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The lawyers at Eisen and Rome pride themselves on finding expeditious and cost-efficient solutions to their clients’ legal needs without the necessity of litigation. Where necessary, however, they are prepared to litigate to vindicate clients’ interests before the courts in DC and Maryland and before administrative agencies. In particular, they have litigated many significant cases concerning the DC Rental Housing Conversion and Sale Act (it is often referred to as TOPA, which stands for the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act; TOPA is actually Title IV of the Rental Housing Conversion and Sale Act). In addition, they have litigated significant cases concerning rent control, tenant rights, civil practice, contracts, and property rights. The vast majority of the cases handled by the lawyers at Eisen and Rome are either settled or resolved at the trial court level.
What follows is a sampling of the formally reported cases that Eisen and Rome has litigated during the over 75 years of combined experience among the Eisen and Rome attorneys. The cases prior to 1988 were litigated by Mr. Eisen or Mr, Rome as sole practitioners. While Eisen and Rome has prevailed in the majority of these cases, the list also includes cases where the other side prevailed, as the experience gained in those cases significantly informs the advice that is given to clients. The cases also include citations to Mr. Eisen’s role in the TOPA legislative process.
Havilah Real Property Svcs v. VLK,LLC, 108 A.3d 334 (DC2015)- in this case of first impression, the Court of Appeals sustained a jury award of over $600,000 in favor of our client. It held that there is only a qualified immunity afforded for filing an underlying action and a lis pendens in DC, and that one who files in bad faith and without legal justification may be held liable for damages for tortious interference with prospective economic advantage. It further held that the proper measure of damages is the diminution in value of the property while the lis pendens remained in effect.
1836 S St. Tenants Ass’n, Inc. v. Estate of Battle, 965 A.2d 832 (DC 2009) (TOPA - right to accept “offer” and compel specific performance)
Kalorama Citizens Ass’n v. D.C. Board Of Zoning Adjustment, 934 A.2d 393 (DC 2007) (zoning - interpretation of zoning regulations concerning height and review process)
Wilson Courts Tenants Ass’n, Appellant v. 523-525 Mellon St., LLC, 924 A.2d 289 (DC 2007) (TOPA - tenant right to seek specific performance against third-party purchaser)
1618 Twenty-First St. Tenants’ Ass’n v. Phillips Collection, 829 A.2d 201 (DC 2003) (TOPA -definition of bona fide offer)
Coburn v. Heggestad, 817 A.2d 813 (DC 2003) (TOPA - defining which time periods may be extended by parties)
Harkins v. Win Corp., 771 A.2d 1025 (DC 2001) (wrongful eviction - prohibition not applied to bona fide transient housing/hotel)
Young v. District of Columbia, 752 A.2d 138 (DC 2000) (wrongful eviction - subtenant may sue DC for police role in wrongful eviction)
Puma v. Sullivan, 746 A2d 871(DC 2000) (contracts/evidence - enforceability of oral contract and definition of hearsay)
Molovinsky v. Monterey Coop., 689 A.2d 531 (1996) (civil procedure - breach of contract action barred by prior settlement of Small Claims action)
West End Tenants Ass’n v. George Washington Univ., 640 A.2d 718 (DC 1994) (TOPA -definition of sale; Court will not apply clarifying amendment retroactively)
Brandywine Ltd. Partnership v. District of Columbia Rental Housing Comm’n, 631 A.2d 415 (DC 1993) (rent control - court lacked jurisdiction where landlord appealed non-final remand order)
Davey v. King, 595 A.2d 999 (DC 1991) (contracts - Court could not enforce long-time Redskins season tickets ticket-sharing practice)
Columbia Realty Venture v. District of Columbia Rental Housing Com., 590 A.2d 1043 (DC 1991) (rent control - owner must file all required permits in support of capital improvement petition)
Davenport v. District of Columbia Rental Housing Com., 579 A.2d 1155 (DC 1990) (rent control - Court sustains approval of voluntary agreement where tenants signed different versions)
Columbia Realty Venture v. District of Columbia Rental Housing Com., 573 A.2d 362 (DC 1990) (rent control - necessity for precise finding concerning repairs vs. capital expenditures)
James Parreco & Son v. District of Columbia Rental Housing Com., 567 A.2d 43 (DC 1989) (rent control/statutory construction - Court defers to plain meaning of statute absent absurd result)
Hornstein v. Barry, 560 A.2d 530 (DC 1989) (en banc) (TOPA/constitutional law - Court upholds constitutionality of conversion restrictions)
Snowden v. Benning Heights Cooperative, Inc., 557 A.2d 151 (DC 1989) (cooperative housing - cooperative may terminate membership pursuant to its own organizational documents; eviction controls do not apply to cooperative member)
Knight v. Furlow, 553 A.2d 1232 (DC 1989) (malpractice - accrual of statute of limitations)
Moore v. Jones, 542 A.2d 1253 (DC 1988) (eviction controls - tenant may waive protections in exchange for consideration separate from original lease; settlement agreements favored and enforceable)
Temple v. District of Columbia Rental Housing Com., 536 A.2d 1024 (DC 1987) (rent control/tenancy - landlord responsible for failure to obtain certificate of occupancy; tenants displaced by fire remain tenants pending restoration of unit)
Rowe v. Pierce, 622 F. Supp 1030 (DDC 1985) (eviction controls - landlord cannot require tenant to sign new lease as a condition of continued tenancy. Note - superseded as to federally-subsidized housing, only)
Proctor v. District of Columbia Rental Housing Com., 484 A.2d 542 (DC 1984) (rent control - Court sustains settlement of rent increase petition)
Richard C. Eisen, The Rental Housing Conversion and Sale Act: A Practitioner's Roadmap to Tenant Ownership, 2 D.C. L. Rev. 91, 91 (1993)
Allman v. Snyder, 888 A. 2d 1161 (DC 2005) (cites Mr. Eisen)
Columbia Plaza Tenants’ Ass’n v. Columbia Plaza L.P., 869 A.2d 329 (DC 2005) (cites Mr. Eisen)
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