Successfully obtained reversal of grant of summary judgment in favor of lender regarding interpretation of loan agreement. The lender agreed to limit its remedies upon the maturity of the loan to taking the real estate, which served as collateral, and giving the borrowers credit equal to the greater of the fair market value for the several tracts of collateral or the minimum release prices for the tracts contained in the loan agreement. The lender could then issue deficiency notes to the borrowers for any principal balance remaining after the borrowers were credited for the collateral.
The Georgia Court of Appeals agreed with Bloom Sugarman’s argument that the correct interpretation of the loan agreement requires that the separate minimum release price assigned to each tract of the collateral must be compared to the fair market value of that tract, with the borrowers receiving credit for the greater number for each tract. The Court of Appeals further agreed that the fair market value of each piece of the collateral is disputed by the parties and must be determined by a jury.
Defended appeal of trial court’s grant of summary judgment and $45,000 of attorneys’ fees to Bloom Sugarman. Trial court property granted summary judgment in favor of Bloom Sugarman’s client on claims related to the rezoning of an adjacent property. Trial court subsequently awarded attorneys’ fees and costs in favor of client. The Georgia Court of Appeals affirmed the ruling.
Successfully obtained a reversal of summary judgment in favor of opposing party. The trial court improperly granted summary judgment to opposing party in nuisance and trespass actions after concluding that there was no evidence of causation. On appeal, Bloom Sugarman argued that the trial court misapplied the law and ignored disputed evidence of causation. The Georgia Court of Appeals agreed and reversed the trial court’s ruling. The Georgia Supreme Court denied certiorari.
Successfully achieved cancellation of material supplier’s lien on the property of their client, a national homebuilder, based on anti-assignment language in contract. The homebuilder’s contract specifically prohibited a subcontractor from assigning work to a sub-subcontractor without the homebuilder’s specific written approval. Despite this provision, the homebuilder’s subcontractor hired a sub-subcontractor without the homebuilder’s approval, and the sub-subcontractor subsequently failed to pay a material’s supplier for concrete. The supplier liened the property. Relying on the contract’s anti-assignment language, the Forsyth County Superior Court invalidated the supplier’s lien because the homebuilder never approved the sub-subcontractor who contracted for the materials. The Court also sanctioned the supplier $3,300 for discovery abuses.
On December 6, 2016, Bloom Sugarman Partner F. Skip Sugarman argued a major fiduciary-litigation case before the Georgia Court of Appeals. The case could ultimately have major implications for the legal standard applicable to claims of undue influence involving non-probate documents, such as trusts, deeds, and beneficiary-designation forms for life insurance and payable-on-death accounts.
Represented a homeowner in his effort to obtain a set-back variance from the City of Atlanta for his Morningside home. The Zoning Board’s 4-0 vote in favor of the variance allows the homeowner to construct his new home on an unusually-sized corner lot, despite opposition from the neighborhood association and the Neighborhood Planning Unit.
Obtained an award of attorney’s fees and costs in the amount of $45,000 for client forced to defend suit. After prevailing on all counts at summary judgment, Bloom Sugarman moved on the client’s behalf for an award of fees and costs under Georgia’s frivolous litigation statute. Plaintiffs argued that their claims were substantially justified and supported by justiciable issues of facts. In the alternative, Plaintiffs argued that they relied upon a novel position supported by existing law. After briefing and hearings on both the merits of the motion and the reasonableness of fees, Judge Vinson agreed with Bloom Sugarman and awarded our client more than half of the attorneys’ fees incurred in the case.
Successfully obtained summary judgment in client’s favor in a suit by a national Bank seeking to collect the balance due on a defaulted commercial loan. After foreclosing on the subject collateral property, the Bank failed to confirm the foreclosure sale but still filed suit against our client, the loan’s guarantor, for the deficiency balance remaining after the sale – approximately $800,000 plus interest and attorney’s fees. The Bank argued that our client’s guaranty was sufficient under the HWA Properties line of cases to allow the bank to sue without confirmation. Bloom Sugarman moved for summary judgment on the Complaint and argued that the guaranty in question did not rise to the level of HWA Properties and that confirmation was a condition precedent to the Bank being able to recover against our client. After reviewing the briefing and hearing oral argument, Judge McBurney sided with Bloom Sugarman and granted our summary judgment motion thereby relieving our client of any possible remaining liability in this matter.
Successfully obtained summary judgment in client’s favor in a suit by a neighboring landowner seeking to enforce a restrictive covenant. The neighbor—who had not been an original party to the restrictive covenant at issue—sought to enforce an interpretation of the covenant that would have substantially impacted the value of multiple lots in client’s residential development. The Court agreed with Bloom Sugarman’s arguments showing why the neighbor’s interpretation was incorrect as a matter of law under the recorded document, leaving only our client’s claim for attorneys’ fees pending in the case. The Georgia Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s order in our client’s favor.
An Israeli company has asked a federal judge in Atlanta to declare that an arbitrator had no authority to levy hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages against it in response to claims of defamation made by a Norcross company.
The case stems from a sprawling dispute between Israeli-based Profimex and Norcross-based OAD Development (OAD). It started when Profimex claimed to an arbitrator in Kennesaw that OAD owed Profimex hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees from real estate deals. OAD responded with counter-claims that Profimex officials defamed OAD to investors in emails, some of which were written in Hebrew.
The arbitrator, Nisbet Kendrick III of Kennesaw’s Kendrick Conflict Resolution, in December awarded Profimex $401,675 in unpaid fees, interest and attorney fees. But Kendrick also awarded OAD $950,000 on its counterclaims, leaving OAD ahead by about $550,000.
Profimex argues that OAD’s claims should have been handled in Tel Aviv, Israel, because the arbitration clause in the companies’ contract mandated that any dispute be arbitrated in the defendant company’s chosen venue, Atlanta for claims against OAD and Tel Aviv for claims against Profimex.
Lawyers for OAD argue that Profimex’s effort to have their claims set aside turns the federal court into an appellate forum for arbitration awards losing parties don’t like. Allowing Profimex’s case to go forward, OAD’s lawyers said, threatens to undermine the very reasons that binding alternative dispute resolution exists.