“I don’t think she is the right fit for this case and our Board.  She is too aggressive, and it simply is not going to work for us.  We want a different attorney at your firm assigned to the case,” the client advised Adam Leitman Bailey.

“I am going to ask you to reconsider,” Mr. Bailey responded.

“When you go to a doctor, do you choose the doctor based on whether you like them as a person and want to go out to lunch with them, or do you choose the best doctor in the field, regardless of personality?  I can reassign the case to another attorney, of course.  But, this attorney is the best in the State of New York in this area of law, and if I were you, and it was my money, I would stay with her.  Remember, you aren’t going out to lunch with her.”

The client paused.  “Good point.”

The client decided to keep her assigned to the case.

The Board had been in litigation with its adjacent neighbor for over thirty years concerning gaining access to perform essential repair work to the exterior of its building.

After exhausting negotiations over the course of several years, and being held hostage over the terms and conditions of access, the Board sued the adjacent owner multiple times under Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law (“RPAPL”) Section 881.

However, each time the Board went to Court to attempt to gain access under RPAPL Section 881, the adjacent neighbor would beat them by arguing that the Board’s proposed work was unsafe and risky.

Then Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. was assigned to the case.  Knowing that they would ultimately have to sue the adjacent neighbor again under RPAPL Section 881, Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. devised a strategy that would make it almost impossible for any Court to disagree with the client’s position concerning the required access to the neighboring property.

Over the course of the next year, Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. worked with the Board and the project representative for the Board to deeply understand the safety concerns raised in the prior proceedings commenced by the client that ultimately resulted in defeat.

This permitted Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. to ensure that such safety concerns were comprehensively addressed, and could not be used again against the client as such concerns were just a red herring as the adjacent owner was really simply preoccupied with stopping the project under a “not in my backyard” mentality.

Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. next proceeded to negotiate the terms and conditions for licensed access by anchoring the adjacent owner into a position that it could no longer object to the Board’s project based on safety issues.

Apparently realizing that they were finally being cornered, the neighbor put up new roadblocks, including feigning damage to its building caused by the Board, and making unreasonable and unprecedented financial demands on the Board for licensed access.

Based upon years of experience in RPAPL Section 881 actions, Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. knew that almost any judge would find the adjacent owner’s financial demands egregious, particularly given that the work by the Board was not elective work, but rather mandated by the New York City Department of Buildings to protect the safety of the public and the adjoining neighbors, including the adversary.

Suspecting that the adjacent neighbor was really more concerned about stopping the project than anything else, Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. recommended that the Board file an RPAPL Section 881 case against the neighbor.

Working carefully alongside the project owner representative, the firm drafted and promptly filed papers against the adjacent owner.

Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. argued to the Court that the client had fully addressed all of the safety concerns as evidenced by the fact that the New York City Department of Buildings had approved its safety plans for the project work.

The firm also argued to the Court that the adjacent owner’s financial demands were unprecedented and outrageous and that such monetary demands should not be given deference as this was a project to protect the safety of the adjacent owner, in addition to the public.

The Court agreed with Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C., and promptly granted the license proposed by the Board for access to the adjacent owner’s property pursuant to RPAPL Section 881.

Joanna C. Peck and  Adam Leitman Bailey of Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. worked on this case.