Sikora Law Celebrates 33rd Title Appellate Victory

Ohio’s Sixth District Court of Appeals recently affirmed an Order issued by the Ottawa County Court of Common Pleas granting summary judgment in favor of an party that was represented by our lawyers.  See Nationstar Mtge., LLC v. Cody, 6th Dist. Ottawa Case No. OT-18-041, 2020-Ohio-5553.

In Cody, the borrower received $938,250 in exchange for a mortgage granted on two adjacent parcels located on Put-in-Bay Island.  One parcel contained a residential structure.  The other parcel was mostly vacant, but a portion of a detached garage was located on that “vacant” parcel, along with a private boat dock.   The heirs argued that the legal description contained in the Mortgage listed only the street address of the residential parcel.   Our lawyers presented evidence to the Trial Court showing that the Mortgage described both parcels by metes and bounds and by parcel numbers.   Our lawyers also produced evidence showing that the borrower had intended to mortgage the vacant parcel, such as the appraisal, which included both the detached garage and the private dock in the valuation of the property.  They also presented evidence showing that no separate street address had ever been assigned to the vacant parcel, and thus no such other street address could have been included in the description of the property to be encumbered.

The Trial Court granted summary judgment, finding that the Mortgage was unambiguous and should be enforced as to both parcels described in the legal description.  On appeal, the heirs claimed error based on the Trial Court’s refusal to consider the heirs’ testimony about their father’s claimed statements that the Mortgage wasn’t supposed to encumber the vacant lot.  The Appellate Court further found that the legal description included in the Mortgage clearly and unambiguously described both the residential parcel and the vacant parcel, and therefore affirmed the grant of summary judgment in favor of our Client.

To review the Cody Decision, click here.

Non-paying Tenant Evicted Despite Appeal – Due to Procedural Missteps

Both the number and significance of cases involving disputes between landlords and tenants continue to rise.  Ohio’s Twelfth District Court of Appeals just decided a case in which a tenant was evicted for failure to pay rent, and the advantages one party had over the other proved costly for the losing party.  Landings at Beckett Ridge v. Holmes, 2020-Ohio-6900.

The landlord obtained an order from the Trial Court evicting the non-paying tenant.  The tenant appealed from that decision, which normally would have allowed the tenant more time to occupy the premises until the appeal (and all of the litigation) was completed.  However, that tenant did not file a Motion to Stay the underlying Trial Court Judgment.  As a result, the Court of Appeals dismissed the appeal, the tenant was evicted, and the tenant no longer had any rights in the premises.

To review the Holmes case, click here.

High Praise from Attendees of Mike Sikora’s Core Law Seminar at Ohio Realtors’ Annual Convention

Mike Sikora presented at Ohio Realtors’ first ever virtual Annual Convention.  While we at Sikora Law place tremendous value on the power of in-person presentations and seminars, virtual seminars (especially in these uncertain times) can prove very beneficial.  Mike prides himself on adding value to our Client’s businesses and to those take their time to hear him speak.  Mike’s Commercial Core Law Program had 583 attendees participate – a record for one of Mike’s speaking engagements.  The attendees were very appreciative and complimentary of the insight and perspectives that they received from that program.  We appreciate Ohio Realtors calling upon us to present.




Click here to learn why nearly every major commercial brokerage that conducts business in Ohio chooses Sikora Law.


Considering whether to use an entity transfer for your commercial real estate transaction is more important than ever.  For multiple reasons (construction costs, lending terms, low supply, unrealistic seller expectations, to name a few), getting commercial real estate deals done is getting harder.  Sometimes, it makes the most sense to use an entity transfer structure for your deal.

There are even variations among forms of entity transfers – ranging from straight entity transfers – to so-called “drop-and-swap” transactions – each of which is better than the other under certain circumstances.

Certain interest groups are pushing, through legislation, to eliminate the opportunity to complete transactions at all, or to thwart financial feasibility of deals, and we are pushing back.  In these challenging economic times, thoughtfully considering these options is more important than ever.  Until a better model can be established, we all have to make the best of this model.  We believe we know how to do that extremely well.

Every week, we advise our Clients on the importance of this subject, and we believe we know better than any other firm in Ohio exactly where the law stands on this subject and where it is headed, so we believe we know better than any other firm how to help you determine how best way to structure transactions for financial feasibility and maximum success.

Let us know how we can help.




Click here to learn why nearly every major commercial brokerage that conducts business in Ohio chooses Sikora Law.

Senate Bill 39 is Now Ohio Law

On December 29, 2020, Senate Bill 39 – the Transformational Mixed-use Development Tax Credit Bill – became the law of Ohio.  That new law is extremely important for the commercial real estate industry – it is something that is sorely needed as our economy pulls out of the Coronavirus Recession.

This new law will now enable certain transformational mixed-use developments to move forward.  Mixed-use developments with $50,000,000 or more in total project costs (and 15 stories or 350,000 square feet) that are in or around cities with a population of 100,000 or more, or smaller scale but still transformational mixed-use developments that are located more than 10 miles outside of a major city may qualify.

Unlike any other Ohio commercial real estate economic development law – it includes a first of its kind, built-in return on investment calculation and methodology to ensure that additional state and local taxes generated by the development will exceed the amount of the tax credits awarded to the developer.

Senate Bill 39 also improves Ohio Commercial Broker Lien Law by mandating recovery of all attorneys’ fees and costs for the prevailing party and streamlining the process for serving Broker’s Liens.

Our firm drafted portions of Senate Bill 39, and we were extremely involved in the process of advocating for its passage – before it became law.