Morrison & Cohen LLP represented Stratford Capital Partners LLC in connection with its $66 million loan to Somerset Group for two office and retail buildings on Lexington Avenue in Manhattan, according to records made public in New York on Wednesday.
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TOP NEWS

Morrison Cohen Guides $66M NYC Loan To Somerset Group

Morrison & Cohen LLP represented Stratford Capital Partners LLC in connection with its $66 million loan to Somerset Group for two office and retail buildings on Lexington Avenue in Manhattan, according to records made public in New York on Wednesday. Read full article »

House Dems Lose Bid For GSA Trump Hotel Docs

A D.C. federal judge dismissed a suit brought by members of the House Oversight Committee against the U.S. General Services Administration over withholding documents related to the Trump Organization’s contentious hotel lease for the Old Post Office building in Washington, D.C. Read full article »

BofA Seeks High Court Review Of 9th Circ. Preemption Ruling

Bank of America on Tuesday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review the Ninth Circuit's ruling that the National Bank Act doesn't preempt a California state mortgage escrow interest law, arguing that the ruling is incorrect and creates “significant uncertainty” about whether other state banking laws apply to national banks. Read full article »

Real Estate Rumors: Lewis Swezy, Ford Motor Credit, WeWork

Developer Lewis Swezy has reportedly landed $36 million in financing for a Miami apartment complex, Ford Motor Credit is said to have loaned $14.48 million for a Lincoln dealership project in Miami, and WeWork is reportedly leasing nearly 70,000 square feet in New York. Read full article »

NORTHEAST

Housing Agency Must Face New Yorkers' Suit Over Lead Paint

The New York City Housing Authority, Mayor Bill de Blasio and other city officials must face allegations that they flouted federal housing law by failing to inspect or fix lead paint in public housing, but not claims that they violated the residents' constitutional rights, a New York federal judge has ruled. Read full article »

Ex-NBA Player Aims To Sink NJ Conviction In Ponzi Scheme

A former NBA player has called on a New Jersey federal court to throw out his conviction and nine-year prison sentence for bilking real estate investors out of more than $2 million in a Ponzi scheme, citing allegedly ineffective legal assistance by his former attorney and purportedly false testimony by government witnesses. Read full article »

PACIFIC COAST

9th Circ. Seeks Wash. Justices' Help In Ferry Liability Row

The Ninth Circuit on Tuesday asked the Washington State Supreme Court for help determining whether the Port of Bellingham or its lessee, a ferry operator, is liable for a worker’s injury on the leased property that resulted in a jury awarding $16 million to the worker. Read full article »

MID-ATLANTIC

Bear Stearns Bankruptcy Suit Win Upheld By District Court

A bankruptcy court finding that Bear Stearns & Co. Inc. acted in good faith when it repurchased securities from former debtor HomeBanc Mortgage Corp. in 2007 was upheld Tuesday when a Delaware federal judge said the lower court did not misapply the law or make errors of fact. Read full article »

In Closing, Manafort Defense Says Gov't Is 'Desperate'

Attorneys for former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort threw their final punches Wednesday in an effort to knock down the government’s tax and bank fraud case against him in Virginia federal court, painting cooperating witness Rick Gates as a serial liar and slamming the prosecution as “desperate” during closing arguments. Read full article »

SOUTHEAST

Challenge To Beckham's Miami Stadium Referendum Tossed

Soccer legend David Beckham's proposal to build a $1 billion soccer stadium, retail-office complex and public park on city-owned land in Miami survived an initial legal challenge Wednesday, as a state judge dismissed a challenge to a referendum asking voters to amend the city charter to allow negotiations. Read full article »

Appeals Court Stops Contempt Proceedings Against 2 Attys

A Florida appeals court on Wednesday barred a trial court from continuing indirect criminal contempt proceedings for two attorneys for lender Ditech Financial LLC for violating a discovery order in a foreclosure suit, finding there was no evidence the lawyers had advised the company to violate the order. Read full article »

Fla. Court OKs Jury Instructions In Hurricane Repair Row

A Florida appellate court on Wednesday affirmed a trial court’s jury instructions and evidentiary rulings in a trial between two condo associations and an insurance agent over a construction bond needed to repair hurricane damage, rebuffing the associations’ argument that the trial court cost them a larger verdict. Read full article »

MIDWEST

Pipeline Operator Seeks Easements For $220M Project

Spire STL Pipeline LLC filed a complaint in Illinois federal court against various property owners and mortgage holders on Wednesday, asking the court to grant it easements to allow construction on its 65-mile natural gas pipeline for the St. Louis market that is expected to cost $220 million. Read full article »

Minn. High Court Nixes City's Development Infrastructure Fees

The Minnesota Supreme Court said Wednesday that a Twin Cities suburb could not impose a $1.4 million charge for roadway infrastructure in relation to a proposed residential community, saying the city lacks the authority to charge fees for road construction or improvement related to the future subdivision and development of the area. Read full article »

SOUTHWEST

American Realty Investors Still Face $63M Judgment

Jilted creditors seeking to collect on a $63 million judgment against an American Realty Investors Inc. affiliate received a mixed-bag ruling on Tuesday, as a Texas federal judge tossed some of their fraudulent transfer and alter ego claims but kept others intact ahead of a likely trial. Read full article »

PEOPLE

Mintz Levin Snags Ex-Jeffer Mangels Enviro Pro In Calif.

Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo PC strengthened its San Francisco office with the hire of a former Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP attorney who will bring to the firm his experience in dealing with California’s prevailing wage statute in addition to environmental and land use law. Read full article »

LEGAL INDUSTRY

Feature

Thinner ABA Still 'Voice Of All Lawyers,' New Prez Contends

Newly confirmed American Bar Association President Bob Carlson says his organization, which has faced declining membership, is still the "voice of all lawyers," something he believes entails speaking out against those who "mock due process, mock or ridicule equal justice under the law, and try to marginalize lawyers, judges and the press." Read full article »

Ogletree Must Show Judge Contract In Atty Gender Bias Suit

A California federal judge said Wednesday that he will need to see Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart PC's contract with a former nonequity shareholder before deciding whether to transfer her proposed gender bias class action, send it to arbitration or keep it in his court. Read full article »

NRA Atty Faces Scrutiny After Not Disclosing Sanction

National Rifle Association lawyers will have to answer for the accuracy of a well-known Texas litigator's application to represent it in a dispute with an insurance broker in Virginia federal court, where a judge ordered a hearing on the submission after learning that it didn't mention a past sanction for allegedly trying to influence potential jurors.  Read full article »

Was Kavanaugh Starr's Leaker? Watchdog Wants To Know

A government transparency group asked the chief judge of the D.C. federal trial court Tuesday to unseal a report allegedly documenting press leaks by Independent Counsel Ken Starr's office in the late 1990s, arguing the public needs to know if U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, one of Starr's deputies, was involved in the alleged misconduct. Read full article »

Kavanaugh Courts Dem Senators Who Backed Gorsuch

U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sat down Wednesday with two more red state Democratic senators who the White House is hoping will once again vote to confirm President Donald Trump’s choice for the nation’s top bench, but it’s unclear if the charm offensive will work this time. Read full article »

Q&A

Law Firm Leaders: Holland & Knight's Steven Sonberg

Steven Sonberg has served as managing partner of Holland & Knight LLP for the past 10 years. During that time the law firm has grown significantly, adding 11 offices, increasing its revenue by more than 50 percent and doubling its profits per partner. Read full article »

Rebuttal

Judges Can Demand Diversity In Rule 23(g) Applications

A recent Law360 guest op-ed criticized the judge in the Chicago Board Options Exchange antitrust litigation for requesting more diversity in plaintiffs’ lead counsel applications. The author’s argument misinterprets the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and reinforces archaic misconceptions about women and minorities in the courtroom, say Kellie Lerner and Chelsea Walcker of Robins Kaplan LLP. Read full article »

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