Practice Overview

One of Sonkin • Koberna’s core practice areas is real estate, and our attorneys have vast experience handling litigation in all forums involving leases, purchase and sale agreements, loan agreements, title matters, easements and boundary disputes, riparian rights and other real estate-related issues. Our real estate lawyers also have a thorough understanding of Ohio landlord-tenant law, and have handled hundreds of cases involving the enforcement of various lease provisions. Whether bringing a claim to enforce a seller’s obligation to timely close a purchase transaction or initiating an action to evict or collect past due rents from a defaulting tenant and/or its guarantors, our trial lawyers bring the same level of expertise and dedication to achieving our client’s ultimate objective.

Sonkin • Koberna also assists many of its business and individual clients through all phases of the administrative and judicial process in zoning and land use issues/controversies. For example, we regularly appear before municipal and administrative agencies on behalf of our clients to help obtain critical or necessary use permits, variances or zoning reclassifications. And when the local agencies or board members make decisions which do not comply with the requirements of Ohio law, or the provisions of their own municipal codes, our litigators have vast experience challenging those decisions in court.


  • Obtained jury verdict against seller of office building complex who wrongfully refused to proceed with the closing of purchase/sale transaction
  • Represented property owner in obtaining for zoning reclassifications for development of gasoline station and car wash
  • Obtained judgment for national developer of retail shopping centers against a former retail tenant, and pursued collection through various collection hearings and other lawsuits against tenant, tenant’s bank, and tenant’s customers to collect nearly $200,000 of past due and future rent before funds were recovered by tenant’s other creditors
  • Obtained the dismissal of sub-lessor, a national grocery chain, from eviction action brought by owner of jointly owned property following primary lessor’s failure to pay real estate taxes
  • Represented owner of indoor self-storage facility in claims for declaratory and injunctive relief after city refused to issue occupancy permit, allowing operator to open for business
  • Obtained judgment in favor of lessor of property challenging application of zoning code to property, thereby allowing expansion of automobile dealer facilities
  • Representation of property owners at county Boards of Revision and state Board of Tax Appeals hearings, aggregating to well over $100,000 per year in real estate tax savings
  • Represented national real estate development firm in litigation involving alleged failure to meet co-tenancy provisions in lease
  • Represented publicly-traded REIT in numerous lease disputes involving national tenants, such as Cold Stone Creamery, RadioShack, KB Toys, Holcombs and Office Depot
  • Represented real estate brokerage firm in action to enfoce broker’s lien’
  • Defended real estate brokerage firm in action brought for commissions allegedly owned under acquisitions agreement
  • Represented owner of shopping center in dispute with former tenant regarding encumberances on tenant’s property left at the premises following termination of lease
  • Jointly represented multiple shopping centers in recovering funds from national clothing retailer for payment of $100,000 in property taxes to various municipalities