dark blue triangle in newsletter heading
Introductory Remarks
Coming Events
CLE Anytime
Recent Cases

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

Teresa Y. Hillery
Vice President and Trial Counsel
Fidelity National Law Group


Real Property Executive Committee:


Caroline Dreyfus

First Vice Chair
Claire Hervey-Collins

Second Vice Chair
Eric Altoon

Misty Sanford

Nedra E. Austin

Immediate Past Chair
Susan J. Booth

Barristers Liaison
Christopher Bordenave

Section Administrator
Fatima Jones



Janna Boelke
James Earle
George Fatheree
Daniel L. Goodkin
Owen P. Gross
Marybeth Heydt
Teresa Y. Hillery
Ben Howell
Laurence L. Hummer
Donna E. Kirkner
Trudi Lesser
Daniel K. Liffmann
Linda E. Spiegel
Kelsey M. Thayer
Loretta Thompson
Seth Weissman



Michael Bayard
Elizabeth Spedding Calciano
Norm Chernin
Brant H. Dveirin
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
Ira Waldman
Pamela Westhoff
Norma Williams


Commercial Development and Leasing
Marcia Gordon

L. Adam Winegard
Jane Hinton
General Real Property
Rachel Sanders
Land Use Planning & Environmental Law
Beth Hummer
Title Co-Chairs
Brendan B. Penney
Vanessa A. Widener



Introductory Remarks


On March 7, 2018, O'Malley Miller, Julia Lewitt, and Melissa Zonne of Allen Matkins presented the Top Ten Real Estate Cases of 2017. The issues discussed ranged from takings, to CEQA and EIR approvals, to lender liability and premises liability. The panel discussed not only how some of these cases broke new ground in California law, but also how the cases clarified nuances in otherwise well-settled areas of real property law.

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

Coming Events

March 27

Compliance 101
Are you confused about understanding and meeting the requirements of Prevailing Wage Compliance and Project Labor Agreements? Not sure how to interpret and apply the new public works regulations? Join us as we dive into each topic and learn what you need to know to help your clients succeed on their projects.

> Click here for more information

April 18

Recent Developments in Real Estate Finance
This iconic annual presentation will include a lively discussion of the most important developments, from both reported cases and new legislation, in real estate finance law during 2017.

> Click here for more information

April 24

The Art of the Archive
Document retention is a critical legal and administrative issue for construction and design firms. The basic question is simple: How long do I keep this paper/email/report/roll of plans, and what is the best method to store it? To answer this question requires knowledge of both the law and best practices in the industry. We’ll examine how to advise your construction client regarding document retention from a practical and legal perspective, and explore workable principles that you can use to help construction and design professionals manage documents with confidence.

> Click here for more information


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 California Environmental Quality Act's exemption for "limited numbers of new, small facilities or structures" is clearly not limited to a single small structure. The exemption applies to the installation of small new equipment on numerous existing small structures in scattered locations. Information about the possibility that a second cell provider might seek to install microcell transmitters if another cell provider received the permission for the installation of transmitters was not sufficient to support a finding that the environment in the project area would suffer significant cumulative impacts. An area's zoning for residential agricultural use is not a designation that the area is "an environmental resource of hazardous or critical concern."

Aptos Residents Association v. County of Santa Cruz (Crown Castle) - filed Feb, 5, 2018, publication ordered Feb. 27, 2018, Sixth District
Cite as 2018 S.O.S. 988
Full text click here >

- Clean Water Act -

Pipes, ditches, and channels that discharge pollutants from non-concentrated aquatic animal production facilities are "point sources" under the Clean Water Act for which a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit must be obtained.

Olympic Forest Coalition v. Coast Seafoods Company - filed March 9, 2018
Cite as 2018 S.O.S. 16-35957
Full text click here >

- Conditional Use -

Substantial evidence supported a county's denial of an application for a conditional use permit to house tigers on a property in a residential area. It is reasonable to conclude that tigers do not belong in a residential area and there is more than ample evidence to support a finding that such animals pose a danger to the public.

Hauser v. Ventura County Board of Supervisors - filed Feb. 20, 2018, Second District, Div. Six
Cite as 2018 S.O.S. 822
Full text click here >

- Eminent Domain -

Code of Civil Procedure Sec. 1260.040 applies only to eminent domain proceedings, not inverse condemnation actions.

Weiss v. People ex rel. Department of Transportation - filed March 1, 2018, Fourth District, Div. Three
Cite as 2018 S.O.S. 1041
Full text click here >

- National Forest Mgmt Act -

The U.S. Forest Service was not required to reevaluate its approval for a proposed vegetation management project to consider a thesis prepared by a graduate student on lynx reproductive success given the Forest Service's determination that the relationship between vegetation composition and lynx reproduction are not well enough understood to direct specific changes in vegetation management. A forest plan's "goals" are not just a wish list that imposes no obligations, however the Gallatin National Forest Plan allows flexibility in the manner and timing of the achievement of its stated goals; a vegetation management project complied with the Gallatin National Forest Plan's obligation to ensure species viability and monitor population trends for two management indicator species; the Forest Service also took a "hard look" at the project, and did not act arbitrarily or capriciously in approving it.

Native Ecosystems Council v. Marten - filed Feb. 22, 2018
Cite as 2018 S.O.S. 16-35571
Full text click here >

- Public Law 99-625 -

Various fishing industry groups had standing to challenge a decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to terminate an experimental sea otter translocation program based on the harms they suffer because of sea otter predation of shellfish. The Fish and Wildlife Service acted lawfully in terminating the translocation program because the decision was based on a reasonable interpretation of Public Law 99-625. Since Public Law 99-625 gave the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service discretion to implement an experimental program, the agency could reasonably interpret the statute to allow it to terminate that program if the statute's purpose was no longer being served.

California Sea Urchin Commission v. Bean - filed March 1, 2018
Cite as 2018 S.O.S. 15-56672
Full text click here >

- Water Resources -

Regulations adopted by the State Water Resources Control Board setting forth a fee formula for permit and license holders impose fees that are proportionate to the benefits derived by the permit and license holders. The board's decision to allocate all of the United States Bureau of Reclamation's annual fee for projects within a project to the water supply contractors was reasonable because the contractors received everything the USBR had to give.

Northern California Water Association v. State Water Resources Control Board - filed March 2, 2018, Third District
Cite as 2018 S.O.S. 1055
Full text click here >

- Yellowstone River Compact -

The State of Wyoming violated the Yellowstone River Compact by reducing the volume of water available in the Tongue River at its border between Montana in 2004 and in 2006.

Montana v. Wyoming - filed Feb. 20, 2018
Cite as 2018 S.O.S. 137orig_new_2cp3
Full text click here >


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