My name is Chad Zodrow, I’m the president of the condo association where I live now. This most recent transaction or event with Adam Leitman Bailey, the firm, we had a developer buy a building adjacent to our property and they wanted to use our parking lot, some of our real estate to set up scaffolding and do work to restore a skeletal building, it was empty. They needed a long time, they needed two years on our property to do the work that that building needed. They paid it the first year and a half or so and then they just stopped paying. At that time we said, “hey..” and we reached out to them directly and they we unresponsive and another month went by and another month so suddenly it’s a considerable amount of money that we’re owed and they were still on our property, they still had the scaffolding there, their workmen still had access which they were using to do their work.
I said, “Oh this is a job for a great firm.” I have a long history with ALBPC in various settings, two different condos and different roles as an individual buying a single unit and also as a member of a tenant association and now as a president of a board. So I said these are big guns, this developer has a lot of action all over the city so I want to make sure we’re fully protected and I knew Adam Leitman Bailey would be able to help with that.
The phase began with Jack Erdos and another associate Andrew Jorges. They were the ones who put together the licensing deal with the developer. So they were the ones who said, “this proposal they’ve given you is bologna, it’s not really going to protect you at all. You need something much beefier.” So they had the experience, the resources we needed and the ideas they took were some of those I never would have thought. For example, an escrow account so that we could, with insurance so we knew we were fully insured but here we have this escrow so we could cover any emergencies. If we had to pay a deductible we had an escrow to cover that. Those were things that hadn’t even occurred to us. Jack really led the charge; Jack was ready to meet them round for round when they were making excuses and delays and trying to insist on certain terms. He really did protect us. I’ve also been working a lot lately with Rachel Sigmund and that’s on a parallel project but not directly related. We are updating the bylaws for our condominium and when I asked Jack about that, he said, “Oh Rachel’s the one, shell be a great help,” and he was right. We want to allow rentals in certain situations and she’s helping us to do that in a way that still protects the building and gives the board the leverage, the control it needs so that we can keep the property and the homeowners happy; that we have the right leverage of power with the condominium. The legal structure of that its something that I didn’t fully understand, the rest of the board didn’t fully understand, but Rachel did have a great understanding of that so she helped to teach me there are ways to structure these rules that are going to protect you and the rest of the homeowners, so that’s been a great help. Massimo, I should mention, he came in at the later phase in the deal with the developer next door; he was a great help too. We were trying to end the deal. They rented out our property, put the scaffolding there, they wanted to take the scaffolding down and stop paying the rent but they tried to do that by walking out on us so it became a question of do we have to sue for this money or where do we go now, and that’s where Massimo came in and really helped to protect us and get the money we needed without going to court. He was ready to fight as much we needed him to fight but he proposed routes that were useful and efficient not, “oh we’re going to sit in court for eighteen months and never have a satisfactory solution.” His advice paid off tremendously because the developer did change their tune, they did pay us the back rent, and we were made whole. Massimo was central to that phase to collecting the back rent and getting it right with the developer. We were unsure what to do about it and when we were put in touch with him and he had a few suggestions- if we word this letter this way, sort of simple steps we can take to make it clear that we were prepared to protect our interests at any costs if we had too, but that we were really serious about collecting this unpaid rent and everything else. In the end, his advice was what got us what we needed. We were ultimately paid all of the back rent, they did all of the restoration of our property repairing some things that needed to be repaired and other clean up work that was in the contract that they were required to do and they actually came through on all of that in part because I think the way Massimo presented our case.
The attorneys achieved the results we were expecting, especially because we avoided court, which we wanted to do all along. We just wanted the developer to abide by the rules of our agreement and Massimo saw to that without taking us to court. So they exceeded our expectations because they didn’t have to resort to that extreme measure.
I guess I’ll say the reason I like working with this firm so much is because they are so responsive so quickly, and they have really great ideas that are grounded in the law and things that I don’t know so well. So when they come up with proposals about well why don’t we frame this letter in this way or why don’t we take this approach. That’s what I need from this firm, that’s why I keep calling them for so many different transactions, so many different situations, and I’ve never been let down. It’s always paid off because often you avoid court, whatever route you end up taking its practical, its in scale with what’s going on. It’s always, “okay, if you want this, this is what it will take,” and knowing the outset is one of the greatest advantages of this firm. When you start a case you start a question, a project, and they say, “Alright it will probably play out in this manner, you might win this, you might win that, but it will cost about this much, and it will take about that long.” Those predictions have always been accurate, and they have always allowed me as a board member, as an individual buying a unit, whatever, they’ve always allowed me to make the decision that this is how I want to proceed, and go in with eyes open. The firm has always delivered on those estimates.
I would, and I have recommended this firm and I would do it again for the very reasons I just listed. It’s a great place and they deliver, they know what to do, and they know how to help homeowners, they know how to help tenant associations, they know how to help condominium boards, and more!