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To read the full text of the articles in the July 2015 edition of Foundation, please download the PDF.

A Note from the Chairs
by Pelayo Coll and Samuel M. Walker

With this third edition of our newly revamped Foundation newsletter now published, we wanted to take the opportunity to thank you for your interest in our articles. There are many sources available these days, given the extensive, and sometimes overwhelming, amount of information now available on the Internet, so we wanted to let you know that we value your readership and loyalty. We also appreciate your feedback, so please let us know if you have any comments or suggestions. We wanted to further note that Blank Rome's real estate group continues to be busy in all facets of our practice. This year has been extraordinary in terms of the amount and types of transactions on which we are working. (Read more)

Warranty/Guaranty Provisions in Construction Contracts
by Michael A. Scheffler

The most confusion I have seen in the discussion of construction topics concerns the concepts of "warranty" and "guaranty." This article will address the confusion, explain the important distinctions between these two concepts, and describe how to effectively administer and enforce warranty and guaranty provisions in construction contracts.
(Read more)

Leasing Tips for Commercial Landlords and Tenants: Who Owns the "Fixtures" When the Lease Expires?
by Christopher Tesar

When a lease expires, it is not uncommon for landlords and tenants to dispute what constitutes the landlord's property and what constitutes the tenant's property, even when sophisticated parties and equally sophisticated leases are involved. Ownership disputes also can arise when the tenant defaults and the landlord sues to terminate the lease and recover possession of the premises. What constitutes the "premises" is not always as clear as one might think, however. (Read more)

Chambers USA 2015 Honors Blank Rome Real Estate Practice and Attorneys

Chambers 2015: Blank Rome's real estate group is known for its "diverse and deep bench of expertise with strength in complex portfolio and joint venture matters." The group "frequently acts on behalf of financial institutions in financing transactions and provides expertise in zoning and land use work." Sources say: "They offer not just pure legal advice, but they also go beyond that and provide us real insights into the risks involved in a transaction. They have a great business sense." • "They are creative problem solvers and get deals done." (Read more)

Blank Rome Welcomes 23 Attorneys of Wong Cabello

Blank Rome LLP is pleased to announce that 23 attorneys and additional staff from the intellectual property law firm of Wong, Cabello, Lutsch, Rutherford & Brucculeri L.L.P ("Wong Cabello") have joined the Firm in its new downtown Houston office, on June 9. As a result of these additions, Blank Rome significantly bolsters its IP practice to more than 60 attorneys and broadens its service offering to clients. All five name partners have joined the Firm, with J. David Cabello serving as co-chair of Blank Rome's Intellectual Property and Technology group. They bring with them an additional 6 partners, 3 of counsel, 9 associates, and professional staff. (Read more)

Blank Rome Speaking Engagements

Blank Rome attorneys Martin Luskin, Vincent Leon-Guerrero, and William S. Small recently participated in several real estate-related panels and events. Martin Luskin spoke at the WeiserMazars Real Estate CFO Summit in New York City; Vincent Leon-Guerrero spoke at the ABA's Estate Planning and Real Property Spring Symposia in Washington, D.C.; and William S. Small moderated a panel at the USC Gould School of Law 2015 Real Estate Law and Business Forum in Los Angeles, CA. (Read more)

Underwater Cover: The Supreme Court's Protection of Junior Mortgage Holders
by Steven A. Shoumer

On June 1, 2015, with a decision that is sure to please junior mortgage lien holders, the United States Supreme Court held in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case known as Bank of America, N.A. v. Caulkett that a junior mortgage lien holder's mortgage would not be invalidated simply because the entire value of its mortgage is underwater. In Caulkett, the Supreme Court specifically examined whether 11 U.S.C. Section 506 of the United States Bankruptcy Code (the "Code") voids the lien of a second mortgage lien holder on a residential property because the value of the property was less than the amount of the first mortgage lien holder's lien and thus not a "secured claim." (Read more)

Noteworthy Real Estate Deals

Blank Rome's real estate group recently represented various clients in noteworthy deals, including a client in a joint venture that closed the portfolio sale of 14 assisted living facilities, Shinhan Bank, and a national cycling company. (Read more)

Environmental Litigation, Compliance, and Transactional Costs to Increase as a Result of EPA's New Vapor Intrusion Guidance
by Margaret Anne Hill and Thomas M. Duncan

On June 11, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") released two technical guidance documents that address assessment and mitigation activities at residential and non-residential sites where vapor intrusion is an actual or potential concern, including sites being investigated under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act ("CERCLA") and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act ("RCRA"). (Read more)

Notice: The purpose of this newsletter is to identify select developments that may be of interest to readers. The information contained herein is abridged and summarized from various sources, the accuracy and completeness of which cannot be assured. The Advisory should not be construed as legal advice or opinion, and is not a substitute for the advice of counsel.