Malibu Trial Court to Decide if More Money Should be Paid Involving Record Judgment for Hilton and Hyland

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Court will decide exactly how much money should be paid by Susan Loggans to compensate Hilton & Hyland for attorneys’ fees and costs incurred in a hard-fought legal battle that included a nine day trial before a Malibu jury. (CASE SC084111)

Malibu trial court to decide if an additional $350,000 in attorneys fees and costs should be paid by Susan Loggans, a Chicago attorney, to Hilton & Hyland and Chad Rogers, her real estate agents, as part of a record judgment involving the sale of Ms. Loggans’ beach front property, located in the exclusive Malibu colony. Judgment should be awarded by end of the week.

The Malibu jury’s award of a commission in the amount of $360,937.50, plus prejudgment interest in the amount of $41,137.20, in favor of Hilton & Hyland is a record in the state of California for the sale of a single family residence.

On Friday, June 16, 2006, the Honorable Cesar C. Sarmiento of the Los Angeles Superior Court heard oral argument concerning how much money should be paid by Susan Loggans to compensate Hilton & Hyland for attorneys’ fees and costs incurred in a hard-fought legal battle that included a nine day trial before a Malibu jury. On April 5, 2006, Judge Sarmiento entered the judgment in the case, Hilton & Hyland v. Loggans, LASC, Case No. SC084111, that affirmed the jury’s award of a commission in the amount of $360,937.50 in favor of Hilton & Hyland, and added an additional $41,137.20 for prejudgment interest. Judge Sarmiento’s ruling is expected to be released shortly and will determine if the total amount of the judgment will exceed $750,000.    

At the trial of the case, the jury learned that in October 2001, Chad Rogers, who was 24 years old at that time and a successful real estate agent at Hilton & Hyland, was originally introduced to Ms. Loggans by Sheldon Adelson, the owner of the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. As a result of that introduction, Mr. Rogers played a critical role in assisting Ms. Loggans in locating and purchasing her Malibu residence in May 2002 for $5,750,000 and in leasing it during the Summer months in 2002, 2003 and 2004 to a variety of well-heeled individuals, such as Lisa Bonder Kerkorian, Fred Rosen and Suzan Hughes. In June 2004, Ms. Loggans decided to sever her professional relationship with Mr. Rogers. A few months later, in October 2004, Ms. Loggans sold her Malibu residence to Bruno and Kyara Mascolo, the founders of TIGI, a hair care products company, for $11,550,000. The dispute arose due to Ms. Loggans’ refusal to pay a commission to Hilton & Hyland and Mr. Rogers under the terms of a one-page, written contract, the Single Party Compensation Agreement, that protected Hilton & Hyland’s and Mr. Rogers’s interests in the event of a sale of Ms. Loggans’ Malibu residence to the Mascolos.

Mr. Rogers grew up in the Malibu Colony, and he has been employed by Hilton & Hyland since September 2003. Mr. Rogers specializes in representing celebrity clientele in the purchase and sale of high-end residential properties, and as a direct result of his expertise, he recently joined the team of correspondents for “Daily 10”, a topical entertainment news show that airs on the E Network. In light of the upcoming hearing before Judge Sarmiento, Mr. Rogers said, “It is unfortunate that Ms. Loggans, a former friend and client, thought that she could intimidate me and not abide by our agreement. I am looking forward to Judge Sarmiento’s determination of how much attorneys’ fees and costs should be borne by Ms. Loggans because she will finally realize that there is a significant price to be paid when you do not honor a promise.”    

Gerald L. Sauer, lead trial counsel for Hilton & Hyland and a partner in the law firm of Sauer & Wagner LLP, said, “This case shows that even rich and powerful attorneys are bound by the same rules that govern everyone else. The mere fact that you can afford to go the distance in a lawsuit and hire a prestigious law firm does not mean that you will win in the end.” Mr. Sauer handled the trial with Vina Chin, another attorney at Sauer & Wagner LLP.

Ms. Loggans was represented at trial by Richard Posell, an attorney and a partner with the law firm of Greenberg, Glusker, Fields, Claman and Machtinger LLP. In 2004, Mr. Posell represented Ms. Loggans in a real estate dispute involving Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, entitled Loggans v. Schwarzenegger, LASC, Case No. BS 093958, in which Ms. Loggans claimed that the Governor failed to disclose “construction defects” related to Mr. Loggans’ purchase of the Governor’s Pacific Palisades estate. Mr. Rogers also represented Ms. Loggans in connection with the transaction involving Governor Schwarzenegger.                

For More Information, Please Contact: Gerald L. Sauer, Esq., Sauer & Wagner LLP (310) 712-8100 (Work) or (310) 962-4402 (Cell).

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