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Introductory Comment

Coming Events

Recent Cases

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An ePublication of the Los Angeles County Bar Association
Volume 8, Number 11 • November 2013
Archive of Past Issues
Real Property Home Page

Introductory Comment

If you missed this year’s Crocker Symposium, you didn’t get the benefit of receiving much valuable information and insight from very knowledgeable lawyers and real estate business professionals.  If you did attend, we would be interested in hearing from you about what you thought of the presentations, the venue, the running of the event, and anything else about it that will help us make it better in the future.  Thanks in advance for your input.


Norm Chernin, Editor, Real Property Section Newsletter
E-mail address

Coming Events

Much has been written about an insurer’s duties and obligations under a policy of title insurance. This program will focus on an insurer's rights under a policy, including the right to terminate coverage.


While most finance attorneys have worked on loans that include a swap transaction, rarely are we required to review or negotiate the ISDA documents in connection therewith. As a result, many of us lack a good understanding of what a swap transaction is.

Recent Cases

City Council improperly delegated California Environmental Quality Act certification duties to the City’s Planning Commission because the Commission was not a "decision-making" body with regards to City's long-term development plans. Since no administrative appeal was available and the City Council was apprised of objections, petitioner adequately exhausted its administrative remedies in challenging the certification and approval of an environmental impact report concerning the City's development plans.
     California Clean Energy Committee v. City of San Jose - filed September 30, 2013, publication ordered October 29, 2013, Sixth District
     Cite as 2013 S.O.S. H038740
     Full text

-Construction Bonds-
Plaintiff, which provided labor and materials for "offsite" landscaping required in a subdivision improvement agreement (“SIA”) between property owner and city, was entitled to recover the amount of a labor and materials bond that the developer had obtained from defendant, the amount of which represented 50% of the estimated cost of those improvements. It was error for trial court to award additional damages based on other bonds, which were obtained prior to the execution of the SIA.
     Nissho of California, Inc. v. Bond Safeguard Insurance Company - filed October 22, 2013, Fourth District, Div. Two
     Cite as 2013 S.O.S. E052746
     Full text

-Contractor’s Insurance-
Plaintiff contractor’s claim that defendant insurance broker failed to procure a liability insurance policy covering plaintiff’s prior completed work, as a result of which insurer sought subrogation from plaintiff after paying a fire claim, was barred by the superior equities doctrine where defendant did not cause the fire, and there was no evidence defendant agreed to indemnify plaintiff for causing the fire, so that the insurer could not establish its position was equitably superior to defendant’s. Insurer's right to subrogation is determined by the application of equitable principles and not by the law of assignments. Defendant owed no duty to procure prior-completed-work coverage for plaintiff when defendant did not misrepresent the extent of the coverage, and defendant did not request additional insurance covering prior completed work.
     San Diego Assemblers, Inc. v. Work Comp for Less Insurance Services, Inc. - filed October 4, 2013, publication ordered October 28, 2013, Fourth District, Div. One
     Cite as 2013 S.O.S. D062406
     Full text

-Covenants Running with the Land-
Building restriction contained in a deed, by which the prior common owner of adjoining parcels conveyed one parcel and retained the other, was enforceable as a covenant running with the land under Civil Code Sec. 1462.
     Self. v. Sharafi - filed September 20, 2013, publication ordered October 11, 2013, Fourth District, Div. One
     Cite as 2013 S.O.S. D061181
     Full text

-Home Loan Modifications-
When a borrower under a home-purchase loan has alleged that he or she has complied with all the terms of a trial modification plan offered under the federal Home Affordable Mortgage Program--including making all required payments and providing all required documentation--and if the borrower’s representations on which the modification is based remain true and correct, the lender or loan servicer must offer the borrower a good faith permanent modification. If the lender fails to do so, the borrower may sue the lender, under state law, for breach of contract, promissory estoppel, and/or fraud based on false promise.
     Bushell v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. - filed October 22, 2013, Third District
     Cite as 2013 S.O.S. C070643
     Full text

-Homeowners Associations-
Homeowner’s association does not violate the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act by adopting a rule prohibiting a resident who is related by blood or marriage to a current board member or board candidate from becoming a board member or candidate, provided that such rule is consistent with the association’s governing documents.
     Friars Village Homeowners Association v. Hansing - filed September 20, 2013, publication ordered October 9, 2013, Fourth District, Div. One
     Cite as 2013 S.O.S. D061360
     Full text

-Land Use Exactions-
City’s requirements that developer set aside specified number of condominium units at below market rate and make a substantial cash payment to a city fund as conditions of approval of development permit, were "other exactions" within the meaning of the Mitigation Fee Act, so that action challenging the requirements, filed within the time allowed by that Act, was not time-barred by the more restrictive limitations provision in the Subdivision Map Act.
     Sterling Park, L.P. v. City of Palo Alto - filed October 17, 2013
     Cite as 2013 S.O.S. S204771
     Full text

-Mobile Home Parks-
Substantial evidence, including expert testimony that mobile home rent levels set by city would maintain park’s "maintenance of net operating income" and capitalization rate within the range acceptable to the average investor, supported trial court’s determination that those rent levels provided landlord a fair return. There is no requirement that to avoid becoming confiscatory, rents must be set at a level sufficient to provide a profit after payment of debt service.
     Colony Cove Properties, LLC v. City of Carson - filed October 21, 2013, Second District, Div. Four
     Cite as 2013 S.O.S. B227092
     Full text

-Premises Liability of Trustee of Trust-
Where real property was owned by a trust, trustee could not be held personally liable for injuries suffered on the premises unless trustee was "personally at fault" within the meaning of Probate Code Sections 18001 and 18002--meaning that trustee must have intentionally or negligently committed a tort. Plaintiff’s claim that defendant breached a non-delegable duty to ensure that property was properly illuminated, and that the absence of lighting caused plaintiff to trip and fall on the kitchen stairs, was not viable in the face of undisputed evidence that property had a functioning light but that plaintiff proceeded to exit in the dark rather than ask for help in locating light switch and then fell.
     Castellon v. U.S. Bancorp - filed October 23, 2013, Second District, Div. Two
     Cite as 2013 S.O.S. B245651
     Full text

-Residential Transfer Fees-
Self-described "Transfer Fees" charged by a property management company upon the sale of homes in residential real estate developments are not transfer fees within the meaning of California Civil Code Section 1098, so defendant was not required to record a notice of the fee under Section 1098.5, and failure to do so did not constitute an unfair business practice under Business and Professions Code Section 17200.
     Fowler v. M&C Association Management Services, Inc. - filed October 28, 2013, First District, Div. Three
     Cite as 2013 S.O.S. A137462
     Full text

Los Angeles County Bar Association
2013 Real Property Section Newsletter


Daniel L. Goodkin, Editor, Real Property Section Review
Norman A. Chernin, Editor, Real Property Section Newsletter



Sarah V.J. Spyksma

First Vice Chair

Norman A. Chernin

Second Vice Chair
Brant Dveirin

Susan J. Booth

Caroline Dreyfus

Crocker Chair
Eric Remensperger

Section Administrator
Fatima Jones


Eric Altoon
Nedra E. Austin
Claire Hervey Collins
Robert T. Flick
Daniel L. Goodkin
Marcia Z. Gordon
Marybeth Heydt
Laurence L. Hummer
Ryan Iwasaka

Marcia Kamine
Trudi J. Lesser
Peter J. Niemiec
Robert C. Pearman
Leslie D. Reed
D. Eric Remensperger
Michael G. Smooke
Linda E. Spiegel
Andrew J. Yamamoto

Commercial Development and Leasing, Nadav Ravid
Construction Law, James Earle
Finance, Owen Gross
General Real Estate Law, Beth Peterson
Land Use Planning and Environmental Law, Glenn Block
Title Insurance, Susan Vignale

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The foregoing practice tips were prepared for information purposes only. Such practice tips do not constitute tax, legal or other advice and no responsibility is assumed for any reliance upon them or with respect to assessing or advising the reader as to tax, legal, or other consequences arising from a particular situation. The accuracy of the information
provided should be independently verified by the reader and should not be treated as authoritative.

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