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Experienced Real Estate and Litigation Attorney

Location:
Lafayette Hill, Pennsylvania, United States
Posted:
May 03, 2019

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Resume:

James R. Craig, Esq.

**** ****** **** ****, ********* Hill, PA 19444

Email: ac9air@r.postjobfree.com Phone: 724-***-****

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE:

DeMarco, Negle & Lane, LLP, Pittsburgh, PA

Associate Attorney, December 2016-Present

Experience in all aspects of commercial and residential real estate transactions, real estate development, real estate tax, land use, zoning, real estate contracts, title insurance and real estate litigation at all levels;

Successfully argued landlord-tenant jury trial including successful Motion in Limine and obtained a Jury Verdict for Plaintiff-clients and denial of Defendant’s counterclaims.

Named “Who’s Next” for Housing/Real Estate by the Incline.com: 2017;

Acting Solicitor for Lawrenceville United Community Development Corporation;

Litigated over two hundred (200) residential and commercial eviction proceedings and advised countless developers, landlords, and investors;

Acted as general counsel for five (5) cooperative housing associations in Allegheny County;

Argued over two hundred and fifty (250) residential and commercial real estate assessment appeals, including three (3) on behalf of cooperative housing associations before the Board of Viewers, resulting in a combined reduction of assessed value of $8,382,000;

Successfully petitioned the Pittsburgh Zoning Hearing Board for land-use and zoning variances for relocation of national headquarters of home health care company;

Supervised and oversaw real estate closing division of law firm which represented the number one (1) and number two (2) homebuyers in Allegheny County; reviewed and drafted CDFs and other relevant closing documents; conducted closings; performed post-closing services; interfaced with lenders and agents; prepared real estate documents; and resolved title issues;

Significant experience in real estate and commercial transactions (see attached “Deal Sheet”);

Generated in excess of $100,000 in gross revenue each year during employment. Close to Home Settlement Services, LLC, Pittsburgh, PA Owner, December 2016-March 2019

Established a real estate closing company which focuses on helping first-time homebuyers realize the dream of home ownership;

Consummated approximately one hundred and eighty (180) residential and commercial real estate transactions for an average annual revenue in excess of $100,000;

Drafted and reviewed all varieties of contracts and waivers necessary to transfer of clean title;

Worked closely with clients and lenders to obtain necessary financing and perform inspections and due diligence;

Created unique, streamlined For Sale By Owner services program and for parties unrepresented by agents, investor clients and landlords;

Created the HOMEFRONT INITIATIVE, providing free closing services for veterans and first responders. Beier Law, Pittsburgh, PA

Associate Attorney, October 2014-December 2016

Gained deep experience litigating and managing all stages of a variety of legal matters involving real estate including: general liability; premises liability; business disputes; employment disputes; boundary disputes; title clearance; real estate tax assessment appeals; and landlord-tenant matters;

Experience litigating and consummating real estate transactions in Philadelphia and the surrounding counties;

Litigated over one hundred (100) arbitrations and non-jury trials from inception to resolution;

Supervised and oversaw real estate closing division of law firm which represented the number one (1) and number two (2) homebuyers in Allegheny County; reviewed and drafted CDFs and other relevant closing documents; conducted closings; performed post-closing services; interfaced with lenders and agents; prepared real estate documents; and resolved title issues;

Generated $96,581.61 in gross revenue for firm during my final year of employment. Beier Law, Pittsburgh, PA

Law Clerk, November 2012-October 2014

Acted as sole law clerk for a law firm handling cases in a variety of legal fields, focusing primarily on real estate transactions and landlord-tenant law;

Drafted and filed pleadings, briefs, appellate briefs, discovery requests and various legal memoranda. Neighborhood Legal Services Association, Pittsburgh, PA Summer Legal Intern, May 2012-August 2012

Worked autonomously, or with minimal supervision, on behalf of indigent clients to resolve thirty-four (34) Landlord-Tenant cases; conducted negotiations; and drafted pleadings and legal memoranda. EDUCATION:

University of Pittsburgh, School of Law, Pittsburgh, PA J.D., May 2014

Honors: CALI Award-Trial Advocacy; Murray S. Love Mock Trial Tournament, Semi-Finalist; Pitt Law Community Service Award Recipient.

Activities: Murray S. Love Mock Trial Tournament; Intramural Appellate Moot Court Competition; JURIST, Associate Editor; Student Bar Association, Class Representative. University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA

B.A., Political Science and History, cum laude, May 2011 Honors: Donald E. Walker Memorial Scholarship recipient; Order of Omega Honor Society honoree. Activities: Air Force ROTC; Sigma Chi Fraternity.

PROFESSIONAL LICENSURES AND AFFILIATIONS:

Admitted to Bar of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; Allegheny County Bar Association;

Washington County Bar Association;

Western Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association;

Pennsylvania Association of Justice.

PUBLICATIONS AND PRESENTATIONS:

James Craig, “Financing Considerations, Zoning, Land-Use and Legal Issues in Residential and Commercial Real Estate Transactions- Real Estate Law for Architects: 101.” Young Architects Association of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA. July 2018. Presentation.

James Craig, “Financing Considerations and Legal Issues in Residential and Commercial Real Estate Transactions- Flips, Flops, & Flubs.” Lawrenceville United, Pittsburgh, PA. March 10, 2018. Presentation. James Craig, “New Risk Management Best Practices Under Title IX.” University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA. September 10, 2015. Presentation.

James Craig, The Unsure Fate of Affirmative Action, JURIST - Dateline, May 18, 2012, available at http://jurist.org/dateline/2012/05/james-craig-affirmative-action.php CIVIC INVOLVMENT AND HONORS:

Business Networking International, Rainmakers Chapter: Past President; New Leaders Council, Pittsburgh Chapter: 2016 Nominated Fellow; Office of Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto, Law & Ethics Transition Team Member: 2013-2014 (Appointed); Lodge Ad Lucem #812, F&AM, Member: 2012-Present;

Boy Scouts of America, Eagle Scout.

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James R. Craig, Esq.

2032 Spring Mill Road, Lafayette Hill, PA 19444

Email: ac9air@r.postjobfree.com Phone: 724-***-****

DEAL SHEET AND LIST OF REPRESENTATIVE MATTERS

COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS:

1. Represented first-time real estate investors in creation of single-purpose entity, drafting of corporate formation and governance documents, assisted in securing commercial financing, due diligence and inspections, issued title and performed closing. (2017) 2. Represented Executor of Estate in sale of a 300+ acre horse farm “for sale by owner,” including assisting in obtaining purchaser, drafting Agreement of Sale and required disclosures, drafting Chattel Agreements for purchase of horses, livestock and agricultural equipment, and issued title and performed closing. (2017) 3. Represented seasoned investor in the acquisition of a 20+ unit apartment building, assisted in securing commercial financing, due diligence and inspections, issued title and performed closing. (2017)

4. Represented first-time real estate investors in creation of single-purpose entity, drafting of corporate formation and governance documents, assisted in securing commercial financing, due diligence and inspections, issued title and performed closing. (2017) 5. Represented buyer in the purchase of three commercial parcels for a total purchase price of $1,600,000 which involved significant title clearance, debt workouts and satisfactions, due diligence, coordination with lessor (school district), issued title and performed closing. (2017)

6. Represented buyer in the purchase of vacant parcel and coal/mineral rights for which title was held in the name of a United Mine Workers of America local which went defunct in 1938. Worked with UMWA to review corporate resolutions from 1938 to present reflecting the party with appropriate authority to convey title. Secured the signature of appropriate party, issued title and performed closing. (2018). ZONING AND LAND USE:

1. Successfully obtained variance for client seeking to relocate global headquarters of multi- million-dollar home healthcare corporation through appeal to the Zoning Hearing Board along with coordination with local elected officials and stakeholders. (2018) 2. Successfully obtained “grandfather” variance for real estate investor whose property had been used for sixty (60) years as a multi-family unit. (2018) 3. Successfully obtained setback variance for local bar/restaurant seeking to utilize front sidewalk space for additional seating and alcohol service. (2018) 4. Successfully argued “grandfather” side-yard setback variance for real estate investor whose apartment building and fire escape encroached on public right-of-way, and which, engineering reports showed that fire escape could not be safely rebuilt without encroachment. (2018)

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MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS:

1. Represented seller in the sale of a laundromat and associated real property, drafting Asset Sales Agreement, negotiated and drafted non-competes and other peripheral agreements, issued title and conducted closing. (2015)

TITLE LITIGATION:

1. Successfully argued Action to Quiet Title on property purchased in upset sale in which taxing authority did not provide all interested parties with appropriate service under the statute. (2017)

2. Successfully argued Action to Quiet Title on property purchased in upset sale in which taxing authority did not provide all interested parties with appropriate service under the statute. (2018)

LITIGATION:

1. Successfully conducted a three (3) day jury trial as sole plaintiff counsel in a breach of contract lawsuit in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas including successful argument of a Motion in Limine based upon issue preclusion. (2019) 2. Set precedent in Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas establishing that the filing of Preliminary Objections to Complaint in Civil Action does not automatically continue arbitration trial unless moving party also obtains a continuance. (2015) 3. Set precedent in Columbia County Court of Common Pleas, Orphan’s Court Division establishing that under 20 Pa.C.S. §5512, et. seq., “Determination of incapacity and appointment of guardian”, Movants seeking declaration of incapacity must make a prima facie showing of incapacity through competent medical evidence or test prior to being required to submit to an I.M.E. as opposed to allowing the I.M.E. to be used as a “fishing expedition.” Case was appealed to Superior Court but was settled prior to argument.

(2015).

4. Obtained additional $500,000 in UM/UIM insurance coverage in Wrongful Death/Survival Action where insurer did not obtain appropriate waivers and sign-downs under Pennsylvania Supreme Court case law. (2016)

5. Obtained settlement for client, widower of life insurance policy holder, where insurer waived submission of evidence of insurability due to course of conduct in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. (2015)

6. Successfully litigated commercial construction lawsuit involving defective workmanship to 250 residential units in cooperative housing association worth over $3,000,000. (2016) REAL ESTATE PROPERTY TAX:

1. Obtained a reduction in real estate tax assessed value from $5,457,300 to $3,700,000 for cooperative housing association representing approximately $55,000 in annual tax savings for client. (2015)

2. Obtained a reduction in real estate tax assessed value from $5,364,700 to $2,862,600 for cooperative housing association representing approximately $80,000 in annual tax savings for client. (2015)

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3. Obtained a reduction in real estate tax assessed value from $12,822,600 to $8,700,000 for cooperative housing association representing approximately $160,000 in annual tax savings for client. (2015)

4. Reviewed entire real estate portfolio of number one (1) residential property owner in City of Pittsburgh and filed and argued one hundred eighty-seven (187) commercial and residential property assessment appeals with a total reduction in annual tax liability for client of over $150,000. (2016)



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