(a) A commercial real estate developer came to us, from another law firm, after (i) his company had been thrown out of Bankruptcy Court on the merits; and (ii) he had lost on the liability issues, and was otherwise losing, in a suit brought against him personally on his loan guaranty. We got the Bankruptcy case re-instated, with the result that the lender sold the loan at a substantial loss (leaving room for the buyer to re-negotiate the loan), the client was able to negotiate a re-financing on favorable terms, the project is back under construction and creating jobs, units are being sold and rented, and the client became able to move forward with other projects.
(b) On the other hand, we represented a lender in foreclosing upon commercial real estate. The borrower entity filed several bankruptcies, both corporately and personally, to try to stop the foreclosure proceedings. Furthermore, the president of the borrower was indicted for health care fraud with respect to the property. There, we got all of bankruptcy cases dismissed with prejudice and we successfully completed the foreclosure sale.
(c) We restructured a proposed refinancing to save the client over $600,000 in state and local recordation and transfer taxes.
(d) We represented an owner in selling a hotel, for $17,100,000, on the eve of bankruptcy, including getting title insurance against, and resolving litigation to fight-off, mechanics' liens and other claims against title.
(e) A company wanting to purchase a manufacturing facility came to us from other counsel. Opposing counsel told us that the proposed acquisition was on "life support". We successfully turned-around the negotiations and completed the purchase.
(f) We designed packages of procedures and form contracts for auctions of commercial real estate, and handled the negotiations, seller financings, and settlements resulting therefrom.
(g) We designed a package of lease forms, with alternative clauses, for a developer's leasing team.
(h) We designed a package of employment agreements, non-competes, and confidentiality agreements for a company's HR department.
Yes, but only for the purpose of determining whether it is the type of transaction or case in which we can add value.
We do quote fixed fees for specified work, particularly for producing first drafts of documents, or initial demand letters, and for various specified follow-up actions desired by the client.
$250 (primarily for non-profits) - $395 / hour for attorneys; and $105 -125 / hour for paralegals.
We are adept at structuring transactions and resolving disputes. The cybersecurity/privacy practice is merely a matter of combining our transactions and litigation experience with the laws, standards, and industry practices governing joint development, data breaches, and tech employment.
As the Syms' slogan states: "An educated consumer is our best customer." I generally refer clients and potential clients to court websites (such as those for the various Bankruptcy Courts) or to my blogs, so that they can become familiar with what is involved and can start gathering the necessary documents.
I review client-prepared documents, but only if the client agrees to a number of disclaimers. Unfortunately, I often find that internet-based forms do not provide the client with all of his/her options and/or are not geared to the client's particular situation.
I do that, but only if the client agrees to a number of disclaimers.
I think that, for both short term and long term purposes (and, perhaps, even trying to "make the pie bigger"), disputes are best handled through negotiation. Court-sponsored mediation is often helpful, at least in narrowing the issues. I have not been impressed with arbitration, which, all too often, denies necessary discovery and results in splitting the claims in half.
I worked at large law firms, such as Weinberg & Green (now part of Saul Ewing, as an associate) and Semmes, Bowen & Semmes (as a partner). I also worked for boutiques, such as Linowes & Blocher (as an associate, and then as a partner, handling real estate transactions); Wilkes Artis (as a partner handling real estate transactions); and Deckelbaum, Ogens and Raftery (as of counsel handling real estate transactions and involved in bankruptcy and collection cases). I also served, for four years, as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Maryland.
I have negotiated hundreds of large and small transactions and financings, and litigated a number of precedent-setting cases. Specifically, I have served as lead outside counsel in large transactions or cases (a) for clients such Verizon, ExxonMobil, Wells Fargo Bank, the Urban Land Institute, the State of Maryland, and the U.S. Government; and (b) against entities such as Boston Properties, the U.S. Government, the Washington Area Metro Transit Authority, and GE Capital and several large law firms such as Venable, Jones Day, Holland & Knight, Simpson Thacher, Womble Carlyle, Hunton & Williams, Arent Fox, and two firms that are part of what is now DLA Piper. Furthermore, I have been actively involved in the American College of Real Estate Lawyers and the American Inns of Court, and was a Council member of the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section of the American Bar Association.
My biggest strength is my ability to absorb a lot of often conflicting information, quickly, and then to proceed calmly to organize it, to analyze it, and to determine the position and interests of the parties involved. We then determine the client's options, make recommendations, and organize a team to implement the decisions made.
In terms of style, I believe in the Golden Rule, but in preparing thoroughly and in keeping in touch with everyone involved.
Military history and playing chess.
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