Miami Herald: Trump loses appeal to Doral golf resort tenant whose rent he tried to raise 583 percent
By Kluger Kaplan August 3, 2018
A Trump-owned company that operates the president’s Trump National Doral Miami golf resort has been ordered to pay the legal fees of a spa owner whose rent Trump attempted to raise fivefold during a lease dispute in 2013…
…Alan Kluger, a Pritikin attorney, said Trump had planned to “build a billionaire’s club” and the spa did not match his vision for the resort.
“He did everything he could to force him out,” Kluger said. “He and his team just tried to bully Pritikin. They took outrageous positions, they threatened him. It was really unconscionable.”
The trial judge sided with Pritikin, and on Wednesday Miami’s Third District Court of Appeal agreed.
Kluger and his colleagues are seeking $2.5 million in compensation for legal fees. The appeals court granted Pritikin’s motion for attorney fees — and added attorney fees for the appeal process as well. Pritikin attorneys are now working to set up a September hearing to determine an exact number.
A spokesperson for Trump Hotels did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“The overwhelming credible and substantial evidence reflects that Trump Endeavor undertook a series of pretextual maneuvers in an effort to force Pritikin to vacate the leased premises,” Circuit Court Judge Rodriguez wrote in his 2017 ruling siding with Pritikin. “The court finds that Pritikin is the prevailing party on the significant issues of the case and is entitled to an award of reasonable attorney’s fees and costs.”
Kluger said Trump Endeavor has a right to file a petition with Florida’s Supreme Court but that it was unlikely to go through.
“For all intents and purposes, all their appellate rights are done,” said attorney Philippe Lieberman. “Now all that needs to be decided is the amount of legal fees that Trump needs to pay Pritikin, and that number is going to be substantial.”