $1.5 million “exit” fee after client refinanced loan. Lender had failed to demand the exit fee at the time the loan was refinanced and deed of trust re-conveyed. Notwithstanding lender’s claim of inadvertent error, persuaded court that “one-action” rule governed and that lender had waived its security interest and therefore waived its claim for further monies. Defeated lender’s claims on quickly set motion for summary judgment based on anti-deficiency law defenses. Collected entire award of fees, including a $50,000 “bonus” over actual attorneys’ fees incurred based on “reasonable fee” argument.

  • Successfully petitioned the Los Angeles Superior Court to vacate arbitration award dismissing contractor’s claims for purported lack of contractor’s license.  Thereafter, prosecuted claim to successful settlement.

  • After an adjoining property owner moved fences on client’s residential property in Santa Monica Canyon, where “every inch counts,” successfully prosecuted and tried a claim for encroachment.

  • Successfully defended apartment developers from judicial foreclosure action and prosecuted lender liability cross-complaints in two companion cases.  Obtained dismissal of judicial foreclosure claims by demurrer and won attorney’s fees.  Defeated bank’s effort to compel judicial reference of cross-complaints in both cases based upon interpretation of ADR agreement and bank’s waiver. Obtained peremptory writ from Court of Appeal reversing order compelling arbitration, securing jury trial of lender liability claims, allowing both cases to be settled at beginning of trial.

  • Litigated a real estate foreclosure and lender liability case for borrower against a money center bank affiliate.  The lender had attempted to foreclose on a large estate home building development in Malibu Canyon, even though assignor bank had promised a loan extension and conditions had been met.  Defeated lender’s application for appointment of receiver and obtained a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction before case was settled for client.

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