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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, 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

Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

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

Coming Events

November 30

The Emergence of Cannabis in California Real Estate

The legalization and regulation of cannabis in California has led to dramatic growth in the commercial production, distribution and retail sale of cannabis, as well as ancillary goods/service providers. It has also created many questions and uncertainties for professionals advising these businesses. This comprehensive program on California cannabis law will introduce you to the most relevant issues, including a contextual overview of legislative and industry trends, the contrast between federal, State and local law, ethical considerations for practitioners, and major issues faced by landlords and lenders seeking to serve the cannabis industry. Do not miss out on this rapidly emerging opportunity – register today! 

> Click here for more information


December 4

The Impact of California’s New Rules of Professional Conduct

Effective November 1, 2018, California jettisoned the familiar old Rules of Professional Conduct and adopted new rules, many of which are based on the ABA Model Rules. How do major changes in language affect the substance of what California lawyers must NOW do to fulfill ethical obligations?  Attend this program to start your journey to find out with the help of our expert panel. This program will give examples that focus on the varied practices of real estate attorneys.

> 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 -

An administrative guideline providing for an addendum process for projects with a previously certified environmental impact report comports with the California Environmental Quality Act. New findings under Public Resources Code Sec. 21081 are not required in connection with the approval of an addendum to an EIR.

Save Our Heritage Organisation v. City of San Diego (The Plaza de Panama Committee) - filed Oct. 24, 2018, Fourth District, Div. One
Cite as 2018 S.O.S. 5155
Full text click here >

- Homeowners Bill of Rights -

The repeal of Civil Code §2923.55 and portions of §2923.6 did not moot a homeowner’s claim for alleged violations of the Homeowners' Bill of Rights. Contacts between a lender or its agent and a borrower that are not initiated by the lender still satisfy the requirements of former §2923.55(b)(2). An appellate court may not consider a new theory raised by a plaintiff in opposition to summary judgment, or on appeal from the granting of summary judgment, where that theory is not supported by the pleadings.

Schmidt v. Citibank, N.A. - filed Nov. 7, 2018, Fourth District, Div. One
Cite as 2018 S.O.S. 5331
Full text click here >

- Lien Priority -

An assessment lien does not relate back to the date of execution for a contract providing for the assessment lien if and when an assessment lien for a specified amount was recorded against the property. A contractual provision expressly granting an assignment lien priority over all other liens and claims modified the otherwise-applicable "first in time, first in priority" rule of lien priorities.

Bear Creek Master Association v. Southern California Investors, Inc. - filed Oct. 19, 2018, publication ordered Oct. 31, 2018, Fourth District, Div. Two
Cite as 2018 S.O.S. 5235
Full text click here >

- Mineral Rights -

The Montana Supreme Court has generally adopted the test in Heinatz v. Allen for determining whether a particular substance was a mineral in the context of deeds and agreements regarding mineral rights to land. Under this test, dinosaur fossils found on a property were "minerals" and they therefore belonged to the owners of the mineral estate.

Murray v. BEJ Minerals, LLC - filed Nov. 6, 2018
Cite as 2018 S.O.S. 16-35506
Full text click here >

- NEPA -

A site-specific project must comply with the standards set forth in the governing forest plan, and a project's deviation from a standard requires amendment to the forest plan. The elimination of a standard without explanation constitutes a clear violation of the National Forest Management Act. The forest management plan for the Payette Forest does not permit the Forest Service to abandon desired conditions in favor of different conditions entirely, without consideration of effects in the long term. The Forest Service acted arbitrarily in adopting a new definition of "old forest habitat" for a project area instead of using the Forest Plan definition. The Forest Service did not act arbitrarily in selecting a minimum road system for a project since it fully explained its decision and considered each of the factors listed under 36 C.F.R. Sec. 212.5. The Forest Service's adoption of Wildlife Conservation Strategy standards in lieu of the Payette Forest Plan's standards does not, in and of itself, constitute improper tiering under National Environmental Policy Act.

Alliance for the Wild Rockies v. U.S. Forest Service - filed Oct. 26, 2018
Cite as 2018 S.O.S. 16-35829
Full text click here >

- Water Quality -

Although the state water board has discretion to determine how much time is reasonable for implementation for a pollution control plan, as well as appropriate milestones, a modification to a waiver of discharge requirements that requires only vague and indefinite improvement does not provide a "high likelihood" that water quality requirements will be attained, such a revision was therefore improper.

Monterey Coastkeeper v. State Water Resources Control Board - filed Sept. 18, 2018, publication ordered Oct. 17, 2018, Third District
Cite as 2018 S.O.S. 5044
Full text click here >


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