Real Estate

  • February 17, 2017

    Pa. Court Vacates Ruling On Tax Exemption For Trust

    The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Thursday vacated a trial court’s decision that a trust operating a historic building is entitled to a property tax exemption as an institution of purely public charity, finding the lower court did not properly consider the criteria for such charities.

  • February 17, 2017

    Ill. Supreme Court Faults Unregistered Legal Rep

    The Illinois Supreme Court on Friday declined to rule on the broad question of whether corporations must have attorneys represent them in administrative hearings, instead deciding 4-3 on the narrow issue brought by Stone Street Partners LLC that the person who represented the Chicago company at a 1999 code violation hearing did not properly file paperwork to do so.

  • February 17, 2017

    Calif. Appeals Court Revives BNY Mellon’s Lien Priority Suit

    Bank of New York Mellon Corp. convinced a California state appeals court on Thursday to resuscitate its case against Citibank NA over which lender has a lien on a home whose owners refinanced their home-equity loan with both banks nearly simultaneously, with the court concluding that one of BNY’s claims could have a chance.

  • February 17, 2017

    Ocwen Inks $225M Deal Over Backdating Calif. Loan Docs

    Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC agreed on Friday to a $225 million deal resolving allegations brought by the California Department of Business Oversight that the mortgage servicer backdated mortgage payment notices and restoring Ocwen’s ability to service new California mortgages.

  • February 17, 2017

    Iranian-Linked NY Property Issue To Go To Jury

    A jury should decide whether the majority owner of a tower in Manhattan knew its business partner was controlled by the Iranian government after 1995, a New York federal judge ruled Thursday, punting one of the issues that will decide whether the owner must compensate terrorism victims.

  • February 17, 2017

    Countywide Mineral Grant To Get Texas High Court Review

    The Texas Supreme Court agreed Friday to hear a case about whether a deed conveying all of a property owner's minerals in Harrison County is enforceable after a lower court held that the wording was ambiguous.

  • February 17, 2017

    FDIC Can Split Colonial Trials Against Crowe Horvath, PWC

    An Alabama federal judge agreed Friday to split trials for claims by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. alleging that Crowe Horwath LLP and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP acted negligently by failing to catch a $1.8 billion fraud scheme involving defunct former client Colonial BancGroup Inc.

  • February 17, 2017

    Real Estate Rumors: Citizens Bank, Peloton, Opus 3 Artists

    Citizens Bank has reportedly loaned $65 million for a mall project near Des Moines, Iowa; Peloton Land Solutions is said to have leased 11,000 square feet in Fort Worth, Texas; and Yo-Yo Ma's agent Opus 3 Artists has reportedly extended its lease on Park Avenue in New York.

  • February 17, 2017

    Deals Rumor Mill: Kinder Morgan, DigitalGlobe, Ventas

    Kinder Morgan seeks funding for the $5.2 billion expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline and is considering an IPO of shares in the project, MacDonald Dettwiler is nearing an up to $3 billion acquisition of earth imagery and information provider DigitalGlobe and Ventas may acquire senior living community operator Brookdale.

  • February 17, 2017

    Wet Seal Landlords Say Cash Use Budget Doesn't Cover Rent

    Landlords holding leases for stores operated by bankrupt clothing retailer The Wet Seal LLC objected Friday in Delaware bankruptcy court to the company’s proposed use of cash collateral, which would not cover rent while the company conducts store closing sales through February.

  • February 17, 2017

    Penobscot, Feds, Maine Spar Over River Rights At 1st Circ.

    The Penobscot Nation and federal government urged the First Circuit Thursday to undo a lower court’s conclusion that the tribe’s reservation includes the islands — but not the water — in part of the Penobscot River, while the state of Maine pressed the appellate court to let the decision stand.

  • February 17, 2017

    Cay Clubs Ex-CFO Fights Gov't Request To Clarify Order

    A former Florida real estate executive facing charges related to an alleged $300 million Ponzi scheme blasted the government’s request for clarity on a pretrial order, saying Friday he won’t be raising arguments the court has barred.

  • February 17, 2017

    Pa. Appeals Court Will Revisit Case Over Gas Rights

    A Pennsylvania appeals court has agreed to reconsider a December ruling that affirmed Range Resources Corp. has rights to more than 2,800 acres of subsurface gas in Lycoming County in a case that turned on a 1932 tax sale.

  • February 17, 2017

    CapitaLand Inks $437M Deal For Tokyo Property Portfolio

    Singaporean real estate company CapitaLand Ltd. on Friday said that it has agreed to purchase a portfolio of office and retail buildings in and around Tokyo for 620.1 million Singapore dollars ($436.8 million), increasing its footprint in the region.

  • February 17, 2017

    Texas Justices Won't Review Morgan Keegan Securities Suit

    The Texas Supreme Court on Friday said it would not review wealth management and capital markets firm Morgan Keegan’s argument it was wrongly held liable for not telling investors the true risks of a mortgage-backed securities stake, leaving intact a $2.1 million judgment.

  • February 17, 2017

    DOJ Must Hand Over Plea Docs In Foreclosure Bid-Rig Suit

    A California federal judge on Thursday ordered the U.S. Department of Justice to produce documents on plea negotiations in which the government played recordings obtained from wiretapping that was deemed unconstitutional in a case accusing five men of rigging bids at public foreclosure auctions.

  • February 16, 2017

    Commerzbank Tells Judge Not To Toss Wells Fargo RMBS Suit

    Commerzbank AG on Thursday urged a New York federal judge not to toss its suit alleging that Wells Fargo Bank NA failed to protect it from massive residential mortgage-backed securities losses, saying a ruling in a similar suit against Deutsche Bank National Trust Co. supports such an outcome. 

  • February 16, 2017

    Judge Suggests UN Bribe Indictment Gets By McDonnell

    Chinese billionaire Ng Lap Seng told U.S. District Judge Vernon S. Broderick on Thursday that the McDonnell precedent requires prosecutors to detail what official acts were taken in exchange for Ng's payments, but the judge intimated that he was unlikely to dismiss the high-profile bribery case on those grounds.

  • February 16, 2017

    8th Circ. Affirms $8.6M Fees Grant In $26M Wells Fargo Deal

    The Eighth Circuit on Thursday affirmed the awarding of $8.6 million in attorneys’ fees to class counsel arising out of a $25.7 million settlement with Wells Fargo in December 2015 over the bank’s policy of ordering property inspections, saying the fee grant was not unreasonable.

  • February 16, 2017

    Real Estate Rumors: Hampshire, Western Beef, Mount Sinai

    Hampshire Properties has reportedly scored $70 million in financing for a Brooklyn rental project, a Western Beef affiliate is said to have sold a Florida grocery store for $11.7 million, and Mount Sinai Health System has reportedly leased 26,100 square feet in New York from Empire State Realty.

Expert Analysis

  • In Retrospect

    Relearning The Lessons Of Korematsu's Case

    Randy Maniloff

    Fred Korematsu’s U.S. Supreme Court case challenging President Franklin Roosevelt’s executive order that led to the incarceration of approximately 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry may sound like ancient history. However, Feb. 19 marks the 75th anniversary of the order's signing, and that it’s celebrating its diamond anniversary now is breathtaking timing, says Randy Maniloff of White and Williams LLP.

  • How A General Counsel Should Think About AI: Part 2

    Bruce J. Heiman

    General counsels face the challenging task of understanding how companies can navigate the rules surrounding uses of artificial intelligence. To get smart on AI, general counsels must ask the right questions about areas such as human resources, intellectual property, liability and insurance, say Bruce Heiman and Elana Reman of K&L Gates LLP.

  • How A General Counsel Should Think About AI: Part 1

    Bruce J. Heiman

    Though the Trump administration has yet to make an official statement regarding artificial intelligence, support for AI is consistent with its expressed desire to promote American business. As such, general counsel will inevitably have to navigate what big data and AI mean for compliance with current and future laws and regulations, say Bruce Heiman and Elana Reman of K&L Gates LLP.

  • Saving Lawyers 1 Less Drink At A Time

    Jennifer Gibbs

    Lawyers are likely turning to alcohol to lessen stress and anxiety, to socialize, and even to sleep better. Unfortunately, many are unaware that their nightly pour could be causing or exacerbating the anxiety that is plaguing the legal profession, says Jennifer Gibbs of Zelle LLP.

  • Opinion

    Lawyers Cannot Stay Silent While Trump Belittles The Courts

    Alexandra Wald

    This is not the first time that a president has criticized the judiciary. But what is unique about President Donald Trump's attacks is that they target not just a specific decision, but the judiciary and its decision-making power altogether. Every lawyer, regardless of political persuasion, must speak up, says Alexandra Wald of Cohen & Gresser LLP.

  • Damaging A Neighbor's Trees Can Be Very Costly In Calif.

    Bryan W. Wenter

    A California appeals court recently ruled that annoyance and discomfort damages resulting from tortious injuries to timber or trees are subject to the statutory damages multiplier. Landowners have a duty to act reasonably, even if they are only trimming branches that encroach on their property, says Bryan Wenter of Miller Starr Regalia.

  • Marketing Basics For Solo Practitioners And Small Law Firms

    Matthew Horn

    There is no question that solo practitioners and small law firms need to spend the majority of time on legal work, but in order to achieve sustainable growth, marketing should not be a secondary task “put-off” until you have some free time, says Matthew Horn, founder of Legal Services Link LLC.

  • State AGs Can Enforce Emoluments Clause Against Trump

    Jed Shugerman

    Many argue that President Donald Trump is violating the Constitution's emoluments clause, because foreign states and officials are making payments to Trump through his businesses. Quo warranto — an obscure legal procedure previously used by "birthers" against President Obama — empowers state attorneys general to pursue Trump's business entities for emoluments clause violations, says Jed Shugerman of Fordham University Law School.

  • Aging Coal-Fired Power Plants In The Trump Era

    Louis J. Cisz III

    President Donald Trump’s promised efforts to overhaul the country’s environmental regulations will probably not make the coal industry great again. Since the biggest problem facing the coal industry is unfavorable market conditions, owners of retired or retiring coal-burning power plants can anticipate the same options and issues they faced over the past decade, say Louis Cisz III and Karl Sung of Nixon Peabody LLP.

  • Gorsuch, CFPB And Future Of The Administrative State

    David Reiss

    U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch would have an outsized influence on federal consumer protection enforcement if he is confirmed. In particular, if PHH v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is appealed to the Supreme Court, a Justice Gorsuch is likely to vote to strongly curtail the independence of the CFPB and limit its enforcement powers, says David Reiss of Brooklyn Law School.