Irving S. Firman

Irv is a shareholder and concentrates his practice on land use, zoning and real estate litigation. Prior to joining Tucker Arensberg, P.C., he served as in-house counsel to the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh. He has represented land owners and developers before planning commissions, zoning hearing boards, governing bodies, administrative agencies and the Court of Common Pleas. In addition, Irv serves as counsel to numerous food service and restaurant corporations. His broad range of experience allows him to apply creative and practical approaches in order to resolve issues in a timely and cost effective manner.

Irv regularly represents restaurants, private clubs, and hotels in matters relating to liquor license transfers, citation and other regulatory matters.

Areas of Practice: Land Use and Zoning, Real Estate, Litigation, School and Municipal

Irv works with land owners and developers to meet their goals, leading to project completion. Examples of specific cases in this area include:

  • Representation of a developer in a municipality which was openly hostile to the project. The developer wanted to construct a facility that the municipality claimed was a conditional use which would require a public hearing and would take at least nine months for a decision. Irv worked with the developer to set forth facts in order to classify the use as a permitted use. Irving filed an action in mandamus and was able to obtain the applicable permits within 40 days from the filing of the action. Additionally, the municipality was ordered to pay counsel fees to the client.
  • A client sought to construct a medical office building but was unable to meet zoning requirements. Irv worked with the developer, the municipality and the community and presented the project in a non-threatening way thereby obtaining the approval with virtually no opposition.
  • Representation of a prominent non-profit corporation in its expansion of its operation in downtown Pittsburgh. The client sought to consolidate its business operations from two separate locations into single use building. The client required the Pittsburgh City Council to enact an amendment to the Zoning Ordinance which would meet the client’s needs. Irv worked with the client and the City’s elected officials to obtain a temporary solution. Irv was able to obtain all necessary approval permits from the City of Pittsburgh. The client now owns and operates their programs in their own 8 story building.

Real Estate Litigation and Negotiations

  • Successfully defended a Fortune 500 Company in a real estate title issue. The case hinged on whether language in a deed created a fee simple determinable or a fee simple with condition subsequent. Irv was able to explain this complicated issue to the Trial Court and successfully obtained a Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings which saved the client the significant cost of discovery and a trial.
  • Irv obtained injunctive relief for a client who had a problem with an industrial/commercial tenant; the tenant refused to comply with certain key lease provisions. Irv attempted to resolve the issue amicably, but the tenant would not cooperate. After a 3-day injunction proceeding initiated by the client, the trial court ordered the tenant to comply with all of the requested terms and conditions of the lease. The tenant immediately complied with the Court’s Order.

Irv’s background in litigation makes him an excellent negotiator of leases and other real estate agreements. He has negotiated favorable agreements on behalf of clients ranging from small business owners to large non-profit organizations

Honors and Awards: Irv was selected for inclusion as a “Best Lawyer®” in the area of Land Use and Zoning Law.

Memberships and Activities: Irv is a member of the Allegheny County Bar Association and the National Association of Industrial and Office Property (NAIOP)

Jurisdictions:  Pennsylvania state courts, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania and the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania

Education and Background:  Irv earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in 1996 and his undergraduate degree in political science and psychology from Vanderbilt University in 1992.