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Introductory Remarks
Coming Events
CLE Anytime
Recent Cases

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

Rachel M. Sanders
Senior Counsel | Real Estate Litigation
Allen Matkins Leck Gamble Mallory & Natsis LLP


Real Property Executive Committee:


Kelsey M. Thayer 

Vice Chair (Programming)
Teresa Y. Hillery 

Vice Chair (Communications)
Rachel M. Sanders

Vice Chair (Membership)
Daniel K. Liffmann

Owen P. Gross

Trudi J. Lesser

Immediate Past Chair
Eric A. Altoon



Norman A. Chernin
Claire Hervey Collins
Caroline Dreyfus
Brant H. Dveirin
Kimia Ghalambor
Marcia Gordon
Jane L. Hinton
Laurence L. Hummer
Danielle Katzir
Linda E. Spiegel
Ira J. Waldman

Law School Liaison
Misty M. Sanford

Barrister’s Liaison (non-voting)
Vivienne Chen

Section Administrator
Fatima Jones



Commercial Development and Leasing Subsection, Co-Chairs
Steven Farenbaugh
Dan Villalpando

Construction Law Subsection, Chair
John D. Hanover

General Real Property Subsection, Co-Chairs
Michael Davis
Joe Dzida

Land Use Planning and Environmental Law, Subsection Chair
Julie Hamill

Real Estate Finance Subsection, Co-Chairs
Mark Hikin
Gretta Moy

Title Insurance Subsection, Chair
James H. Treadwell



Roy H. Aaron*
Eric A. Altoon 
Michael J. Bayard
Stephen M. Blitz
Susan J. Booth
Elizabeth Spedding Calciano
Robert E. Carter
Norm Chernin
R. Bradbury Clark*
Claire Hervey Collins 
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

On December 1, 2020 the Real Property Section hosted a dynamic panel of women attorneys, including Lisa Angelo, Lisa Kolieb, Alice Graham, Saundra Wootton, and Caroline Vincent, in a program called Elimination of Bias – Women Empowerment Strategies. The energetic discussion addressed a myriad of topics, including the benefits of having women on law firm hiring, promotion, and retention committees, how to address challenges unique to women in the legal workplace, and equity pay issues, among others. The panel also noted an increase in women lawyers and women lawyers of color in a variety of settings besides traditional law firms due to recent and growing commitments of women professionals to retain, recommend, and promote other women lawyers, including neutrals and experts. Panelists also observed that corporate counsel have more frequently been requiring law firms they hire to have diversity and inclusion policies. If you missed this program, which included an Elimination of Bias credit, it will soon be available to view on our website. Access this program and other past programs here.

Elim of Bias 1-dec-newsletter

Rachel M. Sanders
Editor, Real Property Section Newsletter
E-mail address:

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Coming Events

January 19, 2021, 12:30 p.m. -1:30 p.m.
Nuts and Bolts of E-Recording

The Title Insurance Sub-Section is proud to present this program entitled “Nuts and Bolts of E-Recording”. This program addresses what every attorney needs to know to navigate e-recording in California with an emphasis on Los Angeles County. The program will cover legislative changes, Los Angeles County’s Notary Acceptance Policy including remote on-line notary (RON), and the most common reasons for rejections in Los Angeles County. 

The program will also provide a step by step explanation of how a law firm can become authorized to e-record, including the requirements of SECURE for Southern California and CeRTNA for Northern California and how these portals work. 

This program will be extremely useful for transactional attorneys, attorneys representing lenders, attorneys representing title companies, and in-house counsel for title companies and lenders.

> Click here for more information and to register.

January 21, 2021, 12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Legal Writing for Real Estate Attorneys:
Confusing Abbreviations, Words & Phrases

This program highlights some common abbreviations, words, and phrases that seem to challenge many real estate lawyers and other professionals, including some that are occasionally used interchangeably even though they do not mean the same thing. If you are new to the practice of real estate or simply need a quick refresher, you do not want to miss this program!.

> Click here for more information and to register


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.

Completion Guaranties: Negotiating and Drafting Tips
Supporting Women Real Estate Attorneys – Empowerment Strategies
Recent Developments in Real Estate Finance
Nuts and Bolts of Commercial Real Estate Foreclosure

Recent Cases
- Environmental Law -

The California Environmental Quality Act does not allow for the partial certification of an environmental impact report; even if CEQA were interpreted to allow for partial certification, a partial certification would be inappropriate in a case where the CEQA violations affect the adoption of the statement of overriding considerations and, thus, taint the certification of the EIR as a whole.

Sierra Club v. County of Fresno - filed Nov. 24, 2020, Fifth District
Cite as 2020 S.O.S. 5651
Full text click here

A trial court cannot rely on the prayer of a complaint to establish public interest standing. The caption, title, or label of a pleading are ineffectual to make an action into one for mandamus. A trial court lacks discretion to confer public interest standing in civil litigation seeking money. Coastal Act §30820 does not apply to ex parte communication disclosure violations.

Spotlight on Coastal Corruption v. Kinsey - filed Nov. 24, 2020, Fourth District, Div. One
Cite as 2020 S.O.S. 5661
Full text click here

An agency took the requisite hard look at the environmental impacts of a highway improvement project within a state park where the agency based its finding of no significant impact on a revised environmental assessment that considered the effects of paving over portions of the root zones of certain trees, the extent and effect of the construction activity that would occur in the structural root zones of redwood trees, the impact of visitor experience at the state park, and the possibility of trucks colliding with trees.

Bair v. California Department of Transportation - filed Dec. 2, 2020
Cite as 2020 S.O.S. 19-16478
Full text click here

A federal appellate court has original jurisdiction over a challenge to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s approval of an offshore drilling and production facility under 43 U.S.C. §1349(c)(2), including the plaintiff’s challenge to the environmental impact statement prepared under the National Environmental Policy Act and the biological opinion prepared under the Endangered Species Act. Under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, the court had jurisdiction over the plaintiff’s claim that the approval of the project violated the Endangered Species Act. BOEM acted arbitrarily and capriciously by failing to quantify the emissions resulting from foreign oil consumption in its EIS as required by the NEPA, or, at least, explaining thoroughly why it could not do so and summarizing the research upon which it relied. The Fish and Wildlife Service violated the ESA by relying upon uncertain, nonbinding mitigation measures in reaching its no-adverse-effect conclusion in its biological opinion, and failing to estimate the project’s amount of nonlethal take of polar bears.

Center for Biological Diversity v. Zinke - filed Dec. 7, 2020
Cite as 2020 S.O.S. 18-73400
Full text click here

Neither Water Code §§105 and §106 nor any existing case law allows a pumper for municipal purposes to tap into an over drafted aquifer and in doing so, acquire protectable water rights in that aquifer.

Antelope Valley Groundwater Cases - filed Dec. 9, 2020, Fifth District
Cite as 2020 S.O.S. 5893
Full text click here

Where Texas requested that New Mexico store water at a facility in New Mexico, and New Mexico did so, with the understanding that the water belonged to Texas, New Mexico was entitled to delivery credit for the water that evaporated while the water was held in New Mexico pursuant to the Pecos River Compact.

Texas v. New Mexico - filed Dec. 14, 2020
Cite as 2020 S.O.S. 22o65
Full text click here

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Rehaif v. U.S., announcing the scope of knowingly as used in 18 U.S.C. §924(a)(2), was a statutory, rather than a constitutional, rule.

Tate v. U.S. - filed Dec. 14, 2020
Cite as 2020 S.O.S. 20-70785
Full text click here

- Exculpatory Clauses in Leases -

The question of whether an exculpatory clause covers a given case turns primarily on contractual interpretation, and it is the intent of the parties as expressed in the agreement that should control. Language in a lease stating the lessor shall not be liable for the person...of Lessee shields the lessor from liability for ordinary negligence.

Garcia v. D/AQ - filed Nov. 24, 2020, Second District, Div. Eight
Cite as 2020 S.O.S. 5678
Full text click here

- Real Property Transfers -

The word stock in Revenue and Taxation Code §62(a)(2) applies to all classes of stock, including both voting and non-voting stock.

Prang v. Amen - filed Dec. 7, 2020, Second District, Div. Five
Cite as 2020 S.O.S. 5809
Full text click here

- Rent Ordinances -

A group of landlords challenging a city’s rent ordinance—which required the landlords to disclose information about rent stabilized units to the city—failed to prove they had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the information where their complaint did not contain any factual allegations distinguishing the information at issue from the similar information landlords already provided to the city in other contexts. The rent ordinance does not affect a per se taking of private property; when buying a piece of property, one cannot reasonably expect that property to be free of government regulation such as rent control.

Hotop v. City of San Jose - filed Dec. 7, 2020,
Cite as 2020 S.O.S. 18-16995
Full text click here

- Trespass -

Even if cutting a tree’s roots constituted a common law trespass, Civil Code §3346 would not allow a trebling of damages without an intentional crossing of boundary lines into the land of another to injure timber.

Russell v. Man - filed Nov. 17, 2020, publication ordered Dec. 11, 2020, Fourth District, Div. Two
Cite as 2020 S.O.S. 5932
Full text click here


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