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Horvitz & Levy is a solutions-based firm focused on appellate success. We are distinguished by our commitment to responsive service and on-going innovation in the areas of civil appellate litigation, amicus curiae support, and trial strategy consultation.

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In this appeal, Horvitz & Levy LLP successfully defended Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation in this dispute over the proper rent level for an extension of its lease for a commercial office building in the San Diego area. The Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s decision in Northrop’s favor in an unpublished opinion.

After the dispute arose, the parties engaged in a three-broker appraisal process which resulted in an arbitration award significantly in Northrop’s favor. Northrop then filed this action in Superior Court seeking to confirm the arbitration award and its complaint also sought consequential damages based on its over-payment of rent during the disputed period and other components of the appraisal award. (Goldentop forced Northrop to pay at the higher rent level under protest.) The Superior Court confirmed the arbitration award and then granted Northrop’s motion for summary judgment.

The Court of Appeal (Fourth District, Division One) affirmed the judgment holding: (1) the three-broker appraisal process was an arbitration governed by the California Arbitration Act; (2) Goldentop waived any challenge to the appraisal award by failing to timely file a petition to vacate the appraisal award; and (3) summary judgment was properly granted to Northrop because the lease provision at issue was ambiguous and the undisputed extrinsic evidence in the record, including the negotiations leading to the lease and the parties’ subsequent conduct, supported Northrop’s interpretation of the lease.