The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has settled its lawsuit against the law firm of Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel over its role in the selection of the site for the new family court building in Center City, Chief Justice Ron Castille said Tuesday.
Castille disclosed the settlement during a speech at the annual meeting of the Philadelphia Bar Association. Castille said the lawsuit, filed over the role of former Obermayer partner Jeffrey B. Rotwitt, had been settled for $4 million. He said the money would be used to pay for furnishings in the new court building.
Castille sued in November 2011, saying Rotwitt and his firm had duped the Castille and the court system into paying millions in unnecessary fees for the Family Court building project.
Rotwitt was paid by the court to put together a deal for a new Family Court building at 15th and Arch Streets - and ended up as the codeveloper of the project.
After public bids, the cost for the project came in at $140 million, vs. Rotwitt's original $200 million estimate.
The original deal was supervised personally by Castille. It dissolved in May 2010 when The Inquirer published a story detailing Rotwitt's dual roles: as the public's representative and as one-half of a project team with builder Donald W. Pulver, splitting the development fees 50-50.
Rotwitt maintained that he never tried to hide his arrangement with Pulver - from anyone.