Attorneys

Thomas E. Lombardi

Summary

Thomas E. Lombardi is a founding partner of Palmer, Lombardi & Donohue LLP. Mr. Lombardi’s practice emphasizes real estate, business and commercial law. Mr. Lombardi litigates real estate disputes for real estate companies, including REITs, private equity firms, regional and local real estate companies, and individual real estate entrepreneurs. He also serves in an advisory capacity to these clients and their asset and property managers. Mr. Lombardi has an extensive range of experience handling all types of matters arising from commercial leases and the operations of real estate assets. Mr. Lombardi also has substantial experience litigating disputes involving purchase and sale agreements, loans, options, first rights of refusal, commissions, partnership and corporate real estate disputes, failure to disclose, construction, ADA, nuisance, quiet title, easements, and boundary disputes. Mr. Lombardi’s practice also includes defense of multifamily real estate owners faced with tenant claims ranging from wrongful eviction, mold exposure, lead exposure, discrimination, and rent control violations. Mr. Lombardi also handles transactional matters including formation of real estate entities, commercial leases, lease workouts, finance and sales transactions. Business and commercial matters handled by Mr. Lombardi include litigation arising from partnership disputes, corporate dissolution, fraud, breach of contract, insurance coverage and unfair competition. Mr. Lombardi has tried cases in the Superior Court of California and the Federal District Court. He has also argued appeals before the United States 9th Circuit Court of Appeal and the California Court of Appeal.

Education

Mr. Lombardi obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California Santa Barbara and his Juris Doctorate degree from Whittier College School of Law.

Honors & Awards

Mr. Lombardi has been included on the 2012, 2013 and 2014 lists of Southern California Super Lawyers.

Professional Activities

He is an active member of the California State Bar Real Property Section as well as the Los Angeles County Bar Association of Real Property Section. He is also a recognized member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. Mr. Lombardi has been quoted in publications on topics affecting the real estate industry and has written articles disseminated in various trade and legal publications.

Representative Matters

  • Defense of a suit for rescission of a sale filed against client, who purchased a business and its real estate assets. The action was tried before a jury. Prevailed on the action, including an award against seller for 100 percent of client’s attorneys’ fees. Prevailed on two appeals with the court awarding client attorneys’ fees for the defense of the appeals.
  • Prosecution of case against an industrial tenant and its unauthorized subtenant after a large default. The subtenant, a commercial tire importer, denied it occupied the space relying on a warehouse agreement with the tenant for the storage of its inventory. At trial, the court found the subtenant’s use was not of the nature of a warehouse agreement, but a sublease without authorization. Client prevailed against both tenant and subtenant and awarded damages for back rent to client against subtenant, who was the only collectible party. Subtenant paid the judgment.
  • Recovered a seven-figure settlement prosecuting a claim for client, a beachfront apartment building owner, whose building collapsed as a result of excavation adjacent to the client’s property.
  • Defense of a seven figure lawsuit filed by 37 tenants against a client arising from the client’s failure to maintain a large apartment complex and building, safety, health and rent control violations. Settled on a per plaintiff basis substantially below the average settlement amount for similar cases. Conditioned settlement on the plaintiffs’ agreement to vacate their rent controlled apartments, thereby allowing the client to increase rents. After plaintiffs vacated their apartments, the apartments were rented at market value, which increased the appraised value of the apartment complex in excess of the settlement paid and nearly doubled the client’s cash flow from the apartment complex.
  • Successful prosecution of a suit on behalf of Client who held an option to purchase a hotel in a beach community in Southern California. Obtained a court judgment enforcing the Client’s option and forcing optionors to sell the hotel to client. Prevailed on the subsequent appeal by the optionors. Client’s option was in the money and the victory resulted in a substantial gain on the client’s investment at the time of exercise.