Shapiro, Lifschitz & Schram

“They establish very strong relationships with opposing counsel and make a difficult transaction happen without bumps and bruises.”

Marty Saturn – Executive Vice President, Meisel Capital Partners

News & Events

An interview with Shapiro, Lifschitz & Schram (“SLS”) attorney Daniel A. Kapner was published in the Winter 2016 edition of Under Construction, the newsletter of the ABA Forum on Construction Law, regarding the American Arbitration Association’s (“AAA”) July 2015 Amendments to the Construction Industry Arbitration Rules and Mediation Procedures.

During the interview, Kapner discussed the July 2015 amendments that are most likely to affect the practice of arbitrating construction disputes before the AAA.  For example, under the 2015 amendments

  • attorneys have the right to seek “emergency measures of protection” from the AAA before a tribunal is constituted;
  • tribunals may order sanctions if a party fails to comply with obligations;
  • tribunals are expressly permitted to weigh in on the exchange between parties of electronically stored information; and
  • the process for requesting or objecting to a request for joinder or consolidation is expanded and refined.

Kapner discussed an example involving SLS’s representation of a federal subcontractor under the old AAA rules where clarification regarding the process for consolidating related proceedings was needed.  Kapner stated: “Last year . . . our firm submitted three requests for consolidation of related AAA proceedings involving disputes concerning a large-scale federal construction project.  The October 2009 rules did not specify a timetable for parties to respond to requests for consolidation and joinder or indicate whether a party waives its right to object to consolidation or joinder if it fails to respond by a certain date.  The amendments resolve these ambiguities.”

Kapner also discussed whether the amendments enhance the cost-effectiveness and efficiency of proceedings administered under the Rules, the expansion of arbitrators’ powers under the amended rules, and the AAA’s process for amending the Rules.

This article was originally published on Under Construction Vol. 17 No. 3 (Winter 2016).

In a September 11, 2015 Law 360 article, Shapiro Lifschitz and Schram’s B.A. Spignardo cautions that mortgage lenders should be cautious when financing deals that are secured by condominium properties. Citing Chase Plaza Condominiums Association Inc. v. JPMorgan Chase Bank NA (decided Aug. 28, 2014), Spignardo explains that, “the D.C. Court of Appeals held that the traditional condominium association lien with regard to the most recent six months of assessments trumps the lien of a “first” mortgage, and thus, the condominium association can foreclose on such lien and wipe out all other liens, including the mortgage lien.” 

In light of the ruling, Spignardo outlines protective measures that lenders should take when closing financing transactions secured by condominium real property. “While not eliminating the issue of a priority lien in favor of a condominium association, proper notice to the lender of defaults, title insurance coverage to the extent available, and an escrow of condominium fees established at closing can provide lenders enough comfort to proceed with loan transactions secured by condominium properties.”

For more information on how lenders can protect themselves, or other real estate law issues, contact B.A. Spignardo at

Judah Lifschitz and Daniel A. Kapner recently published an article entitled, Ten Best Practices for Negotiating EPC Contracts, in the October 2015 issue of Construction Executive magazine. Discussing engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract negotiations, the article examines ten steps a contracting party should consider in addition to early planning and due diligence.

  1. Control the document.
  2. Select the most appropriate contracting model.
  3. Establish a realistic budget.
  4. Establish an achievable schedule. 
  5. Vet project teams.
  6. Define the scope and division of responsibilities.
  7. Identify technology risks/mitigation.
  8. Know the regulatory requirements and restrictions.
  9. Obtain financial, performance and security guarantees.  
  10. Plan for the unexpected.

The entire article can be read on Construction Executive magazine, October 2015 issue. For more information, email Judah Lifschitz at or Daniel Kapner at

Did You Know . . .

Members of the SLS trial group have tried in excess of 50 jury trials and 75 bench trials?

The SLS construction group has worked on sports stadiums across the country including Orioles Park in Baltimore and Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati?

The SLS construction group has worked on power plant projects across the country?

In 2007 SLS was selected for an Honorable Mention as one of the Best Places To Work in Washington DC?

Ron Shapiro, Steve Schram and Judd Lifschitz have all been selected as SuperLawyers by Law and Politics?

The SLS office building is an historic townhouse constructed in the late 1800s?

SLS has been selected by Martindale-Hubbell as a Preeminent Law Firm?

SLS trial lawyers have argued appeals in the U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal for the 4th, 5th, 9th, D.C. and Federal Circuit?

SLS trial lawyers have been lead trial counsel in cases in Arizona, California, District of Columbia, Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas, and Virginia, - to name just a few?

Virtually all the cases that SLS trial lawyers mediated have been favorably settled at mediation?

The transactional group at SLS was lead counsel on one of the largest, most complex mixed-use projects in downtown Washington, DC involving 4 lenders and 6 property owners?

In appreciation for the outstanding efforts of each of its employees during 2007, SLS gave everyone (attorneys, paralegals, and staff) a 4 day/3 night expense paid trip to Key West, Florida?

The transactional group at SLS has represented tenants in more than 200 retail leases in the Mid-Atlantic region?

Every attorney in the transactional group at SLS has at least 15 years experience?

The transactional group at SLS has represented developers in the purchase, construction, financing and/or sale of more than 75 multi-family apartment projects?

The transactional group at SLS has represented real estate investors and developers with respect to property in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, the District of Columbia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Texas, Tennessee, Michigan and the U.S. Virginia Islands?

Attorneys in the transactional group at SLS have represented eight national banks in commercial real estate loans?

Attorneys in the transactional group at SLS have represented the FDIC, the Resolution Trust Corporation and several banking institutions in loan workout transactions throughout the Mid-Atlantic region?

The transactional group at SLS has represented homebuilders and commercial real estate developers in work-outs of individual loans and also for work-outs of large portfolios involving dozens of properties in several states?

The trial lawyers of SLS have numerous reported decisions to their credit?