Unlike many lawyers, I engage in both transactional work and litigation involving real estate. I am as comfortable at the negotiation table or my desk drafting complex documents, as I am in the courtroom arguing on behalf of a party to a dispute implicating property rights.
On multiple occasions I have been recognized by my peers as one of San Antonio’s “Best” Lawyers for Real Estate Litigation and Real Estate Transactions in the annual “San Antonio’s Best Attorneys” issue of Scene in SA Magazine. This recognition is based upon peer (local lawyers in good standing) nomination and voting, and I was selected for inclusion in the 2008, 2010, 2014, and 2015 issues.
This cross-functionality in real estate litigation and transactions has allowed me to hone my skills in the drafting, negotiation and courthouse settings.
REAL ESTATE DISPUTES & LITIGATION
On any given week, I am busy resolving real estate disputes that have (or may soon) blossomed into lawsuits. I have almost two-decades of experience in obtaining favorable results for both Plaintiffs and Defendants in real estate litigation through negotiation, mediation, settlement, and trial. The following are just a few of many recent results in real estate litigation matters entrusted to me:
- Secured $125,000.00 Settlement for Commercial Buyer of restaurant property in claim against Seller and Seller’s Real Estate Broker for Failure to Disclose the existence of an existing long-term Lease assigning parking spaces to a neighboring landowner (Bexar County)
- Secured $100,000.00 Settlement for Commercial Buyer in Claim against Seller of Commercial warehouse that was built without construction permits and in violation of applicable codes (Bexar County)
- Won Summary Judgment (Dismissal) in favor of Plaintiff/heir to residential real estate in lawsuit filed against Attorney-Trustee and parties asserting a lien under a Deed of Trust (Bexar County)
- Obtained Dismissal of lawsuit filed against elderly Seller who refused to close upon the sale of residence, after contracting to do so (Bexar County)
- Obtained $65,000.00 JURY VERDICT Against Property Management Company who diverted out-of-state investor/owner’s rents and failed to properly account for trust funds. Following trial the Court ordered disgorgement of all commissions paid to management company. (Bexar County)
- Secured $85,000.00 mediated Settlement for Buyer of residential real estate where the Broker/Seller failed to disclose a prior written Agreement to sell to the home to a different buyer who occupied the property as a “tenant” (Bexar County).
- Won $134,000.00 arbitration award (reduced to Judgment) on behalf of home builder against homeowner who refused to pay contract price (homeowner’s counterclaim was also defeated) (Gillespie County)
- Defeated federal “wrongful foreclosure” lawsuit against investor who purchased residential property at Trustee’s Foreclosure Sale (US District Court W.D. – S.A.)
- Obtained a confidential settlement for ranch owner whose property was improperly subjected to mechanic’s lien by supplier of water storage tanks (Comal County)
- Secured finding (BENCH TRIAL) of “no bad faith” on the part of Landlord in lawsuit filed by Tenant for Security Deposit refund and damages (Bexar County)
- Obtained dismissal of real estate Property Manager in lawsuit filed by former Tenant for Security Deposit refund and breach of contract (Bexar County)
- Secured confidential six-figure settlement for commercial construction general contractor in claims against subcontractors for defective work (Travis County)
- Secured confidential pre-suit settlement for out-of-state rental/investment property owners in claims that Property Manager mismanaged rental units (Bexar County)
- Secured confidential mediated settlement for Buyer of residential real estate where Sellers and their Broker (Listing Agent) failed to disclose a previous fire and concealed the fire damage (Maverick County).
- Secured confidential pre-suit settlement (including rescission of sale and refund of all monies paid) for Buyer of residential real estate where Seller failed to disclose property defects and prior repairs (Bexar County).
- Successfully defended homeowners in suit filed by HOA for non-compliance with minimum building size restrictions. Filed counterclaim attacking validity of covenants and secured settlement approving homeowners’ modifications and requiring HOA to reimburse homeowners’ attorneys fees and costs (Kerr County).
- Secured settlement (including retention of all earnest money and reimbursement of attorneys’ fees/costs) on behalf of Seller of residential real estate when Buyer attempted to terminate Purchase Contract after expiration of all contingencies. (Guadalupe County).
- Won BENCH TRIAL on behalf of Foreclosure Purchaser where Former Owners sought to Set-Aside Trustee’s Sale (Bexar County).
- Secured numerous Judgments on behalf of HOA permitting foreclosure of property to satisfy Assessment Liens (Guadalupe County).
- Obtained Dismissal of all claims brought by former Tenant under Chapter 92 of the Texas Property Code against Property Manager (Bexar County)
- Secured $375,000 Settlement on behalf of Commercial Landlord for institutional tenant’s anticipatory breach of Medical Office Lease (Frio County).
- Secured confidential six-figure mediated settlement for Buyer of Commercial Property in claims against Buyer’s Agent for professional negligence (Bexar County).
- Obtained JURY VERDICT – DEFENSE VERDICT awarding no damages ($0), in suit filed against used automobile dealership for alleged improprieties during repossession of vehicle financed in-house (Bexar County).
- Successfully mediated (2 mediations) division of 9,000+ acre historic Texas Ranch left to heirs in undivided interests (Crockett County).
- Confidential Settlement of fiduciary duty claims by owner of commercial property against Commercial Real Estate Broker (Bexar County).
- Obtained DEFENSE VERDICT (with award of Attorneys’ Fees) in favor of rental property owner/landlord in suit brought by former tenants for security deposit refund and retention (Guadalupe County).
- Secured finding of NO VIOLATION – NO DISCIPLINE in defense of un-licensed Master tenant in TREC Investigation of Possible Unauthorized Practice of Real Estate.
- Secured CONFIDENTIAL SETTLEMENT for property owner in negligence claims against Surveyor based on erroneous identification of property boundary (Bexar).
- Successfully Defended Rental Property Owner Against Tenant’s claims for Wrongful Eviction, Breach of Contract and Violations of Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
While every case is different and is determined on its own merits, an Attorney with sustained success in real estate litigation enhances the client’s likelihood of obtaining favorable results.
REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS
I also spend substantial time and energy each week negotiating and drafting real estate documents, such as Earnest Money Contracts, Purchase and Sale Agreements, Easements, Leases, Deeds, Promissory Notes, Liens, Releases and Restrictive Covenants. The following are a few recent examples of my real estate transaction practice:
- Negotiated Commercial Lease with Purchase Option between local property owner and national restaurant franchise
- Drafted documents for sale of local franchisee’s interests and development rights in national chicken wing restaurant franchise
- Negotiated build-to-suit lease between local landowner and national equipment rental company
- Negotiated Commercial Lease Agreement between local landowner and national auto parts retailer
- Drafted and Negotiated Earnest Money Contract between local landowner and national restaurant chain
- Negotiated long-term Commercial Lease between local landowner and national hospital corporation
- Drafted Earnest Money Contract and negotiated purchase terms for governmental agency seeking to re-locate its headquarters
- Drafted and negotiated long-term Groundwater Lease on behalf of governmental water utility
- Drafted Restrictive Covenants for ranch owner seeking to develop and subdivide
- Negotiated groundwater production lease between ranch owner and multinational oil exploration company
- Drafted Commercial Lease Agreement on behalf of local furniture store
- Drafted Restrictive Covenants obligating a landowner and its successors to maintain a Dam that impounds water in Bear Creek for the benefit of neighboring landowners
- Drafted Groundwater Lease for use of Edwards Aquifer groundwater by golf course
- Drafted Water Rights Deed and associated owner-finance documents for small water utility purchasing Edwards Aquifer groundwater from a agricultural user in Medina County, Texas
- Negotiated contract on behalf of Homeowners’ Association (HOA) desiring to sell a portion of its common area to a commercial real estate developer.
- Negotiated and drafted purchase and sale contract on behalf of Texas buyers of Florida horse ranch properties.
- Drafted and negotiated HOA documents amending the boundaries of the Association’s jurisdiction and removing certain properties from the purview of restrictive covenants.
- Negotiated and drafted Declaration of Restrictive Covenants (and Design Criteria) for Commercial (medical park) Development.
- Negotiated and co-drafted Agreement for Construction of new Roadway by Developer for benefit of Buyer of Commercial Properties.
- Drafted substantive amendments to Restrictive Covenants that have been in place since early 1990’s for consideration by HOA membership.
- Drafted all documents required for sale (with owner-financing) by long-term furniture sales business of commercial property.
- Drafted multiple commercial lease agreements for retail tenants of newly-constructed inline shopping center.
- Drafted commercial lease agreement for stand-alone building to be occupied by a popular local Mexican restaurant.
- Drafted license agreement authorizing neighboring landowner to “tie-in” to existing fencing in rural area.