• In a case involving theft of a classic vehicle that was delivered to a repair shop for service, plaintiff claimed defendant was negligent since it did not keep the keys in a safe and did not engage any of the two “kill switches” with which the car was equipped. Defendant claimed the car was stored in a locked garage and the intervening criminal act of third parties cuts off its liability.

  • In a breach of a lease agreement plaintiff asked for the full amount of the remaining term of the lease. Defendant argued failure to mitigate damages. Defendant had offered to stay and pay less than the contractual rent and plaintiff had rejected that offer. Defendant, Middle Eastern man who was from a high context culture used roundabout arguments that required more time to bring out the facts. Additionally his poly chromic style of communication would have been frustrating for the plaintiff who was American with a mono-chromic style of communication.

  • Dispute involving an easement on a property which if enforced would reduce the value of the property and its usefulness. There was a possibility to move the easement to a different location which would not diminish the value of the property on which the easement was located and provide the benefit to the owner of the easement.

  • Dispute involving purchase and sale of a property. Plaintiff buyer had filed a complaint for specific performance of the sales agreement. Defendant Seller alleged the escrow was cancelled due to Buyer’s failure to perform. Seller was willing to sell the property at this time at a higher price.

  • Dispute involving real estate in Iran that was willed to two brothers and a sister. The two brothers could not return to Iran for political reasons and the sister and her husband were able to sell the property, but were not able to bring the funds to the US until later. The suit alleged that had they brought the funds from the sale of the property at the time of the sale, since the value of the Dollar was lower, they each would have received 2 1⁄2 to 3 times more than if the money is brought in now. Defendant sister and her husband alleged that if they had not gone to Iran, the two brothers would not have received any money since they could not have gone to Iran anyway. Additionally, there were costs in procuring the sale of the property in which the brothers should also share. Being members of a high context society, keeping the harmony in the family was paramount. Therefore, the sister who had a high power distance and a proponent of keeping the harmony was very amenable to settlement based on the mediator proposal. The brothers, who had to save face among the family and friends, needed more persuasion.

  • In a breach of contract and specific performance action in a real estate transaction, plaintiff claimed that the parking spaces assigned to their condominium unit was deeded to another unit by mistake and wished specific performance of that portion of the agreement. Defendant claimed that plaintiff had breached its contract if failing to satisfy a loan contingency and therefore cancelled the contract.

  • In a subrogation claim a homeowner insurance that had paid over $90,000 in damages to its own insured. The Homeowner’s carrier was now suing the alleged negligent third party who allegedly caused the water leak and the resulting damages that was paid by the carrier.

  • In a Declaratory Relief action filed by Plaintiff, the tenant of a residential property, on a lease agreement, to confirm the terms of a 3-year lease. Defendant and cross complainant claimed that they had an oral agreement for a rent that was 3 times the amount stated in the lease and either plaintiff forged her name to the lease or that since her knowledge of English is limited, she did not know what she was signing and demanded the balance of the funds and cancelation of the lease agreement. Both parties were Middle Eastern; however, plaintiff had come to the United States at a young age and had acquired an overlay of the Western Culture. Defendant had brought her daughter with her to mediation to satisfy the Collective nature of the High Context cultures. However, she had also come to the US at a young age and had acquired most of the Western culture. Therefore under the circumstances of this case, even though both Plaintiff and defendant had Middle Eastern Cultures, the mediation had to be conducted as if they were of the Western cultures.

  • In a breach of a sub-lease agreement plaintiff claimed that defendant had agreed to pay the utility expenses of an office space and failed to do so. Defendant claimed that he did not have to pay for the utilities.

  • In a dispute between an elderly Iranian American dentist and his Iranian American manager, the dentist sued the manager for locking him out of the office and not allowing him to practice. The dispute was about the fact that the defendant had used a swearword and not apologized. The dispute was resolved with an apology.

  • In a dispute involving trade mark infringement in Iran, the plaintiff had received a judgment from the lower court in the amount of $600,000. It would have been a loss of face if the plaintiff accepted less than the full amount of the judgment. In order to be able to save face and at the same time not face bankruptcy by the defendant, it was agreed that the defendant would pay the full amount of the loan within 24 months. However, if defendant paid $400,000 within 6 months it would be considered full and final payment.

Real Estate