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, Commercial Underwriting Counsel
Fidelity National Title Group


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
Rosslyn "Beth" Stevens Hummer

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

On behalf of the Real Property Law Sections of the Los Angeles County Bar Association and California Lawyers Association, thank you to our sponsors, panelists, and attendees for supporting our signature event. The return of the Crocker Commercial Real Estate Symposium was a great success! Our outstanding panelists provided engaging discussions on opportunity zone development in Los Angeles, cutting-edge commercial lease issues, and hot topics in real estate financing to 125 attendees from the Greater Los Angeles area, San Diego County, and Orange County. However, earning 3.75 MCLE credits was not the only benefit attendees received. The Symposium ended perfectly with a powerful networking reception at the distinguished Jonathan Club. We appreciate everyone’s contribution and look forward to a bigger event next year!

> Click Here for Pictures

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

Coming Events
November 12, 2019
How Modern Technology Affects Whether Recorded Instruments Impart Constructive Notice

Technology is steadily changing how we do business.  This topical program will discuss California statutory and case law conditioning constructive notice on whether a recorded instrument can be located by a “proper title search.”  We will also explore how the transition by County Recorders from traditional grantor-grantee indices in book form to computer databases may affect how a title search is properly performed.

> Click here for more information

December 3, 2019
The Language of Loans

The LACBA Real Estate Finance Subsection and CRE Finance Council Young Professionals invite you to join them for a networking cocktail hour and a CLE program on the basics of secured real estate lending. This program is targeted to early career lawyers, young real estate professionals, and other young professionals interested in getting involved in real estate finance. After the success of last year’s program, this program is back with more! Wrap up the 2019 year by joining us as we go through the nomenclature of real estate finance with the goal of helping attendees to better understand the specialized language, acronyms and terms used daily in real estate finance transactions.  Questions and participation will be encouraged.

> Click here for more information

February 4, 2020
Common Mistakes Real Estate Attorneys Make...

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


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
- BIA -

Bureau of Indian Affairs does not need to explain its decision not to implement a mitigation measure identified by an environmental impact statement since it had actually followed the command of the mitigation measure. When a wind turbine development is to be built by the same developer in the same general area, but split along a jurisdictional line, it is appropriate to view the phases of development as being part of the same project for purposes of determining if alternative plans were considered.

Protect our Communities v. LaCounte - filed Sept. 23, 2019
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 17-55647
Full text click here >

- CEQA -

The potential loss of close and convenient shopping is not an environmental issue that must be reviewed under the California Environmental Quality Act. Challenges to the scope of an environmental impact report’s analysis of a topic, the methodology used for studying an impact, and the reliability or accuracy of the data upon which the EIR relied, present questions of fact; when an agency is faced with conflicting evidence on an issue, it is permitted to give more weight to some of the evidence and to favor the opinions of some experts over others. A decision to approve a project despite its significant environmental effects is a policy decision; the reasons for the agency’s decision must be supported by substantial evidence, but no authority requires that a statement of overriding considerations must describe in detail the weight accorded to the various aspects of the agency’s balancing of competing public objectives.

Chico Advocates for a Responsible Economy v. City of Chico - filed Sept. 5, 2019, publication ordered Oct. 3, 2019, Third District
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 2966
Full text click here >

- Leases -

The clear and unambiguous meaning of 30 U.S.C. §1005(a) permits production-based 40-year continuations on geothermal leases at the end of the primary term only on a lease-by-lease basis, not on a unit-wide basis.

Pit River Tribe v. Bureau of Land Management - filed Sept. 19, 2019
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 17-15616
Full text click here >

- Set Backs -

The California Coastal Commission did not abuse its discretion by imposing a special condition on a development that required a home to be set back a certain distance from the edge of a bluff to account for potential landslide conditions, erosion and other factors that might affect stability; a requirement that a homeowner waive the right to build a seawall was not an unconstitutional government taking; a condition requiring removal of the home from the parcel if any government agency orders that it not be occupied due to a natural hazard was overbroad and unreasonable since it would still require removal if the danger could be remedied or were only temporary in nature.

Lindstrom v. California Coastal Commission - filed Sept. 19, 2019, Fourth District, Div. One
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 2679
Full text click here >

- Tax -

Tax on wholesale liquid fuel storage facility is a real property tax and is impermissible unless it comes under one of the exceptions set forth in Article XIII D of the state Constitution. Guidelines which amend a voter-approved measure are invalid.

Tesoro Logistic Operations, LLC v. City of Rialto - filed Oct. 2, 2019, Fourth District, Div. Two
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 2939
Full text click here >

- Waste -

A parent corporation has direct liability for the remediation of a subsidiary’s hazardous waste if it participated in activities specifically related to pollution; it need not have eccentric control over either compliance with regulations for hazardous waste or its disposal if the parent was in control over the activity resulting in pollution.

Atlantic Richfield v. Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board - filed Sept. 13, 2019, publication ordered Oct. 15, 2019, Third District
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 3152
Full text click here >


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