litigation and arbitration

In our competitive economy, companies are keenly aware that excellent, well-rounded commercial litigators are an essential component of any successful business strategy.



We seek to offer our clients reasoned, strategic litigation advice based on deep experience and clear thinking.

Duval & Stachenfeld LLP has assembled a team of exceptional commercial litigators who are skilled in representing clients in varied commercial litigation and arbitration matters both in and out of the courtroom.  Our litigators are tenacious – yet practical and business-savvy.  They advise; they broker quick and smart compromises; but they do not hesitate to fight (all the way through trial) when that is the best course of action to achieve our client’s objectives. 

Our Litigation and Arbitration Practice Group strives to provide a level of service unmatched by larger law Firms, at a fraction of the cost.  The Group’s institutional clients repeatedly send the Firm litigation work, because they know that they will receive unsurpassed attention, high-quality work product – and reasonable bills. 

The Litigation Practice Group has handled through trial and appeal a broad array of commercial disputes reflecting all aspects of complex business transactions, including complex contract and quasi-contract disputes; shareholder and partnership disputes; securities litigation; real estate and construction litigation; fraud actions; tortious interference actions; employment discrimination and retaliation; unfair competition; intellectual property disputes; and RICO litigation.

We divide further description of our Litigation and Arbitration Practice Group between real estate and non-real estate matters.  
Beyond Real Estate

The Litigation and Arbitration Practice Group has represented clients in numerous industries and professions including financial services, banking, technology, internet, security, telecommunications, education, equipment leasing, fashion, manufacturing and others.  It has also represented various domestic and international governmental entities.  The Litigation Practice Group represents clients in federal and state courts, before administrative and regulatory agencies and in arbitration, mediation and other alternative dispute proceedings.

A major focus of our Group’s practice has been in the financial and securities industries as well as the capital markets.  We have provided litigation advice and litigated all manner of trading disputes involving various exchanges, various structured product disputes and diverse regulatory issues. 

A representative sampling of current or recent commercial litigation matters we are handling include: 

  • Representation of a large financial services company to recover millions of dollars in pledged collateral for a defaulted margin loan.
  • Representation of a major international bank in connection with failures to settle multi-million dollar overseas equity trades.
  • Representation of a large financial services company in connection with a multi-million dollar dispute arising from an alleged failed delivery arising from trading on the LSTA.
  • Representation of a large, publicly-held security services company in the pursuit of various business protection claims for improper customer solicitation and trade secret theft.
  • Representation of multi-billion dollar securitized trusts multiple actions in federal court for breach of representations and warranties in connection with the sale of large commercial mortgage loans.
  • Representation of CMBS lenders in mortgage foreclosure and guaranty enforcement claims.

Real Estate Matters

The Firm’s litigation practice has a powerful competitive advantage in real estate litigation for two reasons:  First, due to the wealth of real estate clients at the Firm, the litigation group has a huge amount of real estate litigation experience.  Second, our litigators can draw upon the enormous expertise of the Firm’s Real Estate Practice Group and related practice areas.  This expertise permits the development of critical theories to be pursued and/or useful defenses from probable lines of attack.  

Real estate litigation matters have included, by way of example:

  • Commercial mortgage repurchase cases from the plaintiff’s and defendant’s side
  • So called “tranche warfare” matter
  • Bondholder claims in CMBS and related matters
  • Commercial mortgage foreclosures
  • Mezzanine loan foreclosures
  • Buy/sell disputes
  • Lender liability from both the borrower’s and the lender’s side
  • Partnership disputes and divorces
  • Contract disputes and pre-contract strategies
  • Land use/development disputes
  • Commercial lease disputes
  • Subprime cases
  • Structured financial products disputes, including:

    o    Disputes arising from CDO’s and CLO’s
    o    Indenture rights
    o    Credit default swaps
    o    Asset-backed securities (ABS), mortgage-backed securities (MBS) and auction rate securities (ARS)
    o    Asset management disputes
    o    Derivatives

Among the foregoing, of particular interest are disputes that generally include structured real estate products.  These often arise when property value deteriorated and investors and lenders in the complicated capital stack scramble to preserve all or a portion of their capital.  Sometimes these turn into workouts – in which we work closely with the Firm’s Real Estate Practice Group – and sometimes these are full-blown litigation matters.  Although there are no hard and fast rules, these disputes can generally be categorized as falling into one of the following categories: (1) repurchase claims, (2) "tranche warfare" cases, (3) investor suits based on fraud and various securities law claims, and (4) other breach of contract cases.  We have handled all of these types of matters, often by putting together our vaunted real estate transactional lawyers with our experienced real estate litigators.  

In summary, we are pleased and proud that our real estate litigation expertise is a key component of the Firm’s Pure Play in Real Estate concept.  It is extremely comforting for our real estate clients and our real estate lawyers to know that they are protected by our litigation team, which can, and will, jump in immediately upon request to act either offensively or defensively, as needed in a real estate transaction. 

Real Estate Litigation Brochure


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