Lexis Practice Advisor - Real Estate

Contributing Authors & Firms

Our contributing authors are leading practictioners in their respective transactional practice area.


American Institute of Architects

Firm: American Institute of Architects

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) publishes more than 180 contracts and administrative forms that are recognized throughout the design and construction industry as the benchmark documents for managing transactions and relationships involved in construction projects. The AIA's prominence in the field is based on over 120 years of experience creating and updating its documents. During that time, owners, architects, contractors, attorneys, insurance experts, and many others have contributed to the development and revision of the AIA Contract Documents. As a result, these comprehensive contracts and forms are now widely recognized as the Industry Standard.

Mary Jane AugustineMcCarter &amp; English&nbsp;&nbsp; <br />

Mary Jane Augustine

Firm: McCarter & English, LLP

Mary Jane Augustine of McCarter & English is a veteran construction law practitioner who has worked in the sector for more than 35 years. She has been recognized by Chambers USA every year since 2008 as a construction “Leader in the Field.” As a full-service construction transactional lawyer, Mary Jane provides strategic advice and assists clients in structuring the design and construction portions of complex building projects.  Her clients include project owners, developers, contractors, construction managers, design professionals and end-users.

Mary Jane, who has worked as a contracts consultant to an international project management firm and as corporate counsel to a “signature” architectural firm, in addition to being an attorney in private practice, has acquired a great deal of business and practical  knowledge over the years that has led her to be  recognized as a leading and influential voice among her peers. She is particularly knowledgeable about every aspect of the design and construction process, and she brings that breadth of experience to her clients at every step of the process.

Mary Jane explains alternative project delivery methods and contractual configurations, and how they might be used on a particular project. She also guides her clients through the decision-making process as they determine which contracting strategies will be most advantageous for their projects. Mary Jane then drafts and negotiates design, construction and related contracts reflecting those strategic decisions that both protect the client’s rights and provide a clear roadmap for management of the project.

Mary Jane has formerly served as Managing Partner of McCarter’s New York Office and  Practice Group Leader for the firm’s Construction Practice Group.

  • Emory University School of Law, J.D.
  • Emory University, M.B.A.
  • Harvard University, Graduate courses in sustainability
  • McCarter & English, LLP
  • New Jersey Bar Association
  • New York Bar Association
  • American Bar Association Forum on the Construction Industry
  • American Arbitration Association National Panel of Construction Arbitrators
  • LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP)
Advantage Title<br />

Advantage Title

Firm: Advantage Title
Founded in 1987, Advantage Title is a leading privately owned title insurance agency headquartered in New York, offering comprehensive title services for attorneys, developers and lenders nationwide. Advantage Title is part of the Advantage Group, which includes Advantage Foreclosure, Advantage Legal, Advantage Settlement and Mortgage Advantage. All provide integrated real estate related services and an unwavering commitment to customer support.
Bock &amp; Clark

Bock & Clark

Firm: Bock & Clark

Founded in 1973,  Bock & Clark is a leading provider of national commercial real estate due diligence services including ALTA Surveys, Environmental Reports (ESAs), Property Condition Assessments and Zoning Reports.  Using their own staff along with a network of experienced professionals, Bock & Clark takes pride in their commitment to a quality product at competitive pricing.  Recognized for a standardized, easy to read work product, the company continues to develop its services to provide  comprehensive surveys and reports to its clients who include law firms, title companies, REITs, corporate real estate departments, lenders and all others associated with the transaction of commercial properties.  Bock & Clark services all 50 states as well as Canada for single-site and multi-site projects.

Bock & Clark’s Handbook for ALTA/ACSM Land Title Surveys has become an industry resource used by many law firms and others in the procurement and review of ALTA Surveys.  Additionally, members of the corporate staff are regularly engaged by organizations throughout the country as guest lecturers on subjects related to due diligence.
Kristen M. BoikeJenner &amp; Block

Kristen M. Boike

Firm: Jenner & Block

Kristen Boike practices transactional real estate law at Jenner & Block, and is a member of the Firm’s Real Estate, Real Estate Securities, and Climate and Clean Technology Law Practice Groups. She has had significant experience with leasing, acquisitions and dispositions, private placement memorandums, corporate mergers and acquisitions, and real estate finance. She is also well versed in issues relating to green and sustainable buildings and has written on numerous topics related to this area.

Prior to joining Jenner & Block, Ms. Boike worked at Access Living as a PILI fellow, assisting with the legal needs of individuals with disabilities. During law school, she was a research director for the Voting Rights Initiative of the Election Law Project, and participated in the Urban Communities Clinic.

  • University of Michigan Law School, J.D.
  • University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform, article editor
  • Harvard College, A.B.
  • Jenner & Block
  • Licensed to practice in Illinois

Stephen Del Percio

Firm: URS Corporation
Stephen Del Percio is an in-house attorney for one of the world’s largest engineering and construction companies and a frequent author and lecturer on topics related to construction, real estate, and green building. He is a 2000 graduate of Columbia’s School of Engineering and Applied Science and spent two years with Morse Diesel/AMEC as a construction project manager on a high-rise office building in Times Square prior to attending William & Mary Law School, where he earned his J.D. in 2005 and served as the Managing Editor of the Environmental Law & Policy Review.
  • William & Mary, J.D.
  • Columbia University, B.S.
  • URS Corporation
  • Morse Diesel/AMEC
J. Bryan EcholsWaller Lansden Dortch &amp; Davis LLP

J. Bryan Echols

Firm: Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis LLP

Bryan Echols is a Partner in the Nashville office of Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis LLP. He focuses his practice in real estate law with an emphasis on acquisitions & dispositions, development & land use, leasing, and real estate finance.  He also assists clients in the areas of banking & financial services.

Bryan has played an integral role in many projects in and around Nashville. He has completed acquisition, loan and condominium establishment for multiple distinctive residential, office and mixed-use developments in downtown Nashville. He counsels clients in real estate negotiations including completing protracted negotiations for multiple tenants in a 400,000 square foot building. He has also been prominent in the acquisition, zoning and development of first-class residential projects in the middle Tennessee area.

He has led seminars for real estate professionals and attorneys on a wide range of topics including land use and zoning, due diligence investigations, lending principles, foreclosures, conservation easement drafting and tax aspects.

Bryan has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America for Land Use & Zoning Law and Real Estate Law, and was selected by Best Lawyer’s in America as Nashville’s outstanding Land Use attorney in 2013. He was also named by Nashville Business Journal as a Commercial Real Estate MVP in the Professional Services category in 2010.  His contributions toward preservation in the community were acknowledged by the presentation of the Patron’s Award by the Heritage Foundation for Franklin and Williamson County, Tennessee.
  • United States Air Force Academy, B.S.
  • Vanderbilt University Law School, J.D.
  • American Jurisprudence Awards in Contracts II, Commercial Paper, and Labor
  • Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis LLP
  • Dickinson Wright PLLC
  • Stites & Harbison PLLC
  • United States Air Force, Judge Advocate
  • Licensed to practice in Tennessee and Georgia
  • Tennessee Bar Association
  • Nashville Bar Association
  • National Association of Industrial and Office Properties
  • Heritage Foundation for Franklin and Williamson County, Board of Directors member
  • Franklin Tomorrow, Board of Directors member
  • Williamson County Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors member
Monica L. GeardingTaft Stettinius &amp; Hollister LLP

Monica L. Gearding

Firm: Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP

Monica Gearding is a partner in the Real Estate and Business & Finance practice groups at Taft. She focuses her practice on commercial and corporate law, with an emphasis on real estate matters, commercial lending and consumer finance. Her real property experience includes commercial real estate sales and acquisitions; acquisition and construction financing; single family, condominium and mixed use developments; commercial leasing; property management; broker licensing; and construction and development work. She is also a member of the firm's Professional Women's Resource Group (PWRG).

  • Case Western Reserve University School of Law, J.D., cum laude
  • Ohio State University, B.A.
  • Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP
  • Honda of America Mfg., Inc.
  • Licensed to practice in Ohio
  • Urban Land Institute of Cincinnati, executive committee member
  • City of Wilder, Kentucky, city council member
Mary Christine GraffWinston &amp; Strawn LLP

Mary Christine Graff

Firm: Winston & Strawn LLP

Mary Christine (Christi) Graff  joined Winston & Strawn LLP in 1998 and is a partner in the real estate group. She has assisted clients throughout the country in a wide range of real estate and finance matters, including commercial property acquisitions and dispositions, commercial leasing, real estate development, land use and joint venture transactions, project finance, secured lending, and renewable energy transactions, including solar and wind development projects.

Christi is the author of articles on real estate matters such as purchases and sales and leasing, and is a frequent speaker and lecturer on a wide variety of real estate topics including purchase and sale, loan and leasing transactions. She also received the David C. Hilliard Award for Outstanding Service as co-chair of the Real Estate Law Committee of the Chicago Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Section.

  • University of Chicago Law School
  • University of Chicago Law School Roundtable, comment editor
  • Creighton University, B.A., Economics  and Political Science, summa cum laude
  • Winston & Strawn LLP
  • Altheimer & Gray
  • Licensed to practice in Illinois
  • Chicago Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
Leslee LewisDickinson Wright PLLC

Leslee Lewis

Firm: Dickinson Wright PLLC

Leslee Lewis is an attorney and practice department manager of the Real Estate, Energy & Sustainability & Environmental group at Dickinson Wright. With over 18 years of experience, she serves as general corporate counsel to national, regional and emergent businesses and nonprofits in daily contracts and affairs, organization, financing, transactions and governance.

  • Notre Dame Law School, J.D., cum laude
  • Alma College, B.A., summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa
  • Dickinson Wright PLLC
  • Licensed to practice in Michigan
  • ALI-ABA's The Practical Real Estate Lawyer, National Editorial Board
  • Principles of the Law of Nonprofit Organizations, American Law Institute, Consulting Member
  • American Law Institute, Member
  • State Bar of Michigan Real Property Law Section, 2013-2014 Summer Conferences
  • Residential Transactions Committee, State Bar of Michigan Real Property Law Section, Past Chairperson
  • Michigan Community Resources/Community Legal Resources Outreach Committee
  • Dickinson Wright Real Estate Newsletter, Past Editor
  • Dickinson Wright Education Task Force, Past Chairperson
  • Women Lawyers Alliance, Member
  • State Bar of Michigan (Business, Real Estate and Estate Planning  Sections), Member
  • Grand Rapids Bar Association, Member
  • Lake Michigan Academy (West Michigan Learning Disabilities Foundation), Past Board President, and 10 year Board Member, Board of Directors
  • Transitional Housing Council (Liz's House/My Sister's House), Dwelling Place, Board Member
  • Endowment Committee, Grand Rapids Children's Museum, Past Member
  • Fundraiser Committee, Michigan Women’s Foundation, Past Member
  • Haven Builders, Past General Counsel
  • 2009 Rothbury Music Festival (Sustainable Epicenter), Local Corporate Coordinator
  • Green Rocks! Sustainable Schools Contest, Organizer
  • Eagleview Homeowners Association, Secretary and Past President
Michelle M. McAteeJenner &amp; Block

Michelle M. McAtee

Firm: Jenner & Block

A partner at Jenner & Block in Chicago, Michelle M. McAtee focuses on all aspects of real estate transactions. Lenders, borrowers, and real estate private equity sources seek her counsel on complex commercial loans and capital market transactions, as well as in restructuring and workouts. She also has extensive leasing experience, representing both landlords and tenants in office, retail, warehouse and industrial leases, and extensive experience in the areas of construction and development, including drafting and negotiating ground leases and complex reciprocal easement agreements. In the area of real estate securities, Michelle represents clients in the design and documentation of Delaware Statutory Trust and tenant-in-common real estate investment programs involving  retail, office, warehouse and multi-family housing projects across the country.

Michelle is a member of the firm’s Real Estate and Real Estate Securities practices. She also serves the firm as a member of its Alumni, Diversity & Inclusion, and Hiring Committees. She  was named a “Rising Star” in real estate law by Illinois Super Lawyers in 2011, 2012 and 2013. She has written on numerous topics related to her practice area.

  • University of Iowa College of Law, J.D.
  • Marquette University, B.S.
  • Jenner & Block
  • Licensed to practice in Illinois and Massachusetts
  • Chicago Bar Association
  • Commercial Real Estate Executive Women Chicago
Brian O&rsquo;RourkeMcCarter &amp; English&nbsp;&nbsp; <br />

Brian O’Rourke

Firm: McCarter & English, LLP

Brian O’Rourke focuses his practice at McCarter & English on the representation of owners, construction managers, general contractors and subcontractors in the energy, infrastructure and building construction industries. His practice includes contract negotiation, civil litigation, claims management and analysis, arbitration, and public and private procurement. Contract negotiation work includes advice and consultation concerning numerous energy, civil and building construction and design contracts, including negotiation of a + $200M offshore energy related facility. Trial work includes first chair participation and assistance to lead counsel in a major design defect litigation representing the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority against the designers of the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center in a case that settled after five weeks of trial in favor of the client for more than $22M. He has served as lead counsel in a construction related arbitration and participated in numerous mediations and dispute resolution sessions.

Brian is a registered professional engineer in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and worked for six years as a civil engineer prior to becoming a lawyer. Brian’s experience as an engineer includes design and field supervision of several construction projects, planning and supervising site investigations, installing field instrumentation and analyzing field data.

Brian lectures regularly on various construction law topics and serves as an Adjunct Instructor at Worcester Polytechnic Institute teaching a full three credit graduate level course on construction law in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. Brian also teaches a contract documents class at the Boston Architectural College. He has written numerous articles on construction law topics. Brian worked as an Assistant District Attorney in Middlesex County, Massachusetts for two years where he gained valuable jury trial and courtroom experience.

  • Boston College School of Law, J.D.
  • Cornell University, M.S., Civil Engineering
  • Worcester Polytechnic Institute, B.S., Civil Engineering
  • McCarter & English, LLP
  • Gadsby Hannah LLP
  • Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office
  • GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc.
  • Licensed to practice in Massachusetts and U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts
  • American Bar Association Forum on the Construction Industry
  • American Society of Civil Engineers
  • Boston Society of Civil Engineers
  • LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP)
  • Professional Engineer (Civil – Massachusetts)
Jason T. PolevoyKleinberg, Kaplan, Wolff &amp; Cohen, P.C.

Jason T. Polevoy focuses his practice on commercial real estate law. Jason has extensive experience in all aspects of complex commercial real estate, including development, sales and acquisitions, joint ventures, financing, restructurings and workouts, and office and retail leasing. He also has significant experience in connection with hotel management agreements, architect agreements and construction agreements. Jason has represented investors and developers, and office building, residential and hotel owners.

  • University of Pennsylvania Law School, J.D.
  • University of Pennsylvania, B.A., cum laude
  • Kleinberg, Kaplan, Wolff & Cohen, P.C.
  • McDermott Will & Emery LLP
  • Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton, & Garrison LLP
  • Wilkie Farr & Gallagher LLP
  • Licensed to practice in New York.
  • American Bar Association
  • New York State Bar Association, Real Property Law Section and  Commercial Leasing Committee
  • New York City Bar Association
Eric RemenspergerProskauer Rose LLP

Eric Remensperger

Firm: Proskauer Rose LLP

Eric Remensperger, head of Proskauer’s West Coast Real Estate Group, represents institutional investors, private equity firms, private endowments, sovereign wealth funds and REIT’s (both private and public, including non-traded REIT’s) in connection with their equity investments, including major asset purchases and dispositions, with an emphasis on domestic and international joint ventures, sale-leasebacks and master leases. He also has considerable experience representing both traditional banks and private lending sources in connection with structuring and originating acquisition and construction loans, mezzanine loans, and both multi-tranche and uni-tranche financing, as well as workouts.

Chambers USA recently ranked Eric a leading real estate lawyer and said that he is “valued by clients for his ‘intelligence, diligence and good judgment’” and that he is “very good at leading a large team on complicated transactions.”

  • Brooklyn Law School, J.D., cum laude
  • Brooklyn Law Review,  Notes & Comments Editor
  • Manhattanville College, B.A.
  • Proskauer Rose LLP
  • Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP
  • Millbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP
  • Licensed to practice in New York and California
  • Make-a-Wish Foundation of Greater Los Angeles, Board Member
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association, Real Property Law Section, Executive Committee
  • California State Bar Association, Real Property Law Section, Executive Committee
  • 2013 Benjamin S. Crocker Symposium on Law and Business, Chair
  • American College of Real Estate Lawyers, Fellow
Richard E. StraussMoses &amp; Singer LLP

Richard E. Strauss

Firm: Moses & Singer LLP

Richard E. Strauss has been a partner with Moses & Singer since 1979 and is Co-Chair of its Real Estate practice. Richard’s practice covers a broad range of real estate transactions, with an emphasis on representation of financial institutions in their internal real estate transactions.

Richard’s real estate background also includes financing transactions. Some major projects include the construction financing for the World Financial Center office complex in lower Manhattan and the permanent refinancing of the multi-tenanted portion of a new Times Square office building developed as a commercial condominium for the headquarters of a major newspaper publisher. He has also represented lenders in numerous hotel financings across the country. In addition, Richard has represented developers and lenders in rated, securitized financings backed by credit leases and tax exempt bond financings for industrial facilities, housing projects, and other public purpose projects.

He represents lenders in the renegotiation and workout of, or the foreclosure or taking of title to, numerous projects in default. These include commercial and mixed-use projects in development and hotel properties.

Richard has lectured and published on such subjects as real estate workouts, lending to REITs, corporate real estate disaster contingency planning, construction loans and lease issues. He was also honored by Law & Politics in their listing of New York Super Lawyers®.

  • Fordham University School of Law, J.D., cum laude, Pi Tau Sigma, Tau Beta Pi
  • New York University, B.M.E.
  • Moses & Singer LLP
  • Licensed to practice in New York
  • American Bar Association, Real Property Committee
  • New York State Bar Association
  • CoreNet Global Association of Corporate Real Estate Executives
  • Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate
  • Mortgage Bankers Association of New York
Euchung UngKleinberg, Kaplan, Wolff &amp; Cohen, P.C.

Euchung Ung represents real estate investors, owners and lenders in partnership, LLC and joint venture transactions (including real estate fund formation), bond, mortgage and mezzanine financing transactions, and transactions involving the acquisition, disposition, development, management, and leasing of office, retail, commercial, mixed-use and hotel properties. He also advises hedge funds and private equity funds on the purchase and sale of real estate mortgage and mezzanine debt, and the negotiating and structuring of complex workout arrangements in connection with the ownership or foreclosure of real property assets.

  • Georgetown University, J.D.
  • Fordham University, LL.M. in International Trade and Business Law
  • Graduate Research Fellow
  • University of London, England, LL.B., with honors
  • Kleinberg, Kaplan, Wolff & Cohen, P.C.
  • Kaye Scholer LLP
  • Robinson & Cole LLP
  • Duval & Stachenfeld LLP
  • Mayer Brown
  • Licensed to practice in New York, Connecticut and Barrister-at-Law, England & Wales
  • North American Chapter of the Fordham LL.M. Alumni Association, Former Co-President
  • Stamford Symphony Orchestra, Former Board Member
  • Chinese Language School of Fairfield County, Member; Former Chair, Board of Directors
  • Greenwich High School Fencing, Assistant Coach
Ross YusteinKleinberg, Kaplan, Wolff &amp; Cohen, P.C.

Ross Yustein chairs Kleinberg Kaplan's Real Estate Department. He practices in the areas of real estate and real estate finance law, with a concentration in joint venture transactions, real estate development, sales and acquisitions, financing, leasing and real estate private equity. Ross represents a diverse group of clients, including owners, operators, developers, lenders, borrowers, landlords, tenants and investors in various transactions such as sales, acquisitions, financings (permanent, construction, mezzanine and revolving), leases, joint ventures and restructurings. Ross has also worked on a substantial number of real estate bankruptcies and workouts.

  • Georgetown University Law Center, J.D.
  • Brown University, B.A.
  • Kleinberg, Kaplan, Wolff & Cohen, P.C.
  • Weil Gotshal and Manges
  • Sills Cummis & Gross P.C.
  • Licensed to practice in New York and New Jersey
  • New York City Bar Association
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