dark blue triangle in newsletter heading
Introductory Remarks
Coming Events
Save the Date!
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

Nominations for the Real Property Section's 2019 Outstanding Young Lawyer Award are being accepted until February 28, 2019. If you would like to nominate an attorney, click here.

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

Coming Events

February 26

Annual Construction Law Update & Flaig Award

Please join us at the Construction Law Subsection’s "Annual Construction Law Update and Flaig Award” program. The 2019 Flaig Award will be presented to Candace Matson of Sheppard Mullin in recognition of her many achievements in construction law.  Donna Kirkner, former Chair of the Subsection, will be presenting the award. 

> Click here for more information


March 12

Top Ten Cases in Real Estate for 2018

This program will cover important cases, decided by California courts and the U.S. Supreme Court in 2018, that will impact the practice of real estate law in California.

> Click here for more information


April 2

Supporting Women Real Estate Attorneys

During this program we will hear from a panel of successful attorneys who will discuss the challenges facing female commercial real estate attorneys, ways to navigate a male-dominated legal industry, and tips for success for all new attorneys.

> Click here for more information

Save the Date!
May 7
ADA Fundamentals for Real Estate Lawyers

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 same bifurcated standard of review applicable to an agency's determination with respect to the "unusual circumstances" exception to the categorical exemptions of the California Environmental Quality Act guidelines also applies to the "location" exception. A municipal code ordinance requiring an administrative use permit for "the addition of a fifth bedroom to a parcel" requires a permit only when a bedroom is being added to an existing structure containing four bedrooms.

Berkeley Hills Watershed Coalition v. City of Berkeley (Wadlund) - filed Jan. 30, 2019, First District, Div. One
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 492
Full text click here >

A challenge to a city's decision approving the removal of trees asserting violations of the city's planning and zoning law, the city's general plan, and the city's tree protection ordinance is subject to the statute of limitations in Government Code Sec. 65009(c)(1)(E). The claim asserted under the California Environmental Quality Act is governed by the statute of limitations in Public Resources Code Sec. 21167 (a) and 21167.6(a).

Save Lafayette Trees v. City of Lafayette (Pacific Gas and Electric Company) - filed Feb. 8, 2019, First District, Div. Three
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 722
Full text click here >

A city's act of entering into a lease was a legislative act subject to challenge in a petition for ordinary writ of mandamus. The relevant issue in determining whether the California Environmental quality Act's existing facilities exemption applies is whether the project involves "expansion of use beyond that existing at the time of the lead agency's determination".

San Diegans for Open Government v. City of San Diego (Symphony Asset Pool XVI) - filed Dec. 27, 2018, publication ordered Jan. 15, 2019, Fourth District, Div. One
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 304
Full text click here >

When it comes to a local coastal entity's decision on a coastal development permit, the Legislature has constructed a system in which appeals to the California Coastal Commission would be heard de novo under the Coastal Act even though the original local decision was decided under the California Environmental Quality Act.

Fudge v. City of Laguna Beach (Dimitry) - filed Feb. 13, 2019, Fourth District, Div. Three
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 755
Full text click here >

- Prescriptive Easement -

Civil Code Sec. 1009 does not prohibit the granting of a prescriptive easement to access a public recreational area where the easement was appurtenant to a neighbor's property. There is no authority to support the idea that persons paying to stay on a property cannot benefit from such an easement.

Ditzian v. Unger - filed Jan. 24, 2019, First District, Div. Five
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 432
Full text click here >


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