Maddin Hauser is pleased to announce that a settlement negotiated by Steven D. Sallen
and Michelle C. Harrell
has been listed in Michigan Lawyers Weekly’s
2018 Million Dollar Verdicts and Settlements Issue, an annual compilation of submitted case results of $1 million or more obtained in a Michigan court. Ranking 15th overall, Maddin Hauser’s settlement was the only resolution listed in the real estate category.
In November 2018, Sallen and Harrell negotiated the more than $7 million settlement in favor of their clients, the owners of the Ottawa Towers office buildings. The legal battle between the plaintiffs and the City of Pontiac began in 2012 with an easement dispute. Pontiac’s then Emergency Manager ordered the demolition of the Phoenix Center Parking Deck and Plaza, which is adjacent to the Ottawa Towers. The demolition would have damaged the buildings and left them – and the entire City of Pontiac – with virtually no public parking. Along the way, the City of Pontiac violated a demolition injunction and tried to condemn the parking structure, in which the plaintiffs had invested more than $1 million in repairs and maintenance. In the end, justice prevailed in a settlement negotiation that:
- Provided for a payment of more than $7 million to the owners of Ottawa Towers, including $350,000 for attorneys’ fees
- Confirmed Ottawa Towers’ parking easement rights in the Phoenix Center parking structure
- Provided free parking for Ottawa Towers’ tenants for more than 10 years
- Reaffirmed the City of Pontiac’s obligations to repair and maintain the Phoenix Center on an expedited and ongoing basis
The announcement was made by the firm’s President and CEO, Steven D. Sallen. “We’re pleased to be ranked in Michigan Lawyers Weekly’s 2018 Million Dollar Verdicts and Settlements Issue. The road to this settlement was long and challenging, but Michelle and I were dedicated to protecting our clients’ interests and knew that we had the facts and the law on our side. This is not just a win for us or our clients, but a vindication of the Rule of Law and an affirmation that no one – not even the government – is above the law,” said Sallen.
In addition to serving as President and CEO, Sallen is the head of the firm’s Environmental Law Practice Group and Co-Chairman of its Real Estate Practice Group. Sallen concentrates his practice in the areas of real estate law, environmental law and corporate law. His clients include some of Michigan's most successful manufacturing firms, real estate developers, general contractors, and commercial real estate brokers. In 2009, Sallen developed the Commission-Safe® Marketing Program, a proven system of re-useable tools and checklists, training and consulting for commercial real estate brokers. He has been continuously selected by his peers for inclusion in the annual edition of Best Lawyers in America® since 2010, has been named a Michigan Super Lawyer© and a Top Lawyer by DBusiness Magazine©, all in the field of real estate law. He has also been recognized as a Michigan Leading Lawyer and was included in the Top Attorneys of North America 2018-2019 edition of The Who’s Who Directories.
Harrell is an experienced litigator, shareholder, Executive Committee member and Chair of Maddin Hauser’s Complex Litigation and Risk Advisory Practice Group. Harrell concentrates her practice in the areas of complex commercial litigation, real estate matters, shareholder disputes, receiverships, franchise and distribution law, hospitality law, family law, trust disputes, class action defense, and alternative dispute resolutions (ADR). She was named one of the 2017 Most Notable Women Lawyers in Michigan by Crain Content Studio, has been recognized as a Michigan Leading Lawyer and was named a Top Lawyer by DBusiness Magazine.
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