Commercial Real Estate Civil Procedure

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Pennsylvania High Court Rules First Manifestation Trigger Applies to Property Damage Claims

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court in Pennsylvania Nat’l Mut. Cas. Ins. Co. v. St. John, et al., 2014 WL 7088712 (December 15, 2014), has affirmed that a first manifestation trigger applies to property damage claims under a CGL...more

N.C. Court of Appeals: Restrictive Covenant Prohibiting "Store" Does Not Prohibit "Parking" for a Prohibited Store

How broadly will the appellate courts interpret a restrictive covenant applicable to real property? Not so broadly as to prohibit a parking lot to be used by customers for an otherwise expressly prohibited use....more

Real Estate Tip: Should Developers Select Selective Enforcement?

Let’s say you and 20 other drivers are exceeding the speed limit and the police give you, but no one else, a speeding ticket. Analyzing your fate requires using a legal concept called “selective enforcement.” This principle...more

Proceed With Caution – Indiana Property Tax Appeals: Burden Of Proof Shifts For “Aberrational” Assessments; Appealing $50 Penalty...

A 5%+ assessment increase is “aberrational” where the property has not substantially changed year-to-year, so the Assessor carries the burden of proof. I have previously posted about Indiana’s adoption of a burden-shifting...more

Business Privilege Taxes Paid On Leases Refund/Appeal Filing Needed By March/April 2015

On September 19, 2014, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court in Fish, Hrabrick and Briskin v. Township of Lower Merion, No. 1940 C.D. 2013, held that lease receipts are not taxable under local business privilege tax ordinances....more

Bankruptcy Beat: Connecticut Bankruptcy Court Approves Settlement In Two Related Cases with a Torturous Twelve Year History

The Chapter 7 case of First Connecticut Consulting Group, Inc. and James J. Licata (the “Cases”) began as Chapter 11 cases over twelve years ago. The cases were consolidated and remained in Chapter 11 for four years as...more

Supreme Court Rejects Whistleblower’s Double-Dip Attempt

On Monday the United States Supreme Court declined to hear Danny Smart’s appeal of the Fifth Circuit’s rejection of his attempt to share in the proceeds of a $5 million settlement of a False Claims Act suit brought by another...more

General Contractor’s Prospective Waiver of its Lien Rights is Enforceable in California

In an opinion published in September 2014, entitled Moorefield Construction, Inc. v. Intervest Mortgage Investment Company, et al., D065464, the California Court of Appeal held an original contractor can contractually waive...more

DTSC’s Lien Procedure Found to Violate Due Process

In Van Horn v. Department of Toxic Substances Control (“DTSC”), a California Court of Appeal found that DTSC’s procedure for imposing liens on property under the California “Superfund” law violates due process of law....more

Florida Supreme Court Limits Application of Statute of Limitations

A decision issued by the Florida Supreme Court earlier this year significantly limits the protection afforded by the statute of limitations to subcontractors and the like that are brought into construction litigation as...more

New York District Court Holds Lessee Not Liable Under CERCLA as an Owner

A New York federal district court recently held that a lessee will not be found liable under CERCLA as an owner where the lessee does not possess sufficient indicia of ownership. (Next Millennium Realty, LLC v. Adchem Corp.,...more

Sale Proceeds: Better Get the Carve-Out Right the First Time

In re Stacy’s, Inc., 508 B.R. 370 (Bankr. D. S.C. 2014) – A debtor sold substantially all of its assets after negotiating with its primary secured creditor for carve-outs from the sale proceeds for administrative...more

Federal Court Enters Injunctive Order Against Bayview, Texas in RLUIPA Suit Filed by Church

We previously reported on the case Cornerstone Church by the Bay v. Town of Bayview, Texas, in which the Church and the Laguna Madre Christian Academy are suing the Town (population approx. 400) under the Religious Land Use &...more

Condemnation and Contamination: The Spectre of Double Liability

Agencies acquiring private property for a public project conduct thorough investigations to determine whether the property has environmental contamination. If contamination is found, the question arises whether evidence of...more

With Respect to Discoverability, Indiana Federal Court Distinguishes Between Pre-Suit and Post-Suit Reserves

In May, we reported on a Third Circuit decision holding that loss reserve information was generally irrelevant and not discoverable. In October, a federal court in Indiana came to the same conclusion with respect to...more

Full Credit Bid Causes Loss of Insurance Proceeds

A recent case serves as a reminder of one of many risks posed by making a full credit bid at a foreclosure sale: the lender may lose the right to recover insurance proceeds for pre-foreclosure damage to the foreclosed...more

CERCLA Cost Recovery v. Contribution Again: It’s Still Unfair

Parties in CERCLA cases continue to deal with the consequences of the Supreme Court decisions in Aviall and Atlantic Research which essentially created two classes of PRPs: (1) PRPs who entered into CERCLA settlements with...more

A Cautionary Tale for General Contractors

Construction lenders often go to great lengths to ensure their deeds of trust have priority over mechanic’s liens. Typically, as part of the construction loan process, general contractors are asked to sign documents...more

Insurance Alert: Insurer Delay Extends Time to Repair or Replace Damaged Property

In Stephens & Stephens XII v. Fireman's Fund Ins. (No. A135938, filed November 24, 2014), the plaintiffs obtained property insurance on a warehouse. Within a month, it was discovered to be stripped of all wiring and metal....more

Pa. Gas Utility May Use Eminent Domain to Supply Private Power Plant

A Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, judge recently authorized a natural gas public utility to use its eminent domain power in condemning easements for the construction and maintenance of a pipeline to supply gas to a private...more

Virginia Federal Court Clarifies RLUIPA Standing Requirements & Dismisses Substantial Burden Claim

In an important decision, the court in Aldon, LLC v. City of Newport News, Virginia (E.D. Va. Nov. 20, 2014), clarified the standing requirements under RLUIPA. Few courts have addressed RLUIPA’s standing requirements. The...more

Loan to Own Variation: Bankruptcy May Not Provide The Answers

In re SR Real Estate Holdings, LLC, 506 B.R. 121 (Bankr. S.D. Cal. 2014) – A group of lenders moved to dismiss the debtor’s bankruptcy case on the basis that it was filed in bad faith, or in the alternative asked the...more

California Federal Court Dismisses CERCLA Claims and Strikes Request for Attorneys’ Fees

In N. Cal. River Watch v. Fluor Corp., __F.Supp.3d__, 2014 WL 4954638 (N.D. Cal. Oct. 2, 2014), a Northern California district court dismissed Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (“CERCLA”)...more

New RLUIPA Suit: Mount Zion Church of God in Christ v. City of Garden City, Kansas

Garden City, Kansas is being sued under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), the U.S. Constitution, and state law over allegations that it has discriminated against a local church, Mount Zion...more

7th Circuit Dusts off the Erie Crystal Ball on Title Insurance Defense

Lawyers generally enjoy prognosticating future developments in the law. Under the Erie doctrine, federal judges have a legitimate need to engage in this pastime. Recently, in Philadelphia Indemnity Ins. Co. v. Chicago Title...more

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