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Represented local business owners seeking a special exception from the City of Atlanta zoning ordinance to reduce the required on-site parking spaces.  We were able to alleviate the concerns of the neighborhood and Neighborhood Planning Unit by working with adjacent property owners, as well as encouraging alternative transportation options.  The Zoning Board’s unanimous vote in favor of the variance protects the business owners from the ever changing nature of the neighborhood and provides finality with regard to the parking affecting their property.


Successfully obtained reversal of grant of summary judgment in favor of lender regarding interpretation of loan agreement. The lender agreed to limit its remedies upon the maturity of the loan to taking the real estate, which served as collateral, and giving the borrowers credit equal to the greater of the fair market value for the several tracts of collateral or the minimum release prices for the tracts contained in the loan agreement. The lender could then issue deficiency notes to the borrowers for any principal balance remaining after the borrowers were credited for the collateral.

The Georgia Court of Appeals agreed with Bloom Sugarman’s argument that the correct interpretation of the loan agreement requires that the separate minimum release price assigned to each tract of the collateral must be compared to the fair market value of that tract, with the borrowers receiving credit for the greater number for each tract. The Court of Appeals further agreed that the fair market value of each piece of the collateral is disputed by the parties and must be determined by a jury.


Successfully achieved cancellation of material supplier’s lien on the property of their client, a national homebuilder, based on anti-assignment language in contract. The homebuilder’s contract specifically prohibited a subcontractor from assigning work to a sub-subcontractor without the homebuilder’s specific written approval. Despite this provision, the homebuilder’s subcontractor hired a sub-subcontractor without the homebuilder’s approval, and the sub-subcontractor subsequently failed to pay a material’s supplier for concrete. The supplier liened the property. Relying on the contract’s anti-assignment language, the Forsyth County Superior Court invalidated the supplier’s lien because the homebuilder never approved the sub-subcontractor who contracted for the materials. The Court also sanctioned the supplier $3,300 for discovery abuses.

 


Represented a homeowner in his effort to obtain a set-back variance from the City of Atlanta for his Morningside home. The Zoning Board’s 4-0 vote in favor of the variance allows the homeowner to construct his new home on an unusually-sized corner lot, despite opposition from the neighborhood association and the Neighborhood Planning Unit.


Obtained an award of attorney’s fees and costs in the amount of $45,000 for client forced to defend suit. After prevailing on all counts at summary judgment, Bloom Sugarman moved on the client’s behalf for an award of fees and costs under Georgia’s frivolous litigation statute. Plaintiffs argued that their claims were substantially justified and supported by justiciable issues of facts. In the alternative, Plaintiffs argued that they relied upon a novel position supported by existing law. After briefing and hearings on both the merits of the motion and the reasonableness of fees, Judge Vinson agreed with Bloom Sugarman and awarded our client more than half of the attorneys’ fees incurred in the case.


Successfully obtained summary judgment in client’s favor in a suit by a national Bank seeking to collect the balance due on a defaulted commercial loan. After foreclosing on the subject collateral property, the Bank failed to confirm the foreclosure sale but still filed suit against our client, the loan’s guarantor, for the deficiency balance remaining after the sale – approximately $800,000 plus interest and attorney’s fees. The Bank argued that our client’s guaranty was sufficient under the HWA Properties line of cases  to allow the bank to sue without confirmation. Bloom Sugarman moved for summary judgment on the Complaint and argued that the guaranty in question did not rise to the level of HWA Properties and that confirmation was a condition precedent to the Bank being able to recover against our client. After reviewing the briefing and hearing oral argument, Judge McBurney sided with Bloom Sugarman and granted our summary judgment motion thereby relieving our client of any possible remaining liability in this matter.


Successfully obtained summary judgment in client’s favor in a suit by a neighboring landowner seeking to enforce a restrictive covenant. The neighbor—who had not been an original party to the restrictive covenant at issue—sought to enforce an interpretation of the covenant that would have substantially impacted the value of multiple lots in client’s residential development. The Court agreed with Bloom Sugarman’s arguments showing why the neighbor’s interpretation was incorrect as a matter of law under the recorded document, leaving only our client’s claim for attorneys’ fees pending in the case. The Georgia Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s order in our client’s favor.


Defeated local utility’s motion for summary judgment in inverse condemnation and trespass case in which Bloom Sugarman’s client is alleging that the utility buried its electrical conduit and facilities on the client’s property outside the scope of the utility’s recorded easement. This matter will now proceed to a jury trial this summer where our client will be allowed to present evidence in its favor.


After successfully intervening in a lawsuit brought by a client’s competitor against a local county commission seeking to enforce a watershed protection zoning ordinance, Bloom Sugarman successfully argued that a prior preliminary injunction levied against its client in that lawsuit should be vacated in its entirety because the evidentiary hearing was conducted without proper notice. The injunction had shut down our client’s operations entirely for almost eight months and was threatening to put it out of business permanently due to the economic losses it sustained during the injunction period. The Court agreed with Bloom Sugarman’s arguments and vacated its own Order, allowing our client’s business operations to resume pending the outcome of the full trial scheduled for later this year.


Successfully obtained emergency TRO for client in order to stop the foreclosure sale of and/or to conduct the non-judicial foreclosure sale of client’s property. The controversy involves the validity of two Security Deeds as a result of a commercial real estate transaction. The TRO will allow for the courts time to issue a declaratory judgment or decree on the issue to eliminate the uncertainly and controversy and appropriately determine the rights and liability of the parties.