Real Estate

  • February 9, 2016

    BofA To Pay $3M To Settle Homeowners' Insurance Suit

    An Oklahoma federal judge on Tuesday approved Bank of America NA's proposed agreement to pay $3 million to settle a putative class action accusing the bank of improperly holding back insurance payments from homeowners who needed them for property repairs.

  • February 9, 2016

    Calif. Court Axes Insurance Broker's Win In Negligence Case

    A California appeals court on Tuesday vacated a lower court decision freeing an insurance broker from a lawsuit alleging it negligently failed to secure fire coverage for a client's commercial building, holding that there are still factual issues regarding whether the client requested coverage before the blaze.

  • February 9, 2016

    Jury Told Chicago Retail Developer Lied For Loans

    Real estate developer Laurance Freed did all he could to cover up his company’s failing finances and hundreds of millions in debt in order to keep money coming from his lenders, prosecutors told a Chicago jury in opening statements in Freed’s fraud trial Tuesday.

  • February 9, 2016

    Telemundo Plans New $250M HQ In Miami

    NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises on Tuesday said that it is planning to build a $250 million global headquarters on leased land in Miami-Dade County, Florida, in order to consolidate the Spanish language broadcaster’s operations under one roof.

  • February 9, 2016

    NY Builders Union Head Calls 421-A Tax Break 'Dead'

    The head of the New York City builders union on Monday said he does not expect the controversial 421-a housing tax break to be revived, three weeks after the state Legislature’s deadline to extend the program passed amid negotiations over wage guarantees.

  • February 9, 2016

    Investors Rip Genworth’s 'Recantation' Claims In IPO Suit

    A proposed class of Genworth investors asked a New York federal court not to toss their stock-drop suit over claims the insurer misled them ahead of delaying a subsidiary’s initial public offering in 2012, saying the “recantations” by two confidential witnesses the insurer is relying on were flimsy and unfairly obtained.

  • February 9, 2016

    Ex Bankruptcy Judge Tapped As Examiner In Zucker Ch. 11

    Former U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Donald Steckroth has been formally tapped to serve as the examiner in the Chapter 11 case of Zucker Goldberg & Ackerman LLC and investigate possible claims against current and former members of the foreclosure law firm and related “insiders,” according to an order Monday.

  • February 9, 2016

    Regional REIT Inks $115M UK Portfolio Deal

    Regional REIT Ltd. on Tuesday said that it has purchased a portfolio of commercial and industrial properties in the U.K. for £80 million ($115.8 million) from Northwood Investors, as the real estate investment trust adjusts its holdings after listing on the London Stock Exchange last year.

  • February 9, 2016

    Calif. County Can't Dodge Tribe's Tax Fight, Judge Says

    A California federal judge ruled Monday that a county can't duck a Native American tribe's suit alleging it lacks the authority to tax lessors on its tribal trust land, saying its interests in assessing the tax don't outweigh tribal or federal interests.

  • February 9, 2016

    US Slams Bid To Recuse Judge In $300M Ponzi Scheme Fight

    The U.S. government said Monday that a former vacation rental firm executive convicted for his role in a $300 million Ponzi scheme shouldn’t be able to get a Florida federal judge recused simply because he disagrees with the post-trial forfeiture ruling.

  • February 9, 2016

    US Bank, Santander Pay $13M To Exit OCC Mortgage Penalty

    U.S. Bank and Santander Bank on Tuesday agreed to pay a combined $13.4 million to get out from under restrictions on their mortgage operations imposed by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

  • February 9, 2016

    CBL-DRA Venture Acquires Raleigh Mall In $174M Deal

    Real estate investment trust CBL & Associates said Monday that it has formed a new joint venture with investment adviser DRA Advisors to take over the Triangle Town Center and Commons shopping mall in Raleigh, North Carolina, for $174 million, including debt.

  • February 9, 2016

    Real Estate Rumors: Thor, Droga5, Peterson

    Thor Equities has reportedly sold eight properties in Miami's Design District for $128 million, while ad firm Droga5 is said to have leased another 110,000 square feet on Wall Street in New York, and Peterson Cos. has reportedly sold a portfolio of retail and medical office buildings in Virginia for $208 million.

  • February 8, 2016

    Arbitrator Should Have Ignored Defamation Claims, Court Told

    An Israeli real estate investment company told a Georgia federal court on Friday that an international arbitrator exceeded his powers when he allowed OA Development Inc.'s defamation claims to factor into an award he issued in the companies' contract dispute, saying their arbitration agreement didn't cover such claims.

  • February 8, 2016

    Spector Gadon Escapes Overbilling Suit, Wins Payout

    A Pennsylvania state judge has put an end to claims launched by former clients of Spector Gadon & Rosen PC and awarded the firm more than $90,000, citing a lack of evidence after it was accused of overbilling for work restructuring the debt of a failed real estate project.

  • February 8, 2016

    Fla. Property Owner Asks High Court To Hear Takings Case

    A Florida apartment complex wants the U.S. Supreme Court to revive its class action challenge to a state law that allowed the government to keep the lion's share of interest on funds held by the county court during "quick-take" eminent domain proceedings.

  • February 8, 2016

    11th Circ. Finds Tax Court's Deduction Valuation Flawed

    The Eleventh Circuit agreed with the U.S. Tax Court's conclusion about the highest and best use for a piece of land donated by a real estate developer but said Friday the court shouldn't have reduced the land's value from $25.2 million to $21 million in a dispute with the IRS over a charitable deduction.

  • February 8, 2016

    Insurer Needn't Front Impac Defense In MBS Suits, 9th Circ.

    The Ninth Circuit on Monday affirmed Houston Casualty Co. isn’t obligated to front defense costs to Impac Mortgage Holdings Inc. in a trio of actions over its purported mishandling of mortgage-backed securities offerings, rejecting Impac’s interpretation of a covered security in its directors and officers policy.

  • February 8, 2016

    NY Group Opposing Tribal Casino Seeks To Block Amicus Bid

    A nonprofit group challenging the U.S. Department of the Interior’s decision to take land into trust for the Oneida Indian Nation of New York's casino urged the Second Circuit on Friday to reject a proposed amicus brief on behalf of the government, saying a settlement between the state and the tribe wasn’t relevant to the group’s suit.

  • February 8, 2016

    Developer Stalled Hotel Row, Lied About It, Court Told

    A pair of Middle Eastern companies accusing a developer of deceiving them into investing $12 million in a purported hotel project told a Florida federal court on Monday that the developer delayed the scheduling of his disposition and then lied about the delay.

Expert Analysis

  • OPINION: The Road To Partnership Must Keep Evolving

    Daniel L. Butcher

    In a recent Law360 article it was suggested that promotion to partner was a competition between associates and that taking maternity, paternity or family medical leave could impact an associate's chances at promotion. But this sort of ethos — which may have contributed to law firms’ success in the past — is not the best way to secure the industry's future, says Daniel Butcher, managing partner of Strasburger & Price LLP.

  • A Better Real Estate Deal Through Enviro Due Diligence

    Susan P. Phillips

    In any transaction, especially involving real estate, unless environmental due diligence is sufficient to reveal existing issues and provide a basis to determine associated costs, at least one party may end up not getting what it bargained for, says Susan Phillips at Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo PC.

  • Challenging An Arbitrator Ab Initio: A Primer

    Solum, Matt.jpg

    Where a perceived conflict is identified early in the process, a party may consider asking the forum overseeing an arbitration to determine whether it is appropriate for an arbitrator to serve on the panel. Despite the potential opacity of these kinds of decisions, discussions with practitioners and experience suggest that such challenges can arise from a number of situations, says Kirkland & Ellis LLP partner Matthew Solum.

  • Positive Developments For Affordable Housing In Calif.

    David P. Cohen

    In recent decades, California has built new housing at a slower rate than the rest of the country, but housing costs have grown faster than in the rest of the country. The lack of affordable housing has reached crisis levels — but recent developments have painted a brighter picture for affordable housing, say attorneys at Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP.

  • New FIRPTA Changes Are No Panacea

    H. Neal Sandford

    The new exemptions to the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act will be helpful in certain circumstances and should encourage the flow of certain non-U.S. capital into U.S. real estate, but we doubt the changes will fundamentally alter how non-U.S. capital is invested in U.S. real estate, say attorneys with Goodwin Procter LLP.

  • Putting Fee-Shifting Agreements Inside Arbitration Clauses

    Justin J. Wolosz

    The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decision in Beacon Towers Condominium Trust v. Alex provides a lesson to practitioners in Massachusetts that when drafting contracts with arbitration clauses, any agreement to shift fees should be explicit and contained within the arbitration agreement itself, say Justin Wolosz and Jesse Siegel at Choate Hall & Stewart LLP.

  • Oklahoma Quakes Trigger Legal Concerns For Energy Cos.

    Daniel M. McClure

    With more than 70 earthquakes shaking Oklahoma since the start of the year, seismicity is staged to remain a focus for the energy industry in 2016. Earthquake litigation appears to be trending up, and a variety of patterns are becoming apparent to ensure that seismic risk mitigation investments are efficiently targeted at a time when the energy industry faces tightening financial pressures, say attorneys at Norton Rose Fulbright.

  • 5 Things To Know About Chicago's Affordable Housing Regs

    Doorhy_Shawn_faegre baker.jpg

    Recent amendments to Chicago’s Affordable Requirements Ordinance have shifted the calculus for multifamily developers in Chicago who need zoning changes to accomplish development projects, especially with pending litigation that could entirely invalidate portions of the ordinance, say Shawn Doorhy and Emma Olson at Faegre Baker Daniels.

  • How To Prepare A Premises Liability Case

    Douglas J. McCarron

    Premises liability cases require evidence that a dangerous condition existed. Extensive knowledge of the property's policies and procedures and whether the employees are following them is the first step in proving whether or not the property owners and managers are fulfilling their duty to maintain a reasonably safe property, says Douglas McCarron at Haggard Law Firm PA.

  • Dealing With Expired Rights-Of-Way In Indian Country

    Catherine F. Munson

    While recent revisions to the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ regulations governing the granting of new rights-of-way across Native American lands have garnered significant attention, it is critically important that tribal landowners and their legal counsel keep a sharp eye on existing rights-of-way as well, say Catherine Munson and Mark Reeves at Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP.