Shapiro, Lifschitz & Schram

“Unlike other law firms, we are clients and friends all on a first-name basis, and even though not a significant client, I still receive first-class attention.”

Bart Eisner – President and Owner, The Eisner Companies

News & Events

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

B.A. Spignardo, a real estate attorney at Shapiro Lifschitz & Schram, was recently quoted in the September 2015 issue of Real Estate Forum’s article, Urbanization’s Impact. Discussing the lack of retail businesses to support the growing urban development trend across the U.S., she explains, “There have to be commercial and lifestyle components development to keep those that moved into the city staying in the city. Developers can’t just continue to build multifamily structures without the grocery and retail components of plans, or else creep back to the suburbs will occur. It’s all about convenience. People don’t want to spend time in their cars or on their commute, and want to work, live and play in relatively the same area with access to the same needs, like grocery and shopping.”

The article addresses the increasing focus on urban centers and the impact on businesses and residents. What is driving the trend? How has it changed the landscape and what can we expect in the future?

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?