HOME | PROFILE | CASES |
PRACTICE AREAS
  • Real Estate and Business Litigation
  • Landlord-Tenant Law (Commercial and Residential)
  • Construction Defect
  • Business Transactions
  • Governmental Entity Liability
  • Professional Liability
  • Personal Injury
  • Administrative Law

REPRESENTATIVE EXPERIENCE

Practice Area: Real Estate

Key Issues: Wrongful Eviction; Breach of the Warranty of Habitability; Breach of the Covenant of Quiet Enjoyment; Fair Employment & Housing

  • Venue: San Francisco Superior Court
  • Client: Residential Landlord

Case: In this case, the plaintiffs (tenants) claimed the landlords failed to provide adequate security and act to evict another tenant at the building before that tenant attacked the plaintiffs. Plaintiffs contended they could no longer live at the subject premises because they were afraid of further physical attacks. Plaintiffs demanded over $1 Million in damages. After thorough discovery and pre-trial preparation, defense motions in limine were granted that eviscerated plaintiffs' theory of liability and excluded inadmissible evidence against defendants.

Result: The case settled favorably for our Clients as a jury was being impaneled.


Practice Area: Real Estate

Key Issues: Residential Unlawful Detainer Action

  • Venue: San Francisco Superior Court
  • Client: Residential Landlord

Case: Residential unlawful detainer action in San Francisco (where tenant was creating a nuisance in the building and failing and refusing to pay rent.) Tenant was aware Landlord was seeking his eviction, so the tenant did everything to avoid service of process and then once served, attempted to stall the eviction action.

Result: We prevailed over the tenant early in the unlawful detainer proceedings and then successfully defeated the tenant's motion to set aside the judgment. We involved the San Francisco Sheriff's Department, which ultimately had to remove the tenant from the premises and restore possession back to the Landlord.


Practice Area: Real Estate

Key Issues: Residential Unlawful Detainer Action

  • Venue: San Francisco County Superior Court
  • Client: Residential Landlord

Case: Landlord purchased a 2-unit property (flats upstairs and downstairs) which had been foreclosed by a Bank. Landlord purchased the property so she and her elderly mother could live in the same premises. Unbeknownst to Landlord, two sets of "tenants" had moved into the two flats and tendered rent to the Bank. Tenants had also successfully defended a prior Unlawful Detainer action brought by the Bank. Tenants failed to pay rent and we served Notices to Pay or Quit. Tenants failed to pay rent and we brought an Unlawful Detainer action against the two sets of Tenants. Tenants both defended against the Unlawful Detainer by asserting numerous habitability defects, and claimed they did not owe rent due to the substandard conditions in the unit. Tenants failed to substantiate any habitability defects in discovery. In deposition, one of the Tenants made several admissions that were devastating to their defense. One of the tenants moved out and attempted to sublet a flat to a new set of tenants.

Result: With trial fast approaching, the case settled with all the Tenants and sub-tenants agreeing to move out by a date certain, or face an adverse judgment against them.


Practice Area: Real Estate

Key Issues: Residential Unlawful Detainer Action

Venue: San Mateo County Superior Court

Client: Residential Landlord

Case: Residential unlawful detainer action where the Landlord terminated the tenancy due to the Tenants' failure to pay rent. Tenants claimed they tendered rent but the Landlord refused to accept same. Tenants also claimed multiple habitability defects entitling them to withhold rent.

Result: Facing motions to exclude evidence of the alleged habitability defects, which were never substantiated during discovery, the case settled on the morning of trial with the Tenants stipulating to move out by a date certain, or face an adverse judgment being entered against them.


Practice Area: Real Estate

Key Issues: Habitability; Unruh Civil Rights Act; Fair Employment & Housing; affordable housing; non-profit; statutory violations

Venue: Alameda County Superior Court.

Client: Non-profit Corporation

Case: 25 tenants in a low income housing modified rehabilitation project, managed by a non-profit housing entity and owned by a non-profit housing entity, sued the owners and managers for breach of the warranty of habitability, statutory violations, violation of the Unruh Civil Rights Act, and violation of California's Fair Employment and Housing Act.

Result: The matter settled through two mediation sessions for confidential amount for approximately 1/3 of the initial settlement demand.


Practice Area: Real Estate; Homeowner Associations; Construction

Key Issues: Homeowner Association Duties under CC&Rs

Venue: San Francisco Superior Court

Client: Homeowners Association

Case: A homeowner in a condominium association sued the Association and the Board of Directors for failing to replace a large quarry tile roof-top deck. The Board had authorized the removal of the deck because its weight and construction was causing structural damage to the framing of the condominium building. The plaintiff insisted that she be allowed to re-install a quarry tile deck that weighed as much, or more, than the deck that was removed; she also sought over $300,000.00 in loss of use damages.

Result: After several phases of trial, the court found that although the Association had to replace the roof deck, it rejected plaintiff's claims for loss of use and further ordered that the replacement deck would be significantly limited in weight, size and construction materials, so that no further structural harm would be done to the condominium building.


Practice Area: Real Estate

Key Issues: Residential Unlawful Detainer

Venue: Monterey County Superior Court

Client: Residential Landlord

Case: Tenant in Pebble Beach stopped paying rent; claimed home was not habitable. Landlord later discovered tenant had damaged the residence and removed the landlord's personal property from the residence.

Result: We had the tenant served with a three day notice and then filed and served an unlawful detainer lawsuit. Tenant's Answer alleged several "habitability" defenses. We served specific, thorough discovery questions on the tenant to force the tenant to specifically identify the alleged habitability problems with unit. Unable to do so, and facing eviction, the tenant immediately vacated the premises.


Practice Area: Landlord-Tenant; Catastrophic/Personal Injury

Key Issues: Mediation

Venue: San Francisco Superior Court

Client: San Francisco Law Firms

Case: The plaintiff contended the landlord's property manager failed to take action to evict or otherwise stop a tenant from attacking him on the roof and forcing plaintiff to jump to the ground to escape. Plaintiff claimed damages from his personal injuries and also claimed the landlord's and property manager's failure to act deprived him of quiet enjoyment of his apartment and forced him out, constituting a wrongful eviction. Defendants contended the property manager had no prior knowledge of any violent tendencies on behalf of the tenants, and furthermore, that the plaintiff's version of the attack was neither credible nor supported by the evidence.

Result: After a one-half day of mediation with us, the parties were able to reach an agreeable resolution which involved some unique defense and indemnification agreements between the parties.


Practice Area: Catastrophic/Personal Injury

Key Issues: Mediation

Venue: San Francisco Superior Court

Client: San Francisco Law Firms

Case: Plaintiffs were two dentists vacationing in San Francisco when their car was broad-sided by defendant's car. One of the dentists claimed she had suffered significant soft tissue and back injuries, which required numerous chiropractic treatments. The dentists also claimed over $200,000 in lost wages. Defense claimed the injuries were not as severe as claimed and that the lost wages were too speculative to prove.

Result: After a one-half day mediation session with us, the parties reached a settlement which resolved the lawsuit.


Practice Area: Catastrophic/Personal Injury

Key Issues: Personal Injury

Venue: Marin Superior Court

Client: Individual Defendant

Case: Plaintiff was involved in a low-speed rear-end accident with our client. She suffered some soft tissue injury, but was otherwise uninjured. Subsequently, she was involved in a high-speed "T-Bone" accident, where she again suffered soft tissue damage. Plaintiff claimed herniated discs (for which she went through fusion surgery) related to the first accident and resultant medical damages, loss of work and significant general damages, all in excess of $600,000.00.

Result: After we completed thorough discovery and investigation and expert witness discovery, plaintiff accepted a settlement which was well below her demand, shortly before trial commenced.


Practice Area: Catastrophic/Personal Injury

Key Issues: Administrative Law

Venue: San Francisco Superior Court

Client: Individual Defendants

Case: City and County of San Francisco sued alleging numerous unabated Building Code Violations, Abatement Orders and defects at the property. CCSF sought injunctive relief plus damages, administrative penalties and attorney fees in excess of $3,000.000.00.

Result: We worked closely with the CCSF on behalf of our clients to make sure necessary repairs were completed and were successful negotiating a significant reduction of the amount of damages and civil penalties CCSF sought, resulting in an acceptable settlement to all parties and at a fraction of the potential damages that could have been awarded to CCSF.


Phone: 415-945-9998 | Fax: 415-843-0479 |
The use of the Internet or electronic mail for communication with the Lightfoot Law Firm or any individual member of the Lightfoot Law Firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form. ©2013 Lightfoot Law Firm