At Pugh Law, we attempt to resolve matters early and as often as is possible so that the expense and aggravation of litigation can be avoided, if possible, with a positive result for clients, but zealously represent our clients in litigation and at trial when opposing parties fail to resolve matters in a way to which clients can agree. When someone has taken or tries to take advantage, Pugh Law is ready to advise, demand recovery, and represent clients with the appropriate mix of court litigation, arbitration, mediation and negotiation.
In order to open, operate and close a business and to buy and sell real estate and personal property with the confidence that what you expect to happen will happen, the wisest clients understand that it is best to have written documents signed by everyone involved. [learn more about Contracts] That way when disagreements arise as to what was understood, often years after the agreement was signed, the signed documents can be reviewed to refresh recollections as to and to better understand what was agreed to by everyone involved. Signing written documents is also generally less expensive than having to pay to go to court in order to prove what the deal was. Contracts are a basic part of life, and even more so in business.
At Pugh Law, we advise clients respecting which documents they and the people they do business with should sign to assist clients in making what they expect to happen will happen, and we will draft those documents for them. When one of the contracting parties is not carrying out an obligation, let us assist you with the appropriate mix of court litigation, arbitration, mediation and negotiation. If a contract is entered into and there is still disagreement as to what the understanding was, the matter can then be addressed in a way which should be considerably less expensive, less aggravating and less time consuming because there is a written document which the court can use to understand what the parties intended.
Interference with Contract Litigation
Then, too, others with no right to do so may illegally interfere with your legitimate contract [learn more about Contracts] or business relationship [learn more about Business Law]. Tortious interference may occur when there is a business relationship in which there are existing or prospective legal or contract rights, but not necessarily a written contract, which is intentionally and unjustifiably interfered with by someone who knew of the relationship or contract. We are prepared to represent clients whose business and contract relationships are inappropriately interfered with, just as we are prepared to represent and those accused of that when it did not occur.
Unfortunately, it is also all too common for persons who are trusted or who enter into written documents designed to accomplish a particular purpose to misrepresent or conceal the truth when there is a duty to be candid. Sometimes the misrepresentations are intentional, called fraud; sometimes they are negligent due to a failed duty to find out and then communicate the truth. Fraud or negligent misrepresentation can cause money to be paid which may be lost by even the most cautious individuals. Similarly, it is not uncommon for persons to claim that they were tricked and deceived when the results of an investment do not turn out as they hoped due to no one’s fault.
Misrepresentations may occur in almost any business or personal contract context, including in real estate transactions. Real estate misrepresentation may occur where there is a failure to provide information required by law, such as the condition of a residence at the time of a sale, or by affirmatively providing false information about a real estate transaction. Real estate transactions involve several parties who are all at risk of fraud and negligent misrepresentation. The most common parties are sellers, buyers and real estate agents. Some common types of real estate fraud and misrepresentation include:
In these cases, a person who is supposed to be working on your behalf buys the property, sometimes under a third party’s name or a business in which that person has an ownership interest, pumps up the price, and then sells it to you at the higher price, without telling you that he just bought the property at the lower price or that he is the true seller. The perpetrators of this type of fraud can be your investment partners, real estate professionals, “friends” or family members.
In these fraud cases, a management company, real estate professional, or your “friend,” inflates the costs of managing an investment property, including through the use of third-parties, either by making false expenses claims, through kickbacks or through control of the alleged third-party.
In these cases, someone lies to you or another person, or creates false documents, regarding ownership of the property. The perpetrator will then sell the property or take out a mortgage on the property, and as a result you may lose the property or a security in the property.
Seller or Real Estate Professional Misrepresentation
In these cases, a seller or a real estate professional who has a duty to represent the true condition of property fails to inform you of with the true condition of the property. You only discover the problem after the property is purchased and now must pay to correct the problem that the seller or real estate professional concealed.
In these cases, a buyer hires you, the real estate professional, to find a property. You find property, but the buyer then uses a different agent to close, or closes himself, asserting that he has no real estate agent. In that case, you, the real estate professional, is the real procuring cause for the sale and have the right to ask a court to require the buyer to pay a reasonable and/or agreed-to sales commission.
In these cases, a real estate professional does not adequately protect you in the transaction, causing you to lose money or receive a substandard property.
Partner, Shareholder and Member Disputes
Perhaps you went into business [learn more about Business Law] with a friend-of-a-friend. Perhaps you did not obtain legal counsel prior to investing your money and time. Or perhaps you did all the due diligence you could, but were nevertheless taken advantage of. Or perhaps you were told you would be involved in a business in a certain way or that a partnership, corporation or limited liability company would be or had been set up in which you have certain rights, but that did not happen. Depending on the type of relationship you entered into, those involved owe you various duties, just as you may owe them duties. It can be very complex to determine and prove who was obligated to do what, or that duties were not performed, and the amount of damage such failure caused you. We can help. Let us assist you prosecute your claims and defend your interests.
Then, too, there are many state and federal statutes under which you have rights and obligations. Many of them give you the right to sue for a violation of the statute, sometimes for three times the damages you suffered. Sometimes you may be sued for violations which you have to defend against. Pugh Law is experienced in representing clients in state and federal court when violations of statutes are involved.
Other Business and Real Estate Disputes
Your business is exposed to countless risks every day. From contract disputes to employee theft, misappropriation of business assets or injuries employees cause to others to unfair actions by competitors, the threats are numerous and can be significant. We can assist you resolve these issues through the appropriate mix of court litigation, arbitration, mediation and negotiation.
Leases / Evictions
Whether you are in the business of renting out spaces to tenants, or you are a tenant who needs to rent space for your business, the lease is a critical component of your business. And when things go wrong, you need legal representation to protect your rights and your business.