Virginia Trunkes

Virginia Trunkes

Virginia represents owners, construction managers, and trade contractors in the New York and New Jersey markets. Her over two decades of experience evaluating the merits of parties’ legal disputes, developing a specialty in the area of property and contractual rights with a focus on construction, has resulted in successful judgments and resolutions of claims for breach of construction and design services contracts, defective design and workmanship and adjacent-neighbor construction disputes. Read her full bio here.

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Balancing New Technology and Privacy When Using Drones in Land Use and Construction

The mixture of sheltering-in-place, warm weather, and increasing drone usage creates a combustible situation – literally. Drone shootings are on the rise as property owners seek to combat perceived trespass, nuisance and invasions of privacy. These were some of the legal issues discussed during a webinar presented by the American Bar Association’s Section on Real … Continue Reading

An Eye in the City Sky

Why it might be time to reconsider permitting the use of drones for development & construction in dense urban areas   Excerpt of a contributed article published in Construction Business Owner magazine on May 19, 2020. COVID-19’s severe impact on some major metropolitan areas has been attributed to their density, infrastructure and inherent difficulty with … Continue Reading

Time to Reconsider Permitting Use of Drones for Development and Construction in Dense Urban Areas?

COVID-19’s severe impact on some major metropolitan areas has been attributed to their density, infrastructure and inherent difficulty with “social distancing.” This same challenge with social distancing has led to either mandatory or pressured shutdowns of construction projects throughout many states and metropolitan areas. Meanwhile, and particularly during the shutdowns, building-safety mandates require that some … Continue Reading

Landmarks Preservation and the Economy During COVID-19

This month the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission celebrated its 55th anniversary. Also this month, since the issuance of the emergency orders stemming from the COVID-19 public health crisis, the agency is scheduling its first public hearing using the Zoom teleconferencing platform. The hearing will be held on Tuesday, April 21, at 9:30 a.m., and can … Continue Reading

Government Approval: When It’s Not a Sure Bet

Excerpt of a contributed article published in the New York Law Journal on March 31, 2020. Last month’s court decision ordering the removal of potentially as many as 20 floors of a high-rise building (The Committee For Environmentally Sound Development v. Amsterdam Avenue Redevelopment Associates, Sup. Ct., N.Y. Co., Index No. 157273/2019) shook the local … Continue Reading

Much of New York Construction is Now Also “on PAUSE”

Although Governor Cuomo put “New York State on PAUSE” a week ago, at that time, “construction” was not specifically exempted from his Executive Order and the Empire State Development’s (ESD) guidance on what businesses were subject to the 100 percent workforce reduction. Yet, pursuant to a further directive from the Governor, on March 27, 2020, … Continue Reading

The Federal Reserve’s Powers to Pave the Way for Continued Development and Construction Through COVID-19

As the Coronavirus has encapsulated the world, government go-aheads to construction firms are welcome relief to the industry. Lenders’ collective reaction to the current economic concerns is another matter. Future financing is always imperative to ensure ongoing construction as well as new projects. Government responses are changing by the day, but the Federal Reserve (the … Continue Reading

Caution When Approaching Artistry

A $6.75 million judgment was upheld by the United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, against a developer that whitewashed 45 spray-painted artworks on its site — several months before the demolition permits were issued. See Castillo v. G&M Realty L.P., — F.3d —-2020 WL 826392 (February 20, 2020). The trial court had issued the … Continue Reading

Will Claims Against Closely-Held Condominium Developers Be Thwarted by New York’s Newly-Adopted Uniform Voidable Transactions Act?

Property development companies regularly create single-purpose entities (SPE) to acquire new real estate for development, construction or renovations. SPEs are often comprised of only a few members, and no assets beyond the property itself, and are considered “closely-held” companies. There has been a growing trend in New York construction defect lawsuits in which boards of … Continue Reading

An Unfounded Lien: What’s an Owner to Do? And Can it Recover its Attorneys’ Fees?

A subcontractor has liened the property even though the owner has paid in full for its work. The general contractor has disappeared. What should an owner do next? And will its attorneys’ fees be recoverable? In New York, a mechanic’s lien, although filed in the county clerk’s office on the project owner’s land record, secures … Continue Reading
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