Representative Cases

Represented eleven purchasers of luxury condominiums in the Ritz-Carlton development in San Francisco who alleged a failure of the condominium developer and real estate broker to disclose a Mello-Roos tax applicable to the development. After a lengthy trial of the action pursuant to a stipulated judicial reference, the trial court rendered an eight figure decision in favor of the plaintiffs which involved rescission of the plaintiffs’ transactions, and included awards of punitive damages and attorney’s fees. The action was settled before commencement of the punitive damages phase of the trial. Del Grande, et al v. R. C. Chronicle Building, LP, et al, San Francisco Superior Court, Action No. CPF-09-509429.
Represented a class of approximately forty individuals who invested in fractionalized deeds of trust arranged by a Bay Area syndicator/mortgage broker. The action involved loans made over a substantial period of time secured by deeds of trust on multiple properties. Following extensive discovery, the class was certified and the class action case was settled for $4,430,000.
Represented the owner of a commercial property which was utilized in a cannabis grow operation. The action involved claims relating to the commercial lease for the subject property, and the business operations of the tenant in that space. The action was settled following substantial discovery and returned control of the premises to the property owner.
Represented a San Francisco landlord in a contested unlawful detainer proceeding which resulted in the landlord securing a judgment for possession and the eviction of at least fourteen (14) illegal occupants that had overrun a single family residence in San Francisco.
Niven & Smith successfully engineered a favorable, highly complex settlement for its client which involved the client’s co-ownership (with his estranged partner) and management of over eighteen (18) separate commercial properties (i.e., shopping centers, large apartment buildings, and industrial parcels). These properties, located in the states of Texas and Hawaii, were all held by separate, stand-alone limited liability companies and involved the application of California, Texas, Hawaii and Delaware law. The litigation itself involved multiple claims and cross-claims resulting in two separate California appellate court decisions. Through all of this litigation, Niven & Smith was able to structure a favorable resolution allowing for its client to purchase each of his estranged partner’s share in these LLC’s at favorable prices, and further secured an outright dismissal by this estranged partner of his multi-million dollar cross-claim brought against Niven & Smith’s client, which action involved allegations of fraud, breaches of fiduciary duty, negligence, and breaches of contract.
$650,000 confidential 2017 S.F. Superior Court settlement. Niven &Smith settled a case on behalf of tenant involving his wrongful eviction in violation of certain provisions of the San Francisco Residential Rent Stabilization and Arbitration Ordinance.
Represented vineyard owners with respect to grape contracts and disputes with wineries over quality issues including smoke taint from wildfires.
Represented Wineries with respect to operations, grape contracts, equipment leases, sale of brands, and sales the winery and its ongoing concern.
Represented Real Estate firms regarding leasing of office locations, software contacts, agreements to construct an integrated operating system and maintain the system.
Represented California automobile dealership regarding sale of brands and acquisition of brands, negotiated with automobile manufacturers regarding transfer of ownership.
Successfully represented an automobile dealer in a wrongful termination lawsuit involving a manufacturer’s attempting to terminate a dealership agreement.
Represented clients in commercial real estate transactions and tax free exchanges related two those sales and purchases.
Represented a beneficiary of a trust in contested complex dissolution which involved commercial property.
Represented a real estate developer in disputes with a Home Owners Association claiming damages arising from a conversion of a large apartment complex into residential and commercial condominiums.
Represented owners in superior court, in settlement and in transactions resulting in dissolution and transfer of jointly owned businesses which included real estate partnerships, limited liability companies, ownership of commercial and residential real estate, and wineries.
Formed and represented wholly owned subsidiary of overseas import entity, and represented entity in purchase and sale of stock, restricted stock sale agreement, leasing transactions, supplier contracts, distribution agreements and collections.
Formation of new business and representation of owner in purchase of commercial real estate, loan transaction and modification, purchase and sale agreement, and operating agreement.
Represented a partner of family ranching and oil partnership in the dissolution of the partnership and the division of its substantial assets.
Advised California Corporations and partnerships regarding general business and operation issues.
Represented a holder of a major position in a lending partnership with respect to claims against the entity.
Successfully defended a small business owner in an action to evict the tenant brought by a major regional shopping center.
Advised California Real Estate brokers on matters of disclosure, contract termination and disputes between the broker and its agents.

Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.