dark blue triangle in newsletter heading
Introductory Remarks
Coming Events
CLE Anytime
Recent Cases

The Real Property Section Newsletter is published monthly by the Real Property Law Section.

Teresa Y. Hillery
Vice President, Commercial Underwriting Counsel
Fidelity National Title Group


Real Property Executive Committee:


Claire Hervey Collins

First Vice Chair
Eric A. Altoon

Second Vice Chair
Kelsey M. Thayer

Laurence L. Hummer

Rachel Meghan Sanders

Immediate Past Chair
Caroline Dreyfus



Susan J. Booth
Norman A. Chernin
Brant H. Dveirin
James C. Earle
Marcia Gordon
Owen P. Gross
Teresa Y. Hillery
Ben Howell
Daniel K. Liffmann
Beth Peterson
Jesse Shapiro
Linda E. Spiegel
Ira J. Waldman

Barrister’s Liaison (non-voting):
Greg Maestri

Law School Liaison:
Misty Marie Sanford

Section Administrator
Fatima Jones



Michael Bayard
Elizabeth Spedding Calciano
Peter Gelles
Byron Hayes
Gordon Hunt
Bryan Jackson
Michael Klein
Mark Lamken
Gregg Loubier
Victor Marmon
Jerold L. Miles
O'Malley Miller
Donald Nanney
Gytis Nefas
Sarah Spyksma
Theresa Tate
Timothy Truax
Richard Volpert
Pamela Westhoff
Norma Williams



Commercial Development and Leasing Subsection, Co-Chair
Trudi J. Lesser

Commercial Development and Leasing Subsection, Co-Chair
Herman Enayati

Construction Law Subsection Chair
John D. Hanover

General Real Estate Subsection Co-Chair
William J. Bernfeld

General Real Estate Subsection Co-Chair
Stacey A. Villagomez

Land Use Planing and Environmental Law Subsection Chair
Rosslyn "Beth" Stevens Hummer

Real Estate Finance Subsection, Co-Chair
Jane L. Hinton

Real Estate Finance Subsection, Co-Chair
Erik M. North

Title Insurance Subsection Co-Chair
Motunrayo Dideolu Akinmurele

Title Insurance Subsection Co-Chair
Elmira Rezaei Howard



Introductory Remarks

Meet and Greet No Host Social Event

Join us on May 23, 2019, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., for the LACBA Real Property Section Meet and Greet No Host Social Event. Meeting at the rotating bar of the BonaVista Lounge located in one of Downtown’s most iconic buildings with panoramic city views. Located in: The Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites, Los Angeles Address: 404 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90071 We hope to see you there. The Executive Committee of the Real Property Section of the LACBA. Contact Jane Hinton at for more information and further details.

Teresa Y. Hillery
Editor, Real Property Section Newsletter
E-mail address:

Coming Events
April 23

Changed or Differing Construction Site Conditions

The LACBA Construction Subsection is pleased to address one of the fundamental areas of change in construction projects – Differing Site Conditions.

> Click here for more information

May 7

ADA Fundamentals for Real Estate Lawyers

This program will cover the ins and outs of the Americans with Disabilities Act and its impact on a real estate attorney’s legal practice. Topics for discussion include the impact of the ADA on public accommodations, website accessibility, and service animals.

> Click here for more information

May 30

2019-2020 Installation and Awards Dinner

Do not miss the 2019 Real Property Section Installation and Awards Dinner on May 30, 2019, at the Hotel Indigo honoring H. Collyer Church and Pamela Westhoff and presenting Outstanding Young Lawyer awards to Karen Lorang, Alexander G. Davis, Steve Farenbaugh, Elizabeth Levin and AJ Garcia. Tables, Tributes and Tickets can be arranged by contacting Fatima Jones at or calling Member Services at (213) 627-2727.

> Click here for more information


LACBA Real Property CLE Anytime

Even if you can't attend our Real Property Section events, you can earn CLE credit by viewing our streaming videos. Here are a few options. Click any link below.

A Practical Guide to the Subdivision Map Act
Annual Construction Law Update and Flaig Award
Arbitration Provisions in Leases and Purchase and Sale Agreements: Considerations and Insights

Recent Cases
- Diversity Jurisdiction -

The U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Americold Realty Trust v. ConAgra Foods did not upset the rule that a trustee is a real party to a controversy for purposes of diversity jurisdiction when he possesses certain customary powers to hold, manage, and dispose of assets for the benefit of others. When a trustee is sued in her own name, her citizenship is all that matters for diversity purposes.

Demarest v. HSBC Bank USA - filed April 8, 2019
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 17-56432
Full text click here >

- EIR -

An accurate, stable and finite project description is the sine qua non of an informative and legally sufficient environmental impact report. An EIR that articulated two possible variations for a development and fully disclosed the maximum possible scope of the project is adequate. An agency has discretion in selecting the methodology to be used in evaluating environmental impact, subject to review for substantial evidence. While an EIR must demonstrate a good faith effort at full disclosure, it does not require perfection, nor exhaustive analysis.

South of Market Community Action Network v. City and County of San Francisco (Forest City California Residential Development) - filed Feb. 22, 2019, publication ordered March 25, 2019, First District, Div. One
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 1384
Full text click here >

Res judicata bars all of an environmental group's objections to a partially circulated environmental impact report certification and project approval, except for those issues arising from the partially recirculated EIR concerning traffic impacts, where all these other issues were litigated and resolved, or could have been litigated and resolved, in connection with a prior petition for writ of mandate, and the prior writ did not require that any issue be revisited aside from the traffic impacts.  A recirculated EIR adequately analyzed and mitigated traffic impacts where the report responded to concerns raised by other government entities and it accounted for a prison expansion project.

Ione Valley Land, Air and Water Defense Alliance v. County of Amador (Newman Minerals) - filed February 26, 2019, publication ordered March 20, 2019, Third District
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 1235
Full text click here >

- Foreclosure -

Under Nevada law, a homeowners' association possesses a lien with superpriority status on property governed by the association as to the last nine months of unpaid homeowners' association dues and any unpaid maintenance and nuisance-abatement charges. Homeowners' association wrongfully foreclosed on property where a bank tendered to it an amount that was the equivalent of nine months' dues, but the tender was rejected. Where the association's ledger did not indicate that the property had incurred any charges for maintenance or nuisance abatement, which are the only other fees that could have been included in the superpriority amount, the tender was sufficient.

Bank of America v. Arlington West Twilight HOA - filed April 3, 2019
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 17-15796
Full text click here >

- Land Use -

Landowner who grants someone permission to use land is estopped from revoking the license where the person using the land has made a "substantial expenditure" in reliance on the license. Trial court construed the requirement too permissively and used the wrong legal standard in declaring a license to use an outdoor area be forever irrevocable. Nearly every case where a license has been declared irrevocable has involved the licensee's permanent alteration of the land and the ensuing upkeep, whether by building, altering or upgrading a roadway, constructing a ditch, canal or levee to transport water, erecting a wall, or raising living quarters. Case must be remanded for a determination as to whether landowner's video cameras aimed at disputed area are a nuisance.

Shoen v. Zacarias - filed April 4, 2019, Second District, Div. Two
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 1641
Full text click here >

- Landlord Tenant -

Where rented property is not subject to a rent control ordinance, the property owner cannot be held civilly liable for charging an amount of rent that is expressly allowed under the parties' written lease agreement or is not precluded by law under a month-to-month rental agreement. No authority allows an award of tort and punitive damages against a landlord for charging above-market rental rates that are expressly allowed by the parties' lease agreement or by law applicable to month-to-month tenancies. It unnecessary to invoke the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing to limit a contracting party's discretion affecting the contractual rights of the other party if that discretion is subject to other prescribed or implied limitations, such as being in proportion to an objectively determined base.

Bevis v. Terrace View Partners - filed February 28, 2019, certified for partial publication March 21, 2019, Fourth District, Div. One
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 1280
Full text click here >

- Navigable Waters -

The Nation River is not public land for purposes of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act because running waters cannot be owned, and under the Submerged Lands Act, it is the State of Alaska that holds title to and ownership of the lands beneath the river's navigable waters. Non-public lands within Alaska's national parks are exempt from the Park Service's ordinary regulatory authority. Navigable waters within Alaska's national parks are also exempt from the Park Service's normal regulatory authority.

Sturgeon v. Frost - filed March 26, 2019
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 17-949
Full text click here >

- Trust Property -

A revocable inter vivos trust does not prevent creditors of the settlors from reaching trust property. A signature by the sole trustee and beneficiary of an inter vivos revocable trust is sufficient to convey good title to trust property. Where a complaint does not reveal on its face that it is barred by the statute of limitations, a plaintiff has no obligation to plead around the defense. If a verified complaint contains allegations fatal to a cause of action, a plaintiff generally cannot cure the defect by simply omitting those allegations in an amended pleading without explanation. Amendment in this manner is allowed where a plaintiff clearly shows that the earlier pleading is the result of mistake or Inadvertence. A plaintiff may show mistake or inadvertence, or demonstrate a factual basis for the revised allegation, for the first time on appeal.

JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. v. Ward - filed March 28, 2019, Fourth District, Div. One Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 1541
Full text click here >

- Zoning -

Zoning administrator's misunderstanding of the scope of his discretion was not prejudicial error where the administrator stated he would have made the same conclusion had he properly understood what discretion he had. A city did not commit an abuse of discretion and denying approval for a home construction project where the applicants for a land-use adjustment did not demonstrate that they cannot build a home on the property without the adjustment.

York v. City of Los Angeles - filed March 8, 2019, publication ordered April 5, 2019, Second District, Div. Three
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 1666
Full text click here >


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