Shapiro, Lifschitz & Schram

“Their finesse is unparalleled, not to mention their good bedside manner.”

Marty Saturn – Executive Vice President, Meisel Capital Partners

John Bergin Defends Defense Verdict in $20 Million MLB Stadium Case on Appeal

SLS’s John Bergin obtained a defense verdict in a case involving the construction of a Major League Baseball Stadium after more than eight years of litigation, a six-week trial, and two rounds of post-trial briefs.  Plaintiff appealed that verdict and John recently filed a Brief explaining in detail why the Appellate Court should confirm it.  John represented two national general contractors and construction managers who had formed a joint-venture to design and construct the stadium.  Plaintiff – the alleged assignee of one of their subcontractors – sued the joint venture for more than $20 million.  But John secured a complete defense verdict for the joint venture

In short, the plaintiff alleged that the joint venture had wrongly issued a Default Notice to the subcontractor and its bonding company that purportedly led to the subcontractor’s bankruptcy. The joint venture vigorously denied those allegations.  Before trial, John filed numerous motions that convinced the plaintiff to drop most of its claims against the joint venture and persuaded the judge to dismiss several more claims.  John also convinced the judge to dismiss the two other defendants from the case. 

Ultimately, the case proceeded to trial where the plaintiff presented a single claim seeking more than $20 million from the joint venture.  John defended the joint venture during the six-week trial and then submitted post-trial briefs explaining why the plaintiff had not timely sued the joint venture on the filed the claim that it had presented at trial.  The judge agreed, entered a defense verdict for the joint venture, and denied the plaintiff’s request that he reconsider his ruling.

Plaintiff appealed the verdict and filed a long Appellate Brief.  In response, John filed a comprehensive Brief rebutting plaintiff’s arguments and detailing precisely why the trial court had properly entered a defense verdict for the joint venture. 

The Appeals Court has scheduled oral argument for January 10, 2012 and will issue an opinion by June 2012.

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?