Kemp Klein

Zawideh succeeds in getting over $240,000 released to client in construction case

Robert S. Zawideh was brought in by another law firm to jointly represent a residential real estate developer that was embroiled in a dispute with its builder over the construction of three homes. Just prior to the closing of the sale of one of these homes, the builder filed nine liens on the three homes totaling $900,000. Suit was filed, and the Court removed the liens, but required that $300,000 be held in escrow (after the builder’s attorney clarified that they were seeking $300,000, rather than $900,000). After the Court ordered the builder to produce the sworn statements that would allegedly support holding the $300,000 in escrow. Zawideh argued to the Court that the sworn statements were in fact fraudulent, and demanded an evidentiary hearing in order to prove it. At the evidentiary hearing, while Mr. Zawideh was still getting testimony from his own client about the builder’s sworn statements, the Court stopped the testimony and asked the builder’s attorneys “your client want to reconsider his sworn statements or do you just want me to refer this matter to the prosecutor?” The builder then rose from his chair to take the witness stand, at which point the Court reminded him of his 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination. Following a short break, rather than refer the builder to the prosecutor, the Court reduced the amount of the escrow and released over $240,000 out of the escrow account immediately to Mr. Zawideh’s client.