THE HAGUE, Netherlands - The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) on Jan. 13 issued various updates in an arbitration commenced by numerous real estate entities against the Russian Federation in relation to an alleged real estate investment in Crimea, announcing that the Russian Federation did not participate in a recent hearing on jurisdiction and admissibility (Everest Estate LLC, et al. v. The Russian Federation, No. 2015-36, PCA).
CHICAGO - An insurer has no duty to indemnify an insured and no duty to reimburse an additional insured for alleged water damage to an apartment building because there was no covered "occurrence" for the insured's failure to properly cover the building's roof, an Illinois federal judge ruled Jan. 6 (Brit UW Ltd. v. Tripar Inc. and Davis Russell Real Estate and Management LLC, No. 15-5866, N.D. Ill.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2462).
DETROIT - A Michigan federal judge on Dec. 20 adopted a magistrate judge's recommendation that the majority of claims asserted by former property owners against two loan companies in relation to the foreclosure of their property be dismissed, but found that their cause of action for violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) should be allowed to proceed (Rodney Helm, et al. v. Freedom Mortgage Corporation, et al., No. 15-cv-12394, E.D. Mich.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175450).
LONDON - An England and Wales court on Dec. 19 rejected the appeal of an investor in a Moscow real estate project of a judgment enforcing a $72,243,000 arbitral award issued in favor of another investor by the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), finding that the judge did not err in his interpretation that an underlying arbitration clause existed (Ashot Yegiazaryan v. Vitaly Ivonovich Smagin, No.  EWCA Civ 1290, England and Wales App.).
NEW YORK - A group of institutional investors has met all statutory requirements to serve as lead plaintiff in a securities class action against a real estate investment trust and several of its former executive officers and directors, a federal magistrate judge in New York ruled Nov. 29 (Westchester Putnam Counties Heavy & Highway Laborers Local 60 Benefit Funds v. Brixmor Property Group Inc., et al., No. 16-2400, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 164682).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A California federal magistrate judge on Nov. 29 partially granted a loan servicer's motion to dismiss claims for fraudulent misrepresentation but allowed part of a borrower's claim for violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) to proceed (Frank Malifrando v. Real Time Resolutions Inc., et al., No. 2:16-cv-0223, E.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 164497).
PASADENA, Calif. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 23 dismissed an appeal of a borrower's claims for violation of the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), finding that a letter he sent was not considered a qualified written request and that his TILA claim was barred by a statute of limitations (Joseph A. Guerra v. Just Mortgage, Inc., et al., No. 13-16725, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 21108).
NEW YORK - New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman on Nov. 18 announced that a $25 million settlement had been reached ending claims that Trump University - which was owned by President-elect Donald Trump and marketed itself as a university to train, educate and mentor entrepreneurs involved in real estate investing - was actually a sham and defrauded its students out of millions of dollars.
BALTIMORE - A Maryland federal judge on Nov. 8 certified a class of borrowers who allege that a title company violated the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) by providing cash and other benefits to mortgage lenders in exchange for referrals (Edward J. and Vicki Fangman, et al. v. Genuine Title, LLC, et al., No. 14-81, D. Md.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 154582).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A California federal judge on Nov. 2 held that a Real Estate Property Managed endorsement rendered an insurer's policies excess with respect to an underlying personal injury claim, finding that the insurer has no duty to defend or indemnity its property manager insured (Atain Specialty Insurance Co. v. Sierra Pacific Management Co., et al., No. 14-00609, E.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 152874).
BOSTON - A Massachusetts appeals panel on Oct. 25 ruled that evidence presented during a construction defects trial did not support a jury's finding that a couple was entitled to $1 million in damages and upheld a second judge's decision to hold a trial solely on damages allegedly resulting from misrepresentations of the builders and real estate agents (Kathryn Culley, et al. v. Authentic Traditions LLC, et al., No. 15-P-1020, Mass. App.; 2016 Mass. App. Unpub. 1029).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia federal judge on Oct. 24 granted a motion for summary judgment finding that the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) did not apply to an underlying loan and remanded various causes of action to a state court for lack of jurisdiction (Anthony Floyd v. PNC Mortgage, a division of PNC Bank, N.A., et al., No. 14-2190, D. D.C.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 146679).
GULFPORT, Miss. - A federal judge in Mississippi on Sept. 15 denied a defendant company's motion for summary judgment in a suit seeking a declaration that the defendant is required to contribute to an arbitration award from a construction defects lawsuit, finding that the plaintiff is not judicially estopped from bringing suit because the present lawsuit differs from the earlier action (RDS Real Estate LLC v. Abrams Group Construction LLC, et al., No. 15-cv-361-LG-RHW, S.D. Miss.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125652).
DETROIT - A Michigan federal judge on Sept. 8 dismissed a borrower's claims for violation of the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) as barred by statutes of limitations, denying her request for leave to amend (Joan Ball v. Federal National Mortgage Association, as Trustee for FannieMae Guaranteed Remic Pass-Through Certificates FannieMae Remic Trust 2004-W12, formerly known as Cendant Mortgage Corp., No. 16-11475, E.D. Mich.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121562).
CONCORD, N.H. - Expert testimony on homeowners' loan modification application with mortgage lenders fails to offer interpretation of process outside of paraphrasing subsections of the Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act (RESPA), a New Hampshire federal judge ruled Aug. 31, barring the testimony (Jason S. Dionne and Denise C. Dionne v. Federal National Mortgage Association and JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A., No. 15-056, D. N.H.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117352).
TAMPA, Fla. - After finding that a borrower's request for information (RFI) did not constitute a qualified written request (QWR) under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), a Florida federal judge on Aug. 29 granted a bank's motion to dismiss the complaint with leave to amend (Xavier A. Bracco v. PNC Mortgage, No. 8:16-cv-1640, M.D. Fla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115269).
BATON ROUGE, La. - A declaratory judgment plaintiff's request for summary judgment that it did not infringe the "Audobon" trademark when it adopted a nearly identical name was denied Aug. 22 by a Louisiana federal judge, who cited the existence of genuine issues of material fact that are yet to be resolved (Audubon Real Estate Associates LLC v. Audobon Realty LLC, No. 15-115, M.D. La.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111437).
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - After finding that a bank's obligation to respond to a borrower's qualified written request (QWR) was never triggered under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), a Florida federal judge on July 29 granted its motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim (Ricardo Basora v. MPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., No. 16-civ-60999, S.D. Fla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99635).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A North Carolina federal judge erroneously denied the real estate website Zillow Inc. summary judgment on allegations that it infringed two patents directed to a process for coordinating loans on a loan-processing computer over the Internet, because both patents are directed to ineligible subject matter, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 26 (LendingTree LLC v. Zillow Inc., Nos. 14-1435, -1531, 15-1186, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13462).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A California federal magistrate judge on July 14 dismissed claims asserted by a borrower against a loan servicer but granted him leave to amend his claim for violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and to pursue a claim under California's unfair competition law (UCL) (Frank Malifrando v. Real Time Resolutions Inc., et. al., No. 2:16-cv-0223, E.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91739).