TLGGR Surety


Surety companies throughout the United States and Canada have turned to the attorneys at TLGGR for our insight and experience. Our attorneys have been actively involved in major performance bond defaults, including the necessary investigation and documentation of our client’s position, as well as any attendant litigation. Our extensive knowledge of construction industry practices and access to in-house engineers gives us a real edge with issues involving bid, performance, and payment bonds. But our practice doesn’t end there. Over the years we have also managed many other types of surety issues for a wide range of clients. Matters we have handled include:

  * All types of commercial surety bonds
  * Performance default analysis, negotiation and litigation
  * Performance bond takeover agreements and completion contracts
  * Investigation, recommendations and litigation of payment bond claims
  * Estate surety issues involving executors and administrators
  * Bonds for committees, guardians and tax collectors
  * Court bonds
  * Salvage claims
  * Subrogation and surety indemnification
  * Claims and coverage investigations
  * Claims analysis and review including reprocurements, financing and options to mitigate damages

Because TLGGR attorneys have spent years focusing almost exclusively on surety law, we can untangle even the most difficult matters, often greatly reducing the financial impact of a claim by identifying and aggressively pursuing potentially liable parties.

Some of TLGGR’s recent and current surety matters include:

General Insurance v. Mezzacappa Brothers: TLGGR represented the surety in an interpretation of contract (indemnity agreement) dispute regarding the surety’s settlements of its contractor’s affirmative claims, which were settled over the contractor’s objections. There was no issue that the surety had the right to make the settlements; the issue was whether the propriety of such settlements was measured by a good faith standard (which, as a practical matter, would entitle the surety to summary judgment), or by a commercial reasonableness standard under the Uniform Commercial Code (which, as a practical matter, meant a jury trial). The District Court agreed with our interpretation that the good faith standard applied, and the Second Circuit has recently affirmed.

JP Morgan Chase v. Liberty Mutual, et al. : TLGGR was co-counsel for three of twelve defendants in Enron-related litigation that was tried in the federal court in Southern District of New York, which action was settled prior to jury verdict (plaintiffs sought over $1 billion under various commercial surety bonds). Discovery proceedings were conducted on a “fast track”, with more than 200 depositions conducted over a period of four months by a coordinated team of attorneys for the various co-defendants. One of TLGGR’s senior partners chaired the defendants’ IT Committee, which involved administering the extensive computerized systems and outside vendors involved in monitoring and storing all discovery materials and for generating visual and video presentations during the trial.

Maris Equipment v. Morganti/Trataros: TLGGR’s predecessor firms represented a subcontractor and surety in a complex construction litigation involving a 1,000 bed detention facility constructed in Brooklyn for the Federal Bureau of Prisons. After four years of litigation involving production of over two million documents and a three week jury trial in federal court in the Eastern District of New York in 2000, we obtained a favorable multi-million dollar verdict, which was affirmed by the Second Circuit.