Successful Jury Verdict
In October of 2015, Terry Hughmanick, working with associate James McDaniel, obtained a substantial jury verdict in a case arising from a commercial lease transaction. The verdict was obtained against one of the largest real estate firms in the country. The firm against which the verdict was obtained was represented by a highly regarded national and international law firm. Trial court proceedings continue.
Successful Jury Trial Outcome
Jones and Hanna v. Silveira (San Mateo County Superior Court). Perry Woodward represented a young couple who had built their dream home near Half Moon Bay, but who in 2009 had sold it to the plaintiffs. The plaintiffs were represented by Miller Starr Regalia. At the conclusion of a three-week jury trial, the plaintiffs asked the jury to award them more than $500,000, plus punitive damages in an unspecified amount, based on claims of non-disclosure, fraud and defective construction. However, in the end, the plaintiffs received nothing and ended up owing Terra Law’s clients 100% of their attorney fees and other costs incurred in defeating the plaintiffs’ claims.
Santa Clara County Lawsuit Dismissed
Our client, the previous owner of a coin laundry business in San Jose, was sued by a California-licensed real estate broker on the asserted basis that our client owed the broker a commission from the sale of the coin laundry business. Shortly after being hired, we filed a dispositive motion that ultimately led to the broker dismissing our client from the lawsuit with prejudice without our client having to pay a dime to the broker. Thus, we got our client dismissed within two months of our client being served with the lawsuit, a swift and cost-efficient result. Eric Hartnett was instrumental in achieving this resounding victory for our client.
The case is J.T. Business Brokerage, Inc. v. Lucky Laundromat, Inc., et al., Santa Clara County Case Number 1-12-CV-229364
Redwood City Jury Awards Punitive Damages Against Local Real Estate Developer
On April 4th, 2013, a Redwood City jury unanimously awarded $220,250 in general and punitive damages against San Carlos general contractor and real estate developer Ronald Grove. The jury of seven women and five men awarded the damages to former Pete’s Harbor resident Kenneth Benner as a result of a failed real estate deal in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico that he invested in with Grove. The jury found that Grove defrauded Benner and breached his fiduciary duties in the investment partnership. After two days of trial, the jury reached its verdict within an hour. Mr. Benner was represented by David Draper of Terra Law LLP in San Jose. Mr. Grove was represented by Michael McCraken of Redwood City.
The case is Kenneth Benner v. Ronald Grove, California Superior Court, San Mateo County Number CIV 509402
Terra Law’s recent successes include elimination of client liability on multimillion dollar personal guarantees and successful pretrial resolution of various property and business tort litigation matters (including fraud claims) for our clients.
Representative Results for Terra Law Clients
The following are snapshots of some of the results Terra Law attorneys have achieved in transactions, civil litigation, commercial arbitration and negotiated settlements:
Real Estate Transactions
Sale of a high-end industrial campus under lease to a leading international technology company. Complications included structuring the sale to permit unwinding the selling entity to meet different tax goals and assignment to the buyer of an agreement with the U.S. EPA concerning a previous user’s groundwater contamination.
Sales of two leased industrial complexes encumbered by commercial mortgage-backed security (conduit) loans. One sale was accomplished by defeasance of the conduit loan; in the other sale, the buyer assumed the conduit loan.
Purchase of a large warehouse building for renovation and re-leasing. Issues included structuring the transaction to accommodate the sellers’ tax and estate planning requirement and providing for continuation of rail service.
Sublease of a 12-story office by one international technology company to another. Issues for resolution included delivery date, property condition, restoration of improvements, and lease and sale of furniture and equipment to subtenant.
Representation of a medical technology company in two build-to-suit leases for buildings of approximately 150,000 square feet each. Issues included complicated delivery timing and cost controls.
Real Estate Litigation
Terra Law partners David Draper and Martin Dioli recently concluded a two month trial in Sonoma County where they obtained a $3,920,451 judgment for the owner of a $28,000,000 resort in Windsor, California. Mr. Draper and Mr. Dioli established an overwhelming breach of contract by the resort’s original contractor and its sub-contractors in the construction of the waterproofing systems throughout the property.”
Recovery of $2.9 million in lost profits on behalf of a developer whose seller refused to close escrow as required by contract.
Recovery of approximately $1.5 million on behalf of a developer in a commercial arbitration over breach of the development agreement.
Permanent injunction establishing a permanent water easement against one of California’s largest residential developers.
Successful arbitration defense of a home seller against a nonperforming buyer’s substantial damages claims, including punitive damages.
Successful trial defense of claims for a decree invalidating a foreclosure sale based on defects and omissions from the statutory foreclosure notices.
Recovery of more than $1.2 million on a jury verdict involving a complex real estate transaction, despite a prior ruling that our client had no reasonable chance of prevailing.
Preservation of a San Benito County landowner’s oak trees when a utility proposed the removal of hundreds of trees beneath high-voltage lines.
Recovery of about $3 million in damages and attorneys’ fees in complex real estate claims involving breach of contract and fraud.
Recovery of about $1.5 million in damages while defeating a developer’s attempt to terminate our client’s retail lease.
Arbitration award of $1.4 million against a national corporation that contaminated our client’s property.
Business and Commercial Litigation
Recovery of $5 million against an insurance consortium that denied coverage of construction defect claims.
Successful resolution on behalf of an affordable housing developer of unfair competition claims brought by the Marin County District Attorney.
Settlement of trade secret litigation worth several million to our client, a NASDAQ-traded company.
Successful resolution of unfair competition and trade libel claims on behalf of a leading manufacturer of hotel telephones against a competitor.
Negotiated multimillion dollars sale of domain name portfolio and internet service.
Negotiated the license of several products for ultimate sale in the direct response television market.
Developed intellectual property portfolio plan for successful invention company to maximize revenue and reduce risk.
Terry Hughmanick, Breck Milde and David Draper have been selected as Northern California “Super Lawyers.” Mark Good has also received Super Lawyer Rising Star recognition. Terra Law has received the highest Martindale-Hubbell rating available for law firms and several of our attorneys hold AV ratings, again, the highest available for individual attorneys.
Located in the heart of the Silicon Valley, Terra Law LLP represents individuals and businesses in real estate litigation actions, business litigation actions, real estate transactions, business transactions, intellectual property licensing, protection and litigation and banking law matters.