BREACH OF CONTRACT/REAL ESTATE

Representative Cases


Hon. MARY FINGAL SCHULTE

Judge, Orange County Superior Court (Ret.)

TYPES OF BREACH OF CONTRACT, REAL ESTATE CASES HANDLED:

  • Lemon law
  • Breaches of commercial leases
  • Guaranties
  • Unlawful detainer actions: breaches of warranties of habitability; retaliatory evictions
  • Oral contracts
  • Landlord/tenant
  • Easements
  • Lease defaults
  • Mold


REPRESENTATIVE CASES:

  • Buyers of single family residence claimed sellers concealed defects in foundation of home, that home inspector and seller’s broker knew or should have known of defects, and failed to disclose.  Claims for fraud, negligent misrepresentation and rescission of contract were made.

  • Claims of Breaches of Lease, implied warranty of habitability, retaliatory eviction, unjust enrichment, failures and refusals to make repairs, cockroach infestation, discrimination, violations of FEHA brought by family of 5.

  • Buyers of single family residence claimed sellers concealed defects in foundation of home, that home inspector and sellers broker know or should have known of defects and failed to disclose.  Claims for fraud, negligent misrepresentation and rescission of contract were made.

  • Defendant submitted an offer to plaintiffs on behalf of a purchaser. Plaintiffs tried to negotiate higher price, claimed defendant made false representations about part of the increased price being used for repairs to property. Defendant claimed plaintiffs failed to disclose that the partnership was being dissolved. Both sides claimed breach of contract. Plaintiffs also alleged fraud, negligence, breaches of fiduciary duty.

  • Breaches of implied warranties of merchantibility and fitness as well as intentional misrepresentation and fraudulent nondisclosure, surrounding purchase of Book PC products designed and manufactured by defendant.

  • Complaint alleged breach of fiduciary duty (arising from attorney-client relationship); breach of fiduciary duty (arising from Joint Venture Agreement); breach of contract (duty of good faith and fair dealing); interference with contractual relations; interference with prospective economic relations; and unjust enrichment.
    Plaintiffs alleged that they entered into a Joint Venture Agreement on 5/22/11 with Defendant Limited Partnership for the acquisition and development of a parcel of real estate located in Kentucky. Defendant drafted the Joint Venture Agreement and undertook to represent both parties to the transaction without adequate disclosures of his conflict of interests and without obtaining Plaintiffs’ informed consent.
    Plaintiffs alleged the Joint Venture Agreement was drafted to take advantage of them.


  • Complaint for (1) Declaratory Relief and (2) Injunctive Relief. Plaintiff was the Ground Lessee and Defendant is the Ground Lessor on a 95-year Ground Lease. The dispute pertained to the second of three rent adjustments set forth and governed by the Lease. The core of the dispute between Lessor and Lessee, which was resolved by earlier litigation was that the Lessee argued that the Lease required that each of the four parcels be separately valued and that the separate values be added together to determine a total value, whereas Lessor argued, despite the lease, that the property should be appraised as combined with values allocated to the individual four parcels.

  • Partition action involving $8 million worth of property. Dispute between siblings regarding manner of partition: by sale vs “in kind”.
    The dispute between the parties arose after their father passed away and the parties attempted to administer his trust (wherein Sister is the trustee), which includes the distribution of the trust’s 50% interest in the properties.
    The parties entered into a Settlement Agreement to settle all probate court litigation. This Agreement settled all disputes between the parties regarding the disposition of the three properties and stated that the parties shall be entitled to commence an action for Partition pursuant to CCP § 872.010 et seq. There were also liens against the property, and Sister disputed the validity of many of them.

  • Breach of Contract and (2) Breach of Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing. Plaintiff alleged that Plaintiff and Defendant entered into an Independent Contract Services Agreement whereby Plaintiff agreed to recruit students for enrollment in Defendant’s education programs in exchange for $24,000 a month. This was to be a 3 year contract. Defendant breached the contract by failing to make their bi-monthly payments and notifying Plaintiff of an intent to terminate.
    Defendant alleged that Plaintiff did not faithfully perform its obligations under the contract, but rather, it undertook a scheme to defraud Defendant by recruiting unqualified students and providing a structure for those students to wrongfully obtain financial aid.

  • Plaintiffs were leasing property from Defendant and were in the process of purchasing the same. Plaintiffs alleged Defendant breached the Residential Purchase Agreement and was attempting to sell to a back-up purchaser. Claims included specific performance; breach of contract; anticipatory breach of contract; inducing breach of contract; intentional interference with contractual relations; intentional interference with prospective economic relations; negligent interference with prospective economic relations; breach of fiduciary duty; and nuisance.

  • Complaint for (1) Defamation; (2) Intentional Interference with Contract; (3) Interference with Prospective Economic Advantage; (4) Violation of B& P Code§17200. Plaintiffs were previously a party to a coverage agreement with the Hospital whereby the physicians provided coverage for patients in the Hospital’s NICU. Later, the Hospital elected to choose a different group to provide coverage for the NICU. Under CA law, NICU is an “open unit”; that is, the hospital may not enter into exclusive contracts with a medical group to provide all physician services to a hospital. W&I Code 14087.28. Plaintiffs claimed that Defendants, by only calling on certain physicians, were turning the NICU into, effectively, a “closed” unit.

  • Software Company that sold software solutions to businesses, including manufacturers and distributors, sold a system to defendant.  Defendant was a master distributor of industrial pipes, valves and fittings. It bought and sold specialized industrial pipes and related products and acted as an intermediary between manufacturers, other distributers and end users of those products.  Plaintiff sues for breach of contract, seeking recovery for unpaid software and consulting fees.  Defendant countersued for fraud and negligent misrepresentation, and breach of contract, seeking return of monies paid, and damages.

  • Mom sued son for breach of contract, financial elder abuse and conversion.  Son told her she could live in his house and share “50/50” if she paid off the mortgage.  After a cancer diagnosis, and chemotherapy, her son evicted her.  Son crosscomplained to trespass.

  • Plaintiff owned and resided at a condominium property. Defendant was the HOA. Plaintiff alleged she experienced at least seven (7) instances of water intrusion stemming from slab leaks at her unit, causing  damage to her dining room area.  She claimed that the Association’s remediation effort of the slab leak and damage to her property was subpar, and that defendant engaged in undue delay in remediating the mold caused by the water intrusions.

  • Suit by anesthesiologist for damages against a medical center for recovery of wages, conversion, breach of contract, wrongful termination.

  • Quiet title action between former joint owners of a house, issues of lost deed, forged deed.

  • Action by landlord vs tenant and tenant’s assignee for breach of contract, declaration that assignment was invalid, and injunction prohibiting construction on the property.  Landlord argued no waiver of breach of lease by accepting rent.    Involved 29 acres of land in South Orange County owned by an individual and several trusts where the landlord and some but not all co-owners sued, challenging the assignment of the ground lease.

  • Suit to recover commissions owed to licensed sales representatives.  Issues of breach of contract, misappropriation of proprietary information and trade secrets, unfair competition. Involved issue as to whether a list of names constitutes a trade secret under the UTSA.

  • Contract to sell family residence, question of what was monetary relief “incidental” to a grant of specific performance 

  • Suit for specific performance on written contract to sell commercial real estate, countersuit for rescission and restitution, cancellation of instruments and slander of trial, enforceability of contract.

  • Dispute involving purchase of a private college—claims for fraud, negligent misrepresentation, common counts, promissory estoppel.

  • Dispute involving claim for unpaid commissions in regard to yacht sales