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A lawsuit over the sale of Georgetown Park Mall was revived last week by the D.C. Court of Appeals, which reversed a lower-court decision that found the statute of limitations had passed on contract disputes between two feuding developers. The suit by EastBanc Inc. pits EastBanc President Anthony Lanier against Herbert Miller, the sole general partner of Georgetown Park Associates II. Miller, who had sold his stake in the mall but still held the right of first offer to buy the property, agreed in 1998 to help Lanier acquire and redevelop the mall in a joint venture. But EastBanc couldn’t persuade the mall owner to sell the property. In another agreement in 2001, EastBanc agreed to pay Miller $3 million for his help if EastBanc could buy the mall by May 2002, but EastBanc failed again. In 2006, when the mall owner announced it was selling the property, EastBanc turned to Miller a third time, but he refused to help, saying there was no definitive agreement on terms in the prior agreements, the appellate ruling states. Miller then bought the 608,000-square-foot mall for $84 million. After EastBanc filed suit in 2006, Superior Court Judge Geoffrey Alprin granted summary judgment for Georgetown Park Associates II, finding that the three-year statute of limitations on breach-of-contract claims had passed. But the D.C. Court of Appeals found the 1998 agreement, which didn’t have a set deadline, was still enforceable as a contract. Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr partners Seth Waxman and Paul Wolfson represented EastBanc. Wolfson says EastBanc is considering all of its options for further proceedings in Superior Court. S. Scott Morrison, a partner at Katten Muchin Rosenman who represented Georgetown Park Associates II, says no discovery has been completed in the suit, and he expects Miller will ultimately prevail.
Brendan Smith can be contacted at [email protected].

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