Hanson Law Firm (HLF) is a real-estate-centric law firm composed of trial lawyers with decades of experience in California’s residential and commercial brokerage business. Members of my team of senior attorneys have served as general counsel for 1031 exchange intermediaries and commercial brokerages, as risk managers for large (and small) residential brokerage companies and as an associate dean of a law school. HLF is firmly set in its real property.
That kind of expertise allows me to predict issues and find solutions—all so our clients can sleep at night, knowing my staff and I have got their backs.
We don’t just represent real estate brokerages and agents. We’ll sue them too, when they’ve screwed up. After all, their clients should be able to sleep at night too.
Real estate today is going through changes more dramatic than almost anything we’ve ever seen, and brokers and agents are subjected to an ever-growing list of concerns. As California real estate attorneys and insurance Bad Faith attorneys representing brokers and agents throughout California, we are aware of these changes, and develop focused and pragmatic solutions when problems arise.
I regularly tell my real estate brokerage clients that the best way to win a case is to avoid a lawsuit in the first place. If there is an insurance based defense, I can often come in as independent counsel (called “Cumis counsel”) and defend the brokerage—at the E&O carrier’s expense.
But, if a lawsuit can’t be avoided, I know how to handle even the trickiest, most complex cases, on behalf of either the brokerage/agent or the broker/agent’s client.
But a brokerage claim is only one part.
The brokerage may have E&O insurance, but what if the carrier breaches the duty to defend or the duty to settle, denies coverage, or engages in unfair policy rescission?
I can help there too. A breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing by abandoning the duty to defend, or the duty to settle, or by rescinding the policy, can give rise to not just contract damages, but punitive damages against the insurance company as well. And while every case is different and no results can ever be guaranteed, I’ve gotten insurance coverage for our brokerage clients where it’s been denied, and for their clients. In 2011-2012 alone we successfully sued two carriers who refused coverage for insurance Bad Faith, collecting $1,000,000 on a duty to defend claim from one carrier who refused coverage for a brokerage, and $625,000 on a failure to settle claim on behalf of the brokerage client!
A lawsuit is often the most stressful event of a career (or life). No one wants to go through it, neither the brokerage/agent nor the broker/agent client. But when you have so much at stake, you do what has to be done. So do I. On your behalf.
Brokerages and their agents or clients aren’t the only ones feeling change. Borrowers and lenders are as well.
I’ve sued to protect borrowers who have been wrongfully foreclosed upon; and sued to protect the interests of bidders at foreclosure sales; and even acted as a trustee and conducted foreclosures for lenders (from loans of thousands to millions of dollars). I have no bias; my only goal is to make sure the process is fair to everyone.
When it’s all said and done, you may just want to escape to a place where you can relax, say – your boat. Then you step down into a pool of water (generally, that’s a bad thing, when there is water in the boat). You take the boat to the yard, file a claim, and the insurance carrier says the damage isn’t covered, or only half the cost to repair is. Oh hell no. I’ve got a boat. I use it to relax. And I get cranky when a carrier tries to pull a fast one on coverage. So, it should be no surprise to learn that my staff and I make claims against insurance companies that are trying to get out of paying for coverage on boat claims too.
We can be aggressive when we need to be, conciliatory when that’s the appropriate tack. We’ll try to talk you out of a lawsuit before talking you into one. We won’t waste your money fighting a losing battle, or filing dumb motions one after another.
Isn’t that the kind of law firm you want?