Volume 4, Number 6

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  May 2009  


Special Message

Dear Members,

Now is your opportunity to get involved to assure that our Section is providing the kind of educational programs that you would like to see. 

Each year at around this time, each of the Subsection Steering Committees holds a meeting to plan programs for the next fiscal year (typically September through May). 
The Subsection chairpersons listed below are always eager to have new members join their committees. 

I encourage you to contact the Chairperson of the Committee that interests you or contact me if you are not sure which one would cover the topics of interest to you. The Title Insurance Subsection Steering Committee is holding its meeting on May 19, 2009.

Real Property Section Installation Dinner
June 10, 2009

Register now.

Please save the date on your calendar for your Real Property section installation dinner Installation and Awards Dinner will take place on Wednesday, June 10, 2009, at the Riviera Country Club.  This year's honorees will be:

Real Estate Industry Outstanding Achievement Award Recipient
Thomas L. Safran, Thomas Safran and Associates

Outstanding Real Estate Lawyer Award Recipient
Dennis B. Arnold, Esq., Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher

Ira E. Yellin Lifetime Achievement Award Posthumously Presented to
George Smith, George Smith Partners

Outstanding Young Lawyer Award Recipients
Joe Vargas, Buchalter Nemer
Shireen Enayati,  McKenna Long
Henry Herrman, Gilchrist & Rutter

Register now.



Norm Chernin, co-editor, Real Property Newsletter

- Real Property Scheduled Events - View All Real Property Events  Sign Up Now -

Recent Cases

Cases from April 1 through April 30

-Premises Liability-
-Real Estate Brokers-
-Rent Control-

Where federal government severed property, conveyed part to defendants without expressly reserving a right of access to remaining landlocked portion, and then conveyed remaining portion to plaintiff, circumstances failed to support an easement by necessity.
     Murphy v. Burch  - filed April 27, 2009
     Cite as 2009 SOS 2332
     Full text

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Trial court had a legal and factual basis to find an equitable easement along a roadway over plaintiffs’ property where that roadway was the only possible access way to the defendants' parcels, an alternative access could not be developed, and plaintiffs would not be deprived of the full use of their property. Trial court did not err in failing to award damages for defendants' use of roadway across plaintiffs’ property where such use did not prevent plaintiffs from fully developing parcel. Trial court’s grant of a 66-foot-wide easement was error in absence of evidence that narrower right-of-way would be insufficient to ensure access.
     Linthicum v. Butterfield - April 2, 2009, Second District, Div. Six
     Cite as 2009 SOS 1959
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-Premises Liability-
Because building owner owed plaintiff injured in an elevator accident within the building a non-delegable duty to maintain its elevator in a safe condition, Proposition 51--which provides that the liability for noneconomic damages by each defendant in personal injury claim based on comparative fault shall be several only--was inapplicable.
     Koepnick v. Kashiwa Fudosan America, Inc.  - filed April 17, 2009, First District, Div. Five
     Cite as 2009 SOS 2211
 Full text

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-Real Estate Brokers-
In breach of contract action relating to real property transaction, summary judgment for defendant on ground that plaintiff had acted as an unlicensed real estate broker was error where there was evidence that at least some of the services provided by plaintiff did not require a broker’s license. Licensed real estate sales person employed by licensed broker may not recover for services rendered where such services required a broker’s license and defendant contracted with sales person, not employing broker, to perform the services.
     Venturi & Company LLC v. Pacific Malibu Development Corp. - filed April 10, 2009, Second District, Div. Eight
     Cite as 2009 SOS 2094
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Federal law governs appointment of receiver where jurisdiction is premised on diversity, and district courts have broad discretion to consider a number of factors in considering whether or not to appoint a receiver, with no one factor being dispositive. District court did not abuse its discretion when it appointed receiver to manage mall on basis that mall and associated rents were in danger of substantial waste and risk of loss because income was being diverted and not applied to servicing debt and paying real estate taxes, and on basis that mall revenues were or might become insufficient to discharge debt secured by the property; court's order requiring turnover of rents from before receiver was appointed was similarly not abuse of discretion. Insurer who sought receivership was prevailing party, and therefore entitled to attorneys' fees under terms of deed of trust.
     Canada Life Assurance Co. v. LaPeter - filed March 4, 2009, amended April 8, 2009
     Cite as 0735683
 Full text

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-Rent Control-
Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act’s general exemption of newly constructed residential units from rent control laws did not preempt or bar city ordinance controlling rents on newly constructed units built on a property that had previously contained rent controlled rental units.
     Apartment Association of Los Angeles County, Inc. v. City of Los Angeles - filed April 17, 2009, Second District, Div. Three
     Cite as B204334
     Full text

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Parcels of land depicted on a subdivision map recorded in 1909 are not entitled to legal recognition under the Subdivision Map Act's grandfather clause. Absent a showing that legal status of a subdivision of plaintiff's property was altered and that application of the Subdivision Map Act would change that legal status, Act did not have an impermissibly retroactive effect if subdivision did not fall within the Act's grandfather provision. A local agency may deny an application for a certificate of compliance for a portion of the applicant's property if the issuance of the certificate of compliance would effectively subdivide the property.
      Abernathy Valley Inc. v. County of Solano - filed April 17, 2009, First District, Div. Five
     Cite as 2009 SOS 2205
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Los Angeles County Bar Association
2009 Real Property Section Newsletter
Daniel L. Goodkin, Editor    *   Norman A. Chernin, Co-Editor

Donald C. Nanney

First Vice-Chair
Michael S. Klein

Second Vice-Chair
Pamela L. Westhoff

Gregg J. Loubier

Theresa C. Tate

Immediate Past-Chair
Timothy M. Truax

Chair Emeritus
Norma J. Williams,

Section Administrator
Terrina Scott


Eric Altoon
Nedra E. Austin
Susan J. Booth
James L. Brat
Norman A. Chernin
Brant H. Dveirin
Daniel L. Goodkin
Rebecca H. Lessley

Peter J. Niemiec
D. Eric Remensperger
David C. Sampson
Michael G. Smooke
Linda E. Spiegel
Sarah J. Spyksma
Valerie Wisot
Andrew J. Yamamoto

Commercial Development & Leasing, Marcia Z. Gordon
Construction Law, Brian Ostler
Land Use Planning & Environmental Law, Claire Hervey Collins
Real Estate Finance, Caroline Dreyfus
General Real Estate Law, Nadav Ravid
Title Insurance, David M. Marcus


Readers are advised that changes in the law may affect the accuracy of this publication or the functionality of links after the publication date.