Commercial Real Estate Litigation

Commercial property is a significant investment, especially in the Silicon Valley area which has some of the most desirable real estate in the country. Difficulties may arise in a commercial transaction, whether at the initial purchase stage or after escrow closes, and these problems may entail some type of litigation. An experienced commercial real estate attorney from the San Jose, California law firm of Rossi, Hamerslough, Reischl & Chuck ("RHRC") can assist clients in protecting their investment through creative representation. Its litigation attorneys ensure the resolution strategy undertaken on behalf of its clients meets their overall business objectives.

The firm represents clients in commercial real estate disputes including the following:

  • Disputes arising from the purchase and/or sale of commercial property
  • Non-disclosure of material facts
  • Fraud
  • Misrepresentation of profit projections
  • Misrepresentation of tenant status
  • Environmental contamination issues
  • Usability issues
  • Lease disputes
  • Construction defects
  • Zoning
  • Tax Assessment Appeals


In re: Blickman Turkus v. M-F Downtown Sunnyvale, LLC., Mozart Development Company (Santa Clara County Superior Court Case # 1-03-CV-814344). Successfully defended major developer against commission claim purportedly earned for procuring a commercial tenant who, after signing a written Lease, two years later refused to occupy the premises or pay rent. The developer was able to defeat the commission claim by convincing the Trial Court, in two separate Summary Adjudication Motions, that the term "rent commencement" in the Commission Agreement with the broker constituted a condition precedent of payment of the commission and required actual payments of rent by the tenant which had never been paid.

In Re: Hartzheim v. Valley Land (Binding Arbitration): Our client, a commercial tenant in an Auto Mall, exercised its option to extend the term of the lease. The lease provided for a certain method of calculation as to the rent during the option period. A dispute arose between the parties as to the fair market value of rent. After a 2-day binding arbitration, our clients secured a rental rate in accordance with the evidence presented by our office and significantly less than that proposed by the landlord.

In Re: Dunn v. Enz (Case No. 103CV005659): In a two member partnership formed to develop six residential homes, our client was sued for purported mismanagement and misappropriation of funds. The Plaintiff alleged our client owed damages in excess of $1,000,000.00. During the first phase of the trial, Plaintiff's claims were defeated. Thereafter, the Plaintiff settled the case by paying our client virtually all of the attorney's fees incurred in defending the claim.

In Re: Prevedello v. Marcus & Millichap (binding arbitration). Prosecuted an action by an apartment building owner against a large commercial broker for breach of fiduciary duty arising out of the sale of two apartment buildings in Sacramento. After the owner received an interim award of $1.5 million plus attorneys' fees, the parties reached a confidential settlement.

In Re: Nvidia Corporation, Inc. v. Extreme Networks, Inc. (Santa Clara County Superior Court Case #1-01-CV-803483). RHRC defended a multinational software company in a lease dispute. The settlement was confidential.

In Re: Vidovich v. Home Depot (Santa Clara County Superior Court Case #CV769940). Defended a developer-landowner against breach of contract claims by a national retailer. The settlement was confidential.

In Re: Chen v. Luu (Santa Clara County Superior Court Case #CV761041). Defended a shopping center owner against a class action suit by 165 tenants seeking damages in excess of $20 million. The case settled for nuisance value after two weeks of trial.

In Re: SCS Development Co. v. Sorci-Sanchez, et al. (Santa Clara County Superior Court Case #CV 770427). Prevailed at trial in defense of land owners who were sued for specific performance and breach of contract by a home builder regarding the sale of 20 acres of prime residential property in south San Jose with a value spread of over $40 million.

In Re: Khan (United States District Court Case #C94-4339 FMS, appeal of Case #91-56128-MM, U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California). Represented purchasers of commercial real property against a claim by the seller who carried back part of the purchase price. The property was sold at a foreclosure sale, and the seller sought a personal judgment against the buyers. The Trial Court's finding that the seller was a purchase money vendor and our clients were protected by California's anti-deficiency law was affirmed on appeal.

In Re: Zamani v. Simons (Santa Clara County Superior Court Case #CV780611). Represented a business seller in an action against a shopping center landlord for unreasonably refusing to consent to a lease assignment. The firm obtained a jury trial award of $90,000 for general damages and a punitive damages award of $400,000, which was successfully upheld on appeal.

In Re: 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 to our client.

In Re: Kennedy v. Nakai, et al. (San Mateo County Superior Court Case #413396). Represented an elderly couple in a legal malpractice action. When a developer wanted to buy their small nursery in Palo Alto for residential purposes, they hired an inexperienced attorney who failed to advise them how to evaluate the prospective buyer and what terms and conditions should be included in the purchase agreement. When buyer failed to perform on time, our clients wanted to cancel the deal, and buyer sued them. After settling that action in our clients' favor, we sued their former attorney; his insurance company paid the policy limits and reimbursed our clients for the damages they incurred.

In Re: Lewis v. Pico Ranch, Inc., et al. (Santa Clara County Superior Court Case #1-02-CV812971). Represented a purchaser of commercial property in San Jose who sued the seller for fraud and concealment for failing to disclose that the tenant was going out of business and rescinding its long-term lease. Sellers fraudulently concealed the tenant's letter to sellers advising them of its shutdown. After a two-week trial, the court tentatively ruled that the principals were liable for fraud and damages in excess of $1 million. Sellers agreed to settle for the full amount plus all attorneys' fees before the Court rendered its final opinion.

In Re: Dowd v. Flagstar Corporation, et al. (Santa Clara County Superior Court Case #CV 769441). Defended a corporation owning over 3,000 restaurants against a property owner and landlord who was trying to terminate one restaurant's lease, prevailing at trial and obtaining the corporation's attorneys' fees from the property owner.

In Re: 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.

In Re: Giljum v. Gengenbach, et al. (San Francisco County Superior Court Case #401991). Settled a dispute between relatives who co-owned a San Francisco apartment building. The family members, estranged for years, sued each other for partition and sale and for waste and mismanagement. The settlement agreement provided for sale of the property and fair division of the proceeds.

In Re: Montes v. Ledford (Santa Clara County Superior Court Case #CV811608). Represented a buyer in an action for specific performance and breach of contract against the seller, who tried to terminate the purchase contract for a duplex in Gilroy. Pursuant to the settlement agreement, the seller agreed to pay our client all lost profits and attorneys' fees to avoid exposure for punitive damages.

In Re: Lively v. Heydarian, et al. (El Dorado County Superior Court Case #PC20000236). Represented buyers of a mini-mart/gasoline station who discovered just after escrow closed that sellers and their broker had not disclosed that the property was contaminated by gasoline leaks and that they were under state and county orders to monitor the spreading contamination. Successfully rescinded the transaction, obtaining all monies our clients had put into the property.

In Re: West v. Prevedello, et al. (Sacramento County Superior Court Case 99 AS02644). Represented owners of an apartment complex in Sacramento who were sued for specific performance by the buyers. Our client prevailed and was awarded attorney's fees as damages.

In Re: Assadi-Jozani v. Prevedello, et al. (Santa Clara County Superior Court Case #CV 794028). On the eve of trial, the firm obtained a confidential settlement for a commercial landlord whose tenant attempted to claim that his rent payments were actually mortgage payments due to a series of oral representations.

In Re: The Ridgecrest Group, Inc. v. Aghili (San Mateo County Superior Court Case #415942). Represented a group of plaintiffs relating to a breach of partnership agreement claim relating to the purchase, development, and construction of residential property in Menlo Park. The Court awarded plaintiffs in excess of $200,000.

Rossi, Hamerslough, Reischl & Chuck

1960 The Alameda, Suite 200 · San Jose, CA 95126 · (408) 261-4252