Reuben Ortenberg – Woods Oviatt Gilman, LLP

700 Crossroads Building 2 State Street (Rochester, NY area))
Rochester, New York 14614, United States

  • 585-445-2734 direct
  • 585-445-2634
Def's reliance on signed contract requirement fails to defeat summary judgment where Def's actions raise issues of fact

Actions may speak louder than unsigned contracts enough to defeat summary judgment motion

Plaintiff and defendant agreed to terms of a purchase by plaintiff from defendant of two commercial mortgages. Various emails establish an agreed price of $2,200,000, a down payment of $220,000, communications between counsel…more
| Civil Remedies, Commercial Law & Contracts, Real Estate - Commercial
Tenant entitled to terminate lease where LL required to pay RE taxes but fails to do so.

App. Div. 3d Dep't reverses ruling that RE tax payment obligation is not basis for termination of lease when breached.

A commercial lease provided that the landlord was to pay real estate taxes. The provision was included in a section of the lease which listed the landlord's obligations under the lease. The lease also provided that upon breach…more
| Civil Remedies, Commercial Law & Contracts, Real Estate - Commercial
App. Div. 1st Dep't reverses grant of Yellowstone injunction which went to merits rather than preserve status quo.

Purpose of Yellowstone injunction is to preserve status quo, not to decide merits of dispute

Commercial landlord sought access through tenant's space in order to install an elevator shaft which it claimed was required for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"). However, the notice sent to landlord…more
| Civil Procedure, Civil Remedies, Commercial Law & Contracts, Real Estate - Commercial
Town Board was wrong to impose Special Permit conditions where the use was permitted and a Special Permit not required

Conditions on site plan approval must relate only to use of the property and not to the persons who own it.

Petitioners owned land on which they operated a motor vehicle sales and service business. They bought an adjacent parcel of vacant land for the purpose of expanding their business. Both properties were zoned "Commercial C: Heavy…more
| Administrative Law, Civil Remedies, Real Estate - Commercial, Zoning, Planning & Land Use
Existing lease and broker agreement trump later emails and offer sheets generated by broker.

Agent for disclosed corporate principal not personally liable for broker cmmissions absent clear, explicit evidence of intention to be bound.

Plaintiff, a real estate brokerage firm, sought brokerage commissions from a corporate lessee and its disclosed individual agents, for services allegedly rendered in a commercial lease transaction. The court below granted a…more
| Commercial Law & Contracts, Real Estate - Commercial
Landlord bears cost of latent structural defect not cause by tenant alteration unless expressly provides otherwise.

Strict ruling on Landlord responsibility for latent structural defects not cause by tenant alteration

Landlord and tenant entered into a lease of commercial space. Tenant took space “as is” and intended to do alteration work to suit its needs. The lease provided that the landlord would not be required to perform any work to…more
| Commercial Law & Contracts, Construction Law, Real Estate - Commercial
What is the measure of damages caused by negligent professional opinion on zoning by an architect?

Architect, negligent on zoning opinion, not liable for cost of making property comply.

Plaintiff Developer hired defendant architect for advice, among other things, regarding the zoning requirements and restrictions on a certain property in Manhattan. The architect advised that the developer would be permitted to…more
| Business Torts, Civil Remedies, Commercial Law & Contracts, Real Estate - Commercial, Zoning, Planning & Land Use
ZBA meeting minutes filed 6.10, not Decision filed 6.26, held to trigger 30-day statute of limitations for Article 78 proceeding

Filing of minutes of ZBA triggers art. 78 statute of limitations, not Decision filed two weeks later

After area variances were granted by the Zoning Board of Appeals in connection with the construction of a new hotel, minutes of the meeting were filed on June 10, 2010. The minutes contained a recitation of the decision and of…more
| Civil Procedure, Civil Remedies, Environmental Law, Real Estate - Commercial, Zoning, Planning & Land Use
Loss of good will held enough to excuse late notice of commercial lease renewal

Strict rule softened in case where late notice of lease renewal excused

A commercial tenant in Manhattan failed by a few days to give written notice of its intention to renew a lease under which it had been occupying prime property for over fifteen years. The late notice was back-dated, but no claim…more
| Civil Remedies, Commercial Law & Contracts, Real Estate - Commercial
Landlord which accepts rent for first 17 years of 99 year lease has no claim that the lease was unauthorized.

Landlord waited too long and collected rent for too long to claim that 99 year lease was unauthorized.

Plaintiff, a Not-For-Profit corporation, in order to save its property from foreclosure, entered into a ninety-nine year commercial lease with the defendant in consideration of an up front payment of $30,000 (which was used…more
| Civil Remedies, Commercial Law & Contracts, Real Estate - Commercial
Landlord which accepts rent for first 17 years of 99 year lease has no claim that the lease was unauthorized.

Landlord waited too long and collected rent for too long to claim that 99 year lease was unauthorized.

Plaintiff, a Not-For-Profit corporation, in order to save its property from foreclosure, entered into a ninety-nine year commercial lease with the defendant in consideration of an up front payment of $30,000 (which was used…more
| Civil Remedies, Commercial Law & Contracts, Real Estate - Commercial
Generalized unsupported public opposition to use allowed by special permit cannot overcome hard evidence.

Planning board decision based on unsupported public opposition overturned, where hard evidence ignored.

A devloper sought a special permit for an affordable housing project of 48 units in an area permitting the use by special permit. The issue of water runoff was fond to have been adequately addressed by the lead agency in the…more
| Civil Remedies, Real Estate - Commercial, Zoning, Planning & Land Use
SEQRA reviewing court must use reasonableness and common sense to tailor "hard look" to complexity of actually existing problems in project.

Issues for court in SEQRA review: Were potential adverse impacts ID'd? Was there a reasonable elaboration of basis for decision after 'hard look"?

The proposed rezoning of an area of approximately 128 blocks in Brooklyn was reviewed environmentally under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) and New York City Environmental Quality Review (CEQR)by the…more
| Civil Procedure, Civil Remedies, Environmental Law, Real Estate - Commercial, Zoning, Planning & Land Use
Bldng permit issued in error can be revoked, but reliance on permit, and expenditures can be considered in deciding remedy.

Reliance on invalid permit and expenditures reduces harsh remedy on revocation of permit

A Village issued a building permit in error. The property owner cuased construction work to be performed in reliance on the erroneously issued permit. After discovery of the error, the Village revoled the permit, issued a…more
| Civil Remedies, Real Estate - Commercial, Real Estate - Residential, Zoning, Planning & Land Use
Cure period for commercial lease started when notice of termination given, not when demand made for estoppel certificate.

LL was wrong to count cure period from date estoppel certificate was demanded of tenant.

Plaintiff. a commercial tenant, was asked by its landlord to produce an estoppel certificate, but failed to do so. The landlord competed a sale of the property to the defendant. After the sale, defendant new landlord served the…more
| Civil Remedies, Commercial Law & Contracts, Real Estate - Commercial
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Areas of Practice
  • Appellate Practice
  • Commercial Law & Contracts
  • Litigation
  • Real Estate
  • Zoning, Planning & Land Use
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