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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,
Sr. Commercial Underwriting Counsel
Fidelity National Title - National Commercial Services


Real Property Executive Committee:


Eric A. Altoon

Vice Chair (Programming)
Kelsey M. Thayer

Vice Chair (Communications)
Teresa Y. Hillery

Vice Chair (Membership)
Daniel K. Liffmann

Laurence L. Hummer

Rachel Meghan Sanders

Immediate Past Chair
Claire Hervey Collins



Susan J. Booth
Norman A. Chernin
Caroline Dreyfus
Brant H. Dveirin
Marcia Gordon
Owen P. Gross
Danielle Katzir
Linda E. Spiegel
Ira J. Waldman

Law School Liaison
Misty Marie Sanford

Barrister’s Liaison (non-voting)
Greg Maestri

Section Administrator
Fatima Jones



Commercial Development and Leasing Subsection, Co-Chairs
Trudi J. Lesser
Herman Enayati

Construction Law Subsection, Chair
John D. Hanover

General Real Property Subsection, Co-Chairs
William J. Bernfeld
Stacey A. Villagomez

Land Use Planning and Environmental Law, Subsection Chair
Julie Hamill

Real Estate Finance Subsection, Co-Chairs
Jane L. Hinton
Gretta Moy

Title Insurance Subsection, Co-Chairs
Elmira Rezaei Howard
James H. Treadwell



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

Our Real Property Section is off to a great start!  Nader Pakfar of Sutton, Pakfar & Courtney LLP, Aimee Contreras-Camua of Pircher, Nichols & Meeks LLP and Misty Sanford of Munger, Tolles & Olson provided a lively and insightful high level look at Completion Guaranties to a packed house at LACBA.  The interesting and entertaining panel provided helpful negotiating and drafting tips from both the Lender's and Borrower's perspective.  We have more exciting MCLE programs planned for you throughout the year.


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

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Coming Events

February 4, 2020
Common Mistakes Real Estate Attorneys Make When Drafting Documents

REVISED DATE - Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Every day across the country, real estate lawyers are drafting contracts that cannot be enforced because they weren’t drafted correctly. The law of contracts has numerous pitfalls and common drafting mistakes expose your clients to unnecessary risk. During this program, our speakers will guide you through typical real estate contract provisions and show you how to navigate around the drafting landmines. If you are new to preparing real estate contracts or simply need a quick refresher, you do not want to miss this program! 

> Click here for more information

March 18, 2020
Broken Priority, Broken Record

Panelists, including representatives from the title company and lending industries, will discuss age-old issues surrounding broken priority and title insurance coverage in construction projects through new lenses, including (a) issues to anticipate in the next downturn without the availability of upfront coverage; (b) unique complexities associated with specialized projects (such as master planning/development and so called "forward" purchase and sales); and (c) strategies for obtaining coverage.

> Click here for more information

April 15, 2020
Developments in Real Estate Finance 2019

Please join us for a networking meet & greet and this informative annual presentation from the Finance Subsection – this year on the Westside! The 22nd annual Developments in Real Estate Finance program will be held at the Century City offices of Cox, Castle & Nicholson LLP!

The extended format (1.5 hour) program will include a lively discussion of the most important developments in real estate finance law during 2019. The program will provide attendees with insights from recent relevant cases and regulations, including a primer on finance concepts that have been retested in the courts or updated by legislation. There will be a networking cocktail hour before and after the event for attendees to mingle with fellow real estate professionals. Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to be at the forefront of the latest real estate finance developments and connect with others in the real estate field!

> Click here for more information

Save the Date!
May 28, 2020
Real Property Installation and Awards Dinner



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.

Avoiding Leasing Pitfalls/AIR Leases
How to Avoid Malpractice
Wow! Why Didn’t I Think of That?
Making Sense of Construction Costs and Damages

Recent Cases
- Boundary Dispute -

A hearsay statement concerning the boundary of land is admissible under Evidence Code §1323 as long as it does not lack trustworthiness, even if the declarant had an interest in the disputed boundary.

McDermott Ranch v. Connolly Ranch - filed Dec. 17, 2019, Third District
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 4339
Full text click here >

- CEQA -

A city did not abuse its discretion in granting a California Environmental Quality Act exemption for a residential development project where the city expressly balanced the competing interests of its general plan and a community plan's policies and objectives of providing multifamily housing with a medium-high density at the project's site against the purpose of city's steep hillside regulations to protect such environmentally sensitive lands.

Holden v. City of San Diego (Idea Enterprise) - filed Dec. 13, 2019, Fourth District, Div. One
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 4264
Full text click here >

- Clean Water Act -

Discharges composed entirely of return flows from irrigated agriculture for purposes of 33 U.S.C. § 1342(l)(1) refers to discharges from activities related to crop production; a district court erred by interpreting entirely to mean majority; because §1342(l)(1) contains an exception to the Clean Water Act’s permitting requirement, a defendant has the burden of establishing that a project’s discharges were composed entirely of return flows from irrigated agriculture.

Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations v. Glaser - filed Dec. 20, 2019
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 17-17130
Full text click here >

- EIR -

A regional air pollution control district was the proper lead agency to undertake the preparation of an environmental impact report for a project carried out by a nongovernmental entity on federal land where the only nonfederal agency with any permit authority over the project was the district; a lead agency must evaluate comments to a draft EIR and prepare written responses that describe the disposition of any significant environmental issue raised, so the district had to give a good faith, reasoned response to proposed mitigation measures indicating why such measures are not feasible.

Covington v. Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District (Orni 50) - filed Nov. 26, 2019, publication ordered Dec. 23, 2019, Third District
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 4448
Full text click here >

- EPA -

A constructive submission will be found where a state has failed over a long period of time to submit a temperature total maximum daily loads, and it has clearly and unambiguously decided not to submit any TMDL; a constructive submission of no TMDL triggers the Environmental Protection Agency’s mandatory duty to develop and issue its own TMDL within 30 days.

Columbia Riverkeeper v. Wheeler - filed Dec. 20, 2019
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 18-35982
Full text click here >

- General Plan -

The adoption of a general plan is a legislative act and is presumed valid. The Government Code requires the policies in a general plan as written to be integrated, internally consistent, and compatible; a finding or determination made separate and independent from the approval of a general plan and not included as part thereof cannot render the general plan internally inconsistent or noncorrelative.

Citizens for Positive Growth & Preservation v. City of Sacramento - filed Nov. 26, 2019, publication ordered Dec. 18, 2019, Third District
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 4376
Full text click here >

- Loan Modification -

For purposes of Civil Code §2953, a loan modification agreement is appropriately viewed as the making or renewal of a loan secured by a deed of trust; this agreement is therefore subject to the anti-waiver provisions of §2953 and §2954c, which gives the homeowners the opportunity to cure their precipitating default by making up those missed payments and paying the associated late charges and fees, and in that way to avoid the consequences of default on the modified loan.

Taniguchi v. Restoration Homes LLC - filed Dec. 16, 2019, First District, Div. Two
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 4312
Full text click here >

- Receivership -

Before appointing a receiver under Health and Safety Code §17980.7(c), a court must determine whether the owner of the property received constitutionally adequate notice and an opportunity to correct the health and safety violations within a reasonable amount of time, and whether the person nominated to be appointed as a receiver has the capacity and expertise to develop and supervise a viable financial and construction plan for the rehabilitation of the property.

City of Desert Hot Springs v. Valenti - filed Dec. 13, 2019, publication ordered Dec. 19, 2019, Fourth District, Div. Two
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 4436
Full text click here >


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