Christina Rieck Loukas
P /612.604.6439E /[email protected]
University of Chicago Law School, J.D., 2007
University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, M.P.P., 2007
University of Minnesota, B.A., 1999
U.S. Court of Appeals, 8th Cir.
U.S. District Court, D. Colo.
U.S. District Court, D. Minn.
Tribal Court of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community
Every client, every business, every case is different, and the same approach is not right for every matter. I strive to find the best approach for the unique issues of each case so that I can provide the greatest value to my clients. Litigation may be adversarial, but it does not have to be a zero-sum game; there is often a business solution and I work to be creative and achieve the best outcomes for my clients. To me, “winning” means finding the most efficient solution. I am committed to my clients and am invested in solving problems and getting them back to their business.
I focus my practice on real estate litigation and construction law. A large portion of my real estate litigation practice involves resolving the unique issues that can arise in connection with low-income housing tax credit (“LIHTC”) developments, including Year 15 disputes. Over the past decade, due to changes in the investor industry, economic conditions, and the legal environment, disputes between LIHTC partners near the end of the 15-year tax credit compliance period relating to investor exits have become unfortunately commonplace. These disputes often include efforts to remove general partners, interference with purchase options or rights of first refusal, and attempts to force sales or buy-outs for more than the amount to which the investor is contractually entitled. I have represented a number of developers and general partners in these disputes, successfully protecting their contractual rights and preserving affordable housing for the future. In addition, my real estate practice also includes lease disputes, contract enforcement, and quiet title actions.
In my construction law practice, I represent owners, developers, and contractors, with a particular focus on the affordable housing industry. I handle contract disputes, construction defect and warranty matters, subcontractor defaults, employment-related issues, mechanic’s liens, and insurance coverage disputes. In addition, I review and counsel my clients on their various contracts, including residential and commercial construction contracts, as well as other aspects of their business, including subcontractor relations.
My litigation experience also includes shareholder and limited partner disputes, receiverships, banking and securities law litigation, and general commercial contract matters. I have worked with a variety of industries, including construction, affordable housing, banking, and energy, among others. In addition to my litigation practice, I volunteer with the Volunteer Lawyers’ Network’s Housing Court Clinic, assisting pro bono clients with landlord-tenant, rest escrow, and eviction issues.
Advancing and supporting women in the legal profession is very important to me, and I work within the firm to train and mentor junior lawyers and actively participate in our women’s group. I also co-chair the firm’s Lateral Integration Committee and serve on the firm’s Attorney Professional Development Committee. Outside the firm, I serve as Vice President on the Board of the Minnesota Women’s Affordable Housing Network.
When I’m not working, I enjoy spending time with my husband and two kids, getting outdoors, hiking and enjoying nature. I also love to bake and when I can’t get outside, I am usually baking something delicious.
Practicing Year 15 LIHTC Disputes
- Represented an affordable housing developer in a Year 15 dispute involving a disagreement as to valuation of the investor partner’s interest in connection with the developer’s exercise of its option to purchase the investor partner’s interest. Demonstrated on summary judgment that the developer’s valuation, including its interpretation of the deduction of certain fees from the buy-out price, was correct and that the buy-out price was therefore much lower than the investor limited partner had demanded.
- Represented a non-profit affordable housing developer in a Year 15 exit dispute with an investor limited partner that arose when the limited partner refused to allow our client to exercise its statutory non-profit right of first refusal (“ROFR”) to purchase its partner’s interest because the contract inadvertently granted the ROFR to a for-profit affiliate. Demonstrated on summary judgment that the original contract, drafted twenty years prior, contained a mutual mistake, which led to the court’s ultimate decision to reform the contract to allow the non-profit to exercise its ROFR and continue to operate the senior home.
- Represented an affordable housing developer involved in a complicated Year 15 exit dispute involving an affordable housing project. The dispute arose after the investor limited partner unreasonably withheld consent to refinance project debt in an effort to force the general partner to agree to a cash-out refinance that would have paid well over $1 million to the investor limited partner but left the project with unnecessary debt and would have prevented the general partner from making critically-needed capital improvements. Successfully obtained an injunction and court order that allowed our client to refinance the project debt without the investor limited partner’s consent on the terms proposed by our client, which the court found were in the partnership’s best interest, and prohibited the investor limited partner from involuntarily removing our client from the partnership.
- Represented a large, national affordable housing developer, in a Year 15 exit dispute involving an investor limited partner’s refusal to consent to a refinance of project debt. The refinance was needed to avoid the partnership’s default on its long-term debt financing obligations that were scheduled to mature, but the investor limited partner was refusing consent for the refinance unless the general partner agreed to buy-out its interests at an inflated price. Successfully obtained a summary judgment order finding that the investor limited partner had unreasonably and unlawfully withheld consent to refinance as a means to obtain rights that it otherwise did not have (i.e., a forced buy-out of its interests).
Practicing Construction & Real Estate Litigation
- Represented a non-profit affordable housing developer in a land-use challenge to its construction of a deeply-affordable senior housing development. Neighbors of the proposed project challenged the City’s approval of the developer’s rezoning, variance, and site plan review applications. Achieved full affirmation of the City’s approvals on summary judgment just five short months after the lawsuit was filed, allowing the development of the critically-needed affordable housing to move forward.
- Represented a general contractor in a mechanic’s lien lawsuit against a subcontractor. Demonstrated on summary judgment that the subcontractor’s mechanic’s lien was invalid and that the general contractor was entitled to indemnification by the subcontractor.
Represented a general contractor in connection with a lawsuit involving a breach of a construction contract by a subcontractor. First-chaired the trial of the matter and successfully obtained a total victory for our client, including the full $2.6 million in damages, plus attorney’s fees and costs.
- Represented an owner in a dispute with its general contractor relating to the construction of a nearly half-million square foot facility. Successfully demonstrated through arbitration that the general contractor had breached the construction agreement.
- Represented a large retailer in defense of claims by a shopping center owner and tenant seeking to enforce restrictive-use covenants contained in a Reciprocal Easement Agreement. Successfully obtained a favorable settlement prior to trial of the matter.
Practicing Business & Commercial Litigation
- Represented a number of limited partnerships being sued by a group of 11 individual investors in the limited partnerships for alleged securities fraud, common-law fraud, and other alleged causes of action. After two rounds of summary judgment briefing, successfully obtained orders dismissing ALL of the investors’ claims against the limited partnerships and preserving virtually all of the limited partnerships’ claims against the 11 investors.
- Represented a bank sued as one of many defendants by a national online seller of residential mortgage backed securities. After the bank’s previous counsel had created a number of problems for the client, in a few short months we resolved all of the client’s issues—which involved completely redoing the client’s entire document collection, review, and production—and favorably settled the case.
Represented an energy company against more than $125 million in claims related to a dispute over investments in wind energy projects. Successfully obtained summary judgment on the majority of the claims and favorably settled the remainder before trial.
- Represented a manufacturer in a dispute with a state agency relating to a citation and penalty for an alleged violation of state OSHA standards. After successfully demonstrating that the state’s testing protocols were inadequate and in violation of the state’s own regulations, the citation and penalty were withdrawn.
- Represented a small business sued by a “serial plaintiff” for purported violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). Successfully obtained a rare ruling from the bench on summary judgment in which the court found in favor of the company and required the plaintiff to pay a portion of the company’s legal costs.
- Representation of a local business owner in a shareholder dispute concerning the ownership and operation of a Shopping Mall. Our client, along with other shareholders of the Mall, leased space in the Mall and operated individual businesses. Our client was the President of the Mall’s Board for more than a decade, but was then suddenly removed from his position and sued for alleged breaches of fiduciary duties, among other things, in an effort to strip him and his wife of their 28% ownership interests in the Mall. After extensive discovery, we obtained summary judgment for our client on all but one claim and our client’s counterclaims and third-party claims survived summary judgment. On the eve of trial, our client’s adversaries finally folded and we obtained a victory for our client, which included a substantial cash payment.
Also experienced in
Energy Litigation & Appeals
Honors & Awards
The Best Lawyers in America©
Litigation – Real Estate, 2023-2024
Commercial Litigation, 2024
Minnesota Super Lawyers®
Up & Coming Attorney
Minnesota Lawyer, 2016
Minnesota Super Lawyers®, 2017
Real Estate Lawyer of the Year
Minnesota RE Journal, 2023
Associations & Memberships
Women's Affordable Housing Network
Minnesota Chapter of Women’s Affordable Housing Network
Board Member & Founding Member
Minnesota Women Lawyers
Hennepin County Bar Association
Federal Bar Association