DC CONDOMINIUM CONSTRUCTION DEFECT CASES: RECOVERING ATTORNEY’S FEES, LITIGATION EXPENSES & TREBLE DAMAGES

Washington DC Construction Defect Attorneys COWIE & MOTT. Article By Nicholas D. Cowie entitled Recovering treble damages and attorneys fees in condominium construction defect cases
By Nicholas D. Cowie

Cowie & Mott, P.A. – DC Condominium Construction Defect Attorneys

This article discusses the circumstances under which a Condominium Unit Owners’ Association in Washington DC pursuing a condominium construction defect case may recover its attorney’s fees, litigation expenses and treble damages.

In a DC Condominium Construction Defect Case involving Misrepresentation and Omission, the Consumer Protection Procedures Act allows a Condominium Association to Recover Attorney’s Fees, Litigation Costs and Treble Damages

As DC Condominium Construction Defect Attorneys we are often asked whether a unit owners’ association in the District of Columbia can recover its attorneys fees, expert witness expenses and other litigation costs should it decide to pursue litigation against a condominium declarant, developer or builder. The short answer to that question is:

yes …. and, on top of that, an association can also recover “treble damages,” that is, three times the damages proven at trial.

The long answer to that question is set forth in this article

The DC Consumer Protection Procedures Act and Defectively Constructed Condominiums

The District of Columbia Consumer Protection Procedures Act (“ DC CPPA”) is a consumer-oriented statute designed to, among other things, protect consumers in Washington DC who are misled in connection with the purchase of consumer “real estate,” including transactions involving the purchase of a condominium unit and accompanying ownership interest in the condominium common elements. DC CPPA §28-3901(a)(7) (defining “goods and services” to include consumer “real estate transactions”). As a “remedial statute,” the DC CPPA is intended to be “applied liberally” by the courts to protect consumers by establishing “an enforceable right to truthful information” about consumer real estate transactions in the District of Columbia. DC CPPA § 28-3901(c).

DC CPPA liability in condominium construction defect cases arises when a newly constructed or newly converted condominium contains latent construction defects, or other other undiscovered conditions that are dangerous or otherwise defective, that are contrary to what the developer represented about the condition, characteristics and quality of the condominium. Once the condominium sale has been consummated, unsuspecting unit owners who were misled and suffer damage (such as being specially assessed to pay for the cost of repairing the developer’s defective construction) have a DC CPPA claim against a developer and other responsible parties who made untrue or misleading statements (misrepresentations), or who failed to disclose material facts (omissions), about the true condition of the condominium in connection with the sale of units. 

A Private Cause of Action for Violation of the Consumer Procedures Protection Act that can be brought by Condominium Associations

Section 28-3905(k)(1)(A) of the DC CPPA creates a private legal claim (a/k/a “cause of action”) against those who engage in “unfair or deceptive trade practices,” a statutory term (discussed in more detail below) generally used used to describe conduct that misleads consumers in transactions involving the purchase and sale of “goods and services,” which includes the purchasers of residential condominiums. See “Note About Definition of Goods and Services” below. This statutorily created private cause of action is one of many types of legal claims that can be asserted by a condominium unit owners association (“condominium association”) on behalf of two or more of its unit owner members who are misled by a condominium developer regarding the condition or quality of a newly constructed or newly converted condominium. For a more in-depth discussion of claims that can be brought by a DC condominium association in a construction defect matter, See “Resolving DC Condominium Construction Defect Disputes,” By Attorneys Nicholas D Cowie.

A condominium association can pursue a DC CPPA claim on behalf of two or more of its unit owner members if the subject of the misleading conduct, and/or damage caused thereby, is a “matter that affects the condominium.” DC Condo Act § 42-1903.08(a)(4). Misrepresentations about the condition of defectively constructed common elements or construction defects common to multiple units are examples of “matters that affects the condominium.

As DC condominium construction defect attorneys we typically assert claims on behalf of condominium associations for “unfair or deceptive trade practices” in violation of the DC CPPA in cases where a condominium declarant causes unit owners to unknowingly purchasing a defectively constructed condominium by misrepresenting or omitting important facts that create a misleading impression that the condominium being offered for sale is new and free from construction defects (i.e., building code violations, deviations from plans and specifications or applicable industry standards). These unfair or deceptive trade practice claims under the DC CPPA can arise in connection with the sale of units and common elements in either: (1) a newly constructed condominium containing latent construction defects; or (2) an older building that has been defectively renovated and then converted into a condominium for resale to the public (a “converted condominium” or “condominium conversion”).

Damages for Violation of the Consumer Procedures Protection Act Include Reasonable Attorneys Fees, Litigation Expenses and Three Times Damages

Under the DC CPPA, a condominium association, acting on behalf of its members, is entitled to recover its “reasonable attorney’s fees” incurred in prosecuting the construction defect claim and “[a]ny other relief the court determines proper,” including “non-attorney fee” litigation expenses, such as construction expert witness fees and court filing fees. DC CPPA § 28-3905(k)(2)(B) and (F). Additionally, a condominium association is entitled to recover “treble damages” (i.e., three times the amount of damages it proves at trial). DC CPPA § 28-3905(k)(2)(A). In cases involving construction defects, treble damages typically consist of three times the proven cost of repairing the construction defects and damage caused thereby or three times the proven cost cost of obtaining the represented amenities and quality that were not delivered. The statutory reason for allowing these enhanced damages is to encourage private attorneys to take on consumer misrepresentation cases. District Cablevision Limited Partnership v. Bassin, 828 A.2d 714, 728 (D.C.2003).  In cases involving construction defects and misrepresentations, condominium associations should always seek advice from a DC condominium construction defect attorneys.

Unfair or Deceptive Trade Practices in Violation of the DC Consumer Protection Procedures Act that Allow for Recovery of Attorney’s Fees and Treble Damages in Condominium Construction Defect Cases

A violation of the DC CPPA occurs when a person engages in an “unfair or deceptive trade practice.” Section 28-3904 of the DC CPPA contains a non-exclusive list of specific examples of conduct that constitutes “unfair or deceptive trade practices.” These include making a misrepresentation about the condition or quality of construction of a condominium or failing to disclose material facts regarding problems with the condominium common elements as well as other conduct which is misleading to condominium purchasers. Significantly, it is not necessary for a DC CPPA claimant to be in a contractual relationship with the person or entity who made the misrepresentation or omission of material fact in order to bring a claim for “unfair or deceptive trade practices” in violation of the DC CPPA. Wetzel v. Capital City Real EstateLLC, 73 A.3d 1000, 1004-06 (D.C.2013).

Quoted below are some of the specified “unfair or deceptive trade practices” set forth in the DC CPPA that DC condominium construction defect attorneys utilize as a legal basis for asserting a claim for attorney’s fees and treble damages under the DC CPPA in cases where condominium developers have misled unit owners about the condition of a condominium that contains latent construction defects: 

“It shall be a violation of this chapter for any person to engage in an unfair or deceptive trade practice, … including to:

(a)  represent that [newly constructed or converted condominiums or portions thereof] … have … approval, certification, accessories, characteristics, ingredients, uses, benefits, or quantities that they do not have;

* * * * *

(c) represent that [a converted condominium or portions thereof] are … new if in fact they are deteriorated, altered, reconditioned, reclaimed, or second hand, or have been used;

(d) represent that [newly constructed or converted condominiums or portions thereof] are of particular standard, quality, grade, style, or model, if in fact they are of another;

(e) misrepresent … a material fact [concerning a newly constructed or converted condominium] which has a tendency to mislead;

(e-1) [r]epresent that a transaction [to purchase a newly constructed or converted condominium] confers or involves rights … which it does not have or involve… ;

(f) fail to state a material fact [concerning newly constructed or converted condominiums] if such failure tends to mislead;

(f-1) [u]se innuendo or ambiguity as to a material fact [concerning newly constructed or converted condominiums], which has a tendency to mislead;

(h) advertise or offer [newly constructed or converted condominiums] without intent to… sell [them] as advertised or offered;

* * * * *

(p) falsely state or represent that repairs, alterations, modifications, or servicing have been made [in connection with the conversion of an existing building into a condominium] and receiving remuneration therefor when they have not been made….”

DC CPPA § 28-3904 [emphasis added]. See Note below about Definition of “Goods and Services” 

Note that by use of the emphasized word “including,” the “unfair or deceptive trade practice” enumerated in DC CPPA § 28-3904 (quoted in part above) are examples only and not exclusive. Therefore, other conduct that misleads consumers, not specifically described in the statute may constitute an “unfair or deceptive trade practice” in violation of the DC CPPA, including any practices prohibited by other DC statutes and common law. Atwater v. District of Columbia Dep’t of Consumer Regulatory Affairs, 566 A.2d 462, 465-467 (D.C.1989); Osbourne v. Capital City Mortgage Corp., 727 A.2d 322, 325 (D.C.1999); District Cablevision Limited partnership v. Bassin, 828 A.2d 714, 722-23 (D.C.2003).

In determining what non specified conduct may constitute an “unfair or deceptive trade practice,” the statute requires DC Courts to give “due consideration and weight … to … interpretation by the Federal Trade Commission and the federal courts.” DC CPPA § 28-3901(d). This interpretation guidance is a relatively new addition to the DC CPPA and makes it consistent with the consumer protection acts of many other jurisdiction’s. See “Note about 2018 Amendment to the Consumer Protection Procedures Act,” below. For example, Maryland’s Consumer Protection Act contains identical language, Maryland Commercial Law Article §13-105. Thus, the Maryland Court of Appeals, relying upon “the interpretations of the Federal Trade Commission Act by the Federal Trade Commission and the federal courts,” held that  “[i]mplicit in any advertisement and rental of an apartment is the representation that the leasing of the apartment is lawful” and in compliance with licensing laws. Golt v. Phillips, 308 Md. 1, 9-10, fn. 3 and accompanying text (Md. 1986) (“[f]or consumer protection purposes, the meaning of any statement or representation is determined not only by what is explicitly stated, but also by what is reasonably implied”). Likewise, there is plenty of Federal Trade Commission Act precedent for DC Courts to rely upon to support the proposition that it is implicit in the sale of a newly constructed condominium in the District of Columbia that the condominium complies with applicable building codes including the requirement that construction comply with approved plans and specifications and other construction documents submitted to the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs. For an article discussing the Maryland Consumer Protection Act, See Condominium Association’s Right to Recover Attorney’s Fees in Construction Defect Cases,” by Nicholas D. Cowie.

Note also that some of the above enumerated “unfair or deceptive trade practices” do not require a person making the a misrepresentation to know that it is false, or to have made it with an intent to deceive a consumer. See, e.g., DC CPPA §28-3904(e). Also, some of the above enumerated “unfair or deceptive trade practices”  do not require a person failing to disclose material facts have a duty to disclose information to a consumer. See, e.g., DC CPPA §28-3904(f). As such, the statute is intended to eliminate legal defenses involving proof of knowledge and intent that have traditionally prevented consumers from bringing fraud and negligent misrepresentation claims. Thus, a claim for “unfair or deceptive trade practices” involving misrepresentation or failure to disclose (i.e., omission) under DC CPPA §28-3904 (e) and (f) do not require proof of “intent to deceive” or “duty to disclose” on the part of the condominium developer and its representatives. Saucier v. Countrywide Home Loans, 64 A3d. 428, 442 (D.C.2012); Wetzel v. Capital City Real EstateLLC, 73 A.3d 1000, 1004-05 (D.C.2013); Grayson v AT&T, 15 A.2d 129, 251 (D.C.2011). Thus, to prevail on a claim under the DC CPPA, DC Condominium Construction Defect Attorneys need only allege and prove that the Condominium association or its unit owner members suffered damages as a result of being misled by a misrepresentation of, or failure to state, a material fact under DC CPPA § 28-3904(e) and (f). In short, there can be liability against a condominium developer for misleading unit owners in connection with the sale of a defectively constructed or defectively renovated condominium, even if the misrepresentation or omission concerning the quality or condition of the condominium was unintentional or there was no common law or statutory duty on the developer’s part to disclose omitted facts to a consumer of residential condominium property.

To qualify as an actionable “unfair or deceptive trade practice,” a representation or omission of fact claim brought under DC CPPA § 28-3904(e) and (f) must be “material,” that is, an important consideration that would reasonably be expected to impact the decision of an average consumer to purchase a unit and common element ownership interest in the condominium. See, Saucier v. Countrywide Home Loans, 64 A3d. 428, 440-446 (D.C.2012) (discussing “materiality” under the DC CPPA).

Examples of Factual Scenarios Giving Rise to Consumer Protection Procedures Act Claims in DC Condominium Construction Defect Cases Allowing for the Recovery of Attorney’s Fees, Litigation Expenses and Treble Damages

Example #1 Condominium Conversion: If, in connection with the sale of a condominium conversion, a declarant represents to purchasing unit owners in a Public Offering Statement that the common element roof of the building had been completely removed and replaced with a “brand new roof,” when in fact an old and deteriorated, leaking roof was merely covered with a new layer of shingles, this would be an “unfair or deceptive trade practice” under DC CPPA §28-3904(a), (c), (d), (e)(f), 9P) and possibly (h). Under these circumstances, the average condominium consumer would typically be led to believe that purported new roof described by the declarant would not need replacement for 20 to 30 years, during which time moneys from assessments could be set aside by the Associations in its reserves for the future replacement. However placing shingles over a deteriorating roof structure would greatly reduce the the roof surface life expectancy and also likely require an immediate and complete replacement of the underlying roof structure. Once discovered that the roof is not new as represented and in immediate need of replacement, it would then be the associations responsibility vis-à-vis it’s a unit owner members to collect assessments to replace the roof. Replacement of a defectively renovated common area roof that was supposed to be brand new, is a “matter that affects the condominium.” As such, the condominium association could sue the declarant on behalf of the unit owners for violation of the DC CPPA. and seek three times the cost of installing a “brand new roof” (i.e., treble damages) plus its reasonable attorney’s fees and other costs of pursuing the mater. In short, if a developer declarant promises that it has and/or will make certain repairs or renovations in connection with the conversion of a condominium which it does not make, is an an “unfair or deceptive trade practice.”

Example #2 Newly Constructed Condominium: If, in connection with the sale of a newly constructed condominium, a condominium developer represents that the condominium is constructed in accordance with applicable building codes and it is later discovered that the roof is leaking because it was not constructed in accordance with applicable building codes, it is an an “unfair or deceptive trade practice” and a “matter that affects the condominium.” As such, the condominium association could sue the developer on behalf of the unit owners for violation of the DC CPPA. and seek three times the cost of repairing the leaking roof so that it complies with applicable building codes (i.e., treble damages) plus its reasonable attorney’s fees and other costs of pursuing the mater.

A condominium association and its members must have suffered an “injury-in-fact” or damage in order to bring a private cause of action for violation of the District of Columbia Consumer Protection Procedures Act. Grayson v. AT&T, 15 A.3d 219, 244 (D.C.2011) (claimant asserting a private cause of action under the DC CPPA must shows an “injury-in-fact” to themselves or the persons they represent resulting from the unfair trade practice). In both examples above, the condominium association and its unit owner members did suffer an injury-in-fact, which is the cost of having to repair or replace a defective common area roof that was held out as non-defective, i.e., “brand new” or in compliance with “applicable building codes.” The condominium association is charged under its governing documents with the responsibity, vis-à-vis its unit owner members, to make the repair and it will need to assess unit owners for the cost of making the repair. That is an injury-in-fact to both the condominium association and its unit on members.

Proving Treble Damages Under the Consumer Protection Procedures Act in a DC Condominium Construction Defect Case

Treble damages are recoverable in order to encourage private attorneys to take consumer protection act cases. Williams v. First Gov’t Mortgage & Investors Corp., 255 F.3d 738, 745 (D.C. Cir. 2000); District Cablevision Limited partnership v. Bassin, 828 A.2d 714, 728(D.C.2003). As such, treble damages under the DC CPPA have a remedial purpose and are not designed to punish. Id., at 725-729., Therefore, unlike punitive damages, a claimant is entitled to an award treble damages without having to make a showing of egregious conduct. District Cablevision Limited partnership v. Bassin, 828 A.2d 714, 728 (D.C.2003). Once DC Condominium Construction Defect Attorneys establish that a condominium association and two or more of its members have suffered any monetary damage, including the future cost of repair, the DC CPPA authorizes a DC court to treble those damages (i.e., multiply the monetary amount by three) without any further findings. Williams v. First Gov’t Mortgage & Investors Corp., 255 F.3d 738, 745 (D.C. Cir. 2000); Byrd v. Jackson, 902 A.2d 778, 782 (D.C.2006); District Cablevision Limited partnership v. Bassin, 828 A.2d 714, 729 (D.C.2003).

Proving Attorney’s Fees and Litigation Costs under the Consumer Protection Procedures Act in a DC Condominium Construction Defect Case

Generally, parties to a lawsuit, including a DC condominium construction defect case, are not entitled to recover their attorney’s fees and other litigation expenses in the absence of an applicable statute or contractual agreement which specifically allows for the recovery of such fees and expenses. The DC CPPA is such a statute because it permits a person seeking relief from an unfair or deceptive trade practice to recover their “reasonable attorney’s fees” and “any other relief which the court deems proper.” DC CPPA § 28-3905(k)(2)(B) and (F). To the extent that a person seeking redress under the DC CPPA has litigation expenses, other than attorney’s fees (e.g., court filing fees, expert witness fees, paralegal fees, deposition expenses), the court may award such expenses under the provision of the DC CPPA that permits a claimant to recover “[a]ny other relief which the court determines proper.” DC CPPA § 28-3905(k)(2) (F) ; In Re Inphonic, Inc., Wireless Phone Rebate Litigation, United States District Court for the District of Columbia, No. 06-0507 (ESH), Memorandum Opinion and Order, 5-6 (MDL docket number 1792).

Allowing for the recovery of reasonable attorney’s fees is designed to encourage private attorneys to take consumer protection act cases. Williams v. First Gov’t Mortgage & Investors Corp., 255 F.3d 738, 745 (D.C. Cir. 2000). Therefore, to ensure that this purpose is not defeated, DC Courts have rejected the argument that the amount of claimant’s attorneys fee claim can be attacked as unreasonable solely because the fees sought to be recovered may be disproportionate to, or even far greater than, the amount of compensatory damages actually proven and awarded by judge or jury. Williams v. First Gov’t Mortgage & Investors Corp., 255 F.3d 738, 747 (D.C. Cir. 2000) (rejecting the “rule of proportionality” with regard to attorney’s fees awarded under the DC CPPA). The Courts reason that allowing attorney fee awards under the DC CPPA to be defeated or reduced on grounds that they are disproportionate to the damages recovered, would discourage, not encourage, private attorneys from taking consumer protection cases, making it “‘difficult, if not impossible for individuals with meritorious … claims but relatively small potential damages to obtain redress from the courts.’” Id.; In Re Inphonic, Inc., Wireless Phone Rebate Litigation, United States District Court for the District of Columbia, No. 06-0507 (ESH), Memorandum Opinion and Order, 15-16 (MDL docket number 1792).

It is also not a ground for reducing the amount of reasonable attorney’s that a claimant’s attorney’s fees are attributable to proving other, non-DC CPPA claims, such as negligent misrepresentation, breach of contract, negligent construction, and breach of statutory warranty against structural defects. Rather, all reasonable attorney’s fees pursuing all claims asserted in the case are recoverable so long as the additional claims sufficiently overlap the DC CPPA claim and arise out of a common core of facts such as the defective construction or renovation of a condominium. See, Williams v. First Gov’t Mortgage & Investors Corp., 255 F.3d 738, 746-747 (D.C. Cir. 2000); and, In Re Inphonic, Inc., Wireless Phone Rebate Litigation, United States District Court for the District of Columbia, No. 06-0507 (ESH), Memorandum Opinion and Order, 10-11 (MDL docket number 1792). This applies even if the claimant is not successful on the other, non-DC CPPA claims. Williams v. First Gov’t Mortgage & Investors Corp., 255 F.3d 738, 746 (D.C. Cir. 2000) ( “‘fees for time spent on claims that ultimately were unsuccessful should be excluded only when the claims are distinctly different in all respects, both legal and factual from plaintiffs successful claims’”).

Punitive Damages Under the Consumer Protection Procedures Act in a DC Condominium Construction Defect Case

If it can be proven with “clear and convincing evidence,” that an unfair or deceptive trade practice perpetrated on unit owners involved  “outrageous or egregious” wrongdoing in which the condominium developer or declarant acted with “evil motive, actual malice or willful disregard for [their] rights,” then a DC condominium association, on behalf of its unit owner members, may recover punitive damages under DC CPPA § 28-3905(k)(2)(C), in addition to treble damages. District Cablevision Limited partnership v. Bassin, 828 A.2d 714, 725 -729 (D.C.2003) (under the DC CPPA, punitive damages are designed to punish intentional wrongdoers and thus cannot be awarded without the requisite evidentiary showing, whereas treble damages are remedial in nature and require no evidentiary showing).

Statute of Limitations for Violation of Consumer Protection Procedures Act

A claim under the DC CPPA has a 3-year statute of limitations under DC Code §12-301(8), which runs from the date that the claim “accrues.” Under the “discovery rule,” a claim generally “accrues” when the claimant knows or should know that that she/he has suffered injury or damage as a result of an unfair trade practice. Bradford v. George Washington University, 249 F.Supp.3d 325, 334-335 (D.C.2017). Unless an exception to the statue limitations applies, suit for violation of the DC CPPA must be filed within three years of the date the claim accrues or it will be time-barred. Plenzac v. Equity Residential Management, L.L.C., 320 F. Supp.3d 99, 103 (2018). Immediately following the period of developer control, the newly elected resident unit owner board should contact an experience DC condominium construction defect attorney to discuss the warranty and other legal rights of the condominium association and how to identify any existing construction defects, and misrepresentations related thereto, so that these claims can be preserved and brought to the developers attention, before the statute of limitations expires. Allowing the statute of limitations to expire on such claims can be a breach of fiduciary duty on behalf of the condominium association’s board of directors. See, e.g., Greenstein v. Council of Unit Owners of Avalon Court Six Condominium, 201 Md. App 186, 206 (2011) (holding that a condominium association could be sued by its unit owner members for negligently failing to file a timely lawsuit against the developer for common element construction defects within the applicable statute of limitations).

Note about Definition of “Goods and Services” 

Where the statutory language quoted from DC CPPA § 28-3904 above refers “goods and services,” I have inserted in brackets, the terms “newly constructed or converted condominiums” which is the subject matter of this article. The definition of “goods and services,” under DC CPPA §28-3901(a)(7), includes “real estate transactions, and consumer services of all types,” thereby including the sale of residential condominiums and represented services and amenities offered in connection with the sale of residential condominiums, both newly constructed and converted. See Saucier v. Countrywide Home Loans, 64 A3d. 428, 442 (D.C.2012) (suit by condominium association for violation of DC CPPA arising out of construction defects); Wetzel v. Capital City Real EstateLLC, 73 A.3d 1000, 1004-05 (D.C.2013) (suit by condominium unit owner for violation of DC CPPA arising out of construction defects).

Note about 2018 Amendment to the Consumer Protection Procedures Act: New terminology (“Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices”) and Incorporation of Federal Trade Commission Precedent

Effective July 17, 2018, the DC CPPA was amended to make it consistent with similar statutes in other states and federal trade commission law. The amendment changed the statutory terminology, in that the term “unlawful trade practices” was replaced with “unfair and deceptive trade practices.” This amendment was intended to make the CPP a consistent with similar statutes in other states and federal trade commission law. The amendment also provides that that courts should consider interpretations by the Federal Trade Commission and federal courts when interpreting or deciding what action to take with regard to “unfair or deceptive act or practice.” DC CPPA §28-3901(d).

Practical Tips 

Attorneys who represent condominiums typically lack extensive experienced pursuiung condominium construction defect litigation. The convergence of condominium law and construction defect law and litigation is not something to be dabbled in, but rather takes decades to master. Practical experience and knowledge gained from decades of resolving, settling, litigating and trying condominium construction defect cases allows an experienced condominium construction defect attorney to guide clients with certainty and without having to re-creating the wheel at every turn. When faced with a construction defect matter, some condominium general counsel overlook claims such as violation of the DC CPPA, and instead, to focus solely on the “DC Warranty Against Structural Defects” contained in the DC Condominium Act.  There are many other claims an Association can pursue that have greater coverage of defect claims and potential for monetary relief for misrepresentation that should not be overlooked. For an article providing an overview of other legal claims that can be brought in connection with a condominium construction defect case, see “Resolving Condominium Construction Defect Claims in Washington DC,” by Nicholas D. Cowie. For an article discussing how the DC warranty against structural defect works and how to make claims against a Declarant’s security Bond or Letter of Credit to fund warranty repairs, see “The Condominium Warranty Against Structural Defects In Washington DC”by Nicholas D. Cowie.

Note About Author

Nicholas D. Cowie is a condominium lawyer and construction defect litigation attorney practicing law throughout Washington DC and the State of Maryland. Mr. Cowie established the “Construction Law” course at the University of Baltimore School of Law where he served as an adjunct professor of construction law and is highly regarded for his knowledge and practice of construction law and construction defect litigation. Mr. Cowie also is the instructor for the Community Association Institute CRC course entitled “Successful Strategies for Resolving Construction Defect Claims with Condominium Developers.” Mr. Cowie has represented, and litigated on behalf of, thousands of condominium unit owners through their condominium associations asserting consumer protection act claims and served as trial counsel in a case where the court awarded $500,000 in attorney’s fees for violation of the Maryland Consumer Protection Act following entry of a $6,600,000 jury verdict against a developer and builder of a condominium for construction defects in the case of Milton Company v. Council of Unit Owners of Bentley Place Condominium, 121 Md. App 100, 121 (1998). 

Contact A Construction Defect Attorney:

For more information about the DC Consumer Protection Procedures Act, condominium construction defect claims and recovering treble damages, reasonable attorney’s fees and litigation costs, use our contact form or contact the Author, Nicholas D. Cowie, directly at ndcowie@cowiemott.com

Condominium Construction Defect Attorneys and Lawyers in Maryland and Washington DC and the District of Columbia

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DC Condominium Construction Defect Attorney and District of Columbia Construction Lawyer Nicholas D Cowie of Cowie & Mott

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