Real Estate

  • August 29, 2014

    Keystone XL's Fate May Hinge On Neb. Supreme Court Ruling

    The Nebraska Supreme Court has set a Sept. 5 hearing to consider the state’s challenge to a decision striking down a law that authorizes the governor to approve the route for the Keystone XL pipeline — a case the Obama administration has said will have a huge impact on whether the controversial project can move forward.

  • August 29, 2014

    Texas High Court To Let Jury Resolve Enbridge Pipe Damages

    The Texas Supreme Court on Friday ruled that a jury should determine whether the damage to a couple’s property by Enbridge Pipelines East Texas LP is temporary or permanent and then calculate damages for the couple based on that finding, according to a decision that reversed the appellate court’s finding.

  • August 29, 2014

    Eckert Seamans Pushes To Stay In 'Kids-For-Cash' Fight

    Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott LLC struck back Wednesday against a motion seeking the firm's disqualification from defending a Pennsylvania businessman accused of concealing his involvement in Luzerne County's “kids for cash” scandal to induce a business partner to invest in juvenile detention facilities.

  • August 29, 2014

    Texas Supreme Court Clarifies Implied Easement In Land Row

    The Texas Supreme Court said Friday that a dispute over the use of a 50-plus-year-old access road that crosses another party’s property must be pursued based on implied easement by necessity — not by prior use — reversing the decisions of a trial and appeals court.

  • August 29, 2014

    IPO Filings Soar In Late-August Heat

    Initial public offering activity was back in action this week with 13 companies packing into the pipeline, including a slew of biotech firms, a Blackstone Group LP-backed solar energy firm and a real estate investment trust that may make the largest debut of its kind.

  • August 29, 2014

    AIG Needn't Cover QBE Defense In Kickback Case, Court Says

    A New York state court judge has ruled American International Group Inc. doesn’t have to pay defense costs for individual and proposed class action suits brought by mortgage borrowers who claim QBE Holdings Inc. paid improper kickbacks to banks — but Darwin Select Insurance Co. does — because AIG’s policy lacks a duty-to-defend provision.

  • August 29, 2014

    Ala. Asks Supreme Court To Nix Race Bias Suit Over Tax Law

    The state of Alabama has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to deny an appeal filed by a group of schoolchildren who claim the state's property laws are unconstitutional and racist, saying the students are unlikely to receive any benefit if they prevail.

  • August 29, 2014

    Ex-Countrywide Exec Defends Fannie-Freddie Loans' 'Quality'

    Former Countrywide Financial executive Rebecca Mairone asked a New York federal court Friday to overturn a jury's decision that she helped defraud Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, saying the finding that she helped the Bank of America Corp. unit to scam the government relied on a distortion of the term “quality” as it applied to the loans.

  • August 29, 2014

    Texas Can't Grab Uncollected Settlement Funds, Court Says

    Texas' high court said Friday that the state is not entitled to seize uncollected class action settlement funds that are earmarked for charities in a case involving a homebuilder that settled litigation accusing it of failing to obtain insurance coverage for subcontractors.

  • August 29, 2014

    Skanska Sinks $67M Into Stockholm Office Property

    Swedish developer Skanska AB is investing 470 million Swedish Krona ($67.3 million) into an office property in Stockholm, Sweden, the company announced Thursday.

  • August 29, 2014

    Enviros Urge Calif. Court To Block $477M Sacramento Arena

    A $477 million sports arena planned for downtown Sacramento, California, was wrongfully pushed through an expedited approval process with the help of an unconstitutional law, environmental activists who seek to block the project argued in a brief filed Friday in California appeals court.

  • August 29, 2014

    BofA Works Out $447M Countrywide MBS Row With Insurer

    Bank of America Corp.’s mortgage lending unit reached a deal Thursday to end a lawsuit over an insurer's $447 million purchase of mortgage-backed securities from Countrywide Financial Corp., according to filings in California federal court.

  • August 29, 2014

    Thayer Pays $460M For Westin Diplomat Resort In South Fla.

    The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa in the Fort Lauderdale area has been snatched up for $460 million by hotel-focused private equity investor Thayer Lodging Group Inc., according to Broward County, Florida, property records filed Thursday.

  • August 29, 2014

    Couple Can't Count Investment Loss As Theft, Tax Court Says

    The U.S. Tax Court on Thursday said a couple who loaned more than $4 million to a now-defunct mortgage company cannot deduct the money as a bad debt or a loss caused by theft because they had an avenue to try to recover the money.

  • August 29, 2014

    Dalian Forms $814M JV For Edge In China's E-Commerce Field

    Real estate, entertainment and retail conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group has signed a deal with Baidu and Tencent, two of the largest Web services companies in China, to create a $814 million joint venture as rival Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. ramps up to issue its initial public offering.

  • August 29, 2014

    RE Rumor Mill: Squarespace, Blackstone, Silverstein

    Squarespace has reportedly agreed to take 100,000 square feet at 225 Varick St., The Blackstone Group LP is poised to take a stake in a special economic zone development in India for 10 billion Indian rupees ($165 million) and Larry Silverstein's newest development will have its own "poor door."

  • August 29, 2014

    Irish Agency Nets €211M In Sale Of 4 Dublin Properties

    Irish Residential Properties REIT PLC is purchasing four Dublin-area residential properties comprising 761 units from the National Asset Management Agency for €211.3 million ($277.7 million), the real estate investment trust announced Friday.

  • August 29, 2014

    PE Fund Slams Removal Bid By Limited Partners In Fee Row

    Real estate secondary investing private equity fund Liquid Realty Partners has sued a group of its limited partners, saying that efforts by investors to remove it from its role as general partner to a set of funds is nothing more than an unjust effort to avoid paying $26.5 million in service fees.

  • August 29, 2014

    Texas Justices Say Farmers Vacancy Clause Precludes Payout

    The Texas Supreme Court on Friday affirmed a ruling that Farmers Insurance Exchange isn't required to cover a homeowner whose vacant property was destroyed by a fire in a neighboring home, finding the policy suspended coverage because the house was vacant. 

  • August 29, 2014

    Evoq Properties Sued By Shareholders Over $357.4M Buyout

    Evoq Properties Inc. was hit with a shareholder class action in California court Wednesday over the $357.4 million buyout deal it agreed to earlier this month, with investors claiming the company breached its fiduciary duty by failing to ensure that they would get a fair shake.

Expert Analysis

  • Avoiding And Defending Florida License Tax Audits

    Nathan A. Adams IV

    The Florida Legislature added "licenses" to "leases" and "rentals" of real property as subject to Florida's commercial rental tax in 1986, ostensibly to close a loophole enabling parties to characterize their leases as licenses to avoid taxation. But the Department of Revenue has come to interpret the license tax expansively — to the detriment of hotels and restaurants, say Nate Adams and Jim Ervin of Holland & Knight LLP.

  • Breaking Down The Collapse Doctrine In Wash.

    Michael V. Silvestro

    It is too early to tell which approach Washington will adopt regarding the collapse doctrine, but whatever conclusion the Washington Supreme Court reaches it likely won't be unanimous — prior cases suggest the state could require an actual collapse, says Michael Silvestro of Robins Kaplan Miller & Ciresi LLP.

  • 5 Reasons Large Companies Are Turning To Boutique Firms

    David M. Levine

    The departure of attorneys from large firms is a trend that has increased as a result of the Great Recession and its aftermath, and boutique firm partners who previously worked at large firms understand the potential large-firm pitfalls, say attorneys with Levine Kellogg Lehman Schneider & Grossman LLP.

  • NY Joins Texas In The Broad Use Of Appraisal

    Steven J. Badger

    New York's scope of appraisal after a recent change in state insurance law appears to support an appraisal process even broader than Texas' after that state's high court decided State Farm Lloyds v. Johnson, says Steven Badger of Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP.

  • Perils Of Communicating With Customers By Phone Or Text

    Given the large number of calls that can be made electronically, damages for Telephone Consumer Protection Act violations can run into the millions. In this short video, Sutherland partner Lewis Wiener discusses the TCPA and how businesses that communicate with customers by phone or text may be impacted.

  • Noteworthy Changes To The Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act

    Laura Amato

    A series of discrete amendments to the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act — now renamed the Uniform Voidable Transactions Act — should promote better uniformity across secured lending and bankruptcy practices and provide better guidance to both courts and litigants about how avoidance actions should be adjudicated, say Jonathan Korman and Laura Amato of Reed Smith LLP.

  • Even A Tax Authority May Sometimes Have To Pay

    Vicki R. Harding

    For jurisdictions where the tax authority first “forecloses” on property in satisfaction of outstanding property taxes and then resells the property, there is a clear risk that the authority could be forced to pay “market value” less the amount of the delinquent property taxes, particularly if the property owner subsequently files for bankruptcy, says Vicki Harding of Pepper Hamilton LLP.

  • Tax-Free REIT Spinoffs Could Be The Next Big Thing

    Thomas A. Humphreys

    Windstream Holdings Inc.’s recent tax-free real estate investment trust spinoff highlights an intriguing option for U.S. corporations — particularly those in the technology, telecommunications or utility sector — as the IRS continues to expand the range of “real estate” assets that can be held by an REIT, say Thomas Humphreys and Matthew Lau of Morrison & Foerster LLP.

  • The Elusive At-Risk Element Of EB-5

    Mona Shah

    Although EB-5 regulations address the “at-risk” requirement of the immigrant investor program, neither the statute nor the existing body of EB-5 case precedents specifies precisely what the degree of risk must be, say Mona Shah and Yi Song of Mona Shah & Associates.

  • Texas' Progressive Claims Syndrome Is Treatable

    Lindsey P. Bruning

    The recent case of USAA Texas Lloyd’s Co. v. Menchaca exemplifies a prevalent concern in Texas first-party property insurance claims today — the “Progressive Claim Syndrome” — as well as its most effective treatment, says Lindsey Bruning of Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP.