Paul Simon, Jr., John Hein and Adam Stockberger currently represent a law firm and one of its partners in a lawsuit pending in the United States District Court, Eastern District of Missouri. Plaintiffs, which include a special deputy receiver on behalf of certain insurance companies in receivership in the State of Texas, a national insurance guaranty association and a number of state insurance guaranty associations, brought claims, among others, for alleged violation of RICO and the Lanham Act, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty and legal malpractice. Plaintiffs seek in excess of $600 million dollars.
Stewart Schneider and Trent Bond were awarded Summary Judgment on behalf of a Bank client, in a Judgment declaring the Bank’s deed of trust to be in a first lien position. Central to the case was whether or not a Quit Claim Deed at issue, which was signed during the grantor’s life but not recorded until after the grantor’s death, was validly delivered to the grantee. Subsequent to the recording, the grantee sold the property and an heir to the deceased grantor sought to invalidate the Deed and all subsequent conveyances. The Court found that delivery had been made and the Bank and its borrower qualified as a bona fide purchasers under Missouri law. The real property at issue was adjudged to be free and clear of the heir’s claims.
In Missouri’s first appellate opinion interpreting the “party in possession” exception to a standard title insurance policy, the Western District Court of Appeals held that the provision is unambiguous and that the standard exception to title insurance coverage excluded coverage for an Adverse Possession claim and a claim for Boundary by Acquiescence. In its opinion, the Court thoroughly examined the language of the exception to coverage and the coverage analysis undertaken by the insurer at the time it denied coverage in affirming the trial judge’s grant of a Motion for JNOV. The full opinion can be found at 2012 WL 4074418.
Bill Sauerwein and Grant Mabie obtained Summary Judgment on behalf of a national title insurer that was sued in Greene County, Missouri. The Plaintiff argued that the policy of title insurance afforded Plaintiff a defense and indemnity in ancillary litigation. The court agreed that the national title insurer did not owe a duty to defend or a duty to indemnify the Plaintiff, because various policy exclusions applied, and the allegations made against the Plaintiff in the ancillary litigation fell outside of the coverage of the title insurance policy.
Stewart Schneider and Adam Stockberger recently resolved a lender’s title insurance claim whereby the insured’s property was mistakenly encumbered by the neighboring owner’s warranty deed and deed of trust. A judgment was obtained correcting the legal descriptions in the deeds.
Bill Sauerwein obtained Summary Judgment in favor his client in a sizeable case in St.Clair County Illinois. The Plaintiff in the case contended it was entitled to a $6.5 million dollar mechanics lien and sought priority over the lender’s $9 million mortgage. The court found the Plaintiff was jointly interested in the project through its dealings with the owner of the property and therefore not entitled to a mechanic’s lien. The mechanics lien sought by the lien claimant was declared invalid.
On behalf of a national Title Insurer, Bill Sauerwein obtained reversal of a trial court’s judgment against the Insurer. The Missouri Appellate court, Western District, reversed an entry of a judgment for damages against Chicago Title Insurance Company in Appeal Number WD72673 in a case that began as an effort by Chicago Title to correct an error in vesting deeds. Chicago Title was later sued for attorneys fees incurred by the defendant in the action to quiet title. The Appellate court held that Chicago Title was clearly entitled to a reversal on the dispositive issue of causation and that her attorney’s fees and costs were “self-inflicted” expenses and remain her responsibility.
Hein Schneider & Bond P.C.
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