“You’re going to look back and think this was one of the best things that’s happened to you professionally.”
It surely didn’t feel that way at the time. Those were the words of a partner to me in my first year of practice. I was in the middle of one of the nastiest and most difficult cases that I’ve encountered in my nearly 9 years of practice. It was a commercial eviction.
I am representing the landlord. The tenant is represented by two law firms. The tenants lawyers file every motion in the book seeking to delay and/or deny my client possession of their property. I obtain judgment for my client but the case isn’t over.
It’s the day before Christmas Eve. It’s supposed to be an easy day in the office. I plan to have lunch with the partners after exchanging gifts. Except I get served with an injunction, ordering me to refrain from serving a writ of execution. The fax machine starts spewing out paper – motion after motion appears on my desk.
The clerk calls – the Judge wants argument on a Writ of Audita Querela at four o’clock. I’ve never heard of a writ of audita querela. The judge wants a brief in 90 minutes. I frantically research the the issue and respond.
Ultimately, I win a dismissal of the tenant’s case on appeal and gain possession of the premises for my client.
Going through the process was terrible. There were all sorts of motions, hearings, discovery, and challenges. My comfort zone as a young lawyer was being tested every day for months on this case.
Landlord-tenant law has been a part of my practice for 9 years. It is a quirky area of practice filled with pitfalls for the unwary. The very nature of summary process has helped me improve my trial and litigation skills – deadlines are quick and trials happen. I’ve represented both residential and commercial landlords and tenants.
I’m looking forward to moderating and being a panelist at Lorman’s Residential Landlord-Tenant Law Seminar in Rocky Hill on September 23rd. Mostly I’m looking forward to listening and learning from an outstanding group of lawyers.
My presentation focuses on abandoned property. It is an area of significant potential liability for landlords.
If you are interested in attending, please email me: ryan at mckeenlawfirm.com. I can send you a 50% off promo code.
All of my speaking fees generated from the seminar are being donated to Achilles International CT.