Why a lawyer has a hard time negotiating deals with real estate agents
The attorneys at the heart of the biggest real estate market crash in history have never met one another before.
Yet their common goal: They want to negotiate the best deal for their clients.
The story of how attorneys at both sides of the courtroom have been at odds for decades is well-documented in books like “The Price is Right” and the upcoming film “The Big Short,” and in the HBO movie starring Tom Hanks and Bradley Cooper.
The drama, set to debut later this month, centers on a small group of real estate brokers and their battles to win a slice of the market as they negotiate deals with big-name real estate firms.
For decades, attorneys in the entertainment industry have relied on one attorney to represent their clients and get the best deals from the big houses, like the likes of Universal Studios and MGM.
But those days are gone, as a new generation of lawyers is getting their own lawyers to represent them.
The new breed of attorney—called real estate attorneys—are gaining traction among the real estate industry, with many of them taking the job of an attorney to be a mediator.
They also often represent small firms or startups.
This new class of attorney, known as real estate marketing attorneys, can offer the biggest deal to a client.
And the lawyers at the center of the big crash have become known for their ability to negotiate deals that could be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“I’ve been an attorney for 20 years,” said David Borenstein, who has represented real estate companies like the Lennar Corporation, the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department and a number of other big companies.
“My first job was representing a small company, and that was before I became an attorney.”
Borenstein’s biggest job was handling an office-to-office sale in 2004 for Lennar.
The company had just raised $30 million in venture capital and was looking to move to the Los Angeles area.
Borenkson had negotiated the sale with a company called Drexel, which was a leading firm in real estate.
“We’re going to pay for the building, we’re going for the apartment, and we’re not going to let the company get away with this,” Borenss said, according to a lawsuit filed by Lennar against Borenson.
The company eventually agreed to pay $6.3 million, a record for the company at the time.
But Borensons office was empty for a month.
“I had a great deal of time to think about what would happen, and I wasn’t able to find a way to make it work,” he said.
He ended up resigning in January 2005 and became a real estate attorney.
Borenstons work for Lennars lawyers, and he said the company offered him a huge pay raise.
Burensts attorney told him they were doing something right.
He told him the company was doing something wrong.
The deal wasn’t always as rosy.
Berensts first job with Lennars wasn’t very good.
It was a two-day session with two lawyers.
Barenstys attorney told Berenstys that Lennar had hired a lawyer who was a public relations specialist.
Lennar was trying to get away from the public relations company.
The public relations job was supposed to be on-call, Berenstein said.
But he says it was not.
In one of his first meetings with Lennar, Borenstys told his boss that his first day in the office would be a “major disaster.”
Barenst’s second meeting with Lennartes lawyer wasn’t any better.
He got his job.
“It was a very negative first meeting, and they were trying to do things the right way,” Barensts said.
The biggest problem, Barenstein said, was that the lawyers didn’t understand what he did.
“They weren’t in the business of selling the property,” he told Entertainment Weekly.
“What we did was sell the property.”
Burensts job didn’t go so well either.
In 2006, Lennarte went bankrupt.
Barends first day at the office was a big disaster.
“There were so many people that were at work, it was difficult to keep track of everyone,” Berenstedts lawyers told the Wall Street Journal.
“People were just sitting there.
We didn’t have the manpower to get everybody up and running.”
So, the next time Lennart’s lawyer was called to the office, Burenst had to be there.
But his boss was not happy with the way the lawyers were handling the situation.
“You had a whole bunch of people standing there, and you’re not getting anybody up to speed,” Burenstedts lawyer said.
Barenstedts real estate lawyer left the firm and moved to California, where he started a real-estate-focused real estate law firm