Albert Farrah’s experience in commercial and business litigation is extensive, and includes commercial, construction, partnership, governmental and real property disputes. He has represented clients against insurance companies, banks and municipalities, in disputes with former counsel and auditors and in employment litigation. A sampling of those matters is set forth below.
Defense of Multi Million Dollar Rent Control Effort
Represented the owners of over 500,000 square feet of loft space in Boston’s SOWA (South of Washington Street) district – in which dozens of persons were alleged to be living and working as artists – against claims by the Boston Rent Equity Board that it had jurisdiction over these properties, and the power to roll back and then control rents at 1969 levels, and thus force Mr. Farrah’s clients pay tenants and former tenants alleged “rent overcharges” reaching back over 20 years. The potential impact to the landlord was catastrophic, easily in the range of several million dollars. For five years, Mr. Farrah defended lawsuits and administrative hearings brought by the Board and individual tenants. A settlement was finally reached. The Board exercised no jurisdiction, the properties were never subject to Rent Control, and the clients paid no damages and suffered no losses. City of Boston Rent Equity Board, et al v. Nicosia, et al, Boston Housing Court.
Breach of Contract, Lost Profits
Successfully represented a contractor in a lawsuit against the Town of Rockport, MA. After twenty-seven days of trial in which forty witnesses, including twelve expert witnesses testified, and after deliberating for less than three hours, a jury awarded his client $3.7 million in lost profits. This was the fourth largest verdict in Massachusetts in 1996, and at the time, the largest verdict ever in Essex County. With interest, judgment entered for nearly $7.2 million. Poole Construction Co., Inc. v. Town of Rockport, Essex Superior Court.
Breach of Contract, Lost Profits, Lender Liability
In this lender liability action, Mr. Farrah secured the first plaintiff’s verdict in the history of the Massachusetts Business Litigation Session. On December 6, 2000, after seven days of trial, a jury returned a verdict in favor of his client, finding the defendant bank had breached its agreement to fund construction of the area’s first and only Asian owned funeral home. With interest, judgment for lost profits in the amount of $712,000 entered for his client. Wing Fook, Inc. v. Boston Bank of Commerce, Suffolk Superior Court.
Defense of Nine Count, $5 Million Securities and C. 93A Claim
Recently represented the estate of a deceased lawyer/CPA against a nine count, $5 million claim brought by a national securities broker dealer alleging Mr. Farrah’s client had conspired to defraud elderly investors out of millions of dollars. Mr. Farrah conducted extensive discovery and prepared a comprehensive motion for summary judgment. After two days of mediation the case settled on terms extremely favorable to his clients. A confidentiality agreement prevents disclosure of those terms. National Planning Corporation v. Kelleher, Plymouth Superior Court.
Defense of Architect’s Claim for $1.3 Million in Additional Fees
Successfully represented the developer of the International Medical Center in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, a 700,000 square foot hospital, against claims by a Boston based architectural firm that it was entitled to well over $1.3 million in additional fees for hospital design services. When the architect refused to release final drawings and specifications unless it was paid $1.3 million, Mr. Farrah immediately brought suit, and conducted discovery into the documentation supporting the claim for extra fees. After two days of mediation, an extremely favorable settlement was reached. A confidentiality agreement prevents disclosure of its terms. Fitaihi v. Steffian Bradley Associates, Suffolk Superior Court [BLS].
Defense of Architect in Negligence Action
Mr. Farrah represented a Boston architect who was alleged to have negligently prepared condominium drawings for a 125-unit project. A unit purchaser claimed Mr. Farrah’s client failed to properly measure his unit and that the architect’s drawings represented the unit to be approximately 10% larger than what the owner claimed was its size. A verdict adverse to Mr. Farrah’s client would potentially have impacted the measurements of all units in the condominium project. After a four-day jury trial, a Suffolk Superior Court judge directed a verdict on behalf of Mr. Farrah’s client, finding no negligence and no liability. Case name withheld.
Resolution of Multi-Property Boston Commercial Real Estate Partnership Dispute
Represented a real estate developer in a dispute with his partners involving several Boston commercial real estate properties. After 17 days of testimony before a three-lawyer board of arbitrators, the action was settled on terms extremely favorable to his client. Confidentiality agreements prevent any further disclosure of this action or the terms of this settlement.
Action for Accounting Firm Partnership Profits - Defense of $1 Million Counterclaim
Despite that his client made no effort to collect funds owed him by his former partner for over eight years, Albert Farrah secured an arbitration award of over $100,000 in a partnership dispute between certified public accountants. He also defended against a $1 million counterclaim brought against his client. No award was made in connection with the counterclaim. Hurley v. Martin, et al, American Arbitration Association.
Injunction Against Former Employees’ Competing Business
Mr. Farrah represented a client specializing in the placement of IT professionals with major corporations against two former employees who, in violation of agreements not to compete and using confidential lists and information, formed a competing business. After limited discovery, a court ordered a two year injunction prohibiting the former employees from competing, thereby allowing the client to grow its business into one of the largest privately owned companies of its kind in the country. The Computer Merchant, Ltd. v. Zadeh, et al, Essex Superior Court.
Action Against Bank and Accounting Firm-Breach Of Testamentary Trust
Successfully represented the beneficiaries under a will against a national bank and accounting firm that served as co-trustees of a testamentary trust established under that will. After extensive discovery, the action settled with on confidential terms with payments to the beneficiaries by the bank. Dorrance, et al v. Fleet Bank, et al, Bristol Superior Court.
Action Against Bank-Forged Signatures On Withdrawal Orders
Albert Farrah successfully represented the owners of estate bank accounts upon which hundreds of thousands of dollars of checks and withdrawal orders, forged by the estate’s attorney, had been wrongfully paid. The bank denied the signatures were forgeries and called as a witness a nationally recognized handwriting expert who testified that the signatures were not forgeries. On the fourth day of trial, a jury returned a verdict for Mr. Farrah’s client on all counts, and the bank made full restitution. Shawmut Bank Litigation, Middlesex Superior Court.
Action Against Insurance Company for Refusal to Pay Under Policy
As the result of Albert Farrah’s efforts, his client, a Boston Oriental rug retailer who suffered a significant loss as the result of a break in and theft of rugs, was able to successfully mediate its claim against the company insuring such loss that refused to make payment on the policy on various grounds, including improper notice, refusal to cooperate, and that the theft did not occur, or, if it did that the client’s recordkeeping did not support a loss of the magnitude claimed. After depositions and a full day of mediation in Federal Court in Boston, the case settled favorably for his client, subject to a confidentiality order. First Oriental Rug v. Home Insurance Company.
Non Profit Cemetery, Management and Control
After analyzing applicable Massachusetts statutory and decisional law regarding the operation of cemeteries in Massachusetts, and its organizational documents, Mr. Farrah devised a strategy that permitted his clients, members of Boston’s Asian community, to assume management and control of the Central Cemetery in Randolph, MA.