Real Estate And Land Use Litigation WHEN IT COUNTS
Barnes & Thornburg LLP represents clients in virtually all manner of disputes concerning real estate. The Firm has experience with quiet title actions, nuisance lawsuits and all types of litigation that arises from the ownership of real estate. The Firm also represents clients before zoning boards and in judicial review proceedings of those matters. The Firm has substantial experience in annexation litigation, having represented clients in dozens of annexation disputes where our clients obtained a dozen reported victories in the annexation context, including the Indiana Supreme Court’s most recent decisions on the state’s annexation statutes.
- INSIGHTS & EVENTS
- A Barnes & Thornburg attorney represented a major homebuilder and won reversal and a summary judgment on appeal in a dispute about the meaning of terms in a developer’s agreement to build a residential subdivision. Beazer Homes Indiana, LLP v. Carriage Courts Homeowners Ass'n, Inc., 905 N.E.2d 20 (Ind. Appl. 2009).
- A Barnes & Thornburg attorney represented a public utility in the defense of a multi-million dollar dispute with municipality over termination of 35-year lease of electric distribution/transmission system. As part of representation, Mr. Brown guided client through state court and agency litigation while managing media relations in widely publicized dispute and successfully achieved settlement of claim once valued at over $100 million at de minimis cost to company.
- A Barnes & Thornburg attorney represented a real estate management company in a dispute over whether condominium association’s bylaws permitted the company’s secretary to run for the association’s board. Park Hoover Vill. Condo. Ass'n v. Ardsley/Park Hoover L.P., No. 49A04-0106-CV-268 (Ind. Ct. App. 2002).
A Barnes & Thornburg attorney represents real estate clients, including Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT), real estate developers, contractors, architects, commercial landlords, property owners and homebuilders, in wide-ranging complex commercial litigation, dispute resolution and counseling. The attorney’s experience includes litigating, arbitrating and advising real estate clients in construction disputes, real-estate related disputes, development agreements, joint venture arrangements, operating agreements, lease agreements and tenant/landlord disputes.
An example of the attorney’s experience includes representing a commercial real estate company and obtaining preliminary injunction preventing tenants from ceasing operations at a shopping center. Glendale Centre, LLC v. The Limited, Inc. et al., Cause No. 49D11-0206-PL-000994 (Marion Superior Court, Indiana).
- Barnes & Thornburg attorneys defended client in competing class actions brought on behalf of landowners adjoining railroad rights-of-way abandoned by Penn Central. The ten years of litigation led to several appeals to the Indiana Court of Appeals, an appeal to the Indiana Supreme Court, and a writ of mandamus to the Indiana Supreme Court. Ultimately, a class action settlement was reached in which the client, a defendant, received payment from the co-defendant.
- Barnes & Thornburg attorneys obtained a favorable judgment on behalf of a municipal client against claims under the federal and state constitutions as well as the Indiana Home Rule Act in regard to an ordinance that required licenses for landlords. Peoples v. Town of Speedway, Ind., No. 1:06cv1324 (S.D. Ind., filed Sept. 6, 2006).
- Barnes & Thornburg attorneys represented a national home builder in multi-form litigation arising from a joint venture to develop a $1.2 billion residential community in southern Las Vegas, including suits filed in arbitration among the joint venture members and suits filed in federal court and federal bankruptcy court by the lenders. In arbitration, one of the joint venture members sought specific performance of obligations totaling more than $300 million and asked, in the alternative, for more than $300 million in damages. After two weeks of arbitration, the arbitration panel rejected the claim for specific performance and rejected nearly all of the damages claim. The lenders’ claims were ultimately resolved favorably.
- Barnes & Thornburg attorneys represented a national residential real estate brokerage firm in a class action seeking $15 million in damages for alleged RESPA violations related to purported receipt of unlawful kickbacks in the real estate settlement process. Achieved favorable pre-trial resolution of claims.
- Barnes & Thornburg attorneys represented a national residential real estate brokerage firm in a consent action in connection with a larger class action matter involving claims of $15 million in damages for alleged Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) violations related to purported receipt of unlawful kickbacks in the real estate settlement process. The matter was successfully settled.
- Barnes & Thornburg attorneys represented a publicly traded REIT in the Business Court in Raleigh, North Carolina. The court entered an order in favor of firm client dismissing an approximate $7 million claim against our client alleging tortious interference with prospective economic advantage. The REIT and a neighboring landowner had entered into an agreement regarding the sharing of costs to construct a roadway project adjacent to their respective properties. The neighboring landowner and its principals alleged that our client tortiously interfered with their prospective joint venture with a third party by breaching the roadway development contract. Our client’s argument addressed an unsettled issue under North Carolina law as to whether the REIT had "induced" the third party to abandon the proposed joint venture. The court agreed with our client, holding that the element of having "induced" an interference requires more specific proof than simple causation, as the claimants had argued. In so holding, the court stated that the claimants' position "would make every contracting party potentially liable for the types of damages available for intentional torts . . . whenever the failure to fulfill a contract for any reason caused" the loss of a prospective business opportunity. The ruling could be precedent-setting in many states given the absence of clear precedent on what must be pleaded and proven to establish an interference.
- Barnes & Thornburg attorneys represented Airport Authority in action to determine “just compensation” for Airport’s acquisition of property in eminent domain proceeding. The adjoining landowner sought $6.8 million in damages. The Michigan Case Evaluation Panel placed a value of $2.24 million on the case which the parties accepted.
- Barnes & Thornburg attorneys represented Rieth-Riley in Board of Commissioners' appeal of declaratory judgment that zoning ordinance was invalid and mandate that the board approve the developer's plan; court affirmed lower court's ruling. Hendricks County Bd. of Comm'rs v. Rieth-Riley Constr. Co., No. 32A05-0610-CV-585 (Ind. Ct. App. 2007).
- Barnes & Thornburg attorneys represented Simon in appeal involving lease dispute; lower court granted summary judgment for Simon, and granted Michigan Sporting Goods' (tenant's) motion to correct error; court upheld lower court's decision to grant motion to correct error. Simon Prop. Group, L.P. v. Michigan Sporting Goods Distribs., No. 79A02-0411-CV-989 (Ind. Ct. App. 2005).
- Barnes & Thornburg represented client, Airport Authority/landlord, in suit with tenant for breach of lease. The tenant sought more than $1.1 million in damages, including lost profits, while the client sought $300,000+ in unpaid rents. After a bench trial, the judge entered a judgment for client for the entire amount of the rent, and against tenant on its claims for damages and lost profits.
- Barnes & Thornburg represented the Town of Fishers in an action by several residents to enjoin the construction of a sports park. The plaintiffs challenged the park in the zoning process but, after receiving an adverse ruling, did not appeal the zoning decision. Instead, the plaintiffs sued in federal court under Section 1983, alleging various constitutional violations. The plaintiffs filed a motion for a preliminary injunction. The Town of Fishers filed an immediate motion to dismiss arguing that the federal court lacked subject matter jurisdiction because the plaintiffs had voluntarily failed to exhaust their state zoning appeal remedies. After an evidentiary hearing, the court denied the preliminary injunction and dismissed the case in its entirety. Peterson v. Town of Fishers, 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73260 (S.D. Ind. 2008).
- On behalf of firm client, Barnes & Thornburg attorneys defeated attempts by shopping plaza landlord to evict sublessor box store from space after original tenant failed to pay all amounts due under original lease.
- Represented global manufacturer in the defense of a mass tort action brought against various defendants who disposed of waste in landfill brought by neighbors who alleged property damage; negotiated favorable settlement for client.