The Burke Law Group, PLLC
Old City Hall Building
221 N. Wall St., Suite 624
Spokane, WA 99201

Main Office: (509) 466-7770
Collaborative Law: (509) 999-6747

Real Estate

Real estate disputes can be of several varieties. These include disagreements with neighbors over boundary lines, fences, use of property, noise, invasion of privacy issues, or disputes about crossing over someone else’s property to get to your property. Sometimes disputes arise with developers, realtors, sellers and buyers in a buy-sell agreement situation. There may be issues of who said what in the transaction or issues relating to defects in the property that may or may not relate to a warranty. Title to property can also be disputed whether involving divorce, probate or contractual disputes.

The most commonly disputed issue in agricultural areas is boundary issues and what is known as adverse possession. The latter refers to acquiring title to property that was not originally in a deed but acquired, or having attempted to acquire, by use and other criteria prescribed by law.

Sometimes real estate disputes lend themselves to alternative dispute resolution such as mediation or arbitration. At other times depositions, court motions and a trial with witnesses are required. Property disputes can be just as emotional as any other legal issue. Parties to a dispute sometimes think that they can use brute force to claim what they think is rightfully their property. This is where the judicial system can help so that no one gets hurt. Lawyers, judges and mediators can apprise the parties of their rights and hopefully resolve the dispute.

Real estate law is an evolving and complex area of the law that requires an experienced attorney, from both a legal and practical point of view. It requires the attorney to keep apprised of the latest developments in the law and the needs of the population, all of which Patty Grossman has done for over 30 years.

Patty Grossman has researched the legal aspects of buying and selling real estate including buy-sell agreements, also known in some areas as deposit receipts, earnest money or purchase agreements, enforcement of those agreements, construction law and agency-principle law. She is familiar with all aspects of buying and selling real estate from a practical and legal point of view. Construction defects, warranties and disclaimers, and problems with contractors and developers are areas that Patty has a particular interest in. She has represented clients, and in some cases mediated, for disputes involving title where co-owners claim adverse interests and disputes where neighbors argue over boundaries and fence lines.

Sometimes real estate matters overlap with domestic relation cases when, for example, parties to a dissolution sell the community residence and are later sued individually for undisclosed defective conditions on the property. Some real estate buyers and sellers and their realtors have questions about real estate agents who work for both the buyer and seller in what is known as a dual agency capacity. As a former real estate broker and college instructor on agency-principle law, Patty has insight into these issues and can alleviate some of the obscurity which arises from this area of the law.

Real estate cases sometimes can involve big corporations. Patty has seen litigation involving major corporate property interests in developing residential and commercial real estate. These cases addressed issues of land use and changes in the zoning of land. As a member of the community and resident, Patty has represented homeowners who had concerns about height limitations on new construction.

Meet Our Attorneys

Dena Allen

Principal / Member of the Firm, practicing in Family Law Litigation, Collaborative Law Divorce, Cooperative Divorce, Adoptions, Estate Planning, and Probate

John Burke

Of Counsel, practicing in Collaborative Law for Divorce, Uncontested Divorce and Estate Planning. On medical leave.

Matthew Fischer

Principal / Managing Member of the Firm, practicing in all areas of Family Law Litigation, Divorce and Uncontested Divorce. Also serves as a Spokane County Superior Court Pro Tem Commissioner

Cathy Helman

Associate Attorney, practicing in Appeals, Probate, Estate Planning, Family Law, and Bankruptcy. Also is an Administrative Law Judge Pro Tem with the Washington State Office of Administrative Hearings.

Joseph Linehan

Of Counsel, practicing in Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) appeals, Family Law Litigation, Divorce, and Dependency. Also serves as a Spokane County Superior Court Pro Tem Commissioner

Robin Schmahl

Senior Associate Attorney, practicing in Family Law Litigation, Uncontested Divorce, Estate Planning, Probate, and Guardianship

Rhylee Smith

Associate Attorney, admitted to practice in Washington and Idaho, practicing in all aspects of Family Law, Divorce, Child Custody and Support, and Modifications to Existing Orders

Kenneth Zigler, Jr.

Of Counsel, practicing in Family Law Litigation, Divorce, Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) and SSI benefits, and Lawsuits and Disputes including Personal Injury

Joanna Stranger

Rule 9 Intern, practicing in Family Law and Divorce