Volume 12, Issue 1
Our Speciality: Real Estate Litigation
“Focus on those activities you do brilliantly, and from which you produce extraordinary results.”
I recently heard a business consultant talk about a poll he had taken of middle class and self-made very wealthy business people. He asked each of them: What are you exceptionally good at that makes you money?
Only 55% of the middle class respondents could answer the question while 99% of the very wealthy could.
The wealthy knew what they were good at and had become wealthy because they were good at that one thing.
In other words success comes to those who specialize. BMW says it succinctly: “We only make one thing: The Ultimate Driving Machine.”
Likewise, our goal at Wagenseller Law Firm has never changed: Our vision is to be the preeminent boutique real estate law firm in Los Angeles.
The old saying is that if you have brain cancer, you would go see a neurosurgeon, not a general practitioner. Law is much the same.
Real estate in Los Angeles is governed by more case law, statutes, regulations and specialty concepts than you could ever imagine. No attorney could ever learn all of them. But al- most every attorney is willing to take on the case, regardless of specialty knowledge or not.
Our success comes from our focus. We cannot be everything to everyone but we have been able to build up a specialized knowledge in this one area of the law.
By focusing on real estate cases and specializing in one area of the law, we hope to be the law firm to see when you need help with a real estate dispute.
Below is a list of some of the cases we have been working on recently. And we have handled many more. When you or your colleagues are facing a real estate lawsuit, look to Wagenseller Law Firm for the specialized real estate law knowledge to help you achieve your goals.
In The Works: What We Are Working On?
Trial and Appeal.
Laine Wagenseller appeared before the California Court of Appeal to defend a trial victory in a breach of guaranty case. We won a judgment against a lawyer of close to $500,000. Laine appeared before a three justice panel to argue the case. The defendants’ appeal was denied. He then filed a Motion for Rehearing. It was denied. He then filed a petition asking the California Supreme Court to review the decision. Denied.
• Wrongful Foreclosure. We are currently representing three commercial lenders in a wrongful foreclosure case. Trial is scheduled for November and we are currently taking depositions.
• Breach of Contract. Our client, a energy company, is being sued for breach of con- tract arising from a Profit Sharing Agreement relating to a large energy project in the desert. The dispute centers around allowable deductions and reductions in formulating the amount of profit to be shared.
• Breach of Contract.
In a related case our client is be- ing sued for breach of con- tract by a consultant arising out of the sale of 600 acres.
• Family Litigation. We are handling two different law- suits among siblings. In one case a brother has sued his brother claiming he is the true owner of a single family home that our client lives in. The brothers dispute who is the rightful owner and who has paid the mortgage and maintained the house for all of these years. In the other law- suit a sister is suing her five siblings over property bought in the late 1970s, alleging that she contributed money to the purchases. However, she claims to not have any evidence of the money she contributed.
• Partnership Litigation. We have been representing a number of parties in a partnership lawsuit between two very successful shopping center developers.
• Shopping Center Exclusive Use Provision.
Another shopping center client asked us to review the exclusive use provision in a department store lease and analyze its applicability to a potential new tenant they were considering for a vacant space in the center. Our goal was to provide analysis on the situation so that they could avoid litigation.
• Residential Litigation.
In several disputes we are handling, home buyers are making claims against the sellers and brokers for allegedly concealed defects in the home. The buyers are making claims of fraudulent concealment and failure to disclose relating to an unpermitted and deficient retaining wall and a driveway drainage issue.
• Collections/Breach of Contract. We represent a defunct business and its principals who have been sued by creditors for amounts owing. The complaint alleges alter ego against the principals, claiming they should be responsible for the company’s debts. Alter ego applies when the members of a LLC or the shareholders of a corporation have not respected the separateness of the entity and the court ‘pierces the corporate veil.’
• Corporate Litigation. We have been representing a large California storage company in ongoing litigation with former partners/creditors. We have reached a settlement agreement in which the company agrees to sell its assets.
• Specific Performance and Lis Pen- dens.
We are filing a lawsuit on behalf of a home buyer after the seller refused to sell in the hopes of getting a better deal somewhere else. In most breach of con- tract cases the court will award money damages. However, California recognizes property as unique and therefore al- lows a claim for specific performance. Specific performance allows a party to ask the court to force the sale of the property rather than awarding monetary damages.
Message from Laine Wagenseller…
I was pleased to spend some time with former Congressman J.C. Watts recently. Congressman Watts took the Oklahoma Sooners to the Orange Bowl as their quarterback. He has been a Baptist youth minister, a Congressman, a John Deere franchisee, a consultant and President of Feed the Children, a non-profit. He spoke to the Lincoln Club about his new book Dig Deep, Finding the Strength Within. Congressman Watts was incredibly friendly and a fantastic speaker.
Talking to him got me thinking about all of the things he has accomplished and all of the experiences he has had in his life. I want to make sure I am living my life to the fullest like he has. One of the most important aspects of that goal is developing and maintain- ing close relationships. I know I am constantly mentioning this but my goal is to make more calls (3 per day) and get together with friends and colleagues more—for fun, for business and more.
Let me know when we can get together!
Develop and Follow Your Priorities
There’s an old saying that if you chase two rabbits, both will escape. Unfortunately that is what many people seem to do. They don’t focus their attention, and as a result, they become ineffective. Perhaps the reason is that people in our culture have too many choices— nearly unlimited options. Management expert Peter Drucker recognized this phenomenon. He said, “Concentration is the key to economic results. No other principle of effectiveness is violated as constantly today as the basic principle of concentration… Our motto seems to be “Let’s do a little bit of everything.”
If you want to develop your talent, you need to fo- cus. If you’re going to fo- cus, you need to work on knowing what your true priorities are and then follow- ing them. This is something I have learned to do over time. I love options. I like to have the freedom to pursue the best course of action at any given moment. When I was in my twenties, I spent a lot of time doing what had little return. In my thirties, I did better, but I still wasn’t as focused as I should have been. It wasn’t until I reached forty that I started to become highly selective about where I spent my time and energy. Today I filter just about everything I do through my top priority: Am I adding value to people? For me, it all comes down to that.
John Maxwell, Talent Is Never Enough