"A good business lawyer knows how to assess and balance risk in order to close a deal. I always keep my client’s end goal in sight."
To close a deal as efficiently as possible, Justine works closely with her clients to understand their goals and tolerance for risk. Recognizing that no business deal is without risk, Justine has a keen sense of what is an intolerable level of risk and advises her clients accordingly. She is a problem solver who takes pride in getting the deal closed.
As a child, Justine dreamed of becoming an architect. Her favorite toys were wooden blocks, matchbox cars and Lincoln logs that she used to build entire cities. Although she gave up the architecture dream after high school, Justine feels fortunate to be able to represent real estate developers, investors and users and to serve as an integral part of the project team to develop and construct new and renovated buildings of all types. Today, she enjoys pouring over architectural plans and schematic designs for her client’s projects and especially loves visiting her client’s projects in her spare time to watch them progress.
Justine’s business law practice concentrates on all aspects of commercial real estate transactions, including the acquisition and disposition of real property assets, debt and equity financing, joint ventures and the formation and operation of ownership entities. She has extensive experience negotiating purchase and sale agreements, ground leases, development agreements, architecture and construction contracts, office and retail leases and construction, permanent and mezzanine financing documents for commercial mixed-use, office, retail, residential and government projects in the Washington, DC, Virginia and Maryland metropolitan areas and around the country. Justine also represents closely held private and family-owned companies and non-profit organizations in a variety of industries with their real estate investment, shareholder/partner disputes and leasing activities.
Earlier in her career, Justine practiced law for many years at Arnold & Porter LLP and served as senior in-house counsel at Hilton Worldwide, Inc. In 2010, she co-founded Fitzgerald & Rhodes LLP (later Fitzgerald Law PLLC), a boutique business law firm.
Representation of a real estate developer in the acquisition or ground leasing and bond financing of property leased to the United States Government for ICE, DOI, DEA, Border Patrol, Coast Guard and other agencies at locations throughout the country.
Representation of start-up companies, nonprofit corporations, trade associations, consulting and law firms, an art gallery, medical groups, and other organizations in their office leasing needs in the Washington, DC area for leases from 1,000 to over 40,000 square feet.
For a nationally renowned university, negotiated a 99-year ground lease with a developer for the construction of an office tower and a residential tower on an entire city block.
For a Fairfax County-based family-owned real estate company, provided regular guidance in the purchase, sale, financing and leasing of several retail shopping centers and Class B/C office buildings.
Closed on a sale-leaseback transaction for the Connecticut headquarters of a Fortune 500 company.
Represented a German investor in several joint ventures for the development, construction, financing and operation of a chain of retail shopping centers across the United States.
Represented family members in intra-family sale and financing of membership interests in a private company located in Los Angeles, California, which owns rights to a series of popular action films.
- Washington, DC, 02.01.2019
Beyond the Law
Beyond the Law
Justine and her husband live in Falls Church, with their three children (when the two oldest ones are home from college). When she is not attending her youngest child’s high school basketball and softball games, she enjoys spending time with her Airedale Terrier, Ridley, and sharing with her husband a passion for sampling craft beers and watching the University of Michigan football and basketball teams.
Georgetown University Law Center, J.D., magna cum laude
- Order of the Coif
University of Pennsylvania, B.A., Political Science with concentration in Public Policy, with honors
University of Pennsylvania, B.S., The Wharton School of Finance and Commerce, Economics
- District of Columbia