Attorney Murphy’s clients, two co-tenants, recently received a satisfactory bench trial judgment in which they retained possession of their apartment. The tenants’ landlord filed for eviction against Attorney Murphy’s clients due to non-payment of rent. The court, however, found that the tenants had legally withheld rent.
At trial, Attorney Murphy offered several critical pieces of evidence supporting his clients’ case that their apartment violated the sanitary code. During cross-examination, the landlord also admitted he did not comply with the security deposit law. Accordingly, the court ruled that Attorney Murphy’s clients were entitled to possession of the apartment, and awarded treble damages for the landlord’s breach of warranty of habitability; and their attorney fees to be paid by the landlord.
Attorney Murphy notes this trial occurred only after nearly four months of settlement negotiations failed to bring an appropriate resolution. There is no doubt unnecessary time and expenses were incurred by the parties.