Title and Ownership Disputes

Our firm has extensive experience in resolving title and ownership disputes regarding real property. Examples of the disputes we have handled include:

  1. Boundary disputes
  2. Adverse possession claims involving both fee title and claims of an easement (called a "prescriptive easement")
  3. Partition actions
  4. Quiet title actions to resolve disputes over title
  5. Slander of title claims

Intra-Ownership Disputes

Many real estate projects are developed through partnerships, limited liability companies or joint ventures, and disputes sometimes arise among the principals. We have handled many such disputes and every effort is made to resolve these messy business disputes (really business divorces) outside of court. The only effective way to of dealing with such difficult disputes is by careful drafting of the entity documents and the inclusion of a buy-sell provision at the outset, before any disputes arise. There are many types of buy-sell provisions, and we work with the client to negotiate the type which best suits the circumstances.

Buyer-Seller Disputes

Perhaps the most common real estate dispute involves claims between a buyer and a seller. The firm has handled numerous disputes of this type, such as:

  1. The buyer's fulfillment of conditions to closing, such as an obligation to obtain plat approval
  2. Adequacy of disclosures during the due diligence period
  3. The fulfillment of financing and other contingencies

Lender Liability Litigation

Most real estate projects are financed with acquisition, development and/or construction loans. In cases where the project is not developed and sold as planned, the development entity may find itself in conflict with the lender. In the early 1990s, Al Cohen obtained the largest jury verdict in Colorado history on behalf of a local land developer against Mellon Bank in the wake of the recession in the late 1980s. Changes in the law since then, and particularly enactment of the credit statute of frauds, C.R.S. ยง 38-10-124, make such cases far more difficult to bring. Nevertheless, the firm continues to assist its real estate clients in navigating problems with lenders when problems arise.