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Introductory Remarks
CLE Anytime
Coming Events
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
Nedra Austin
Rosetta Broomfield
Norman A. Chernin
Sadara DeVonne
Caroline Dreyfus
Brant H. Dveirin
Kimia Ghalambor
Jane L. Hinton
Laurence L. Hummer
Trudi J. Lesser
Linda E. Spiegel
Ira J. Waldman

Law School Liaison
Daniel Liffmann

Barrister’s Liaison (non-voting)
Niloofar Henzaki

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,
Michael Davis
Joe Dzida

Land Use Planning and Environmental Law, Subsection Chair
Julie Hamill

Real Estate Finance Subsection,

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

Thankful For Our Members
The Real Property Section is extra grateful for each and every one of its members, especially for your continuous support in the past two years. We continue to look for ways to best serve you and provide helpful and quality resources in all aspects of real estate law. This newsletter is monthly but we post instant information about our upcoming programs and events throughout the month on our LinkedIn group (here). Request to become a member of our LinkedIn group if you haven't already.

Our Open Invitation
Want to learn more about our section and see how you can get involved? We invite you to join one of our Executive Committee meetings and hear for yourself what we do and why we do it. The Executive Committee meets every first Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Zoom (Meeting Registration – Zoom). Feel free to stop by and meet our dynamic group in our next meeting on December 1, 2021.

*Correction: The Introductory Remarks in our October newsletter said this year's Crocker Commercial Real Estate Symposium had over 300 attendees. In fact, we had over 300 registrants this year.

Vivienne Chen
Editor, Real Property Section Newsletter
E-mail address:


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Coming Events
December 7, 2021, 12:30 p.m.- 1:30 p.m.
Top Ten Cases in Real Estate for 2021

This program will cover important cases, decided by California courts and the U.S. Supreme Court in 2021, that will impact the practice of real estate law in California. The program is designed to give a quick overview of important developments in the law that all real estate lawyers in California should know about.

Sonia Edwards, Garrett & Tully
Motunrayo (M.D.) Akinmurele, Garrett & Tully
Melissa Zonne, Allen Matkins

Click here to register

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

Recent Cases
- Constructive Trust -

A trial court’s sua sponte post-trial amendment of a cause of action for constructive trust to state a cause of action for breach of fiduciary duty contravened basic tenets of law and motion practice and violated the defendant’s due process rights where a reasonable person would not have interpreted the complaint as alleging a breach of fiduciary duty. If a grantor makes a deed, intending to divest herself completely but delivers it to the grantee with the understanding that it is not to take effect until the grantee performs some condition, the complete divestment is inconsistent with the annexed condition, and the grantee takes absolutely, free from the condition. Where a proceeding has been assigned for hearing and determination to one department of the superior court by the presiding judge and the proceeding has not been finally disposed of, it is beyond the jurisdictional authority of another department of the same court to interfere with the exercise of the power of the department to which the proceeding has been so assigned.

McMillin v. Eare - filed Sept. 30, 2021, publication ordered Oct. 25, 2021, Second District, Div. Eight
Cite as 2021 S.O.S. 5927
Full text click here >

- Environmental Law -

The designation in a notice of determination identifying specific parties as undertaking a project does not supplant the equitable balancing test in y Code of Civil Procedure §389(b) and create a presumption of indispensability. Nothing in Public Resources Code § 21167.6.5(a) states an action against a lead agency must be dismissed for failure to properly name and serve necessary third parties. No provision of the California Environmental Quality Act or guidelines require lead agencies to describe their baseline or environmental impact report analyses in a notice of determination.

Save Berkeley’s Neighborhoods v. Regents of the University of California (Collegiate Housing Foundation) - filed Oct. 21, 2021, First District, Div. One
Cite as 2021 S.O.S. 5897
Full text click here >

Substantial evidence supported a public agency’s determination that a project fell within the infill exemption to the California Environmental Quality Act where multiple documents confirmed the project site was less than five acres; substantial evidence also supported a conclusion the project was not unusual in relation to other infill developments which would qualify for the exemption; where the claimed exception is the unusual circumstances exception, a court does not reach the question of whether there is a fair argument of a reasonable possibility of a significant environmental effect unless there is an adequate showing of an unusual circumstance.

Protect Tustin Ranch v. City of Tustin (Costco Wholesale) - filed Sept. 28, 2021, publication ordered Oct. 26, 2021, Fourth District, Div. Three
Cite as 2021 S.O.S. 5942
Full text click here >

Public Resources Code §21168.9 does not authorize a trial court to split a project’s environmental review across two types of environmental review documents; an agency must prepare a full environmental impact report when substantial evidence supports a fair argument that any aspect of the project may have a significant effect on the environment; §21168.9 was enacted to provide a trial court with flexibility in fashioning remedies to ensure compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act, but it does not authorize a trial court to circumvent the mandatory provisions thereof.

Farmland Protection Alliance v. County of Yolo (Field & Pond) - filed Nov. 3, 2021, Third District
Cite as 2021 S.O.S. 6086
Full text click here >

Nonprofit organizations with a mission to protect water quality and aquatic resources of Orange and Riverside Counties had standing to pursue claims that a company was illegally discharging pollutants into navigable waters and that the company was failing to monitor its discharges. A Clean Water Act citizen suit can be premised on ongoing or reasonably expected monitoring or reporting violations; the CWA bars citizen suits alleging only “wholly past” violations of permits.

Inland Empire Waterkeeper v. Corona Clay - filed Nov. 5, 2021
Cite as 2021 S.O.S. 20-55420
Full text click here >

- Fair Housing Act -

For a plaintiff to make out a prima facie case of disparate impact under the Fair Housing Act, the plaintiff must show the existence of a policy, not a one-time decision, that is outwardly neutral; a significant, adverse, and disproportionate effect on a protected class; and disproportionate effect on a protected class; and robust causality that shows, beyond mere evidence of a statistical disparity, that the challenged policy, and not some other factor or policy, caused the disproportionate effect. Absent evidence of intentional discrimination or equally effective and less discriminatory alternatives, the existence of a statistical disparity in a policy’s effect on persons with certain protected characteristics, as compared to the wider population, does not authorize courts to invalidate policies that a defendant is able to show serve legitimate governmental or business interests in a significant way.

Southwest Fair Housing Council v. Maricopa Domestic Water Improvement District - filed Nov. 12, 2021
Cite as 2021 S.O.S. 20-15506
Full text click here >


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