The suit claimed "violations of federal securities laws andbreaches of fiduciary duties," according to attorneys Lawrence A.Sucharow of Goodkind Labaton Rudoff & Sucharow in New York andNicholas E. Chimicles of Chimicles & Tikellis in Haverford,Pa.

According to the attorneys, the defendants solicited theinvestors' votes in August 1998 to approve the sale of the realestate partnerships to a new real estate investment trust formed byCasden. That trust later sold its holdings to AIMCO, theDenver-based REIT. The jury found that, in soliciting theinvestors' votes, the defendants violated federal proxy laws byissuing false solicitation statements.

Casden, one of the region's largest apartment developers, issueda statement through a spokeswoman, Barbara Casey, saying that hewill appeal the jury award. It called the award "excessive andinappropriate," and said that more than 12,000 of the limitedpartners voted in favor of the transaction, with less than 5%voting no.

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