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

Happy New Year! The Real Property Section is committed to helping you thrive in your real estate practice by focusing on all aspects of real property law, both transactions and litigation. We are one of the most active and dynamic sections in LACBA. If you are not a member or your membership has expired, take this opportunity to join or renew today!

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

Coming Events

January 24

Avoiding Leasing Pitfalls/AIR Leases

The American Industrial Real Estate Association (“AIR”) lease forms provide a good resource for the general practitioner called upon to draft a commercial lease.  However, because it is a standardized form, it is possible that some of the provisions of the AIR lease forms may not be appropriate in every situation.  We will discuss the strengths and limitations of the use of the AIR Multi-Tenant Net Lease.

> 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

Save the Date!
February 26
Annual Flaig Award & Construction Law Update

March 12
Top Ten Cases in Real Estate for 2018

April 2
Women Real Estate Lawyers in Leadership Roles

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 -

A city council did not abdicate its duties and delegate its authority to review the environmental consequences of a proposed project even though the council did not consider issues other than design review when it reviewed and considered a decision by an unelected planning commission as to whether a project was exempt from California Environmental Quality Act's requirements. CEQA does not require an environmental impact report where the sole environmental impact is the aesthetic merit of a building in a highly developed area.

McCorkle Eastside Neighborhood Group v. City of St. Helena - filed Dec. 18, 2018; publication ordered Jan. 10, 2019, First District, Div. Five
Full text click here >

Lay opinions can provide substantial evidence to support a fair argument that a project may have a significant aesthetic impact on the environment, triggering the need to prepare an environmental impact report pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act. A planning or zoning finding conducted outside the requirements of CEQA does not provide a substitute for CEQA review. While a planning or zoning decision may be entitled to greater deference than a mitigated negative declaration, such a determination is no more than it purports to be and is not a CEQA determination.

Georgetown Preservation Society v. County of El Dorado (Simoncre Abbie) - filed Dec. 17, 2018, Third District
Cite as 2018 S.O.S. 6020
Full text click here >

When reviewing whether a discussion is sufficient to satisfy the California Environmental Quality Act, a court must be satisfied that an environmental impact report includes sufficient detail to enable those who did not participate in its preparation to understand and to consider meaningfully the issues the proposed project raises and that it makes a reasonable effort to substantively connect a project's air quality impacts to likely health consequences. A lead agency may leave open the possibility of employing better mitigation efforts consistent with improvements in technology without being deemed to have impermissibly deferred mitigation measures. Lead agency may adopt mitigation measures that do not reduce a project's adverse impacts to less than significant levels, so long as the agency can demonstrate in good faith that the measures will at least be partially effective at mitigating the project's impacts.

Sierra Club v. County of Fresno - filed Dec. 24, 2018
Cite as 2018 S.O.S. 6155
Full text click here >

- Coastal Act -

The process allowing a city's director of planning to exempt a project from a project permit compliance review is a ministerial process because the process requires only a determination that the proposed project does or does not meet objective measurement criteria. The director is not required to conduct a discretionary analysis of every exemption request to ensure it is compliant with the city's land use plan. Additions to existing structures are eligible for exemptions under the Coastal Act.

Venice Coalition to Preserve Unique Community Character v. City of Los Angeles - filed Jan. 9, 2019, Second District, Div. Eight
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 191
Full text click here >

- Dedication -

When a government agency conditions its approval of a real property development project on the grant of an easement or other exaction which would otherwise constitute a taking requiring compensation, the property owner must challenge the condition by petition for writ of mandate filed before, or simultaneously with, a complaint for inverse condemnation. A landowner cannot challenge a condition imposed upon the granting of a permit after acquiescence in the condition by either specifically agreeing to the condition or failing to challenge its validity, and accepting the benefits afforded by the permit. An agency's acceptance of an offer of dedication was valid where the offer was not revoked before the agency accepted the offer by physically occupying the land for the dedicated public use.

Prout v. Department of Education - filed Dec. 18, 2018, publication ordered Jan. 11, 2019, Third District
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 245
Full text click here >

Civil Code Sec. 1009(b) generally prohibits implied-in-fact dedications of private noncoastal property.

Mikkelsen v. Hansen - filed Jan. 10, 2019, Fifth District Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 186 Full text click here >

- HOA -

The cultivation of a vineyard on a property for the purpose of making wine that would be sold to the public did not constitute a "business or commercial activity" within the meaning of a homeowners' association's covenants, conditions, and restrictions since the wine was made, bottled, and sold commercially offsite, and the activity at the vineyard did not affect the residential character of the community. Interpretation of CC&R's is a legal question to be decided by the courts, and a homeowners' association's interpretation is not entitled to deference.

Eith v. Ketelhut - filed Dec. 17, 2018, Second District, Div. Six
Cite as 2018 S.O.S. 6033
Full text click here >

- Landlord Tenant -

In an unlawful detainer action brought by a landowner who has newly acquired title to the property under a power of sale contained in a deed of trust, the landowner must perfect the title before it can serve a three-day written notice to quit on the possessor of the property.

Dr. Leevill, LLC v. Westlake Health Care Center - filed Dec. 17, 2018 Cite as 2018 S.O.S. 5945
Full text click here >

A right of first refusal contained in a written lease expires when that leasehold ends and the tenant becomes a "holdover" tenant, unless the parties indicate that the right of first refusal will carry forward.

Smyth v. Berman - filed Jan. 10, 2019, Second District, Div. Two
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 251
Full text click here >

- Trespass -

The term "lands . . . under cultivation" in Code of Civil Procedure Sec. 1021.9 refers to the character of the land, not the specific area of the land that was trespassed upon. Attorney fees need not be apportioned when incurred for representation on an issue common to both a cause of action in which fees are proper and one in which they are not allowed. There is no requirement that the trial court make an award of attorney fees in an amount that is commensurate with or in proportion to the degree of success in the litigation.

Hoffman v. Superior Ready Mix Concrete, L.P. - filed Dec. 19, 2018, Fourth District, Div. One
Cite as 2018 S.O.S. 6078
Full text click here >


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