Success Stories

Construction and Development Litigation: We assist clients from the negotiation of contracts and preparation of bids to the resolution of construction disputes. We have experience in representing owners, developers, construction lenders, construction managers, contractors, subcontractors, vendors, architects and engineers. We also have extensive litigation experience with design and defect claims, mechanic liens, and surety obligations.

Judicial Foreclosure: Frederickson & Hamilton, LLP represented a Paso Robles lender in the judicial foreclosure of a trust deed securing the obligation of a developer of a commercial tract of property located in Atascadero. The developer owed more than $3 million on the obligation and asserted cross-claims of breach of contract, fraud, negligent misrepresentation, rescission and promissory estoppel against the client. The case eventually settled with the developer agreeing to quitclaim the purchased property and to transfer a second property to client worth in excess of $2 million.

Inverse Condemnation: Mr. Frederickson represented King City and the King City Redevelopment Agency in the defense of an inverse condemnation claim related to the purchase and redevelopment of its downtown corridor. Obtained a court judgment in favor of the city and the agency, finding that fair value had been paid for the condemned properties. In a related lawsuit, obtained a court order dismissing the action of citizen’s group, who had sued the city, the agency, and a number of city and agency officials for their actions in the development project, the court finding that the lawsuit violated California’s anti-Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation statute.

Vineyard Property Purchase Dispute: Mr. Frederickson represented purchaser of vineyard property located in San Luis Obispo County area east of Paso Robles with respect to the perfection of easement rights relating to access and water rights. The seller’s broker had represented that the easements existed and were free and clear of any disputes or claims; however, upon inspection of the title records and the court docket, it became apparent that the rights were not entirely clear, some had been the subject of disputes, and at least one had been the subject of a court action. The negotiations resulted in a thirty percent reduction in the purchase price and a confirmation of the various easement rights, saving the client hundreds of thousands in legal fees and costs.

Real Estate Purchase Dispute: Mr. Frederickson successfully obtained summary judgment authorizing a Morro Bay seller to retain down payment as liquidated damages for purchaser’s breach of mortgage contingency clause. The seller and purchaser entered into contract for the sale of real property, which required the purchaser to provide a good-faith down payment upon execution of contract. The contract was subject to a mortgage contingency clause which provided that, to the extent the mortgage commitment was conditioned on sale of purchaser’s current home, purchaser accepted the risk that such condition might not be met, resulting in the surrender of the down payment. After contracts were signed, purchaser requested an extension of mortgage contingency period due to the inability to sell their current home, which was denied by the seller, resulting in purchasers attempt to cancel the contract an attempt to recover the down payment. When seller refused to return the down payment, purchaser commenced a law suit seeking return of the down payment and filed a Notice of Pendency against the real property title. Sellers filed a counterclaim seeking to retain the down payment and seeking cancellation of the Notice of Pendency. During the course of pre-trial discovery, records were subpoenaed that demonstrated that the purchaser had received and rejected two separate purchase offers on their home. This evidence resulted in a court judgment in favor of the sellers, along with the recovery of their attorney’s fees and costs.

Horse Farm Purchase Dispute: Mr. Frederickson successfully represented a client who purchased Santa Barbara County property for development as a horse farm and stables. Shortly after purchasing the property, the owners received notice from the State of California that a portion of the property had a history of environmental pollution, and sought remediation by the owner, along with the payment of fees and penalties in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. A subsequent investigation revealed that a portion of the property had been operated as a foundry early in the century. That investigation also revealed that the prior owner had ignored multiple notices of violation and had instead sold the property to a third party without disclosing the violations. The owners purchased that property from that third party without notice of these violations. Litigation led to a settlement with the third party, including an indemnification obligation, the rescission of the purchase agreement, recovery of the purchase money, and a damage award against the property inspector who had been retained to inspect the property prior to purchase.

Residential Development: Mr. Frederickson represented a developer in the subdivision and development of a non-conforming parcel of property located in the City of Arroyo Grande. Mr. Frederickson was able to process the application within six months of filing with the City, with minimal plan changes and at a substantial cost savings to client. At no additional cost to the client, Mr. Frederickson was able to obtain the city’s commitment to street and sidewalk changes, resulting in a significant benefit to the property.

Property Line Dispute: Mr. Frederickson represented an Arroyo Grande property owner in a dispute concerning a line of trees bordering their property line. The tree roots had caused damage to the concrete driveway, and were lifting the foundation of the owner’s home. In addition, the tree canopies, which were quite large and produced copious leaves and seed pods, made the driveway and rear quarter of the owner’s home unusable at certain times of the year. Negotiated a resolution with the adjoining landowner resulting in the removal of the trees at a shared cost to both parties.

Residential Zoning Variance: Mr. Frederickson successfully represented an Arroyo Grande property owner who sought two variances authorizing construction of a house on an irregular-shaped, sub-standard lot in a historic residential district. The property owner sought variances authorizing the construction of a contemporary two story ranch style home. After extensive negotiations with the City, and meetings with neighbors, Mr. Frederickson was able to obtain the variances with modifications satisfying all parties involved.

Code Enforcement Defense: Mr. Frederickson represented a Mountain View property owner who owned a building that contained an office for his sign business. The property owner also used a detached garage on the property for temporary storage of equipment and materials relating to his business. The City commenced a code enforcement action against the property owner alleging that use of the home as a business and the use of the detached garage for temporary storage was an illegal pursuant to the city’s zoning ordinance and was a non-conforming use. The trial judge dismissed the charge against the property owner, finding the zoning regulation to be unconstitutionally vague and unenforceable.

Injunctive Relief: Mr. Frederickson successfully obtained a permanent injunction restraining a property owner from performing construction work on an existing residence without obtaining the proper building permits. The City of San Mateo building department issued a notice of violation directing owner to cease and desist all work until all necessary building permits had been obtained. The owner failed to obtain the building permits and continued to work on the house in violation of the cease and desist order. Mr. Frederickson commenced an action seeking an injunction barring the property owner from conducting any additional work on the premises without a permit. On a motion for summary judgment, the trial court granted a permanent injunction prohibiting the property owner from proceeding with work until the building permit had been obtained.

Construction Defect: Mr. Frederickson represented Atherton homeowners in construction litigation against a builder the homeowners had hired to build an extensive expansion to their house. The builder abandoned the project prior to its completion, despite having received timely payments from the homeowners. The homeowners were forced to hire a new contractor to complete the project. The new contractor discovered numerous defects and building code violations that required extensive repairs and replacement, and a tear down of more than half of the uncompleted project. This work was performed at a substantial additional expense to the homeowners, far exceeding the amount that the homeowners had paid the original builder prior to his abandonment of the project. The trial court found in favor of the homeowners and awarded them a judgment against the builder in the full amount requested, along with their attorney’s fees and costs.

Breach of Construction Claim Defense: Mr. Frederickson represented a San Bruno contractor in an action by a homeowner to recover damages in breach of a construction contract. The homeowner hired the contractor to build a guest room and bathroom onto her residence. She subsequently claimed that the work performed by the contractor was defective and terminated the contractor and commenced litigation. In that litigation, the homeowner sought the cost of the repairs that she alleged were necessary to remedy the contractor’s work. The homeowner also sought the return of all the funds that she had previously paid to the contractor. The alleged cost of repairs was less than one-fourth of the amounts the homeowner had previously paid to the contractor. An arbitrator found in favor of the contractor.

Subcontractor Dispute: Mr. Frederickson successfully obtained a judgment against a Sacramento general contractor for all monies owed to a San Jose subcontractor for work performed on a commercial project. The general contractor had retained the subcontractor to perform extensive plumbing installation work at the project. After the subcontractor had completed more than 90 percent of its work on the project, the general contractor refused to make any further payments, claiming multiple defects in the subcontractor’s work. At arbitration, Mr. Frederickson was able to demonstrate that the work was of quality workmanship and more than met the standard of the subcontract, resulting in payment to the subcontractor, along with its attorney’s fees and costs incurred.

Public Works Contractor Dispute: Mr. Frederickson successfully represented a Nipomo based electrical contractor in the recovery of more than $250,000 on a public works contract. The contract involved the construction of a truck maintenance facility for the California Department of Transportation. Due to mistakes in the project plans, the project had to be extended and more than 600 electrical change orders were required to deal with those mistakes, which amounted in an increase in labor and material fees to the subcontractor of $250,000. The general contractor claimed the change orders were unnecessary and refused to make payment, prompting the filing of a stop notice with the public entity and the initiation of arbitration against the general contractor, its surety and the public entity. The case successfully settled in favor of the subcontractor.

Shareholder Dispute: Frederickson & Hamilton, LLP represented a minority shareholder and long-time president and Chief Operating Officer of a closely held San Luis Obispo County company in a lawsuit following his wrongful termination from the company after more than twenty years of employment. The lawsuit involved derivative allegations against the majority shareholder of breach of fiduciary duty, mismanagement, accounting, and dilution, along with personal causes of action for breach of contract and wrongful termination. The lawsuit eventually settled with the purchase of the client’s shareholder interest at its fair market value.

Breach of Supply Contract: Mr. Frederickson represented a Sunnyvale based computer parts company in a breach of contract action against a distributor who failed to pay for its purchases. Successfully obtained an accelerated judgment awarding the supplier damages for the full amount owed, along with its attorney’s fees and costs incurred, by filing a motion for immediate summary judgment with the complaint. After the distributor attempted to avoid the debt through bankruptcy, successfully challenged the bankruptcy filing, resulting in its dismissal with prejudice.

Sexual Harassment Claim Defense: Mr. Frederickson successfully represented a Redwood City employer against a former employee who filed a lawsuit against the employer and her immediate supervisor alleging sexual harassment. The employee also asserted claims against the employer alleging intentional infliction of emotional distress, vicarious liability for an alleged assault and battery committed by her supervisor. Mr. Frederickson was able to obtain the dismissal of these claims at the onset of litigation, prior to the start of discovery, saving the client tens of thousands of dollars in litigation fees and costs.

Commercial Debt Collection: Frederickson & Hamilton, LLP represented a San Mateo commercial property owner in the collection of more than $1 million in past due rent from a former tenant. After obtaining a judgment against the tenant and its two principals who had executed personal guarantees on the loan, pursued the collection of the judgment in the bankruptcy actions of both principals, seeking the judgment debt be excluded from the bankruptcies, alleging the principal’s entry into the lease agreement was based upon fraudulent representations. After a three day trial, the bankruptcy court ruled in client’s favor, permitting collection against the principal’s personal assets not included within the bankruptcy.

Breach of Residence Contract: Mr. Frederickson successfully obtained a judgment against the assets of retirement community on behalf of the estate of a San Marcos woman who had purchased an interest in the community prior to her death. Under the terms of the agreement, the purchase price would be refunded to the woman’s estate upon her death, minus those amounts that had been applied towards her residence and care at the community. The retirement community falsely claimed that the entire investment had been so applied, which was revealed by the community’s own accounting records.

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