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, 2015 and 2017 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 more than two-decades of experience in obtaining favorable results for both Plaintiffs and Defendants in real estate litigation through negotiation, mediation, settlement, arbitration and trial. The following are just a few of many recent results in real estate litigation matters entrusted to me:
- Secured $750,000.00 mediated settlement on behalf of Defendant and against Plaintiffs (on Counterclaims) in suit that Plaintiffs filed over roadway easement and real estate note (Kendall County District Court).
- Secured $375,000 pre-suit settlement on behalf of Commercial Landlord for institutional tenant’s anticipatory breach (prior to taking occupancy) of long-term Medical Office Lease (Frio County).
- Secured $125,000.00 Settlement for Buyer of Commercial restaurant property in lawsuit filed against Seller and Seller’s Listing Real Estate Broker for Failure to Disclose an existing long-term Parking Lease assigning parking spaces to a neighboring property owner (Bexar County District Court).
- Secured confidential six-figure mediated settlement for Buyer of Commercial Property in claims against Buyer’s Agent and Buyer’s Real Estate Broker for professional negligence (Bexar County District Court).
- Secured confidential six-figure mediated settlement for Residential Real Estate Developer in suit against roadway contractor for construction defects within a residential subdivision (Bexar County District Court).
- Secured six-figure pre-suit settlement for Buyer of Commercial Property in claims against Seller for failure to disclose that property improvements were constructed without permits and were subject to City Demolition Orders (Bexar County).
- Secured confidential mediated settlement for Commercial General Contractor in claims asserted against flooring subcontractors for defective work (Travis County District Court).
- Secured confidential pre-suit settlement for out-of-state landlords/investment property owners in claims that local Property Manager mismanaged multiple rental units (Bexar County).
- Secured confidential mediated settlement for Buyer of residential real estate where Sellers and the Seller’s (Listing) Agent were aware of but failed to disclose a previous fire, and concealed fire damage. (Maverick County).
- Secured confidential pre-suit settlement (including rescission of sale, attorneys’ fees and refund of all monies paid — including interest, earnest money and monthly payments) for Buyer of residential real estate where institutional Seller failed to disclose known property defects and substantial plumbing repairs performed by Seller (Bexar County).
- Secured CONFIDENTIAL SETTLEMENT for property owner in professional negligence claims against Surveyor based on erroneous identification of property boundary, resulting in misplaced fence construction and boundary dispute (Bexar County District Court).
- Obtained confidential mediated settlement for real estate investors in federal lawsuit against property & casualty insurance carriers/agent following denial of claims arising from former occupant’s vandalism after foreclosure (Bexar County – U.S. District Court W.D. Texas).
- Secured Confidential Mediated Settlement against neighboring Landowner, neighbor’s Listing Real Estate Broker and Neighbor’s Contractor for Trespass and Damage to Trees (Atascosa County District Court).
- Secured Confidential Settlement in federal lawsuit filed by homeowner against one of the nation’s largest banks following foreclosure of a home equity loan. (Comal County – U.S. District Court W.D. Texas).
- Secured $36,000.00 pre-suit settlement against Neighboring Landowner for Trespass and Wrongful Tree Cutting (Comal 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 against the property under a void Deed of Trust (Bexar County District Court)
- Obtained Dismissal of lawsuit filed against elderly Seller who refused to close upon the sale of residence, after contracting to do so (Bexar County Court at Law).
- Obtained $65,000.00 JURY VERDICT against Property Manager and Management Company who diverted out-of-state investor/owner’s rents and failed to properly account for trust funds. Following trial, the District Court Judge ordered disgorgement of all commissions paid to management company. (Bexar County District Court)
- Secured $85,000.00 mediated Settlement for Cash Buyer of residential real estate where the Seller (who was a licensed real Estate Broker) failed to disclose existence of a prior written Agreement to sell to the home to a “tenant” who already occupied the property (Bexar County District Court).
- Won $134,000.00 arbitration award (reduced to Judgment) on behalf of custom homebuilder against homeowner who refused to pay contract price. Also defeated homeowner’s counterclaims alleging construction defects (Gillespie County District Court).
- Defeated federal court “wrongful foreclosure” lawsuit against out of state investor who purchased residential property at Trustee’s Foreclosure Sale (Bexar County –US District Court W.D. Texas).
- Obtained confidential mediated settlement for farm and ranch owner whose property was wrongfully subjected to mechanic’s lien by supplier of water storage tanks (Comal County District Court).
- Secured Court verdict (BENCH TRIAL) of “no bad faith” on the part of out of state (military) Landlord in lawsuit filed by Tenant for Security Deposit refund and damages. Tenant/Plaintiff ordered to reimburse our client’s costs and attorneys’ fees (Bexar County Court at Law).
- Obtained numerous dismissals (Summary Judgment) of claims against Residential Property Managers in lawsuits filed by former Tenants for Security Deposit refunds and breach of contract (Bexar, Comal, Guadalupe Counties).
- Successfully defended homeowners in suit filed by HOA for non-compliance with minimum building size restrictions. Prevailed on counterclaim attacking validity of restrictive covenants and secured settlement on counterclaims approving homeowners’ modifications and requiring HOA to reimburse homeowners’ attorneys fees and costs (Kerr County District Court).
- Secured settlement (including retention of all earnest money and reimbursement of attorneys’ fees/costs) on behalf of Seller of high end residence when Buyer attempted to terminate Purchase Contract after expiration of all contingencies. (Guadalupe County).
- Won Take Nothing Judgment (BENCH TRIAL) on behalf of Foreclosure Purchaser / Investor where Former Owners filed suit to Set-Aside Trustee’s Sale conducted by their mortgage lender (Bexar County Court at Law).
- Secured numerous Judgments on behalf of HOA permitting expedited foreclosure of property to satisfy unpaid Assessment Liens (Guadalupe County District Court).
- Obtained Dismissal of all claims brought by former Tenant under Chapter 92 of the Texas Property Code against Property Manager (Bexar County, Comal County, Guadalupe 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 Court at Law).
- Successfully mediated (2 mediations) division of 9,000+ acre historic Texas Ranch left to heirs in undivided shares (Crockett County).
- Confidential Settlement of breach of fiduciary duty claims asserted 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 Property Manager in TREC Complaint alleging mishandling of fiduciary property.
- Secured finding of NO VIOLATION – NO DISCIPLINE in defense of un-licensed Master Tenant in TREC Complaint alleging Unauthorized Practice of Real Estate.
- Successfully Defended Manufactured Home Community Owner against Tenant’s claims for Wrongful Eviction, Breach of Contract and Violations of Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
Every case is different and is determined on its own merits. However, involvement of an Attorney with sustained success in litigation focused on real estate enhances the client’s likelihood of obtaining a favorable result.
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.