March 21, 2016
The California Supreme Court recently clarified joint and several liability in multi-party contracts, finding jointly and severally liable parties may be sued in separate lawsuits. Read Ken Van Vleck’s article published by the American Bar Association, …
February 6, 2015
Technology workers from Bangalore, software instructors from Arizona and Colorado, truck drivers in San Diego, and cucumber harvesters in Gilroy, California… Cases involving workers as varied as these have helped form a body of wage-and-hour law that …
December 13, 2012
In a case of first impression, the California Supreme Court ruled that, despite the apparent unconscionability of a developer negotiating an agreement “with itself,” the arbitration provision was nevertheless enforceable in Pinnacle Museum Tower Ass’n …
May 1, 2012
When does a lease grant a tenant the perpetual right to renew? The California Court of Appeal recently dealt with that issue in Ginsberg v. Gamson. It is a cautionary tale for those drafting leases, where the misplacement of a few words can lead to uni …
February 1, 2012
The California Mechanic’s Lien Laws have changed yet again in material ways. One of those changes is the new requirement that mechanic’s liens must be served upon the owner, with a statutory notice regarding the impact of mechanic’s liens.
August 17, 2011
In the recent movie, “Love and Other Drugs,” the lead character Jamie (Jake Gyllenhaal) gets a job as a pharmaceuti- cal sales representative (PSR). At a family dinner, Gyllenhaal’s messy, overweight, but very business-savvy brother, played by Josh Gad …
June 1, 2011
What level of proof is required before a real estate broker can be disciplined for his fraudulent conduct in acting as a broker? And what is the process for agent and broker discipline?
April 18, 2011
In the recent movie “Love and Other Drugs,” the rakish, underachieving lead character Jamie (Jake Gyllenhaal), gets a job as a pharmaceutical sales representative (PSR) on his way to a complicated romance with Maggie (Anne Hathaway). At a family dinner …
March 1, 2011
Can a real estate sales person be held liable for the failure to inform potential buyers that the debt on a property exceeds the proposed sales price?
January 1, 2011
With all of the recent rain, hillsides have been moving, houses slipping, and retaining walls failing. Who is liable for the damage?
October 1, 2010
As one residential landlord recently discovered, it can be very costly to violate rent control ordinances, especially when there are unhappy tenants.
August 1, 2010
The Fourth Appellate District Court of Appeal recently held that an arbitration agreement that was recorded as part of the initial CC&Rs in a condominium development was unenforceable. The agreement, recorded before any of the units were sold, was …
June 1, 2010
We have written many times about the impact of a contractor working without a license. But there is a similar law requiring that real estate agents be licensed as well. And while an unlicensed contractor may not collect for any work performed, the rule …
April 1, 2010
We have written several times about the impact of California’s unlicensed contractor disgorgement law – Business and Professions Code section 7031(b). The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal, reviewing a bankruptcy matter, recently held that a judgment for d …
February 1, 2010
When is a deposit to escrow in a residential real property transaction non-refundable? In early February, the Fourth Appellate District Court weighed in on this subject.
January 26, 2010
“Hello, I’m Ronald Reagan speaking for General Electric. At General Electric, you know, ‘progress is our most important product.’ But, all progress must have a starting point.
January 1, 2010
The Sixth Appellate District Court recently held that a home purchaser’s receipt of his deed constitutes “actual notice” of the conditions of title to the property even if the buyer does not read the deed. That actual notice starts the statute of limit …
October 1, 2009
The law regarding unlicensed contractors has undergone significant change recently. This month we report on a recent appellate decision holding that an unlicensed contractor must disgorge all money received for the unlicensed work, without offset for c …
September 24, 2009
All the focus on the speeches and writings of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor before her confirmation got me thinking. What would we see if we scrutinized the speeches and writings of the California Supreme Court’s former Chief Justice, Roger Tra …
September 1, 2009
The law of equitable easements has changed, and the impact may be substantial.
July 1, 2009
A real estate brokers’ license may be suspended or revoked by the Department of Real Estate based upon the broker’s conviction of a crime that is “substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of the business or profession for which …
June 1, 2009
California’s Insurance Commissioner recently identified worker’s compensation fraud as a pervasive problem in the construction industry. But the risks of worker’s compensation fraud have increased substantially, and the practice may be curtailed signif …
May 1, 2009
The court of appeal has held that an arbitration is not an “action” that will support the recording of a lis pendens on title to real property.
March 1, 2009
The California Supreme Court decided a case with far‐reaching implications in the construction industry, holding that a contractor unlicensed for even a small portion of a large job cannot get paid for any part of that job. The decision may have nation …
February 1, 2009
THIS ISSUE: In September 2007, we reported on a court of appeal decision holding that an option purchase agreement in a residential lease was unenforceable because it was too uncertain. Recently, however, the California Supreme Court has reversed that …
January 1, 2009
THIS ISSUE: Commercial property tenant improvements can be costly. In an economic environment where tenants may be financially uncertain, can property owners protect themselves from mechanic’s liens relating to those tenant improvements?
December 1, 2008
THIS ISSUE: Typically, courts do not interpret an easement as an “exclusive use” right in land, since such a use would preclude all others – including the owner of the land – from using it. But one recent case held that the clear language of a granted …
November 1, 2008
THIS ISSUE: The California Court of Appeal recently held that some guarantors may be liable for a loan deficiency judgment after a foreclosure sale on real property, while others may not.1 The decision follows long California precedent, but may be ripe …
October 1, 2008
reach_1008 THIS ISSUE: One person’s ownership of two parcels of land will extinguish easements benefitting either of the parcels through the process of “merger.” But what happens when the parcels are owned by multiple parties?
September 1, 2008
THIS ISSUE: How can parties to a construction contract guard against the inadvertent loss of contractual rights to arbitration in lien enforcement proceedings?
August 1, 2008
THIS ISSUE: When does an option to purchase real property become an enforceable contract of sale? Can an option agreement be unilaterally cancelled?
July 1, 2008
THIS ISSUE: Most residential purchase agreements contain a mandatory mediation agreement. California courts have upheld this provision, and the resulting waiver of the right to recover attorney fees for breach.
May 1, 2008
THIS ISSUE: Often in the sale of real property, money is held back in the transaction to be used to complete certain repairs to the home. If the real estate agent takes charge of organizing the repairs and paying the contractors, does the agent become …
April 1, 2008
THIS ISSUE: The California Court of Appeal has held that the “final payment” owed to a contractor is not a “progress payment,” the improper withholding of which would entitle a contractor to progress payment penalties. How does this impact contractors …
March 1, 2008
THIS ISSUE: Most real estate purchase agreements contain some form of prevailing party attorney fees provision. Understanding how those provisions work, and the pitfalls associated with them can enhance a litigation negotiation position significantly.
February 1, 2008
THIS ISSUE: Home Equity Sales involve a number of statutory require‐ ments. But a recent court decision has potentially eliminated the bond requirement we discussed in the June 2007 R.E.A.C.H. issue.
January 1, 2008
THIS ISSUE: When are valid granted easements unenforceable?
December 1, 2007
THIS ISSUE: Finding and understanding the symptoms of residential construction defects.
November 1, 2007
THIS ISSUE: Defending or terminating Commercial Tenancies in times of changing market conditions.