Achieving Creative Solutions to Complex Legal Problems Since 1988

A law firm is a law firm is a law firm is a law firm is a law firm — right?

If that’s how you’ve felt up until now, you might be surprised by what you’ll find at the law firm of Gillis & Bikofsky, P.C. in Newton, Massachusetts.

Business Litigation

A local clothing company with an exclusive arrangement with a manufacture learned that the manufacture was selling the same clothes to a competitor, in violation of the agreement, for less money. G&B attorney Michael Gillis represented the clothing store, obtained from the court an order to cease and desist from selling to the competitor, and a jury awarded damages to the G&B client for lost business due to the violation of the agreement.

A business owner who leased a new Jaguar suffered an eye injury which prevented him from driving. When he was first starting to drive again, the vehicle was stolen, set on fire, and destroyed.

The insurer refused to pay the loss alleging that the business owner caused the care to be stolen and destroyed. At the time, the value of the vehicle was $15,000 less than was owned on the lease.

G&B attorney Michael Gillis took over from other counsel who were unsuccessful in resolving the case. First, he was successful in having the “GAP” insurer pay to Jaguar the difference between what was owed on the lease and the value of the car. At trial, the jury agreed that the owner did not cause the vehicle to be stolen and awarded damages for the full amount of the lease which, with interest, equaled double the amount of the vehicle.

A local business owner sought a broker to sell his business. The broker was unable to find a suitable buyer. After the brokerage agreement expired, the owners found their own buyer. The buyer’s attorney, who was related to the business broker, informed the business broker who subsequently sought a commission as he had shown several stores to the eventual buyers. Suit was brought against the G&B client who owned the store. After a year of litigation, G&B attorney Michael Gillis was successful in having the case dismissed and no damages paid by the G&B client.

A G&B client was the manufacturer’s representative and did some construction on multiple homes built on Nantucket. The homes were largely pre-fabricated to save on costs, and the windows on the homes were pre-installed by a well known window company. Five of the purchasers of the homes brought suit against the G&B client as well as several other companies involved in the construction alleging that the windows were faulty and allowed water into the walls during rainstorms with high winds. To exacerbate matters, the insurer for the G&B client reserved coverage stating that the damage was not covered under the policy.

The matter proceeded in Nantucket Superior Court for five years as the superior court only meets two weeks in May and two weeks in September. Additionally, there were several mistrials as the court was unable to find enough jurors who did not know the parties and could be fair and impartial. In the end, a settlement was agreed to with the plaintiffs, and the defendants and their insurers then litigated who was responsible for what portion of the damages. In the end, the G&B client was the only party who did not have to contribute to the settlement of either the plaintiff’s claim or any of the claims amongst the defendants and their insurers. The matter was handled by Michael Gillis.

Real Estate Litigation

The seller of a home, after signing an offer to purchase, refused to sign a purchase and sale agreement. G&B attorney Michael Gillis brought suit on behalf of the purchasers, and the seller then agreed to sign the purchase and sale. Subsequently, the seller refused to attend the closing and would not sign over the property. While suit was pending, the seller refused to pay his mortgage and let the property go to foreclosure. The buyers ended up buying a better home in the same neighborhood, and they lived in a rented home in the interim.

At trial, the court awarded the G&B clients over $250,000.00 in damages resulting from the sellers’ failure to go forward with the sale. The damages awarded by the court included damages for the loss of opportunity for a lower mortgage rate (even though rates subsequently went down), the appreciation of the home that the clients contracted to purchase, as well as out of pocket expenses for their rental property.

A G&B client sold property that he owned in order to purchase waterfront property. He recently entered a relationship with a woman and had begun living with her. Because she had a better credit rating, she applied and received a mortgage, and the house was put in her name. Subsequently, the relationship soared, and he asked her to leave the premises. She obtained a restraining order against him alleging abuse and refused to relinquish the premises as it was in her name and she alleged that she paid a share of the expenses.

At trial, the jury found her claims of abuse not to be accurate. The court awarded specific performance to the G&B client allowing him to regain title in his house upon payment of a nominal amount and upon his obtaining a mortgage so that the former girlfriend’s mortgage could be paid off and her name removed from the deed.

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