The Real Deal Miami

Avra Jain sues ex-attorneys for $15M over failed development deal

Developer and partners claim the law firm made an amateur mistake in defending them against a former business associate
December 01, 2017 03:00PM

Avra Jain (Credit: Dragon Global)

Developer Avra Jain wants $15 million in damages from her former lawyers over a failed real estate deal in Doral.

Jain filed a malpractice and breach of fiduciary duty lawsuit against Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney and shareholder Richard A. Morgan Nov. 20 in Miami-Dade County Circuit Court, records show.

Jain, whose projects include the Vagabond Hotel and the Bayside Motor Inn on Biscayne Boulevard, is alleging her former attorneys made an amateur mistake in defending her against a former business associate, Abraham Cohen, the Daily Business Review reported.

In 2009, Cohen sued Jain, investor Paul Cashman Murphy and H-H Investments LLC, alleging he was owed more than $4 million for a planned luxury condo project likely near Trump National Doral Miami. He claimed Jain, Murphy and their investment group broke their contract when they stopped making payments for his take in the company that planned to develop the property.

Jain and the other defendants responded, claiming Cohen lied about the project to get them to invest, and then deceived them into buying him out of the development. They filed a counterclaim for fraud and misrepresentation. A key part of the counterclaim is that Jain alleges Cohen tore up the promissory note once she confronted him about it.

But her attorneys failed to ensure that Cohen’s attorneys had the original note. Without the note, Cohen wouldn’t be able to enforce the guaranty.

In January, Miami-Dade Circuit judge entered an $8.2 million final judgment in favor of Cohen. Jain is looking to hold her former counsel responsible for the judgment, expenses and damages, according to the Daily Business Review. [DBR]Katherine Kallergis