Managing Shareholder: James T Johnson
Founding Shareholders: Frank L Robinson (deceased), William R Neff, Thomas J Ragonetti, Bruce B Johnson (deceased)
Number of shareholders: 27
Number of other lawyers: 16
Otten Johnson’s inception in January 1985 was guided by a single, formative principle: effective partnership between client and counsel. In the years since, a firm recognized for its commitment, inventiveness and practicality has evolved. The result: a synergy between every client’s goals and the firm’s commitment to realizing them. The firm’s desire to serve the full range of its clients’ needs has led them to establish practice specialties in land use, real estate, finance, litigation, business transactions and capital markets, trusts and estates, eminent domain and bankruptcy and troubled loans. Due to a rapidly expanding client base, the firm has grown quickly, yet careful attention has guided its growth in a way that empowers each client while preserving the firm structure and values that have been important from the start. Otten Johnson strives to make every client’s experience remarkable. For over 36 years, the firm has done just that. With great optimism and with a continuing commitment to unparalleled client service, Otten Johnson is eager to continue that tradition.
Main Areas of Practice:
Real Estate & Real Estate Finance:
Otten Johnson Robinson Neff + Ragonetti PC provides legal services to the real estate industry at the local, national and international levels. Clients include developers, builders, investors, operators, managers, brokers and title insurers of single and multifamily residential projects, office buildings, retail shopping centers and other commercial projects and resort properties. The firm has represented these clients in all phases of their business from acquisition through development approvals, environmental regulation review and compliance, financing, title insurance matters and construction and development to leasing and disposition. The firm also has served as lessee’s counsel in numerous leasing transactions (including leveraged leases) involving commercial real estate facilities. Additionally, the firm advises its real estate clients on a wide variety of sophisticated federal, state and local tax matters, including entity selection and formation, operational tax matters, partnership taxation, nonprofit taxation, property tax assessment protests and appeals and 1031 exchanges.
Land Use & Eminent Domain:
The firm provides a full range of services to a variety of clients in routine and complex land use and urban development approvals, transaction issues and litigation. The firm handles zoning, subdivision, annexation and related approval matters, both on a standalone basis and as part of its ongoing real estate representation. The firm frequently provides representation in complex and leading-edge land use and urban development matters, such as largescale, long-term planned developments, historic preservation projects, development agreements and vested rights arrangements, complex annexation agreements, initiative and referendum elections, public highway and interchange issues, urban renewal projects, special district and other public financing and subsidy arrangements and publicprivate partnerships and transactions. The firm also represents clients in complex litigation in the areas of regulatory takings, governmental authority, unauthorized or excessive fees and taxes and the constitutional rights of private property owners. The firm has a well-developed practice in representing property owners facing condemnation as part of a public project.
Business Transactions & Capital Markets:
The firm represents numerous large and small corporations, partnerships and other business entities in the areas of general corporate, securities, business law and tax. Services to these clients include providing counsel and representation in debt and equity financings, mergers and acquisitions, venture capital, private placement securities transactions, syndications, formation and restructuring, antitrust, employment contracts, employee benefit plans, product distribution arrangements and franchising, technology issues, including computer law and telecommunications regulation, licensing, trademark and copyright registration and licensing, gaming and tax planning. The firm also provides pro bono counsel to various charitable organizations.
Bankruptcy & Troubled Loans:
Lender-borrower relationships present many challenges in a troubled economy. The pragmatism and creativity of its lawyers helps Otten Johnson’s bankruptcy and troubled loans practice group provide efficient, results-oriented counsel to lenders and borrowers with issues related to creditors’ rights, loan modifications, workouts, foreclosures, distressed acquisitions and dispositions, financial restructuring and bankruptcies. While the primary focus of the practice has been lender representations, Otten Johnson has also represented numerous borrowers, debtors, receivers, creditors’ committees and trustees.
The firm handles a broad range of complex commercial litigation in the state and federal courts, with particular emphasis on disputes involving the real estate industry and debtor-creditor relations. Otten Johnson litigators have tried cases to judges, juries and arbitrators in matters ranging from construction defect disputes to quiet-title claims to lender liability cases. Sensitive to the danger that litigation costs can often become disproportionate to the amounts at stake in a particular case, the firm’s litigators strive to maximize efficiencies and settlement leverage through a process of early case assessment, highly-focused discovery and motion practice, and trial presentations designed to highlight the most persuasive evidence while eliminating unnecessary and voluminous details.
The firm represents a diverse clientele of local, national and international entities and individuals operating in a wide array of industries, including: banking, charter school development, construction, financial services, hotel and resort development, insurance, investment banking, manufactured housing, manufacturing, mortgage, private equity and venture capital, real estate, and transportation, among others.