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

Section Administrator
Fatima Jones



Nedra E. Austin
Norman A. Chernin
Brant H. Dveirin
James C. Earle
Daniel Louis Goodkin
Marcia Z. Gordon
Owen P. Gross
Marybeth Heydt
Teresa Y. Hillery
Donna E. Kirkner
Daniel K. Liffmann
Misty Marie Sanford
Jesse I. Shapiro
Linda E. Spiegel
Loretta Thompson
Ira J. Waldman
Seth I. Weissman



Michael Bayard
Susan J. Booth
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
Herman Enayati

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

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

Thank you for being a valued member of our Real Property Section. We hope you took full advantage of our relevant educational topics, dynamic social networking events, and many other benefits of membership. If you have ideas on how we can better meet your professional needs, we welcome your thoughts. Have a happy and safe Holiday Season!

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

Coming Events

January 15

How to Avoid Malpractice

This program will describe several of the most commonly obtained guarantees that are available (e.g. Litigation, Lot Book, Subdivision, Trustee’s Sale, Chain of Title, Mechanics’ Lien, Judgment and Tax Lien, Property Search) and why it may be malpractice per se to fail to obtain one for your clients!

> Click here for more information


January 30

Top 10 Things Landowners and Their Lawyers Need to Know

Prior to acquiring land or pursuing any sort of land use or regulatory permit from a local, state or federal agency, one needs to consider several issues.  This interactive workshop will walk you through the key items to consider.  Key legal issues will be discussed, along with informative war stories.  The presenters have substantial backgrounds in representing both applicants and public agencies on projects of all asset classes.

> 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 -

Where the substance and effect of a decision granting a peremptory writ disposed of all the issues raised in a California Environmental Quality Act case, it was a final judgment for purposes of appeal.

Alliance of Concerned Citizens Organized for Responsible Development v. City of San Juan Bautista (Dadwal) - filed Nov. 26, 2018, Sixth District
Cite as 2018 S.O.S. 5532
Full text click here >

- Code Violation -

The plain language of a municipal code ordinance requiring that notice of a code violation be served by personal service, certified mail, or by affixing a copy to the structure establishes a hierarchy of acceptable means of providing notice, any one of which can constitute "service" of the notice. The ordinance's "nail & mail" procedures are not constitutionally deficient in the absence of efforts at personal service.

Rasooly v. City of Oakley - filed Oct. 25, 2018, publication ordered Nov. 21, 2018, First District, Div. Five
Cite as 2018 S.O.S. 5508
Full text click here >

- Critical Habitat -

An area is eligible for designation as "critical habitat" under the Endangered Species Act only if it is habitat for the species. The Secretary of the Interior has discretion to exclude certain areas from being designated "critical habitat" but there is a mandated procedure the secretary must follow to consider the economic and other impacts of designation when making his exclusion decisions.

Weyerhaeuser Company v. United States Fish and Wildlife Service - filed Nov. 27, 2018
Cite as 2018 S.O.S. 17-71_omjp
Full text click here >

- Easement -

The lack of specificity to narrow the scope of an easement does not make the easement objectively "ambiguous" as a matter of law. Since the parties to an express right-of-way easement presumptively contemplate "normal future development," such an easement will generally not be restricted to its historic use. A bona fide purchaser for value who acquires his interest in real property without notice of another's asserted rights in the property takes the property free of such unknown rights.

Zissler v. Saville - filed Nov. 29, 2018, Second District, Div. Six
Cite as 2018 S.O.S. 5626
Full text click here >

- EIR -

A county's general plan update does not violate the Timberland Act if it does not recite the statutory language in Government Code Sec. 51104. Sec. 51104 suffices to supply the restrictions on residences and structures on timberland production zone parcels. An environmental impact report is not deficient for lack of study regarding the effects of Sec. 51104 on the construction of residences and structures in timberland production zone parcels.

High Sierra Rural Alliance v. County of Plumas - filed Oct. 19, 2018, publication ordered Nov. 15, 2018, Third District
Cite as 2018 S.O.S. 5420
Full text click here >

- Foreclosure -

A plaintiff who successfully prosecuted two property tax refund claims on behalf of a property owner who then lost the property to foreclosure could assert a viable unjust enrichment claim against the entity who purchased the property and paid the delinquent taxes owed on the property, in the reduced amount achieved by the plaintiff's work.

Professional Tax Appeal v. Kennedy-Wilson Holdings - filed Nov. 20, 2018, Second District, Div. Eight
Cite as 2018 S.O.S. 545
Full text click here >

- Leases -

When a property owner or its manager enters into a new lease with an existing tenant, the owner or its manager is not a "successor" owner or manager for purposes of Civil Code Sec. 1962(c).

DLI Properties LLC v. Cherokee Hill; Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles - filed Sept. 17, 2018
Cite as 2018 S.O.S. 5659
Full text click here >

- State Lands -

The State Lands Commission erred by concluding that private commercial sand mining constitutes a public trust use of sovereign lands.

San Francisco Baykeeper v. State Lands Commission (Hanson Marine Operations) - filed Oct. 31, 2018, publication ordered Nov. 27, 2018,
First District, Div. Four
Cite as 2018 S.O.S. 5550
Full text click here >

- Water Rights -

A decree that allows the owners of appropriative rights to water in a creek to use their rights "at all times" whenever water is flowing while also limiting the owners' ability to divert water during the irrigation season does not limit the owners' actions outside of the irrigation season. A decree that expressly authorizes each water rights owner to use its share of the water allotted to it "in any manner, at any place, or for any purpose" allows an owner to use the water elsewhere if it can do so without injuring the rights of others to the water.

Orange Cove Irrigation District v. Los Molinos Mutual Water Company - filed Dec. 12, 2018, Third District
Cite as 2018 S.O.S. 5903
Full text click here >


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