42 Years of Real Estate and Business Law Experience
I bring 42 years of experience to the practice of law and mediation in the fields of real property and business law. My solo practice was established on August 1, 1994. Since 1978, my practice has involved condominium law, construction defect litigation, boundary disputes, easements, title problems, leases, breaches of contracts, business entities such as partnerships, corporations and limited liability companies, real estate non-disclosure cases, tree cutting cases, adverse possession, trespass and encroachments. I do not handle evictions.
Law Office of Leslie A. Levy
1718 Solano Avenue
Berkeley CA 94707
I do not have any fixed-price services or fees. In my practice, each case is relatively unique. For example, if I am asked to draft a commercial lease, my services might include assisting in protracted negotiations concerning the terms and provisions of the lease, in addition to drafting it. If the parties to the lease already are in agreement on most of the major provisions, then the amount of time necessary for me to assist is much less than would be required if the parties have not previously reached agreement on terms and conditions. Another example involves cases that are in a pre-litigation stage or already are in litigation. I am unable to predict in advance how much time will be required to handle the case from commencement through trial because a typical real estate case often involves more than two parties and numerous documents. Moreover, most of the cases (approximately 90%) which I handle settle before trial commences. I cannot predict in advance how soon the case will settle or how many parties might become involved in it.
Hourly rate for my services is $400 for non-litigation; $425 for litigation.
Mondays through Fridays 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.I am available on weekends and evenings by special arrangement.
REAL ESTATE SALES
I help property owners avoid disputes in connection with real estate transactions by reviewing proposed contracts, drafting sales agreements and easements and counseling with respect to disclosure statements. I am also skilled at "troubleshooting" and negotiating settlements when misunderstandings arise in pending sales.
As a licensed real estate broker, in addition to having specialized in real estate law for 30 years, I have particular expertise in cases of fraudulent and negligent non-disclosure, representing sellers, buyers and real estate agents. Many times such cases are resolved without resorting to litigation or, if litigation is commenced, they are settled without trial. I help my clients decide on what terms they should settle their cases in view of my experience as a litigator.
Another area of my practice involves brokers' commision disputes, assisting brokers and sellers.
Instances of breaches of contract arise often in my practice. I counsel clients with repsect to delays in close of escrow, attempts to cancel or rescind, interpretation of ambiguous contract language and similar situations. Under some circumstances, it may be difficult to ascertain whether the parties are still "in contract" or not. My ability to understand the intricacies of contract law in the context of real estate is one of my strengths.
Contract law, which underlies much of real property and business law, fascinates me, primarily because it is a vehicle for formalized communication which is a part of everyday life.
By clearly communicating my legal knowledge, I enable my clients to make well-informed decisions for themselves. In so doing, I encourage my clients to seek knowledge from other reputable sources, such as Nolo, because I find that my clients who are better informed are able to make the most rational and practical decisions about their cases.
I am quite willing to review documents prepared by clients.
I am quite willing to guide clients who wish to represent themselves.
In 1994, after having been a partner in the law firm of Whiting, Rubenstein, Swager & Levy for approximately 12 years, I formed my own solo practice, continuing to specialize in the same areas of real estate and business law. Currently, I am also a California licensed real estate broker.
Not only am I well trained to represent clients in litigation, I also am skilled in reviewing and preparing contracts or documents to help prevent future disputes.
Always mindful of the cost of litigation, I diligently pursue out-of-court settlements in contested cases. Confident of the value of alternative dispute processes, I completed two in-depth training courses in mediation, sharpening my skills in order that I may help parties in litigation or having a dispute avoid more time-consuming and costly remedies.
Not only am I well- trained to represent clients in litigation, I also am skilled in reviewing and preparing contracts or documents to help prevent future disputes.
My undergraduate degree is in Art History. I have had a lifelong interest in art and architecture. I have lived abroad, one year in France and one year in Israel, and I am fluent in French and Hebrew.
Bar Number: 77184
Santa Clara University School of Law
Juris Doctorate, 1977
University of California at Berkeley
Bachelor of Arts, 1971
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