On behalf of two of our firm’s largest clients, a multi-office and multi-practice group team of Clark Hill attorneys and others recently obtained a $7,300,000 non-dischargeable fraud and conversion judgment by summary proceedings against their opposition in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Georgia. The ruling came after substantial briefing completed by Jordan Bolton (Birmingham – Litigation), Peter Jackson (Detroit – Bankruptcy), and Stuart Schwartz (Detroit – Construction); and a nearly two-hour oral argument session, led by Jordan and Stuart, and supported by Tim Lee (Detroit – Summer Associate). Substantial additional support was provided by one of our client’s outside general counsel, Ronald King (Lansing – Litigation).
Stuart M. SchwartzStuart Schwartz Clark Hill
Stuart M. Schwartz
Stuart M. Schwartz represents clients in commercial disputes and other business concerns in a variety of industries, including manufacturing, construction, real estate, retail, hospitality, financial services, health care, technology, and transportation.
Stuart represents clients of all sizes and profiles in high-risk and complex matters pending in business and other courts across the country. Additionally, Stuart maintains an active outside general counsel practice for numerous clients who rely on him as a trusted advisor to navigate a myriad of legal and strategic issues.
- Obtained judgement in a fraud and civil RICO action on behalf of municipal client in the amount of $120,000,000 and successfully defended that judgment through bankruptcy proceedings.
- Obtained complete dismissal of a trade secrets action brought against an industrial equipment manufacturer, with an award of attorneys’ fees and costs in client’s favor.
- Obtained an injunction against a client’s former key employee and his competing business.
- Obtained a significant recovery for a client in the hospitality industry on a claim of constructive eviction.
- Obtained a significant recovery (including control of the business) for shareholders in a large retail automotive business on a claim of minority oppression.
- Obtained a significant recovery for an industrial raw material producer on a large business interruption claim involving damage to manufacturing facility.
- Successfully defended real estate developer/project owner against claims of wrongful contract termination.
Our client, Daniels Building Company, was the successful awardee of a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs construction contract to renovate existing kitchen and food storage areas at the Battle Creek VA Medical Center in Battle Creek, MI. The procurement was set aside for award only to service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses (“SDVOSB”) approved through the VA’s Center for Verification and Evaluation (“CVE”). After announcement of the award, a disappointed unsuccessful offeror filed a SDVOSB status protest challenging whether Daniels Building was actually a SDOVSB and thus ineligible for the contract award. Daniels Building engaged Clark Hill to defend this protest, which if sustained could have potentially destroyed our client’s business due to its dependency on federal SDVOSB set-aside contracts.
The protestor alleged that, through two separate joint ventures with two different companies with no connection to the VA’s procurement award, that Daniels was (1) controlled by a large company and thus no longer small; and/or (2) was controlled by non-veterans in conflict with the VA’s regulations. The protestor also alleged that Daniels Building fraudulently obtained its SDVOSB certification by intentionally filing false information with, and withholding key information from, the VA. The Clark Hill team of Bret Wacker, Stuart Schwartz and Nicole Tersigni prepared, in the mandated 5 day response period, a detailed brief demonstrating Daniels Building is in fact owned and controlled by a service disabled veteran; and that the protestor’s attempts to defame and discredit Daniels Building Company were without basis in fact or law. The VA agreed with Daniels Building that its joint venture relationships had no bearing on the ownership or control of our client, and that the protestor’s evidence was not compelling enough to overturn Daniels Building Company’s SDVOSB certification. Our client is now able to move forward with contract performance at the Battle Creek VA Medical Center.
In a pro bono case, Nicole Tersigni (under the supervision of Jordan Bolton and Stuart Schwartz) successfully prosecuted our clients’ primary breach of contract claim, and successfully defended our clients’ fraud claims through summary disposition proceedings. In short, our clients hired the defendant contractors to remodel our clients’ modest 900 square foot home, so the main level would be accessible to their severely disabled son. The defendant contractors took our clients’ money, completed a portion of the work, then walked off the job, claiming fraud in the inducement. After taking a significant supporting role in discovery, and a lead role in getting the defendant contractors’ counterclaims dismissed as a sanction for their discovery abuses, Nicole took a lead role in the briefing related to competing motions for summary. The Court dispensed with oral argument, granted our clients’ motion on their breach of contract action, and denied the defendant contractors’ request to dismiss our clients’ fraud claims.