Real Property Section-newsletter-banner 2
VOLUME 16 | NUMBER 7 | JULY 2021
dark blue triangle in newsletter heading
Introductory Remarks
Coming Events
CLE Anytime
Members Spotlights
Recent Cases

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

Vivienne Chen


Real Property Executive Committee:


Teresa Y. Hillery

Vice Chair (Programming)
Rachel Sanders

Vice Chair (Communications)
Vivienne Chen

Vice Chair (Membership)
Gretta Moy

Owen Gross

Dan Villalpando

Immediate Past Chair
Kelsey Thayer



Celeste Caitlen Ahl, II
Eric A. Altoon
Rosetta Broomfield
Norman A. Chernin
Sadara DeVonne
Brant H. Dveirin
Kimia Ghalambor
Jane L. Hinton
Laurence L. Hummer
Trudi J. Lesser
Daniel K. Liffmann
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
Jonathan Zweig

Construction Law Subsection,Co- Chairs
Aaron J. Flores
Ashley B. Jordan

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
Alyssa Ashley Rutherford

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
Kelsey Thayer
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

I am honored to serve as the 2021-2022 Chair of the Real Property Section (RPS), as the Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA) holds a special place in my heart.

When I joined the legal profession, LACBA sent congratulatory remarks and invited me to a reception for new admittees. I was surprised because I had no connections to the Los Angeles area; I graduated from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento. Why was LACBA reaching out to me? Setting out to answer that question changed my life!

I attended the reception and received a free membership to join LACBA. I loved the energy of downtown so much that I bought into the motto of “Live, Work, and Play in Downtown LA.” I moved to DTLA and started my legal career. Sadly, I did not take advantage of LACBA’s membership benefits for years until I met Norm Chernin, the then-Chair of the Real Property Section.

The Norm Effect

Norm and I worked for the same company. I was new to the real estate industry, and Norm was very generous in sharing his title insurance knowledge with me. Then one day Norm said, “Are you a member of the RPS?” Norm not only invited me to join the Section but included me in a meaningful way. I started helping him with the Section’s newsletter. From there I advanced to Editor, Vice Chair of Communications, Vice Chair of Programming, and now Chair of the Section. I believe Norm’s simple act of inclusion changed the trajectory of my career, and I set out to do the same for those who are not capitalizing on the numerous benefits of belonging to and connecting with a group of stellar real estate attorneys throughout Southern California and beyond.

Membership, Diversity, and Inclusion

Membership, diversity, and inclusion are our focus areas this year. As Chair, I want to grow our membership by 15% and ensure we are diverse and inclusive in all aspects. The RPS is a provider of exemplary CLE programs. With six subsections – land use and environmental, finance, title insurance, construction, commercial development and leasing, and general real property law – we offer a broad range of exciting and relevant educational topics. As a member, however, you can participate beyond attending a MCLE program! You can serve on a subsection planning committee, help plan a program, or share your expertise with others. If you love socializing with people, there are opportunities to help plan social events and our first Membership Appreciation Day. Would you like to lend your voice to the racial injustices conversation that sparked a national dialogue? We plan to continue our initiative “A Call for Racial Justice” with programs that tackle racism in the world of real estate and one-on-one conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusion to be shared on our YouTube Channel. How about providing career advice to law students and newer attorneys? If this is of interest to you, there will be opportunities to participate in our A Day in the Life Career Path Speaker Series. There are so many ways to make the most of your membership.

My Invitation to You

The Executive Committee meets every first Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Zoom (Meeting Registration - Zoom). You don’t have to get into your car and drive anywhere! You can attend our meetings in the comfort of your place of choice. I invite you to join one of our meetings. Come hear for yourself what we do and why we do it. I believe our dynamic group will spark your desire to become more involved with the Section. I also believe a simple act of inclusion will change the trajectory of your career like it has mine!  I hope you will accept my invitation.

All in,

Teresa Y. Hillery
Chair, Real Property Section

Find Us on Social Media

LinkedIn Instagram Twitter
Coming Events
September 9, 2021, 12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Crocker Commercial Real Estate Symposium

This symposium features three panels comprising prominent California attorneys and industry insiders, who will discuss selected trends and developments in commercial real estate that affect practitioners today and will impact the future of commercial real estate. Earn 3.75 MCLE credits!

Panel 1- Finance: The Post-COVID Financing Market – Why Are We So Busy?
Panel 2 - Leasing: The State of the Commercial Leasing Market: How Landlords and Tenants are Returning to and Repurposing Space
Panel 3 - Development: The Not So Affordable Housing Crisis: Needs, Challenges and Possible Solutions

Click here to register now for the EARLY BIRD price!

CLE Anytime

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 Primer on How Title Companies Underwrite Construction Loans Since the Last Great Recession

Real Estate Applied Bankruptcy Basics and Evolving Developments in a Post-Pandemic Era

Commercial CC&R's and Reciprocal Easement Agreements

2021 Flaig Award & Annual Construction Law Update

Ground Lease Practice: Beyond the Basics

Nuts and Bolts of E-Recording

Members Spotlights

The Real Property Section is excited to feature monthly member spotlights. If you are a member of the Real Property Section and would like to be spotlighted in an upcoming post and newsletter, please contact our Vice Chair of Communications, Vivienne Chen, at

Member Spotlight -Teresa Hillery-540w

Recent Cases
- CC&R’s -

A trial court did not abuse its discretion in determining that the plaintiffs to a suit were the prevailing party under Civil Code §5975(c) where the plaintiffs’ main objective in filing suit was to require a homeowners’ association to comply with recorded covenants, conditions, and restrictions of their planned community and was successful in obtaining that result, even though the plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed their action.

Champir v. Fairbanks Ranch Association - filed June 22, 2021, publication ordered July 15, 2021, Fourth District, Div. One
Cite as 2021 S.O.S. 3089
Full text click here >

- Construction -

The time period during which Business and Professions Code §7031 requires a party to be licensed in order to avoid forfeiture of compensation under a contract is not the period during which the party is engag[ed] in the business or act[ing] in the capacity of a contractor, but rather the period when the contractor is performing under the contract; §7031 does not require forfeiture based on the contractor executing a construction contract while unlicensed. A third party’s agreement to assume a contractor’s duties under a construction contract without a license is akin to the execution of a construction contract without a license and does not trigger §7031 forfeiture; issuing a change order does not trigger §7031 forfeiture either.

Manela v. Stone - filed July 1, 2021, Second District, Div. One
Cite as 2021 S.O.S. 2899
Full text click here >

- Environmental Law -

The Environmental Protection Agency’s 2019 withdrawal of its 2014 proposed determination to exercise its authority under Section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act to restrict the ability of miners to operate in part of the Bristol Bay watershed was unreviewable pursuant to 5 U.S.C. §701(a)(2) of the Administrative Procedure Act’s exception to reviewability, and Heckler v. Chaney, because neither the Clean Water Act nor the EPA’s regulations included a meaningful legal standard governing the EPA’s decision.

Trout Unlimited v. Bristol Bay Economic Development - filed June 17, 2021
Cite as 2021 S.O.S. 20-35504
Full text click here > 

The fair argument test is whether the record contains substantial evidence that a project may have a significant effect on the environment or may exacerbate existing environmental hazards.

Newton Preservation Society v. County of El Dorado - filed June 16, 2021, Third District
Cite as 2021 S.O.S. 2669
Full text click here >

A tribe’s waiver of sovereign immunity from a suit brought by a party to a global settlement agreement does not apply to a suit brought by a non-party; the Clean Water Act did not abrogate the tribe’s sovereign immunity either. The tribe was a required party to a citizen suit in which Deschutes River Alliance alleged a utility was operating the Pelton Round Butte Hydroelectric Project in violation of the Clean Water Act because it has a legally protected interest in the subject of the suit that may be impaired by proceedings conducted in its absence, but that joinder of the tribe is infeasible because of its tribal immunity.

Deschutes River Alliance v. Portland General Electric - filed June 23, 2021
Cite as 2021 S.O.S. 18-35867
Full text click here >

A small refinery that previously received a hardship exemption may obtain an extension under 42 U.S.C. §7545(o)(9)(B)(i) even if it saw a lapse in exemption coverage in a previous year.

HollyFrontier Cheyenne Refining v. Renewable Fuels Association - filed June 25, 2021
Cite as 2021 S.O.S. 20-472
Full text click here >

A defendant’s agreement to toll the statute of limitations for a California Environmental Quality Act claim did not prevent dismissal of the claim as time-barred when a necessary and indispensable party to the CEQA cause of action had not consented to the tolling agreement; a tolling agreement has no effect on other potential parties not in privity. Public Resources Code §5541’s exception is most logically and plainly read to restrain a park district from taking control of locally (city or county) owned, built, or operated parks and recreational facilities and other public property, located within the geographical boundaries of regional park district.

Save Lafayette Trees v. East Bay Regional Park District (Pacific Gas and Electric) - filed June 30, 2021, First District, Div. Three
Cite as 2021 S.O.S. 2846
Full text click here >

The Coastal Commission has concurrent jurisdiction with the California Department of Housing and Community Development over mobile homes located in the coastal zone; homeowners who obtained a development permit from the latter were also required to obtain a permit from the former. The Coastal Commission’s notices of a public hearing concerning the homeowners’ permit applications satisfied Government Code §65956(b)’s public notice requirement; §65956(b) does not require an agency’s public notice to include a statement that the permit at issue will be deemed approved if the agency does not act on it within a specified number of days.

Linovitz Capo Shores v. California Coastal Commission - filed June 25, 2021, Fourth District, Div. Three
Cite as 2021 S.O.S. 2758
Full text click here >

- Federal Energy Regulatory Commission -

Pursuant to Natural Gas Act, 15 U.S.C §717f(h), Federal Energy Regulatory Commission certificate holders can condemn all necessary rights-of-way, whether owned by private parties or states.

PennEast Pipeline v. New Jersey - filed June 29, 2021
Cite as 2021 S.O.S. 19-1039
Full text click here >

- Foreclosure -

A bank who was a first deed of trust lienholder on a property had prudential standing to make the argument that a homeowners association’s nonjudicial foreclosure sale on the property occurred in violation of the automatic stay for the homeowner’s bankruptcy proceeding and was thus void; the foreclosure sale in violation of the automatic bankruptcy was void, and not merely voidable, under Nevada law.

Bank of New York Mellon v. 732 Hardy Way Trust - filed June 25, 2021
Cite as 2021 S.O.S. 19-17048
Full text click here >

- Housing and Economic Recovery Act -

Pursuant to the anti-injunction clause of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act, unless the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s challenged actions did not exceed its powers or functions as a conservator, relief is prohibited. The act’s restrictions on the president’s power to remove the FHFA director is unconstitutional.

Collins v. Yellen - filed June 23, 2021
Cite as 2021 S.O.S. 19-422
Full text click here >

- Partition Action -

In a partition action, a judgment creditor who was deemed the priority lien holder loses that status if it does not renew its judgment.

Starcevic v. Pentech Financial Services (Roski) - filed July 7, 2021, Fourth District, Div. One
Cite as 2021 S.O.S. 2988
Full text click here >

- Quiet Title Action -

In a quiet title action the plaintiff is not entitled to entry of judgment as a matter of course, but must affirmatively prove its case in an evidentiary hearing at which the trial court must hear all the evidence offered concerning title, including evidence that may be presented at the hearing by a defaulting defendant; a defaulting defendant in a quiet title action is not barred from participating in the evidentiary hearing but may appear at said hearing and present evidence relating to title. The mandatory relief provision of Code of Civil Procedure §473 is unambiguous, and it plainly requires that attorney fault be the cause-in-fact of the default (i.e., the failure to respond), and not merely of the ensuing judgment.

Bailey v. Citibank - filed July 6, 2021, Fifth District
Cite as 2021 S.O.S. 2978
Full text click here >

- Receivership -

The dismissal of the county’s complaint for injunctive relief to abate violations of housing and building codes after the appointment of a receiver did not deprive the trial court of jurisdiction to settle the receiver’s final account and discharge the receiver. A county counsel was not required to serve herself with a receiver’s final account and report and petition for discharge that she had filed.

County of Sacramento v. Rawat - filed May 20, 2021, publication ordered June 18, 2021, Third District
Cite as 2021 S.O.S. 2700
Full text click here >

- Unlawful Detainer Action -

A plaintiff waived his argument that he received inadequate notice of the hearing on the defendant’s summary judgment motion where he did not claim to have suffered any prejudice in drafting his response or in preparing for the hearing, and he did not request a continuance, and on appeal, he did not argue he was prejudiced by a notice that was improperly shortened by just one day; the plaintiff also waived his argument because he did not obtain a ruing on the issue. The absence of a certificate of occupancy for an illegally converted garage rendered the lease agreement void and, for that reason, an unlawful detainer action could not be based on the defendant’s failure to comply with its provisions.

Yanez v. Vasquez - filed June 22, 2021, Los Angeles Superior Court
Cite as 2021 S.O.S. 2803
Full text click here >

In a Code of Civil Procedure §1161a unlawful detainer action, the court must determine whether the purchaser duly perfected title, but his is a limited inquiry focusing on how the trustee’s sale is conducted; issues of title outside this narrow scope need not be raised and are not precluded in subsequent lawsuits.

Struiksma v. Ocwen Loan Serving - filed July 14, 2021, Fourth District, Div. Three
Cite as 2021 S.O.S. 3085
Full text click here >


© 2021 Los Angeles County Bar Association Contact LACBA at


You are subscribed to as %%emailaddr%% .

You are receiving this message because you are a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA) or one of its sections, have registered to receive correspondence through LACBA's website, or are a member of the legal profession. If you wish to be excluded from any future correspondence, please see instructions below or mail us at 200 South Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012.

To unsubscribe from this mailing list, click the following url, %%url.unsub%% or copy and paste the following url into your browser %%url.unsub%%


Real Property twitter Real Property on Linkedin Real Property Section homepage Real Property Section Newsletters Real Property facebook Real Property Instagram