BMK Attorney’s Trial Counsel Assists in the Court Denial of Trustee’s Attempt to Deprive Fraud Victim of Funds Seized from Fraud Artist

(PRWEB) February 28, 2013

After being defrauded by Lloyd Rucker in 1994, Dr. Cunning obtained a verdict against Rucker for $ 3.2 million in 1997. He subsequently located and seized over $ 1 million from the fraud artist in 2005, obtained a court order after a trial in 2006 that he could collect the money, and then successfully rebuffed Ruckers appeal of that order in 2009.

Before he could finally collect the money in 2009 however, a bankruptcy trustee sued Dr. Cunning for the same proceeds, claiming that Cunning did not properly serve Rucker with legal documents in 2005 and, consequently, the trustee could take the money to pay creditors of Ruckers bankruptcy (Court Case No. 8:06-bk-10195-CB). The Trustee took this position despite the fact that Dr. Cunning was, by far, the largest creditor in the bankruptcy, being owed 90% of the money owed by Rucker to creditors.

After a four day trial, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge, Catherine Bauer, rejected the trustees position and the fraudsters testimony, relying on the evidence Dr. Cunning presented in finding that Rucker had clearly been served with the relevant documents back in 2005.

The court found that Trustees counsel did his best to throw doubt on whether service occurred . . . . And, obviously, time dims memories for all of us. That is one of the many reasons we have proofs of service. We need to have accurate records of service or our courts would grind to a halt with the passage of time and inevitable deaths of those who served the documents. Indeed, in this case, one process server did die prior to trial. The court gave no weight to Ruckers testimony, noting his well-documented propensity to lie under oath. Rucker v. Casey, Case No. 8:06-bk-10195-CB.

This victory is the latest hurdle of many that Dr. Cunning and his tenacious team of lawyers have overcome. The Court has ordered further briefing on additional issues and will hold a hearing with them on March 12, 2013. Resolution of these issues should finally determine whether Dr. Cunning can recover his pilfered funds from the fraud artist.

Dr. Cunning expressed gratitude over the latest ruling of the court and the efforts of his trial team. Throughout the years, I have been very thankful for, and appreciative of, the talent and hard work of my trial counsel. It has been a long haul for all of us dealing with the efforts of a convicted felon that has repeatedly abused the judicial system to create obstacles and avoid paying back what he stole from me. I am delighted that we have achieved some measure of justice.

Dr. Cunning was represented by bankruptcy counsel Evan Smiley of Wieland, Golden, Smiley, Wang, Ekvall & Strok LLP, and by trial counsel Thomas H. Bienert, Jr. of Bienert, Miller & Katzman PLC.

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Owners Counsel of America Announces New Directors

Jacksonville, FL (PRWEB) April 29, 2012

The Owners’ Counsel of America, a nationwide network of eminent domain attorneys dedicated to the defense of private property ownership, has elected two new members to its Board of Directors for 2012: Warren C. Herlong, Jr. of Mobile, Alabama and Robert H. Thomas of Honolulu, Hawaii. Mr. Herlong and Mr. Thomas will serve a three year term and join other practicing eminent domain attorneys from across the country on the Board. Other Board member continuing their terms of service include James L. Thompson of Maryland, Keith M. Babcock of South Carolina, Robert Denlow of Missouri, John Hamilton of Kansas, Edward G. Burg of California and Andrew P. Brigham of Florida, as the association’s Moderator.

Warren Herlong is a partner with Helmsing, Leach, Herlong, Newman & Rouse, P.C. in Mobile. His extraordinary career spans more than three decades of law practice with particular focus upon eminent domain, inverse condemnation and land valuation litigation. He has appeared in more than 1,000 hearings, trials and arguments at the State Probate, Circuit and Appellate court levels as well as within the Federal court system. Mr. Herlong frequently lectures, writes and instructs on topics relating to eminent domain, condemnation and land valuation litigation in Alabama and nationwide.

Since 1999, Mr. Herlong has been active in the American Bar Association, holding membership in the Committees on Condemnation, Zoning and Land Use in three ABA Sections: Litigation; Real Property, Probate and Trust; and State and Local Government. From 1999 through 2002, he was Co-Chairman of the ABA Section of Litigations Committee on Condemnation, Zoning and Land Use. He is also the Eminent Domain and Condemnation Representative to the Alabama Law Institutes Real Estate Standby Committee and was influential in drafting proposed changes to Alabamas 1986 Eminent Domain Code. Among his many honors, Mr. Herlong has been selected for membership in the American College of Real Estate Lawyers (ACREL), the premier organization of U.S. real estate lawyers headquartered in Rockville, Maryland.

Robert Thomas, a Director with Damon Key Leong Kupchak Hastert in Honolulu, concentrates his practice on property and land use issues including eminent domain, regulatory takings, water rights, and voting rights. He has tried cases and appeals in Hawaii, California, and the federal courts, including the Court of Federal Claims. A frequent author of amicus curiae briefs, Mr. Thomas has sought to advance the cause of private property rights in the appellate courts and U.S. Supreme Court. He has authored briefs in support of property owners in Kelo v. City of New London, 545 U.S. 469 (2005), Lingle v. Chevron U.S.A., Inc., 544 U.S. 528 (2005), and Stop the Beach Renourishment, Inc. v. Florida Dep’t of Environmental Protection, 130 S. Ct. 2592 (2010).

Mr. Thomas is a featured speaker at land use and eminent domain conferences in Hawaii and nationally and he regularly publishes scholarly and practical articles on issues relating to these practice areas. His blog on land use, property, and takings law,, is one of the most widely-read blogs on these subjects. Mr. Thomas currently serves as the Chair of the Condemnation Law Committee of the American Bar Association’s Section on State & Local Government Law. He is also the Managing Attorney for the Pacific Legal Foundation’s Hawaii Center, a public interest legal foundation dedicated to defending private property rights and individual freedom.


The Owners Counsel of America is a nationwide network of experienced condemnation attorneys devoted to protecting the rights of private property owners large and small, locally and nationally, and to advancing the cause of property rights. The lawyers affiliated with Owners Counsel are in private practice in nearly every state and represent property owners against federal, state, and local governments, utilities, redevelopment authorities and other entities that may be armed with eminent domain power. Additional information about the Owners’ Counsel of America is available at

Michelle Culligan Assumes General Counsel Role for CSM Corporation

(PRWEB) May 09, 2012

Replacing Bill Franke who is semi-retiring and moving into a special counsel role for Gary Holmes and the family foundation, Michelle Culligan, a Minnesota real estate legal veteran, has assumed the general counsel role for CSM Corporation. Michelle represents the company in various commercial real estate, financing, general commercial and corporate matters, as well as mitigation issues for CSMs diverse portfolio of commercial, residential and hotel properties.

Michelle brings to CSM over 23 years of legal experience including client negotiating, various commercial and real estate financial transactions, restructuring struggling real estate loans, development, leasing and sales. Michelle has the experience we need in a wide range of real estate deals and brings a wealth of expertise to some of the more complex issues and negotiations that face our industry, allowing CSM greater flexibility in the projects that we can bring to the table, comments CSM president and CEO, Gary Holmes.

Prior to CSM, Michelle was a principal and general counsel at Manchester Companies in Minneapolis, MN, and has also provided corporate real estate advisory services to tenants as a commercial real estate broker at AREA, LLC. Michelle practiced for over 13 years at Briggs and Morgan, P.A. where she was a partner in the Financial Services/Real Estate department, and 5 years as head of the Financial Services practice at the law firm of Dunkley and Bennett, PA.

About CSM Corporation

CSM Corporation engages in the acquisition, development, leasing, management, and ownership of quality real estate assets. Founded in 1976 and headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, CSMs extensive portfolio includes over 10 million square feet of retail and industrial space, multi-family residential communities, and hotel properties across the continental United States. For more information visit

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Greenberg Traurig Elevates 29 Attorneys to Shareholder, 22 to Of Counsel

New York, NY (PRWEB) February 10, 2012

The international law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP has elevated 29 attorneys to shareholder and 22 to of counsel positions. Reflecting the firm’s diversified platform and wide-ranging legal experience, the new 2012 class represents 22 different locations and key areas of practice, including business reorganization and financial restructuring, corporate and securities, intellectual property, labor and employment, litigation, real estate and tax.

“Our unique business strategy continues to make sense for our clients and our lawyers alike: one firm, having an intense focus on adding to and further elevating the quality and integration of our 29 locations in the United States and a disciplined global reach, said Richard A. Rosenbaum, Chief Executive Officer of Greenberg Traurig. We are very proud of the dedication the attorneys elevated in the 2012 class and of their sustained commitment to addressing client needs.

Greenberg Traurig clients have access to more than 20 major practice groups as well as a significant number of industry-specific teams working from 33 offices in an ever-increasing number of markets. In 2011, the firm opened an office in Mexico City and announced the opening of an office in Tel Aviv for early 2012. Additionally, Greenberg Traurig had a number of high-profile hires. The firm ranks fourth nationwide on The American Lawyer 2012 Lateral Report “Top Gaining Firms: Lateral Partner Hires” list, with 46 shareholders joining the firm in 2011.

Demonstrating what Rosenbaum calls an unusually wide and deep range of top tier signature practices and industry penetration,” the firm achieved the most overall first-tier rankings, most first-tier metropolitan rankings and most practice areas with first-tier rankings for the United States in the U.S. News Media Group and Best Lawyers? Best Law Firms rankings, 2011-2012.

The attorneys in the 2012 new shareholder class:


Amy M. Arentowicz, New York, Real Estate

Karin L. Bohmholdt, Los Angeles, Litigation

Joseph B. Cicero, Delaware, Litigation

Jeanine Harvey Dankoff, Philadelphia, Real Estate

William C. Donovan, Boston, Corporate & Securities

Kate Eades, London, Corporate & Securities

Cory W. Eichhorn, Fort Lauderdale, Litigation

John D. Elrod, Atlanta, Business Reorganization & Financial Restructuring

Brandon G. Feingold, Palm Beach South, Tax

Mario J. Garcia-Serra, Miami, Real Estate

Cindy L. Hamilton, Silicon Valley, Litigation

Justin B. Kleinman, New York, Real Estate

Jay P. Lechner, Tampa, Labor & Employment

Gavin M. Loughlin, Miami, Real Estate

Marc D. McPeak, Dallas, Litigation

Christopher C. Miller, Houston, Litigation

Jason C. Moreau, Boston, Litigation

James Mountain, London, Corporate & Securities

Amber J. M?nck, Denver, Litigation

Precious Murchison, Washington, D.C. , Litigation

Francisco O. Sanchez, Miami, Litigation

Laura Sixkiller, Phoenix, Litigation

Jennifer Tomsen, Houston, Litigation

Joseph A. Vallo, White Plains, Litigation

Thomas van der Vliet, Amsterdam, Tax

Kimberly A. Warshawsky, Phoenix, Intellectual Property – Prosecution

Tom West, Washington. D.C., Tax

Andrew T. White, Chicago, Real Estate

Natasha L. Wilson, Atlanta, Labor & Employment

Attorneys named Of Counsel for 2012:


Natalia S. Ballinger, Denver, Litigation

Maury A. Bricks, Atlanta, Corporate & Securities

Heath J. Briggs, Denver, Intellectual Property – Prosecution

Geoffrey M. Cahen, Palm Beach South, Litigation

Dianne E. Carlson, Dallas, Corporate & Securities

Chris Y. Chen, Orange County, Corporate & Securities

Michael J. Chilleen, Orange County, Litigation

Brian L. Colborn, Delaware, Corporate & Securities

Kimberly G. Davis, Austin, Litigation

Sarah E. Davis, Washington. D.C., Real Estate

Jeffrey P. Dunning, Chicago, Intellectual Property – Litigation

Brenda M. Fernandez, Miami, Real Estate

Scott E. Fink, New York, Tax

Stephanie R. Galli, Philadelphia, Real Estate

Danielle N. Garno, Miami, Litigation

Kara B. Hendricks, Las Vegas, Litigation

Kristie G. King-Brown, New York, Real Estate

Michael V. LaBriola, Orange County, Tax

Daniel R. Milstein, New York, Litigation

Janna S. Nugent, Atlanta, Litigation

Denise J. Penn, New York, Business Reorganization & Financial Restructuring

Ellen B. Schleifstein, New York, Litigation

About Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Greenberg Traurig, LLP is an international, full-service law firm with approximately 1800 attorneys serving clients from more than 30 offices in the United States, Latin America, Europe and Asia. In the U.S., the firm has more offices than any other among the Top 10 on The National Law Journals 2011 NLJ 250. In Mexico, the firm operates as Greenberg Traurig, S.C., and in the U.K., as Greenberg Traurig Maher LLP. Greenberg Traurig has a strategic alliance with the independent law firm, Studio Santa Maria with offices in Milan and Rome. The firm was Chambers and Partners’ USA Law Firm of the Year in 2007 and among the Top 3 in the International Law Firm of the Year at the 2009 The Lawyer Awards. For additional information, please visit

Contact: Lourdes Brezo-Martinez – martinezl(at)gtlaw(dot)com – 212.801.2131


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