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WSH Attorneys Michael Popok and Mitch Burnstein Obtain Judgment for Large Bank in Commercial Foreclosure Action, Erasing $95M in Damages for Borrower

On December 17, WSH attorneys Michael S. Popok, Mitchell J. Burnstein, and Eric P. Hockman obtained a Final Judgment of Foreclosure and Voluntary Dismissal for United Central Bank in a 3-year long property dispute in Orange County Circuit Court, erasing $95 million in damages for the borrower. Business Division Judge Alice Blackwell heard four of the WSH team’s summary judgments: (a) to foreclose and obtain a deed; (b) to cancel a provision of the Deed in Lieu agreement relating to the bank’s future performance, which forms the basis of the Borrower’s Counterclaims; (c) to dismiss with prejudice as a matter of law, any claims based on purported “oral agreements” under the D’Oench doctrine, which prohibits a party who lends to him or herself from asserting an unrecorded agreement against the FDIC, and Federal common law; and (d) to deny the Borrower the ability to put on a damage case based on purported lost profits, diminution in value of the subject property, and lost “FF&E” (furniture, fixtures and equipment). The Court granted summary judgment of foreclosure to United Central Bank, placing the deed in the hands of the bank for future disposition. The Court also dismissed with prejudice any and all claims based on the purported oral agreements of the prior bank, granting summary judgment to the bank on the basis of the D’Oench doctrine. United Central Bank also obtained summary judgment as to the issue of damages; the Court held that the only damages the borrower would be entitled to would be for breaches in the Deed in Lieu agreement. As a result, the borrower’s counterclaim for $95 million took a significant beating.

A member of WSH’s Litigation Division, Michael is a Member at the Firm and also serves as the Partner-in-Charge of the Miami-Dade Office and chairs the Firm’s Strategic Development Committee. Michael has extensive commercial litigation experience, including the successful representation of organizations in multimillion dollar suits over the purchase of a life settlement firm, sales of life insurance policies in the secondary market, and commercial foreclosures. A member of WSH’s Construction Law Group, Michael has significant construction litigation experience representing municipalities in disputes over construction of city properties, water system contractors, and electric substations.

As chair of WSH’s Eminent Domain Practice Group, Mitch has served as lead counsel on behalf of public sector clients, private property owners, businesses and utilities in hundreds of cases involving real property. He specializes in eminent domain, inverse condemnation, constitutional takings, litigation involving private property rights, claims against title, disputes concerning easements, boundaries, tenancies, licenses and land use restrictions imposed by governmental entities. Mitch is a Member of the Firm and serves as the Partner-in-Charge of the Broward Office.

An Associate in WSH’s Litigation Division, Eric focuses his practice on complex business, commercial, municipal/governmental, construction, aviation, and real estate law before Federal and State courts. His commercial litigation experience includes breach of contract matters, commercial foreclosures, and police and excessive force claims.

Categories: Litigation
Tags: Mitchell J. BurnsteinEric P. HockmanMichael S. PopokFort Lauderdale Business Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Business Litigation LawyersMiami Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Commercial Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation AttorneysSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation LawyersFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsSouth Florida LitigatorsFlorida Commercial Litigation LawyerFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Michael S. Popok & Brooke P. Dolara