Brian Carter successfully concluded a protracted dispute between the firm’s clients (lessees/optionees) and their lessors/optionors regarding a residential and commercial property.
When a fire destroyed a four-plex on the property, lessors sought to terminate the clients’ lease and option, and failed to cooperate with the clients’ efforts to rebuild the four-plex with insurance proceeds. Lessors ultimately filed two lawsuits, including an unlawful detainer, to terminate the lease/option, raising claims of breach that clients and the firm viewed as manufactured. Mr. Carter defended clients, cross-complained and ultimately extracted an agreement to mediate (with JAMS). At mediation a settlement agreement was reached and signed.
The trouble continued, however, in the form of what the firm and the clients perceived as lessor/defendants’ failure to perform under the settlement. Multiple further hearings later, and with favorable results at the arbitration-like hearings over those disputes, the clients finally received performance to their satisfaction (i.e., payment) for their release of their interest in the property. This dispute highlights the dangers of lease/options, which are often far inferior to a purchase of the title because it creates a situation where two competing persons/groups/entities view themselves as the owner or ultimate owner.