Claims under Business and Professions Code Section 7031 fall within the public policy exception to the general prohibition of judicial review of arbitration awards. Sec. 7031 constitutes a clear-cut and explicit legislative expression of public policy mandating the disgorgement of compensation received by an unlicensed contractor.
Ahdout v. Hekmatjah - filed January 25, 2013, Second District, Div. Four
Cite as B236764
Full text http://www.metnews.com/sos.cgi?0113//B236764
Deed of Trust Subordination Agreement
Agreement under which plaintiff's trust deed was subordinated to a new trust deed securing a note in the amount of $4,006,600 was not breached when defendant's new trust deed secured that note plus two other notes for a total of $21 million, since plaintiff's trust deed was subordinate only to the $4,006,600 loan. Agreement to cross-default loans was between defendants and their borrower, so plaintiff could have protected its interest by tendering the amount necessary to cure the default under the $4,006,600 note alone.
R.E. Loans, LLC v. Investors Warranty of America, Inc. - filed January 23, 2013, Second District, Div. Six
Cite as B234384
Full text http://www.metnews.com/sos.cgi?0113//B234384
Family Law Attorney’s Lien
A family law attorney's real property lien (“FLARPL") recorded pursuant to Family Code Sections 2033 and 2034 is not automatically extinguished upon the trial court’s division of marital property, even if the entire property to which the lien attaches is awarded to the non-encumbering spouse. Trial court may expunge FLARPLs when a dispute arises as to their propriety after the FLARPLs have been recorded. Trial court need not join attorneys as parties to the case before expunging their FLARPLs. [Ed. Note—WOW!]
In re Marriage of Turkanis and Price filed January 30, 2013, Second District, Div. Eight
Cite as B229482
Full text http://www.metnews.com/sos.cgi?0213//B229482
Homeowners association’s governing documents permitted property owners to build a cabana and fireplace in their backyard without obtaining the association’s consent. Trial court was within its discretion to award the owners statutory attorney fees for pre-litigation ADR and to allocate only 10 hours to time spent on unsuccessful claims.
Grossman v. Park Fort Washington Association filed December 19, 2012, publication ordered January 15, 2013, Fifth District
Cite as F063125
Full text http://www.metnews.com/sos.cgi?0113//F063125
Homeowners’ insurer had no duty to indemnify where insureds attempted a remodel of their newly purchased house, but building inspectors discovered prior to completion that the project did not conform to local floodplain regulations and ordered the property demolished. Coverage was clearly excluded under a provision in their policy saying there was no coverage for loss caused by the enforcement of any law or ordinance.
Reichert v. State Farm General Insurance Company filed December 28, 2012, publication ordered January 24, 2013, Fourth District, Div. Three
Cite as G046582
Full text http://www.metnews.com/sos.cgi?0113//G046582
Legal Analysis of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
A floating home is not a vessel within the meaning of 1 U.S.C. Section 3 because a reasonable observer, looking to the home’s physical characteristics and activities, would not consider it to be designed to any practical degree for carrying people or things on water.
Lozman v. Riviera Beach filed January 15, 2013
Cite as 11-626_p8k0
Full text http://www.metnews.com/sos.cgi?0113//11-626_p8k0
"Like a Good Neighbor…”
In an action alleging neighbors had not complied with a prior judgment to remove contaminated debris from plaintiffs’ property, trial court did not abuse its discretion in allowing plaintiffs to add claims for civil conspiracy against the neighbors’ attorneys, because the complaint stated causes of action based on the attorneys’ duty not to engage in affirmative misconduct and duty to disburse the funds from their trust account in a fair manner. Such claims did not violate the attorney-client privilege because they were not based on any privileged communications but on communications with third parties. [Ed. Note—The takeaway from this story is that Goodfriend may not initially have had a good lawyer.]
Rickley v. Goodfriend filed January 16, 2013, Second District, Div. One
Cite as B236180
Full text http://www.metnews.com/sos.cgi?0113//B236180
It was not arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or contrary to law for the Surface Transportation Board to grant the Alaska Railroad Corporation an exemption under 49 USC Sec. 10502 of the Interstate Commerce Commission Termination Act of 1995 to construct a new rail line, because the purpose and need statement was adequate; the agency considered all viable, reasonable alternatives; and the environmental impact statement contained a detailed, thorough, and thoughtful discussion of the wetlands impacts and mitigation measures.
Alaska Survival v. Surface Transportation Board filed January 23, 2013
Cite as 12-70218
Full text http://www.metnews.com/sos.cgi?0113//12-70218
Plaintiff was not entitled to a prescriptive easement over two access roads when by its conduct it established that its use of the access roads was permissive and not adverse to defendants. Attorney's fee clause providing for a fee award to the prevailing party under a contract applies not only when the plaintiff's allegations in the complaint seek to enforce or interpret the contract but also when the defendant seeks to do so by asserting an affirmative defense raised in its answer.
Windsor Pacific LLC v. Samwood Co., Inc filed January 30, 2013, Second District, Div. Three
Cite as B233514
Full text http://www.metnews.com/sos.cgi?0113//B233514
Real Property Litigation
Trial court, in action regarding a long-term commercial lease, exceeded its authority by retaining jurisdiction over the parties’ future relationship beyond that necessary to enforce its order of specific performance.
Stump's Market, Inc. v. Plaza de Santa Fe Limited, LLC - filed January 11, 2013, Fourth District, Div. One
Cite as D058769
Full text http://www.metnews.com/sos.cgi?0113//D058769
The legislature acted within its constitutional authority in directing redevelopment agencies to deposit portions of their property tax funding into supplemental educational revenue augmentation funds, and Assembly Bill 4X 26 is a valid exercise of the legislature's inherent budgetary powers. Initial litigation in the case did not impose a burden on the California Redevelopment Association and its members out of proportion to their individual stakes in the matter, and hence, the association is not entitled to an award of attorney fees.
California Redevelopment Association v. Matosantos filed January 24, 2013, Third District
Cite as C064907
Full text http://www.metnews.com/sos.cgi?0113//C064907
A tripartite attorney-client relationship [Ed. Note—is this similar to a ménage a trois?] arises when a title insurer retains counsel to prosecute an action on behalf of the insured pursuant to the title policy.
Bank of America, N.A. v. Superior Court (Pacific City Bank) filed January 15, 2013, Fourth District, Div. Three
Cite as G046829
Full text http://www.metnews.com/sos.cgi?0113//G046829