Results: Real Estate Law
Does v. Roe Corporation (Case Confidential)
Klein & Wilson represented tenants who subleased their space to a corporation. Former counsel structured the deal in such a way that Klein & Wilson's clients made no money on the sublease, but remained liable to the landlord should the subtenant fail to make lease payments. Klein & Wilson filed an action against the subtenant, seeking a declaration of how to interpret the lease. At the same time, Klein & Wilson indicated there was a possibility its clients would evict the subtenants, under a provision which gave the clients a unilateral right to re-occupy the property. The case settled when the subtenant agreed to pay Klein & Wilson's clients $645,000 in exchange for their waiver of their right to re-occupy the property. Accordingly, Klein & Wilson turned an unprofitable transaction into a windfall.
Vera Townhomes Homeowners' Association v. Vera Townhomes
In a construction defect case, Klein & Wilson represented a homeowners' association consisting of 48 condominium units. The developers and contractors denied there were construction defects and refused to pay anything. After conducting a "show-and-tell" presentation of the defects at the project and inviting all the defendants to destructive testing, the defendants recognized they would be found liable and paid Klein & Wilson's client approximately $1.5 million.
Brutocao v. The Hunt Club
Klein & Wilson's client was forced to sue his homeowners' association, which refused to allow him to build on plans it had previously approved. Klein & Wilson attempted to settle the case early through mediation, but the homeowners' association stubbornly refused to budge an inch. At trial, the court found in favor of Klein & Wilson's client and awarded not only substantial damages, but also the majority of the client's legal fees, finding that the quality of representation had been superior.
Sullivan v. Lone Eagle Enterprises, LLC
Klein & Wilson represented a client in a complex real estate partnership dispute. Within a few weeks of taking over the matter for the client and after taking a single deposition, Klein & Wilson achieved a $500,000 settlement for its client.
Business Center Drive Partners v. BioGentec Corporation
BioGentec was a landlord's worst nightmare. The company was habitually late on rent and repeatedly made commitments it did not keep. The landlord, Klein & Wilson's client, refused to renew the lease and, at that point, the landlord's nightmare only got worse. BioGentec held over and took advantage of every procedural opportunity to delay eviction. As a result of Klein & Wilson's very aggressive litigation tactics, Klein & Wilson successfully evicted BioGentec and then won a substantial monetary judgment against BioGentec for back rent and attorneys' fees. Although BioGentec did not voluntarily pay the judgment, Klein & Wilson convinced the court to find the principal of BioGentec in contempt of court for failing to turn over assets and almost all of the outstanding judgment was recovered when the judge threatened to throw the principal in jail. This was an extremely satisfying result.
Siegel v. Dyer
Plaintiff sued Klein & Wilson's client, alleging she failed to disclose fungus when she sold her property to plaintiff. The case was troubling because the parties signed an amendment to the agreement in which the client disclosed the fungus, plaintiff agreed to take responsibility for it, and plaintiff received a credit for the condition. Due to this fact, Klein & Wilson filed a cross-complaint alleging plaintiff was breaching the terms of the contract. On the eve of the hearing on a motion for summary judgment Klein & Wilson filed, plaintiff agreed to pay Klein & Wilson's client $60,000 for having to defend a frivolous lawsuit.
Cohen-Nazar v. Friendly Adult Day Healthcare Center, Inc.
Klein & Wilson's client purchased commercial property and soon thereafter, a lis pendens was recorded against it by claimants who alleged they had in interest in it based on a dispute they had with the previous owner. Klein & Wilson filed a complaint-in-intervention and then won a motion to expunge the lis pendens, clearing the title to the property.
Plaza Freeway Limited Partnership v. First Mountain Bank
In this case, Klein & Wilson represented a shopping center attempting to evict a bank tenant based upon expiration of the bank's lease. Both sides agreed the lease had not yet expired, but the bank had executed an estoppel certificate indicating an erroneous lease expiration date. The question presented at trial was whether the bank was bound by its estoppel certificate or whether the actual lease expiration date should be enforced. In a case of first impression, the trial court concluded the bank was not bound by the estoppel certificate. Klein & Wilson appealed and the appellate court reversed, finding the estoppel certificate enforceable and directing the court to enter judgment in favor of Klein & Wilson's client. The case was a published decision and was one of the ten most important appellate decisions involving real estate during 2000.
State of California v. Diess, et al. (El Morro Mobilehome Park)
Klein & Wilson represented virtually all the residents of the El Morro Village Mobilehome Park in their effort to avoid eviction by the State of California. The matter was an extremely high profile case involving some of the leading citizens of Orange County, the California legislature, and the Governor of California. The residents of El Morro Village had lived there for many years and the site had been a mobilehome park for approximately 75 years. The State of California and very powerful forces within the State wanted the mobilehome park closed and took every step possible to force the residents to leave at the conclusion of their leases. Klein & Wilson was asked to delay eviction as long as possible to allow the residents' lobbyist to seek a lease extension. Klein & Wilson was able to avoid the immediate eviction of the residents and when the legislative option failed, Klein & Wilson was able to negotiate a deal with the State allowing hundreds of residents to remain for 14 months and leave their mobilehomes in place without paying for the costs of removal. Klein & Wilson understands it ultimately cost the State millions of dollars in lost revenue and removal costs to return the site to its original condition. While Klein & Wilson was unable to stop the inevitable process of eviction, Klein & Wilson received a standing ovation from residents who came to hear a losing motion for a preliminary injunction against the State. Klein & Wilson received thank you notes from many of the residents which are cherished to this day.
JAG Industries v. Brutoco Development
In this case, Mr. Klein represented a land developer accused of breaching an option to buy a particular property. Mr. Klein moved for a defense verdict at the conclusion of plaintiff's presentation of evidence. The motion was granted, resulting in a judgment for Mr. Klein's client.
Greenfield Monterey Park, LLC v. The Ezralow Company, LLC
Greenfield Monterey Park, LLC v. The City of Monterey Park
Klein & Wilson represented several defendants in related State Court cases involving the proposed development of one of the largest Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") Superfund sites in the United States. Plaintiffs sought tens of millions of dollars in damages from Klein & Wilson's clients and various public entities. The parties and the EPA Superfund site were subject to a convoluted Federal consent decree; accordingly, Klein & Wilson successfully stayed the State Court cases, requiring plaintiffs to seek redress from the EPA. After the parties completed the Federal dispute resolution process, the State Court cases resumed, and Klein & Wilson settled the claims against its clients for only $700,000, with $275,000 of that amount being paid by the clients' insurers. Klein & Wilson obtained orders finding the settlement to be in good faith, prompting other parties to file writs to challenge the trial court's orders. Klein & Wilson responded with motions for summary judgment against the challenging parties. The parties withdrew their writs, finally ending these cases after more than five years of litigation.