Accolades And Notable Cases

Because the Right Lawyers Make All the Difference….

COMPLEX REAL ESTATE AND BUSINESS LITIGATION

$5M+ Fraud, Breach of Contract and Business Conspiracy Lawsuit - Represented high net worth international buyer of prominent Virginia-based university in fraud, breach of contract, specific performance, and business conspiracy lawsuit. After several months of litigation, case was settled favorably, and client proceeded to finalize the purchase of the university. Parties signed a confidentiality agreement and motion to seal proceedings in Circuit Court of Fairfax County.

Multi-Jurisdictional Business Dispute Involving Foreign Choice of Law and Forum Clause. Successful Challenge to Venue Under Va. Code 8.01-266 - Represented foreign corporation in complex international business dispute spanning several continents. Plaintiff filed a breach of contract claim against client in Virginia. We filed a motion to dismiss for improper venue under Va. Code 8.01-264 and sought costs and attorney's fees pursuant to Va. Code 8.01-266. Plaintiff eventually non-suited their claim.

Real Property Construction Dispute - Successfully defended prominent real estate development group in a complex construction dispute involving claims of structural damage to a neighboring property. Plaintiffs sued client seeking $600,000 in total damages. We had one of the Plaintiffs sanctioned for discovery violations, and the case was eventually settled for $3,800 only.

Title Litigation (fraud, breach of warranty, breach of contract and unjust enrichment - Successfully defended title company president in complex multi-party suit seeking $250,000+ in damages for fraud, breach of warranty & contract, and unjust enrichment. Settled case for less than $6,000 payable in the form of a four-year noninterest-bearing note. Secured client a full release from Commonwealth Land Title Association. Case was covered by the Virginia Lawyers Weekly's Verdicts & Settlements Section.

Challenge to Applicability of Non-Disparagement Clauses in Standard Form Consumer Contracts (Property Management Rental Contract) - This was an interesting case involving the enforcement of a non-disparagement clause in standard form consumer contracts, a property rental agreement. Client had published comments about a well-known property management company. A clause in the contract prohibited the use of any "disparaging" language against the other. We successfully dismissed all claims against the client after substantial motions practice.

Removal of Defamatory Social Media/Online Postings - Representing dentist wife in defamation suit against former boyfriend who posted derogatory and defamatory videos and comments on all major social media fora, including Facebook and Youtube. We filed for an immediate Temporary Restraining Order, Preliminary Injunction, Permanent Injunction and sued for defamation seeking damages. At the hearing, the Honorable Chief Judge Craig Johnston ordered the removal of the defamatory postings. The defamation portion of the case is still pending the outcome of our summary judgment motion.

Partnership Dispute/Business Divorce - Represented Defendants in multimillion-dollar (>$10M+) partnership dispute involving claims of fraud, breach of contract, conspiracy, securities fraud etc. related to two corporations. We had all the tort and contract claims dismissed, with only a declaratory judgment count surviving.

DC Cooperative Shareholder Derivative Dispute Against Prior Board. We represented a substantial majority of the shareholders of an 18-unit DC-based cooperative association against the Board of Directors in a shareholder derivative dispute involving fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, and various other wrongdoings. We were successfully able to replace the prior Board and invalidate the ultra vires actions that they had taken to damage the cooperative's best interests.

Real Estate Cooperative Breach of Former Directors/Officers Fiduciary Duties of Care, Loyalty and Usurpation of Corporate Opportunity - Represented board of directors of real estate cooperative in complex multi-party suit for breach of director fiduciary duty of loyalty (interested director transaction) and care (failure to conduct necessary due diligence or consult subject matter experts), fraud, and violations of New York's Business and Corporation Law (NYBCL §§ 713, 717 & 720) against former directors and officers of the cooperative. Case settled favorably.

Media Defamation and the Fair Report Privilege - Representing one of the world's biggest antique dealers, an Irish Traveller, in major defamation suit against Bloomberg Businessweek, its editor in chief Josh Tyrangiel, and New York Times reporter Adam Higginbotham. This case concerned the applicability of the fair report privilege to claims made against our client by Bloomberg Businessweek. Case received international media coverage in the New York Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The Daily Mail and local Irish media.

Breach of Contract Suit Against Construction and Engineering Firm - Represented well-known real estate investment firm in breach of contract dispute with a construction and engineering consulting firm. Successfully obtained disgorgement of more than $300,000 in damages from defendant and its principals.

Disgorgement of Unaccounted for Management Fees - Represented prominent lender in breach of contract and fraud lawsuit concerning unaccounted for management fees and monies related to portfolio of rental properties. Obtained disgorgement of all un-accounted monies from the property manager.

Real Estate Partition Action Based on Service Via Publication Upon Co-Owner/Tenant in Common - Representing plaintiff co-owner of a property located in Fairfax County that was purchased jointly with the defendant, with whom plaintiff holds title as tenant in common. Defendant left the state soon after the purchase saddling the client with all payments and maintenance for the property.

The Double-Dealing Realtor Defrauding the Estate (D.C.) - We were retained by the heirs of an estate to deal with a broker who had fraudulently tried to take advantage of a grieving family. The broker had forged the heir's signatures, wrongfully withheld earnest money deposits and refused to withdraw from representation. We were able to obtain disgorgement of the monies and a release from representation within a week. Obtained release from representation and disgorgement of initial deposit.

Breach of Contract and Fraud Suit Involving Alleged Concealment of Septic System During Sale of Residential Property in Fairfax County - Purchasers sued client alleging non-disclosure of septic system and misrepresentations in the contract stating the property had a public sewer connection. Case is pending.

Defect In Marketability of Title and Disgorgement of Earnest Money Deposit Concerning Real Property Dispute In D.C. Against Prominent Investment Company Based Out of Woodbridge, Virginia - this was a complex title related issue related to real property conveyance in the District. Successfully obtained disgorgement of more than $30,000 in security deposit monies wrongfully withheld from our client.

HOA Design Covenant Dispute Involving Defense of Homeowner Alleged to Have Violated Association's Restrictive Covenants - Representing homeowner in dispute against HOA alleging he violated the restrictive covenants by implementing certain changes to the exterior of the premises. The association sued for temporary and permanent injunctive relief, requiring that the defendant take down the structure that was allegedly constructed.

Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation ("DPOR") Complaint filed against Real Estate Salesperson. Represented agent for complaint alleging lack of disclosure of personal interest in the transaction. Seller was a corporation in which the agent/realtor held an interest that terminated prior to the sale of the property. Accordingly, we argued that 18 VAC 135-20-210 does not require disclosure of a prior interest in the property. Complaint was dismissed.

Complex Mold Trials

Multi-Expert Mold Litigation - We were retained by the Landlord-Defendant to defend a complex mold-related Tenant Assertion by tenants asserting substantial economic harm and back rent. This case involved three mold experts and the proceeding lasted almost seven hours. Client-Landlord was awarded possession, and we successfully barred tenants from pursuing any damages against client.

Defense of Mold Claims Related to Property Damage and Rent Abatement - Successfully defended landlord who was sued for over $13,000 by tenants over alleged mold on the property claimed to have been caused by landlord's negligent repairs. We countersued for damages and were able to have all of the tenants' mold-related claims stricken. Further, the landlord was ruled to be the substantially prevailing party and was awarded recovery of attorney's fees.

Constructive Eviction and Lead In The Water - We represented the Landlord whose tenant has filed suit for back rent and damages after the discovery of lead in the water. We prevailed after resorting to some creative lawyering to block the other side from introducing key pieces of evidence. Client prevailed in an otherwise difficult case.

Tenant Constructive Eviction and Mold Lawsuit - Mold Litigation. Complex mold related suit involving a range of other landlord tenant issues. Case was settled favorably.

Complex Mold Litigation - We were retained by tenants in a condominium complex to take action against the Landlord and property manager who failed to properly remediate toxic mold on the premises. Case settled favorably.

Landlord-Tenant & Commercial Leasing Disputes

Prosecuted Serial Fraudster Tenants Who Misrepresented Income, Credit and Employment Information, And Concealed Prior Rental History - Represented former landlord against professional tenants in a warrant in debt action. Obtained the full jurisdictional amount in damages ($25,000), attorney's fees in the amount of $10,000, and costs in favor of client.

Japanese Hibachi Restaurant - Commercial Lease Permit and Commencement Date Issue - Represented Japanese Hibachi grill restaurant involved in complex leasing dispute with Landlord related to restaurant permits and commencement dates. Successfully negotiated settlement and more than forty percent reduction in amounts claimed by the Landlord.

Dunn Loring Retail Store - Drop In Sales Due To Construction At the Mosaic District in Dunn Loring - Represented a retail establishment in the Dunn Loring area facing severe downturn in sales due to ongoing construction issues in that area. Landlord sought eviction and rent acceleration for the entire Lease term. After some litigation, successfully negotiated settlement involving release of personal guarantors and reduction of total amounts due to Landlord.

Security Deposit Litigation - Represented national corporation against a team of two extremely deceptive landlords who unlawfully withheld the corporation's $9,000 security deposit. We successfully obtained the entire security deposit. Further, the judge awarded the corporation its attorney fees for an additional $9,000.

Malicious Prosecution, Conversion, Abuse of Process Suit Against Professional Tenant - Successfully defended Landlord-Defendant against a professional tenant who had Landlord falsely arrested for felony grand larceny. Tenant then sued Landlord for breach of contract, conversion and abuse of access. We counterclaimed for abuse of process, malicious prosecution and breach of contract. After an 8-hour trial, we prevailed on all counts and were awarded $10,000 in punitive damages against the tenant, and all attorney's fees incurred by the client.

Constructive Eviction and First Material Breach Leasing Dispute Involving D.C.-based Burger Joint - successfully negotiated settlement on behalf of tenant, a burger restaurant located in DC, with Landlord for claims involving constructive eviction and the landlord's prior breach of the lease for failure to maintain the premises and defects in the roof causing water leakage. Over the course of one year, the tenant had experienced a significant decline in sales due to construction next door, and the vibrations and dust that invaded the restaurant space. Tenant vacated the premises, and we asserted the defenses of constructive eviction and the first material breach in response to the landlord claiming accelerated rent. We eventually settled the claim favorably and the landlord did not claim any accelerated rent.

White Oak Tower Condominium Unit Owners Association Medical Permit Use Issue - we were retained by the unit owner of a condo who has contracted to sell his unit to a purchaser wishing to utilize the property for medical use. However, the board of directors of the condo association refused to issue a medical use permit due to multiple convoluted reasons, including the Town of Vienna's disputed calculations related to medical use square footage in the condo association. We were eventually able to overcome the Board's resistance and initiate the process of securing the medical use permit for our client's property.

The Unit Owners Association of Hawthorn Condominium - We were retained by full equity owners of a condominium trying to prevent a foreclosure of their unit due to outstanding HOA fees owed to the Condominium board. We were able to successfully negotiate a compromise and settle the case without clients undergoing strict forfeiture of their property.

Foreclosure-related Eviction with Parallel Circuit Court Title Challenge - Unlawful Detainer involving challenge to foreclosure action (Circuit Court) and seeking to void the client's purchase. Case was settled and the client obtained possession.

Commercial Tenant Audit Rights and Utility Overbilling - We were retained by a prominent sushi restaurant and bar in Georgetown to negotiate a leasing dispute with Landlord stemming from the Landlord's billing practices for water usage. Negotiated compromise by invoking specific Tenant rights under the complex commercial lease, which involved the installation of a direct billing meter on Tenant's premises.

Commercial Lease Release - Represented well-known Peruvian chicken chain restaurant regarding leasing dispute related to three business partners asserting ownership over the restaurant. Successfully negotiated settlement and release of client.

Breach of Contract Suit Involving Defense of Two U.S. Marines against Predatory Landlord - Successfully prosecuted predatory slumlord seeking to extort thousands of dollars in damages from clients-plaintiffs. Obtained judgment for back rent and return of full security deposit.

Chinese Restaurant Personal Guaranty Dispute and CAM/RE Taxes Overcharges - Represented Chinese restaurant in complex leasing dispute involving back rent, CAM maintenance, utility and tax assessment charges passed through to the commercial tenant.

Complex Unlawful Detainer - Successfully evicted multiple tenants in unlawful detainer lawsuit on behalf of prominent Arlington County developer and real estate investor/landlord.

Represented Investor/LLC In Evicting Tenant for Back Rent - Successfully represented LLC in complex unlawful detainer suit involving issues related to lease assignment, agency authority and disputed rent amounts.

Oral Modifications to Lease - We were retained by the tenant in an unlawful detainer proceeding in which our position was not strong. Landlord was claiming more than $20,000 in damages, including past due late fees, and unauthorized occupancy charges. We were able to maneuver a dismissal of all these charges by pointing to the Landlord's contradictory conduct that diverged from the terms of the lease.

Represented E-Sports Company In Eviction Suit - Represented prominent CEO of worldwide e-sports company, Team Liquid, in eviction suit in Annandale. Since time was of the essence, we were able to resolve the case before the return date by incentivizing the tenants to move quickly and avoid any further liability.

Breach of Contract, Warrant In Debt Action - Represented owner of burger truck in breach of contract suit for failure to remit payments per the terms of the promissory note. Obtained judgment in favor of client.

Foreclosure-related Eviction - Client-Investor sought services to evict tenant at sufferance on recently purchased investment property. Successfully obtained result desired by client.

Auto Crash Settlement - Our client was severely injured in a three-way car crash in Fairfax. After investigating the facts, we submitted a demand for several thousand dollars to the insurance companies of the other parties involved in the accident. Case was settled for approximately $17,000 recovery for our client.

Business Transactions & Trademark Protection

Negotiated Buyout of Executive of Augmented Reality Wearable Technology Company - Represented executive of emerging company in successfully negotiating his buyout of $200,000 class C membership interest from company.

Negotiated Membership Interest Purchase Agreement Involving International Restaurant Group with Over 45 Concepts Worldwide - Represented investor in purchasing a membership interest in a restaurant conglomerate for a prominent location in D.C. Designed agreement to ensure maximum protection from any liability and ensured protection of client's investment.

Vietnam News Television Network - We were retained by a well-known foreign TV news network to formulate their entire organizational structure and draft their internal operating agreement. We were able to sort through all the problematic aspects of their setup and recommend a streamlined corporate structure to ensure efficient operations.

Daycare Center In McLean - We were retained by a prominent Virginia-based daycare center with several locations in Northern Virginia to revise their corporate and business documentation. During our review of client's corporate documents, we spotted several flaws and were able to implement a comprehensive governance framework, including employee handbooks, crisis response and management, and family enrollment handbook.

USPTO Appeal: "CULINARY DELIGHTS" (Case Number 86384709). This was an appeal to overturn the USPTO examiner's final refusal based on a claim that the mark Culinary Delights contained a single element "Delights," which was objectionable, and needed to be disclaimed. That analysis was successfully refuted through a brief filed by counsel for the claimant, Terry Fox. The examiners immediately retracted their denial and allowed full registration on the Principal Register without any disclaimer on October 18, 2016.

Concurrent Use Application: "ISLAND CHOCOLATES" (Case Number 77225253). Our client initially filed an opposition to a pending trademark application containing the identical mark, "Island Chocolates". As our client had initially used the mark in Hawaii, Guam and Japan prior to the other company's application, we were entitled to common law geographic rights. Through negotiations we came to a consent agreement that allowed the dual use of the marks by our respective owners but divided the authorized use in geographic regions. This protected our client's intellectual property and good will in the mark for the states and countries in which it had been using it.

DISCLAIMER: The results obtained are not necessarily the results that may be obtained in a case with different facts. Every case is different and fact specific, and the results obtained will be related to the facts and merits of that particular case.