(This story, in slightly different form, originally appeared in ALM’s Daily Business Review.)

MIAMI-For months, lawyers for condominium buyers have complained that Related Group is improperly delaying litigation over deposits. Now judges have joined the chorus, accusing the giant developer of dragging its feet and ignoring a court order.

Related, one of the largest condo developers in the country, is defending lawsuits involving more than 1,000 purchase contracts. In most cases, the buyers failed to close following the meltdown of the condo market and they are trying to get their deposits back. Under federal law, buyers in condos with more than 99 units are entitled to any money they put down in excess of 15% of the purchase price.

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