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What Is Commercial Real Estate Litigation?

Wednesday, January 19th, 2022
commercial real estate buildings

Most attorneys focus on one area of practice, like litigation or real estate law, but there are those that are knowledgeable about both. Litigation is difficult on its own, but throw in commercial and residential real estate issues and you’ll need a knowledgeable AND experienced attorney on your side. If you are faced with commercial real estate litigation or think you might be in the future, you should be familiar with the process.

What is litigation?

Litigation is the process of resolving disputes that are not criminal through dispute resolution. Real estate litigation can be either with or without attorneys present in courtrooms. Cases are filed against another party when there has been an issue related to commercial real estate (such as fraud) or residential property (such as damages). There are other ways to resolve disputes besides litigation in a courtroom.

Negotiation: This is done between attorneys and clients directly. The decision isn’t final until both parties sign an agreement.

Mediation: A neutral third party will decide the results of litigation for both parties. Like negotiation, both parties must sign off on the decision for it to be binding.

Arbitration: This happens when a neutral third-party arbitrator decides the result of a dispute. Whatever they choose will be binding.

It’s important to make sure you have all your facts straight before going into any form of litigation. In order to do this, both sides must disclose information about their case and any experts they plan on using throughout the litigation. This is part of what is called the discovery process.

What results in real estate litigation?

Commercial real estate litigation can be the result of a contract dispute, property damage, foreclosure, and more. Real estate disputes often involve issues like the following.

  • Breach of Contract: This happens when one party fails to live up to their end of a contract. For example, if you were promised something but never received it or paid for it after signing a contract, the other party is in breach.
  • Foreclosure: When one party fails to pay off a mortgage on time, this could be in violation of the terms of the agreement.
  • Co-Owner Disputes: These happen when co-owners of a property cannot agree on maintenance, whether to sell, and other ownership duties.
  • Title Disputes: Real estate titles can be confusing if you don’t know what you are looking for. This type of litigation arises when there is a discrepancy with who really owns a property, for example.

How commercial real estate disputes differ from residential

Commercial real estate disputes are often more complex because there is usually more money at stake as well as more rules. The contracts are also longer and more detailed, as well as the negotiations leading up to it. Real estate businesses are typically run differently than residential properties. The landlord-tenant relationship is more formal and there are more regulations that need to be followed. Most importantly, commercial leases are usually binding while residential leases can be broken more easily.

Finding the right attorney

Attorneys experienced with litigation and real estate have a deep understanding of state and federal laws that govern these types of disputes. They will also have experience in the court system and know how to best represent your case. Here are some tips to help you find the right professional for your needs.

  • Do not sign anything until you get legal advice.
  • You can ask friends, family, or colleagues for recommendations or do some online research.
  • Look for a real estate attorney first, then see if they work on litigation cases.
  • Ask about their experience as well as for examples or testimonials from their past work.
  • Verify their payment process.
  • Make sure they will keep you updated on your case.

If you are involved in a litigation case or think you may be in the future, you need an attorney you can rely on. Contact the experienced Real Estate team at Brown & Fortunato, P.C. today to see how our attorneys and staff can assist you. We are experienced in the litigation of labor and employment disputes, oil and gas cases, and other types of commercial and individual cases. You can reach us at (833) 228-6300 or Contact Us by email to learn more about our Practice Areas.