Thomas E. Lombardi


Thomas E. Lombardi is a founding partner of Lombardi & Donohue LLP. Mr. Lombardi’s practice emphasizes real estate law and litigation.

Mr. Lombardi litigates real estate disputes for real estate companies, including REITs, private equity firms, developers, advisors, asset managers, trust companies, regional and family owned companies. He also serves in an advisory capacity to these clients and their executives. Mr. Lombardi has an extensive range of experience litigating a broad spectrum of issues arising from real estate and lending transactions, as well as ownership of all classes of real estate, including matters involving commercial leases, construction and the operations of real estate assets.

Mr. Lombardi also has substantial experience litigating disputes involving purchase and sale agreements, leases, loans, options, first rights of refusal, commissions, partnership and corporate real estate disputes, failure to disclose, construction, ADA, nuisance, quiet title, easements, and boundary disputes.

In addition to contract based real estate disputes, Mr. Lombardi’s practice also includes defense non-contract claims arising from real estate ownership ranging from wrongful eviction, mold exposure, lead exposure, asbestos exposure, and discrimination.

Business and commercial matters handled by Mr. Lombardi include litigation arising from partnership disputes, corporate dissolution, fraud, breach of contract, insurance coverage and unfair competition.

Mr. Lombardi has tried cases in the Superior Court of California and the Federal District Court. He has also argued appeals before the United States 9th Circuit Court of Appeal and the California Court of Appeal.


Mr. Lombardi obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California Santa Barbara and his Juris Doctorate degree from Whittier College School of Law.

Honors & Awards

Mr. Lombardi has been included on the lists of Southern California Super Lawyers from 2012-2019.

Professional Activities

Mr. Lombardi currently serves as Co-Chairman of the Executive Committee of the California Lawyers Association’s Real Property Law Section, with membership of over 6000 real estate attorneys statewide. The California Lawyers Association (CLA) is a member-driven, mission-focused organization dedicated to the professional advancement of attorneys practicing in the state of California with a membership of over 65,000 lawyers, judges and other legal professionals. He previously served as Vice-Chairman and served three years as a member of the Executive Committee of the Real Property Section as well. He is also a recognized member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for results achieved in real property litigation matters. Mr. Lombardi has spoken on panels and has been quoted in publications on topics affecting the real estate industry and has written articles disseminated in various trade and legal publications.

Representative Matters

  • Defended a real estate apartment developer in United States District Court in a complex, $20 million structured finance and sale transaction for the repurposing of failed condominium development into apartments. A condominium investor that lost its investment filed suit alleging the transaction was a fraudulent conveyance. After two years of extensive multiparty litigation before the District Court, prevailed on summary judgment, with the Court finding that the structured finance and sale transaction was not a fraudulent conveyance.
  • Prosecuted case for retail center owner against General Contractor for faulty work on retail center common areas. Recovered substantial arbitration award, including award of 100 percent of retail center owner’s attorneys’ fees.
  • Defended a national medical provider, who was alleged to have caused $1.3 million in losses to Landlord due to construction delays. Claim settled for nominal amount during heavy discovery phase of case.
  • Represent owner of single tenant office building against long term tenant that used the building for its national headquarters and vacated without restoring the building to the condition required under its lease. Case settled for confidential sum prior to trial.
  • Successful prosecution of a suit for specific performance on behalf of developer who held an option to purchase a hotel in a beach community in Southern California. Optionor refused to honor developer’s exercise of the option. Obtained a court judgment enforcing the developer’s option and forcing optionors to sell the hotel. Prevailed on the subsequent appeal by the optionors.
  • Represented owner of Bel Air mansion regularly featured in Rich Housewives of Beverly Hills against celebrity tenant that claimed owner purchased the property subject to an unrecorded deed of trust of $5.5 million in favor of tenant granted by previous owner. Further defended claim by intervening judgment creditor holding judgment in excess of $20 million against tenant that sought to take over tenant’s claims. Court dismissed both tenant and judgment creditor’s claims prior to trial.
  • Defense of a suit for rescission of a sale filed against client, who purchased a business and its real estate assets. The action was tried before a jury. Prevailed on the action, including an award against seller for 100 percent of client’s attorneys’ fees. Prevailed on two appeals with the court awarding client attorneys’ fees for the defense of the appeals.
  • Prosecution of case against an industrial tenant and its unauthorized subtenant after a large default. The subtenant, a commercial tire importer, denied it occupied the space relying on a warehouse agreement with the tenant for the storage of its inventory. At trial, the court found the subtenant’s use was not of the nature of a warehouse agreement, but a sublease without authorization. Client prevailed against both tenant and subtenant and awarded damages for back rent to client against subtenant, who was the only collectible party. Subtenant paid the judgment.
  • Recovered a seven-figure settlement prosecuting a claim for client, a beachfront apartment building owner, whose building collapsed as a result of excavation adjacent to the client’s property.
  • Defense of a seven figure lawsuit filed by 37 tenants against a client arising from the client’s failure to maintain a large apartment complex and building, safety, health and rent control violations. Settled on a per plaintiff basis substantially below the average settlement amount for similar cases. Conditioned settlement on the plaintiffs’ agreement to vacate their rent controlled apartments, thereby allowing the client to increase rents. After plaintiffs vacated their apartments, the apartments were rented at market value, which increased the appraised value of the apartment complex in excess of the settlement paid and nearly doubled the client’s cash flow from the apartment complex.

Thomas Lombardi