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Paul W. Windust — Principal

Areas of Practice

Mr. Windust is a Principal in Berding | Weil's litigation practice group and co-chairs the firm's Director and Officers Litigation Group. He has over 20 years of experience in both commercial and residential real estate law, commercial and contract law, creditor's rights and bankruptcy. He has advised community associations on foreclosure issues, landlord-tenant issues, CC&R enforcement matters, and re-construction contracts. He has litigated and tried to verdict numerous complex business, real estate, and construction defect matters. He has successfully defended Associations and directors and officers against breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, and failure to enforce claims.

Professional History

Previous to joining Berding|Weil, Mr. Windust represented and advised insurance companies, financial institutions and Fortune 500 companies in class action bad faith, insurance coverage, regulatory, real estate and unfair business practices litigation in state and federal courts.

Representative matters Paul has handled include:

After a three-week trial in Santa Clara County, obtained a $2.5 million dollar jury verdict against a major developer and well known commercial real estate brokerage firm arising from their failure to disclose significant plumbing defects in the sale of a 200+ unit apartment building. A twelve member jury agreed that the defendants intentionally misrepresented the physical condition of the apartment project, and rendered a unanimous 12-0 verdict.

Tried and obtained a unanimous 12-0 Jury verdict that vindicated the decisions and handling by a 64 unit condominium community association board of directors in dealing with a flooring and nuisance dispute. The Jury returned a complete defense victory after a three week trial during which the association faced breach of fiduciary duty and breach of governing document claims. The Plaintiff claimed that the association failed and refused to enforce a flooring restriction contained in the governing documents against an upstairs neighbor. Also obtained and collected a court award of $175,000 in prevailing party attorney fees and costs on the Association's behalf.

Litigated and settled on behalf of an apartment owner/operator a failure to disclose lawsuit arising from the sale of a 50+ unit apartment building in El Dorado Hills, California. The seller failed to disclose systemic water intrusion at the project arising from known roof deficiencies, foundation defects, and inadequate site drainage. Settlement: Confidential.

Obtained a $50,000 judgment and a $230,000 attorney fee award on behalf of a community association located in Marin County arising from the defendant owner's refusal to pay maintenance assessments. The defendant asserted breaches of fiduciary duty and management malfeasance which the court rejected after a three-week bench trial.

A Fortune 500 company's long term business plan required disposal of its West Coast manufacturing site which it had leased from a building owner. A sublessee claimed it had renewal rights which were contained in the master lease. We filed a successful demurrer which disposed of the majority of the claims and later obtained summary judgment based on a written brief defeating the sublessee's claimed renewal rights. We also obtained a significant award for litigation fees and costs.

Defended a Fortune 500 company tenant in a breach of lease action in which the landlord claimed default rent and early possession of the premises. We successfully negotiated a favorable buyout of the lease by leveraging the landlord's financial position and using legal argument to defeats summary judgment.

Negotiated a favorable resolution to a dispute between a landlord and its cable company tenant, our client. The cable company tenant made unapproved alterations to the premises. The landlord attempted to declare the lease in default with the objective of negotiating a new lease with more favorable lease terms and rental structure.

Recovered a settlement of over $500,000 for a national modular building distributor by prosecuting both breach of contract and construction defect claims. The end user of the modular buildings refused to perform on the contract because of alleged water intrusion and construction delays. We enforced the contract terms, took an assignment of its rights, and prosecuted defect claims to a successful settlement.

Litigated and settled over 10 construction defect actions on behalf of community associations in need of funds to make project repairs.

Educational History

Juris Doctor - 1993, University of Southern California Gould School of Law
BS business Administration, Finance Emphasis - University of Southern California
Licensed California Real Estate Broker

Professional Memberships

  • Contra Costa Bar Association
  • Commercial Law League of America