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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 and Trial Counsel
Fidelity National Law Group


Real Property Executive Committee:


Caroline Dreyfus

First Vice Chair
Claire Hervey-Collins

Second Vice Chair
Eric Altoon

Misty Sanford

Nedra E. Austin

Immediate Past Chair
Susan J. Booth

Barristers Liaison
Christopher Bordenave

Section Administrator
Fatima Jones



Janna Boelke
James Earle
George Fatheree
Daniel L. Goodkin
Owen P. Gross
Marybeth Heydt
Teresa Y. Hillery
Ben Howell
Laurence L. Hummer
Donna E. Kirkner
Trudi Lesser
Daniel K. Liffmann
Linda E. Spiegel
Kelsey M. Thayer
Loretta Thompson
Seth Weissman



Michael Bayard
Elizabeth Spedding Calciano
Norm Chernin
Brant H. Dveirin
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
Ira Waldman,
Pamela Westhoff
Norma Williams


Commercial Development and Leasing
Marcia Gordon

L. Adam Winegard
Jane Hinton
General Real Property
Rachel Sanders
Land Use Planning & Environmental Law
Beth Hummer
Title Co-Chairs
Brendan B. Penney
Vanessa A. Widener



Introductory Remarks

Thank you for supporting the Real Property Section. We strive to keep our members and the real estate community informed through the planning and implementation of substantive programs. We are excited about and look forward to bringing you more relevant topics in 2018. Happy Holidays!!

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

Coming Events

January 23

Making Cents of Construction Costs and Damages
All roads in construction claims lead to damages. Whether you represent owners or contractors, dollars represent the end game.

> Click here for more information

January 25

Drafting and Analysis of Insurance and Indemnity Provisions
A seasoned real estate lawyer and an insurance industry expert will explore the different types of insurance and indemnity provisions found in retail and office leases and the multitude of drafting considerations.

> Click here for more information

February 27

Annual Construction Law Update and Flaig Award
All roads in construction claims lead to damages. Whether you represent owners or contractors, dollars represent the end game.

> Click here for more information

March 27

Compliance 101
Compliance 101: Navigating the Uncertainty of Prevailing Wage Compliance, Project Labor Agreements, and Updated Regulations.

> 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
- CEQA -

The California Environmental Quality Act permits the partial decertification of an environmental impact report while leaving project approvals in place

Center for Biological Diversity v. California Department of Fish and Wildlife (The Newhall Land and Farming Company) - filed Dec. 4, 2017, Second District, Div. Five
Cite as 2017 S.O.S. 5981
Full text click here >

- EIR -

A draft environmental impact report failed to provide the public with "an accurate, stable and finite" project description on which to comment. The report did not identify a proposed project, but described five very different alternative projects then under consideration.

Washoe Meadows Community v. Department of Parks and Recreation - filed Nov. 15, 2017, First District, Div. Five
Cite as 2017 S.O.S. 5531
Full text click here >

The purpose of an environmental impact report is to identify a project's significant effects on the environment and indicate the manner in which those significant effects can be mitigated or avoided. The potential physical changes to the environment generally are identified by comparing existing physical conditions the physical conditions that are predicted to exist at a later point in time. An agency enjoys the discretion to decide, in the first instance, exactly how the existing physical conditions without the project can most realistically be measured, subject to review for support by substantial evidence. An agency can rely upon a refinery's participation in California's cap-and-trade program to conclude that the greenhouse gas emissions from a proposed refinery project would be less than significant. The development of information concerning a refinery project serviced by a rail carrier is not preempted categorically, but is subject to scrutiny under the rules for as-applied preemption.

Association of Irritated Residents v. Kern County Board of Supervisors (Alon USA Energy) - filed Nov. 21, 2017, Fifth District
Cite as 2017 S.O.S. 5754
Full text click here >

A dispute over the adequacy of an environmental impact report for a regional transportation plan was not rendered moot once the transportation plan was superseded by more recent versions because a court order correcting the alleged defects in the report may result in modifications to future versions of the transportation plan, or to projects encompassed within the transportation plan. The case also presented important questions of continuing public interest that may evade review because of the frequency with which the transportation plan is updated. An EIR that did not contain a discussion of mitigation alternatives was inadequate under the California Environmental Quality Act because the omission precludes public participation and informed decision-making. An EIR for a regional transportation plan contained a deficient discussion of project alternatives since it did not discuss an alternative which could significantly reduce total vehicle miles traveled. An EIR that did not include available data from air quality monitoring stations did not comply with CEQA. The fact more precise information may be available during the next tier of environmental review does not excuse an agency from providing what information it reasonably can now.

Cleveland National Forest Foundation v. San Diego Association of Governments (People) - filed Nov. 16, 2017, Fourth District, Div. One
Cite as 2017 S.O.S. 5623
Full text click here >

- Public Lands -

A decision by the Secretary of the Interior to temporarily withdraw public lands from new mining claims did not extinguish any valid existing rights. A company had valid existing rights to mineral withdrawal where its predecessor had asserted a claim and discovered ore prior to the withdrawal, and the ore could be mined, removed, transported, milled and marketed at a profit under present economic conditions.

Havasupai Tribe v. Provencio - filed Dec. 12, 2017
Cite as 2017 S.O.S. 15-15754
Full text click here >

The Federal Land Policy and Management Act provision allowing Congress to invalidate a decision by the Secretary of the Interior to make temporary withdrawal of large tracts of public lands for mineral extraction is unconstitutional, but this provision is severable. A group of mining companies and local governments had standing to raise the issue of severability and severing the offending provision does not affect the secretary's authority to order withdrawals. The secretary's decision to withdraw a large tract of land to protect water resources in the Grand Canyon watershed and the Colorado River from possible water contamination was not arbitrary, capricious, or not in accordance with the law.

National Mining Association v. Zinke - filed Dec. 12, 2017
Cite as 2017 S.O.S. 14-17350
Full text click here >

- Waste Discharge -

Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act grants a regional water board the authority to require a report of waste discharge and to hold a discharger civilly liable for failure to file a waste discharge report. A party aggrieved by a regional board's failure to require a discharger to file waste discharge reports is entitled to file a petition for review with the state water board, and if aggrieved by the state water board decision, the party could obtain judicial review by filing a petition for a writ of administrative mandamus in the superior court.

Monterey Coastkeeper v. Monterey County Water Resources Agency - filed Dec. 5, 2017, Sixth District
Cite as 2017 S.O.S. 6006
Full text click here


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