Overview

Samuel A. Chuck

Shareholder
Location:
San Jose, California
Phone:
408-780-0358
Fax:
408-261-4292
Email:

Sam's real estate and business expertise assists him in his notable real estate practice. He has extensive experience in commercial and residential development transactions, including representing developers in purchase and sale agreements, obtaining entitlements, coordinating and documenting development agreements, resolving land use and title issues, and negotiating long-term leases. Sam has also enjoyed success in various real estate litigation cases, obtaining several awards in excess of $1 million.

Elected partner in the law firm at age 31, voted president at age 33, and distinguished as a named partner at 35, Sam has been repeatedly honored as a top real estate and business trial lawyer by San Jose Magazine, inducted into the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, and received the distinction of Northern California “Super Lawyer” from San Francisco Magazine each year from 2004 to the present. While he is a native of Santa Clara County, Sam's practice extends throughout the state, where he has successfully defended a professional NFL quarterback in San Diego Superior Court, resolved a multi-million-dollar partnership dispute in Malibu, advised and counseled clients with respect to the acquisition and development of properties in the Palm Springs area, and advised and counseled clients in the purchase and sale of hundreds of acres of land acquired for residential development.

NOTABLE TRANSACTIONS

One South Market, San Jose.  Sam represented the property owner during the entitlement and sale of the property whereupon the property was transformed from a 2-story aging structure into a 23-story downtown mixed-use residential tower.  Sam was also involved in representing the construction manager on the 225,000-square-foot project.

Sam represented the developer in the acquisition, entitlement, and sale of Silvery Towers, which transformed vacant land and a former night club into two 20+ story towers of mixed-use residential development.

Sam represented the developer in the acquisition and entitlement of the former Greyhound Bus Station in downtown San Jose.  Upon completion, the development will include large mixed-use residential towers.

Sam represented a farming family during their entitlement, subdivision, and sale of approximately 220 acres in Morgan Hill, California.  This 100+ unit project is currently under construction.

Sam has represented numerous property owners in the sale of their commercial, retail, warehouse, and agricultural properties.

Sam is also regularly called upon to assist buyers participating in 1031 exchanges looking to assess an evaluate potential income property.

Sam represented the property owner during the entitlement, subdivision, and development of the Costco and Super Walmart properties located in Gilroy, California at the 152 and 101 interchange.

NOTABLE LITIGATION

Fancher Monterey v. Avila Design (Monterey County Superior Court Case #M88951).  Sam served as lead counsel in a suit brought on behalf of approximately 11 plaintiffs suing for property damage resulting from a five-alarm fire in downtown Monterey, California, in which Sam's clients sought damages of approximately $12,000,000.  At the conclusion of the first three weeks of the trial (Phase I), the jury found in favor of Sam’s clients, holding a national franchisor liable for the damages.  Prior to commencement of the second phase of the trial, the national franchisor settled the case for a confidential sum.

Leos, Johnson v. Maggard (Santa Clara County Superior Court Case #16CV297243).  Sam and his partner Eric Gravink successfully represented one owner of a closely held corporation against the two other owners in establishing that one owner wrongfully took significant amounts of money for the company.

James H. Baron, as Receiver v. Fire Insurance Exchange, et al. (Santa Clara County Superior Court Case #103CV817085; Court of Appeal, Sixth District, Case #H029830). Successfully represented a Court-Ordered Receiver in a case against a major insurer for its failure to pay complete coverage on a fire insurance policy. The insurance company's adjuster had referred the Receiver to a contractor allegedly on its approved contractor's list. The Receiver hired the contractor to perform the fire damage repairs on the insurance carrier's recommendation. The contractor walked off the job, absconding with a portion of the insurance benefits which had been paid. The carrier then refused to pay further policy benefits and denied further coverage, refusing to pay even the policy benefits it had agreed were owing forcing the Receiver to hire a new contractor funded by Receiver certificates. After a two-week jury trial, the jury awarded damages plus $1.5 million in punitive damages. After the Receiver then successfully moved for an award of attorney's fees, a total judgment of $2.1 million was entered against the insurance company. The award was successfully affirmed on appeal in a published decision.

Michael Morter, et al. v. Thunderbird Realty, et al. (Santa Cruz County Superior Court Case #CV136523). Obtained an arbitration award in excess of $1 million, including attorneys' fees, arising out of a real estate broker's failure to advise and counsel a home buyer of landslide potential in a mountain property.

Mavin Income Fund v. Chang (Sacramento County Superior Court Case #96-AS05978; California Court of Appeal Case #C031484). Represented a lender against a sophisticated apartment owner who allowed property (which served as loan security) to deteriorate, resulting in a judgment in excess of $2.1 million, affirmed on appeal.

Overland Development v. Gilroy Presbyterian Church (binding arbitration). Represented a developer in an action against a church for breach of contract and specific performance on a land sale agreement. The case resulted in an award in excess of $1 million.

Daheb v. Kim (San Mateo County Superior Court Case #CIV420013). Defeated a claim brought by a buyer alleging misrepresentation and construction defects in a $2 million custom home.

Casitas DelMar Townhouse v. Dimick (Santa Cruz County Superior Court Case #CV157522). Successfully affirmed on appeal (California Court of Appeal, Sixth District, Case No. H034981. Sam represented nine condominium owners in their homeowners' association in successfully extinguishing a recorded driveway easement located on a portion of their residential property. The condominiums, situated immediately adjacent to the Pacific Ocean in Santa Cruz, were encumbered by a 15-foot driveway easement for the benefit of the adjoining property owners. Access to the easement had been blocked by parked cars and an access gate for an extended period. The HOA filed an action to establish that the recorded easement had been extinguished by adverse possession. After a bench trial in Santa Cruz County Superior Court, Sam's clients prevailed, and the easement was extinguished. On appeal, the 6th District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court's ruling and established that the easement had been extinguished.

Cordova v. Garcia (San Diego County Superior Court Case #C09236). Parties entered into an option agreement permitting the plaintiff to purchase a single-family house in a new, high-end residential development in the San Diego area. When the plaintiffs lacked sufficient financing to acquire the home, they filed suit, alleging that they were entitled to a return of their option consideration of $125,000. Sam successfully defended the property owner, establishing that the option consideration was earned upon receipt and could be retained by the property owner. After a three-day bench trial in San Diego County Superior Court, the Court issued a detailed decision confirming that Sam's clients had performed all terms and considerations of the contract and were entitled to retain the option consideration. Appeal is pending on this matter.

Saucito Land Company et al. v. Barlocker Insurance (Santa Clara County Superior Court Case #108CV115330). Sam represented property owners who had retained an insurance broker to secure property coverage insurance for their commercial properties. Although the insurance broker was advised that the insurance coverage on two properties was inadequate, the broker failed to advise Sam's clients of the insufficient coverage. One of the two properties with insufficient coverage was lost to a fire. Sam prosecuted the action against the insurance broker alleging negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, negligent misrepresentation, and intentional misrepresentation for, among other things, failing to advise of the insufficient coverage. On the eve of trial, Sam obtained a substantial settlement for his clients.

Areas of Practice

  • Real Estate

Bar Admissions

  • California, 1991
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 1991

Education

  • University of Southern California Law Center, Los Angeles, California
    • J.D. - 1991
    • Honors: Chair, Hale Moot Court Honors Program, 1990-1991
    • Honors: Moot Court Honors Program, 1990
    • Honors: Finalist: Moot Court Competition, marking him as Top 4 in his class
  • California State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo, California
    • B.S., Bachelor of Science - 1988
    • Honors: Wall Street Journal Outstanding Achievement Award
    • Honors: Mortar Board Senior Honors, reserved for top 15-20 seniors

Published Works

  • Real Estate Questions, San Jose/Silicon Valley Business Journal Q&A Column
  • Bay Area Lawyer Magazine, contributing author
  • California Association of Realtors Newsletter, contributing author

Honors and Awards

  • AV Rating from Martindale & Hubbell (peer review establishing Sam as having the highest ethical standards and legal ability)
  • Million-Dollar Advocates Forum, Lifetime Member
  • Silicon Valley's Top Lawyers, San Jose Magazine, 2000 - 2008
  • Top 40, Under 40, San Jose Business Journal (2005)
  • Northern California Super Lawyer, San Francisco Magazine, 2004 - 2016

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Santa Clara County Superior Court, Judge Pro Tem
  • Santa Clara County Tax Assessor's Appeals Board Hearing Officer

Pro Bono Activities

  • Bay Area Women's Sports Initiative - former Executive Board Member
  • American-Slavonian Men's Club
  • Housing Industry Foundation - Former Board Member