Real Estate

Litigation and Dispute Management

When disputes arise, clients look for a lawyer who can proactively represent them to resolve the issues. Porzio’s experienced litigators thoroughly understand the underlying real estate issues and have the experience to provide our clients with dispute management and litigation counseling.  Our attorneys approach complex settlement negotiations and mediations with the objective of seeking amicable resolutions whenever beneficial to our clients’ interests.  However, when litigation is unavoidable, our team is equipped to handle all aspects of the process.  Our attorneys prosecute or defend complex claims in both state and federal courts, before arbitrators and before agencies, boards, and other tribunals.

Commercial Real Estate Transaction Litigation

Our litigation and transactional attorneys work collaboratively to deliver cost-effective representation that protects clients’ property and contract interests.  We handle a wide range of disputes involving the sale of real property, breaches of real estate contract claims, deed and covenant restriction claims, real estate brokerage commissions claims, and claims arising from financing and leasing contracts.

Foreclosure and Lender Litigation

In this time of unprecedented levels of foreclosure filings and bankruptcies, impacted clients turn to us for advice on a variety of issues concerning foreclosures, workouts and lender-related litigation.  We represent secured lenders, developers and borrowers in litigation that arises in connection with mortgage loans or other real estate-related financings. Our experience includes workouts, tax liens, and mortgage foreclosures, actions involving guarantors, lender liability claims, and relief for secured lenders from bankruptcy stays.

Title Insurance and Title Litigation

Our attorneys quickly analyze title issues and recommend appropriate courses of action.  We represent private property owners and national title insurance companies in actions based on boundary disputes, easements, adverse possession claims, judgment and other liens, and riparian rights.

Commercial Landlord/Tenant Litigation

Commercial landlords and tenants need to know their rights and responsibilities under a lease.  We provide experienced counseling in connection with such disputes.  When litigation cannot be avoided, we are equipped to guide our clients through the process.  Examples of the types of suits we handle range from breach of lease, constructive eviction, return of security and dispossession actions to non-payment and suits against lease guarantors.

Environmental Cleanup Cost and Insurance Recovery

Whether in representing clients in the recovery of environmental cleanup costs or negotiating and litigating claims among neighbors, landlords, tenants, prior owners and operators, we continuously evaluate the best method to resolve environmental disputes, be it trial, arbitration or mediation.  Today, financing opportunities abound for the redevelopment of brownfield properties and we can identify and secure these incentives.  Our assistance has led to the successful closure of many deals, turning opportunities into profitable ventures.  
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Professional Claims Defense Litigation

At times, a professional architect, surveyor, wetlands delineator, title agent or other real estate- related professional faces suit for alleged professional negligence.  When that occurs, it is critical for the professional to retain an attorney who is familiar with the professional’s practice and the defense of such claims.  We have the background and experience to help clients preserve their professional reputations while efficiently litigating their matters.

Prerogative Writ Litigation and Zoning Appeals

Not every development project receives proper consideration by municipal land use boards and other governmental agencies.  Our litigation attorneys have experience representing developers before trial and appellate courts, seeking to affirm or overturn governmental actions.  Such matters include appeals of land use board decisions, municipal redevelopment initiatives, appeals objecting to the unlawful adoption of zoning ordinances, projects seeking to advance the construction of low and moderate-income housing, and appeals of improper determinations by state and local officials regarding permitting and environmental issues.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

For clients who wish to resolve disputes without litigation, our seasoned negotiators are prepared to handle mediations and arbitrations.  In fact, several of our attorneys are approved mediators under the New Jersey statewide mediation program.  We have the skills and experience to mediate disputes, helping clients to preserve business relationships. 

Case Studies: 

We represented a commercial lender in successfully and quickly obtaining both foreclosure of real property and a multi-million dollar monetary judgment against the borrowers and guarantors on the defaulted debt obligations. 

  • We represented a contract purchaser of a multi-million dollar development who correctly refused to close until the seller satisfied certain preconditions. The case began when the seller filed an Order to Show Cause, attempting to compel either an immediate closing or a contract termination. Porzio mounted an aggressive defense and counterclaim, rebuffing the seller’s demands and causing the case to quickly settle after the seller fulfilled all closing obligations.
  • We represented a national title company and its insured, a national mortgage lender.  Both parties were dragged into a sale-leaseback lawsuit between the current and former owners. Porzio convinced all parties that their dispute did not affect our client's secured interest.  As a result, the plaintiff dismissed our client from the case. 
  • We obtained a favorable settlement for a commercial landlord who faced the prospect of suing a guarantor to collect on unpaid rent from a former, now bankrupt, foreign tenant.
  • We represented a wetlands delineator in a suit that alleged that our client had committed malpractice by failing to properly prosecute a wetland application before the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.  Porzio lawyers successfully obtained a dismissal of all claims.
  • We represented a property owner who brought suit against a neighbor, alleging that the neighbor was improperly encroaching on the client's exclusive riparian rights. At mediation, our team helped the parties craft a creative resolution acceptable to all concerned.
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