Virginia K. Trunkes

Counsel

  • Overview

    Biography

    Virginia K. Trunkes advocates on behalf of developers; apartment building, brownstone and condominium unit owners; cooperative boards of directors; construction managers, contractors and subcontractors; and design services professionals in negotiating their business contracts and adjacent-owner license access agreements. She is a member of the firm’s Construction Law Group.

    As former Chair of the New York City Bar Association’s Construction Law Committee, Virginia has a broad overview of all issues implicating construction projects, including insurance and regulatory issues, which inform her practical approach in negotiating parties’ respective obligations. Coupled with her demonstrated collaborative and project-oriented spirit, she is skilled at bringing parties together to arrive at practical solutions to effectuate their deal while still protecting their interests.  

    When complex disputes do arise, and when alternative dispute resolution cannot be achieved, Virginia litigates in state and federal courts, where she advocates fiercely on her clients’ behalf. Common litigation issues include any and all construction disputes, including construction and design defects, bond claims, mechanic’s liens, delay and lost productivity claims, and claims arising from force majeure events.  In addition to her construction specific litigation experience, Virginia has handled civil matters ranging from contractual breaches, fiduciary obligations, licenses, the right to access, boundaries (trespass and encroachment), Zoning Lot Development Agreements, and interpretation of and compliance with administrative regulations. Virginia’s several years as a Court Attorney at the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, First Department, enhance her ability to navigate and sift through granular details while communicating to judges the core factual issues and persuasive legal arguments.  

    Virginia performs volunteer work with organizations such as the Judges and Lawyers Breast Cancer Alert, the Westchester Women's Bar Association, where she co-chairs the Corporate and Commercial Committee, and as a member of the Board of Directors of the White Plains Bar Association. She has published articles in numerous bar journals and newsletters, examining legal topics du jour and exploring their potential directions and reach.
     

  • Experience
    • Experience

      Experience

        Dispute Resolution

      • Negotiated favorable settlement on behalf of a plumbing trade subcontractor in six-figure payment dispute with general contractor and owner arising from ground-up construction of a major hotel chain project.

      • Negotiated favorable settlement on behalf of health care facility in dispute with construction project architect. 

      • Represent HVAC contractor in adverse possession and equitable lien lawsuit regarding mixed use property in Jamaica, Queens.

      • Successfully resolved $2.6 million lawsuit on behalf of private property owner where construction manager sought quantum meruit compensation for extra services and materials during ground-up construction of custom residence never memorialized in change orders.*

      • Successfully resolved lawsuit on behalf of general contractor of church renovation projects against stereo-speaker vendor’s payment dispute.*

      • Obtained affirmance by the Appellate Division of an order dismissing proceeding brought by local community seeking to prevent construction renovations at Playland Amusement Park.*

      • Obtained denial of a preliminary injunction on behalf of children’s intensive rehabilitation facility where local community sought to prevent its expansion.*

      • Defended New York City developer against accusations of damage to adjacent property during ground-up construction of new luxury condominium in “NoHo” part of Greenwich Village. *

      • Defended New York City sponsor-developer against multimillion-dollar construction defect claims brought by Boards of Managers of new Brooklyn condominiums.*

      • Obtained reversal by the Appellate Division on behalf of property owner performing construction adjacent to neighboring property of an order that imposed a $500 per diem monetary penalty in neighbor’s favor for each day beyond the agreed-to term of the license that the work was not completed.*

      • Represented Manhattan property owner in challenge of City’s imposition of interest on a nuisance abatement charge tax lien that accrued during decade that City did not pursue its enforcement. *

      • Defended property developer against claims by neighbor of encroachment and breach of the parties’ zoning lot development agreement.*

      • Prosecuted sponsor-developer’s contract and negligence claims against major construction manager and window contractor and vendor relating to failed glazed curtain wall.*

      • Prosecuted non-profit organization’s contract and negligence claims against design services professional relating to defective design of substantial renovation of its new headquarters.*

      • Obtained dismissal of claims for injunction directing removal of exterior wall allegedly encroaching beyond the property line, breach of the parties’ zoning lot development agreement and violation of building code’s seismic gap requirement made by adjacent neighbor against property developer.*

      • Obtained dismissal of lawsuit brought by Tribeca condominium Board of Managers as against individual member of sponsor-developer.*

      • Contract Procurement and Project Delivery

      • Represent New York City-based developer in drafting and negotiating construction management and professional services agreements on a variety of multi-million-dollar mixed use development projects.

      • Represent hotel and commercial developer in drafting and negotiating design, construction management and consulting agreements for major projects throughout the United States.  

      • Represent national health care provider in facilitating completion of construction for new New York City clinic.

      • Represented project developer in drafting and negotiating mutually-favorable access license agreement to enable the construction of a new residential building in Manhattan’s Clinton neighborhood.

      • Represented project owner and operator in drafting and negotiating mutually-favorable access license agreement to enable the construction of a new Upper East Side senior living facility.

      • Represented project developer in drafting and negotiating mutually-favorable access license agreement to enable the construction of a new residential building in Astoria, Queens.

      • Represented adjacent neighbors in drafting and negotiating access license agreement to enable the vertical expansion of a multiple dwelling in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn.*

      • Represented adjacent neighbor in drafting and negotiating access license agreement to enable the construction of a mixed-used development project in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.* 

      • Prepared and negotiated design services agreements involving several “Starhitects” of new developments in New York City.*

         

        * Atty. Trunkes was counsel in these representative matters before joining Robinson+Cole.

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    • Professional Associations

      Professional Associations

      American Bar Association
      Forum on the Construction Industry

      Construction Lawyers Society of America
      Fellow

      New York City Bar Association
      Committee on Construction Law, Past Chair
      Former Delegate to New York State Bar Association (House of Delegates)
      Committee on State Courts of Superior Jurisdiction (2010 - 2013)
      Committee on Real Property Law (2008 - 2010)

      Professional Women in Construction

      JALBCA (Judges and Lawyers Breast Cancer Alert)
      Member, Board of Directors
      Vice President (2020)
      Co-Chair, Membership Committee

      Westchester Women's Bar Association
      Co-Chair, Corporate & Commercial Committee

      White Plains Bar Association
      Board of Directors

      Westchester County Association
      Real Estate Task Force (2017 - 2019)

      New York State Bar Association
      Commercial and Federal Litigation Section (2013 - 2017)
    • Honors + Awards

      Honors + Awards

      Selected by the New York Real Estate Journal to be featured in the publication’s 2020 “Ones to Watch” spotlight

      Selected by the New York Real Estate Journal to be featured in the publication’s 2019 “Women in Real Estate” spotlight

      Selected to the New York Super Lawyers list from 2016 to 2019.

  • NEWS + PRESS
    • Publications

      Publications

      "The Fed’s Toolbox: What’s Left to Pave the Way for Continued Development and Construction Through COVID-19?" co-authored with Endicott Peabody IV (Kit), published in Construction Executive (4/22/2020)

      "Government Approval: When It’s Not a Sure Bet," published in New York Law Journal (3/31/2020)
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      "The Federal Reserve’s Powers to Pave the Way for Continued Development and Construction Through COVID-19," co-authored with Endicott Peabody IV (Kit), published in High Profile magazine, the New England Real Estate Journal, and the New York Real Estate Journal (3/26/2020)
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      "Who’s Minding the Modules?" published in Construction Executive (10/31/2019)
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      "Court Allays Tensions in Underpinning Dispute," published in New York Law Journal (8/13/2019)
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      "AIA 2017 Documents: Striking Just the Right Balance for Property Owners?" published in New York Real Estate Journal (6/20/2017)
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      "Settlement Releases and Waiving the ‘Unknown’," published in NY Litigator, (New York State Bar Association, Commercial and Federal Litigation Section) (Fall/Winter 2015)
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      "Apartment Building Residents Get Dogged About Acquiring Emotional Support Pets," published in Real Property Law Journal (New York State Bar Association, Real Property Section) (Winter/Spring 2015)
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      "The Mysterious Disappearance of the Private Right of Action Under the Automatic Renewal Statutes," published in NY Litigator (New York State Bar Association, Commercial and Federal Litigation Section), Summer 2013  (Summer 2013)
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      "Court's Discretion in Changing Venue, Counsel's Obligation to Act Promptly," published in New York Real Estate Journal (2/18/2011)
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      "Caution on Whistleblowing: Not All Reporting Is Protected," published in New York Real Estate Journal (8/23/2010)
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      "Getting Paid: Interplay Between Judiciary Law and Part 137," published in New York Real Estate Journal (6/17/2010)
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    • Presentations

      Presentations

      "Drones Fly Over Trespass, Nuisance, Privacy and Data Security Issues: What You Need to Know," co-presented with Karla L. Chaffee, which discussed the potential of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS or drones) in the real estate industry as well as common legal issues associated with drones, (5/15/2020)
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      "What's It Worth to You: Valuation of Businesses," as moderator at a meeting of the Westchester Women's Bar Association (11/4/2019)
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      "Ethics Update 2019," as a discussion panelist at the Westchester Women's Bar Association (2/6/2019)
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      "Compliance in Construction Projects," as CLE Compliance Chair of the New York City Bar Association (2/27/2018)
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      "Construction Contracts 101," as a panelist at the New York City Bar Association (7/18/2017)
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      "Neighboring Property Construction Matters," as CLE Program Chair of the New York City Bar Association (4/16/2017)
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      "An Industry in Transition: Intellectual Property and Technology in the Construction Industry," as moderator at the New York City Bar Association (4/7/2016)
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      "Litigating Construction Project Disputes 201," as CLE Program Chair of the New York City Bar Association (10/5/2015)
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      "False Claims Act in Construction Projects," as CLE Program Chair of the New York City Bar Association (6/17/2015)
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      "Litigating Construction Project Disputes 101," as CLE Program Chair of the New York City Bar Association (3/24/2015)
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      "Don’t Break the Rules," as CLE Program Chair of the New York City Bar Association (6/5/2012)
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    • News

      R+C in the News

      • April 23, 2020

        Virginia Trunkes and Kit Peabody Author Federal Reserve Article Published in Four Trade Publications

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      • April 3, 2020

        Virginia Trunkes Authors Article on Government Approval Published in New York Law Journal

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      • February 20, 2020

        Krista Patterson and Virginia Trunkes Featured in New York Real Estate Journal’s 2020 Ones to Watch Spotlight

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      • November 11, 2019

        Virginia Trunkes Authors Construction Executive Article on Modular Construction

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      • September 17, 2019

        Virginia Trunkes Featured in New York Real Estate Journal’s 2019 Women in Real Estate Spotlight

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      • August 13, 2019

        Virginia Trunkes Authors Article on Underpinning Dispute Published in the New York Law Journal

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      R+C News Releases

      • October 19, 2019

        52 Robinson+Cole Lawyers Recognized by Super Lawyers®

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      • August 7, 2019

        Robinson+Cole Expands Construction Industry Practice with Additions in Boston and New York

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    • Newsletters

      Newsletters

      Construction Law Zone, co-authored with Lisa B. Andrzejewski and Niel P. Franzese (April 2020)

      Construction Law Zone, co-authored with Lisa B. Andrzejewski and Peter E. Strniste Jr. (March 2020)