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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:


Eric A. Altoon

Vice Chair (Programming)
Kelsey M. Thayer

Vice Chair (Communications)
Teresa Y. Hillery

Vice Chair (Membership)
Daniel K. Liffmann

Laurence L. Hummer

Rachel Meghan Sanders

Immediate Past Chair
Claire Hervey Collins



Susan J. Booth
Norman A. Chernin
Caroline Dreyfus
Brant H. Dveirin
Marcia Gordon
Owen P. Gross
Danielle Katzir
Linda E. Spiegel
Ira J. Waldman

Law School Liaison
Misty Marie Sanford

Barrister’s Liaison (non-voting)
Greg Maestri

Section Administrator
Fatima Jones



Commercial Development and Leasing Subsection, Co-Chairs
Trudi J. Lesser
Herman Enayati

Construction Law Subsection, Chair
John D. Hanover

General Real Property Subsection, Co-Chairs
William J. Bernfeld
Stacey A. Villagomez

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

Real Estate Finance Subsection, Co-Chairs
Jane L. Hinton
Gretta Moy

Title Insurance Subsection, Co-Chairs
Elmira Rezaei Howard
James H. Treadwell



Roy H. Aaron*
Michael J. Bayard
Stephen M. Blitz
Susan J. Booth
Elizabeth Spedding Calciano
Robert E. Carter
Norm Chernin
R. Bradbury Clark*
Professor William Coskran
Caroline Dreyfus
Anson Dreison*
Brant H. Dveirin
Peter Gelles
Gail Gordon
Byron Hayes, Jr.
Gordon Hunt
Bryan C. Jackson
Michael S. Klein
Preston Kline*
Bernard Kolbor
Robert Krueger*
Mark L. Lamken
Marvin Leon
Gregg J. Loubier
Victor I. Marmon
Jerold L. Miles
O’Malley M. Miller
Rodney Moss*
Donald C. Nanney
Gytis L. Nefas
Carl B. Phelps
Laurence G. Preble
James D. Richman
Peter E. Robinson
Floyd Sayer*
Margaret J. Schock
Ronald I. Silverman
Sarah V.J. Spyksma
Theresa C. Tate
Timothy M. Truax
Richard S. Volpert
Ira J. Waldman
Alan Wayte
Pamela L. Westhoff
John W. Whitaker
George H. Whitney*
Norma J. Williams
John M. Yunker, Jr.
Paula Reddish Zinnemann



Introductory Remarks

We are pleased to announce some exciting news! The Real Property Sections of the Los Angeles County Bar Association and the California Lawyers Association have joined forces to host the Crocker Commercial Real Estate Symposium! It will be held on Thursday, September 26, 2019, from 1 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. at the distinguished Jonathan Club located at 545 S. Figueroa Street in downtown Los Angeles, CA 90071. A powerful networking reception will immediately follow.

Click here for more information and/or to register

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

Coming Events

September 18, 2019
Nuts & Bolts of Commercial Real Estate Foreclosure

Are you prepared for the next real estate downturn? Real Estate is cyclical and the majority of major real estate markets are well below pre-recession levels. Whether you represent borrowers, lenders, or investors or are looking to expand your practice in the next foreclosure surge you will want to join the real estate finance subsection as we explore a substantive overview of the process and procedures of a successful foreclosure.

> Click here for more information

September 19, 2019
Substance Abuse and Addiction Treatment

Practicing law is a high risk profession as evidenced by the fact that approximately 25% of all lawyers experience some form of substance abuse and/or depression. The panel for this program will be composed of an attorney, who will speak about the legal issues connected with addiction issues facing attorneys; a registered nurse, who will speak about addiction rehab issues; and a board certified family medicine physician with a specialty in addiction medicine who will speak about addiction treatment, all of whom are recognized experts in their respective fields.

> Click here for more information

September 24, 2019
Design-Build: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

The move by owners away from Traditional Design-Bid-Build project delivery to Design-Build (D/B) contracts is perhaps the fastest-growing trend today in the use of various alternative project delivery methods. Design-Build is an integrated contracting approach that provides the owner a single point of responsibility for both design and construction services. Owners often believe that by shifting the risk of design to the D/B contractor, they may better manage their risk for cost overruns and delay. Unfortunately, an owner’s reliance on this contracting strategy has not proven to be the panacea for the elimination of all claims. This program will address both the legal and technical issues inherent in the use of D/B contracts.

> Click here for more information

September 26, 2019
Crocker Commercial Real Estate Symposium

The Crocker Symposium has a well-deserved reputation for bringing together the real estate industry’s stellar lawyers, business professionals, academics, and government officials to lead cutting-edge, sophisticated discussions, focusing on the most current developments and best practices in real estate. This year’s Crocker Symposium will feature three panels comprising prominent California attorneys and industry insiders who will discuss selected trends and developments in commercial real estate. The pre-registration deadline is September 23, 2019.  Register today!  

> Click here for more information and/or to register

October 3, 2019
Reservation of Rights under Title Insurance Policies

Please join the title insurance subsection for an overview on an insurer's reservation of rights with a focus on its application in the title insurance industry. The seminar will include an examination of the various uses and abuses pertaining to an insurer's exercise of a reservation of rights. Ryan C. Squire and Jennifer R. Slater, partners at Garrett & Tully, will be leading the discussion.

> 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
- Easement -

A quiet title judgment cannot be entered in the absence of all parties with an interest in the property at issue; homeowners who have their lots to the center of the private streets they abut are indispensable parties to litigation over the grant of an easement for use of those streets. Plat maps may be used to precisely define an easement, and when an easement is defined by a map, it is decisive.

Ranch at the Falls v. O’Neal (Eagle Knight Security Systems) - filed July 31, 2019, Second District, Div. Eight
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 3724
Full text click here >

- EIR -

A city was not required to prepare an environmental impact report to assess the loss of affordable housing and displacement of tenants that would result from the conversion of an apartment building into a hotel where the building had been withdrawn from the rental market years before the city commenced its environmental review for the hotel project.

Hollywoodians Encouraging Rental Opportunities v. City of Los Angeles (Millennium Settlement Consulting/1850 North Cherokee) - filed June 28, 2019, publication ordered July 22, 2019, Second District, Div. Three
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 3488
Full text click here >

- Inverse Condemnation -

Public entities are not strictly or otherwise automatically liable for any conceivable damage bearing some kind of connection, however remote, to a public improvement; if the public entity made reasonable assumptions about the public improvement in question, a plaintiff must show that the damage to private property was substantially caused by inherent risks associated with the design, construction, or maintenance of the public improvement to prevail on a claim for inverse condemnation.

City of Oroville v. Superior Court (California Join Powers Risk Management Authority) - filed Aug. 15, 2019
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 4000
Full text click here >

- Landlord Tenant -

The doctrine of equitable estoppel cannot be used to compel a rent control board to act beyond its statutory authority and in contravention of the Rent Control Law.

1041 20th Street v. Santa Monica Rent Control Board - filed July 30, 2019, Second District, Div. Five
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 3696
Full text click here >

- Map Act -

A proposal to subdivide Williamson Act land for residential development under the Map Act requires that that development be connected to production of an agricultural commodity for commercial purposes. That an agricultural preserve may include open spaces has nothing to do with whether a proposed division of that preserve contemplated by a tentative map complies with Government Code §66474.4.

Cleveland National Forest Foundation v. County of San Diego (Genesee Properties) - filed July 25, 2019, Fourth District, Div. One
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 3621
Full text click here >

- Mortgage Modification -

A mortgage lender owes no tort duty to a homeowner during contract negotiations for a mortgage modification.

Sheen v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. - filed Aug. 5, 2019, Second District, Div. Eight
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 3788
Full text click here >

A mortgage lender did not breach the terms of a loan forbearance agreement by declining to modify a homeowner’s loan after the homeowner made three trial payments since the agreement clearly disclaimed a promise to modify. While a lender can owe a duty of care in processing load modifications, a lender cannot be found liable for breaching that duty in the absence of any allegations that suggest a failure to comply with the lender’s duty. The Homeowner Bill of Rights requires a lender to provide specific reasons for denying a loan modification; a lender’s assertion that it did not have do not have contractual authority to modify a loan because of limitations in its servicing agreement does not suffice as an explanation.

Potocki v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. - filed July 11, 2019, publication ordered Aug. 7, 2019, Third District
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 3874
Full text click here >

- Waste -

Pursuant to the Porter-Cologne Act, a regional board may issue orders to enforce its water quality control plans and may issue orders mandating the cleanup and abatement of waste by any person who has caused or permitted any waste to be discharged or deposited where it is, or probably will be, discharged into the waters of the state. Under the independent judgment standard of review, a trial court begins its review with a presumption that the administrative findings are correct, but it does not defer to the fact finder below; the question is not whether any rational fact finder could make the finding below, but whether the reviewing court believed the finding actually was correct. The Administrative Procedure Act’s provisions do not automatically apply to state agencies, including the Water Board.

Barclay Hollander v. California Regional Water Quality Control Board (Shell Oil) - filed Aug. 6, 2019, Second District, Div. Three
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 3833
Full text click here >

- Zoning -

The Government Code generally requires that a solar energy project comply with the zoning ordinances of the city and county in which the project's facilities are to be constructed or located; if the project includes the transmission of electrical energy, the exemption contained in §53091(e) does not apply to the project; where the administrative record does not contain any evidence of an alternative location for the project, the record does not support a finding that there is no feasible alternative to the proposed location of the project.

City of Hesperia v. Lake Arrowhead Community Service District - filed July 19, 2019, Fourth District, Div. One
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 3456
Full text click here >


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