Incoming Co-Chair Neil Kalin
Congrats on being elected as next year’s co-chair for our real property section…can you explain why you ran as a co-chair?
Yeah. Nobody, including me, wanted to chair the Section alone. Now that has nothing to do with being committed to the Real Property Section. I think it is more a function of coping with the uncertainty surrounding CLA’s move next year to Sacramento. I, for one, anticipate that the potential disruption can distract from the business of efficiently coordinating our section’s activities. Having a co-chair share the responsibilities should enable us to devote needed attention to both the Section and to any extra necessary CLA needs. Oh, and also, I have enjoyed my time on the Executive Committee and think I can pay back some of what I have received by stepping up my level of involvement.
What plans do you have for our section this year?
Most importantly, continuing the momentum of the Section holding numerous educational opportunities of all kinds in all areas of the State. Secondarily, I want to try and get a better understanding, and transparency, of the finances for the Section and the CLA.
What do you think we can do to improve what our group does for real estate attorneys across California?
Inspire Executive Committee members and other RPLS members to become and remain engaged in Section activities.
Tell me about your work with C.A.R. (California Association of Realtors)…Where is your office?
Just outside of downtown L.A., in the mid-Wilshire district, sometimes referred to as Koreatown.
What are your primary duties at C.A.R.?
Give legal advice to the Standard Forms Committee, and help draft C.A.R. standard forms; Write amicus briefs; Make public presentations on recent developments in (mostly) residential real estate to local real estate associations, real estate firms, bar associations and others; Teach continuing education courses for real estate licensees and; Oversee the legal section of the company website to name a few things.
How long have you been with C.A.R.
I have been with C.A.R. for 31 years.
Where were you before C.A.R.? And how long?
Before C.A.R. I worked for two small law firms.
How can someone get a job working with C.A.R.?
There are two divisions to C.A.R.’s legal department. I work with Member Legal Services which provides counsel (including through a legal hotline) to individual member mostly on transactional issues. All attorneys with Member Legal Services start on the legal hotline. There is also a corporate legal division which advises C.A.R.’s for-profit subsidiaries, C.A.R. itself, including the many issues that come with running a trade association, coordinating Professional Standards hearings and training, and this division also advises local Associations and Multiple Listing Services. If there’s an opening for a lawyer, which there is not right now, one would send a resume to Human Resources department.
What is your specialty?
Understanding and explaining how real estate transactions work.
What’s your favorite thing about your job at C.A.R.?
Working with so many smart, enjoyable, people who can provide company and intellectual stimulation.
What is your favorite area of real property law?
No one area stands out. However, translating legal concepts into workable language that REALTORS® and their clients can understand and that minimizes the ability of lawyers to argue over gives me satisfaction.
Are there any parts of your expertise you are trying to grow.
I want to further my existing knowledge of commercial transactions.
A I’ve heard you speak at several CLE’s speaking about the RPA developed by C.A.R….is that part of your job, deciding and developing the C.A.R. forms?
Yes, a big part of my job is not only working with a committee to develop forms but explaining to real estate licensees and the legal community how and why forms are developed. Real estate forms lead to transactions and transactions are the lifeblood of every REALTOR® so this aspect of my job affects all C.A.R. members.
What been the most exciting part about working on C.A.R. forms?
Working on changes to the residential purchase agreement because that form is so essential to the livelihood of C.A.R. members.
What’s the most challenging part of working on the C.A.R. forms?
There are many constituencies; brokers, salespersons, lawyers, affiliates such as escrow and title companies, risk managers, reputation and business interests of C.A.R. itself, different practices in different parts of a vast and diverse State, and of course, principals in the transactions. Assembling something that satisfies the different interests can present challenges.
Tell me about your favorite case or legal controversy of all time and what happened that made it so interesting.
Of the cases I have been involved with, two come to mind. I wrote a brief in case addressing the issue of whether a real estate broker had a continuing duty to inform a holder of an unrecorded deed of trust that it should be recorded. In that case, the broker did so before the owner made an attempt to sell the property, but the unprotected lender ignored the advice. That sale failed so the unprotected lender was not harmed. The owner then successfully sold the property to a different buyer, still unencumbered by the lien. In my brief arguing that the broker satisfied its duty by giving notice before the first sale, I tried to make the point that it should not matter if the security was lost because of a sale to buyer number 1 or buyer number 2 – the unprotected lien holder was on notice of the danger. I made a reference to the Three Stooges. It should not matter to the person hit in the face by a pie if it were thrown by Moe, Larry or Curly, the risk was there all along regardless of the throw -er. In another case, involving the enforceability of the mediation first requirement affecting the attorney fees clause in the C.A.R. purchase agreement, I cited to Horton Hatches the Egg from Dr. Seuss, paraphrasing the sentence fragment, I meant what I said and I said what I meant …” The second case went C.A.R.’s way, not the first.
Tell me about your experiences on the C.A.R. legal hotline. Do you actually pick up the phones yourself?
I am very busy with my responsibilities at C.A.R. but still from time to time answer the legal hotline. Less than I would like though.Sometimes only a few hours a week or two.
What are typical questions you will get on the C.A.R. legal hotline?
The most common question is a variation of the same theme for many years; Do I have to disclose …? Of course, the response is almost always, if you or the seller do not want to disclose because the information will likely affect the price the buyer would offer, then the answer is, “Yes.”
What are some of the common misunderstandings C.A.R. members have?
C.A.R. members who call the legal hotline are often surprised to hear that as attorneys we must abide by conflict of interest rules. If another member already called on the same transaction, we would have to refer the caller to a Referral Attorney list that C.A.R. maintains. I invite any of you real property law practitioners that would like to be added to that list, to contact me.
Tell me about your time as an arbitrator and judge pro tem. What kinds of cases have you received?
Maybe surprisingly to those reading this interview, almost all my arbitration cases involve commercial transactions. Because of my employment with C.A.R., I may be more knowledgeable about a residential transaction, and licensee activity, than most but, possibly ironically, because of that same employment, there is almost always an actual or perceived conflict of interest preventing me from serving as an arbitrator on residential cases.
Are there any arbitratrations were particularly satisfying to complete or resolve?
No one arbitration stands out but when I was a judge pro tem, which I have not been for many years, I remember one case where I tried to do the “right” thing to achieve some equity for the parties. That case came back to bite me as it resulted in an appeal and complaint to the presiding judge.
Does that type of work make you appreciate attorney civility?
Attorneys have always been civil when appearing before me as an arbitrator. What I have gained an appreciation for is the ability to question witnesses in a direct manner to elicit relevant testimony rather than taking three hours to accomplish what should have been done in one, at most. If my experience is anything like what judges have to put up with in court day after day, I don’t know how they do it.
Illinois or UCLA, which is better?
I attended University of Illinois as an undergrad and UCLA for law school. Is one better? Not sure. U of I is a great college in a sort of sheltered environment in a real college town. Nice place to go for a first time really being away from home. UCLA is just one attraction in the great, big city of Los Angeles. Same big school environment but a whole lot more to do. I think I got the best of both. Not yet ready for total independence or the big city during my undergrad years, but more open, and ready for that experience as a graduate student. I do have to say, though, I am a lifetime alumni member of UCLA but not U of I.
What do you do to help balance your life with work?
I’ll go to movies, exercise a little, watch tv. Used to ski and play tennis but a back injury put an end to that.
What CLE’s would you like to see in the future?
There have been some good landlord-tenant courses offered this year, but I have not been able to attend. As California moves toward a tenant-majority state, I think more of that kind of programming will be needed.
Having the real property retreat, is that a good idea?
I am on the fence about the Retreat. As far as the quality goes, I have never been disappointed, and the last few years it has been better than ever. Whether the Retreat gives RPLS members the best “bang for their buck” is an open question in my mind.
What was your favorite CLE in the 2018 retreat?
I will name two. The plenary session on technology in real estate was both informative and entertaining. And, the session on in-house counsel (much more traditional than my role at C.A.R.) had panelists with great stories to tell.
What was your overall impression of the retreat?
The 2018 Retreat was both impressive in both its scope and quality. In some years, I wondered which presentation I would attend on a given day. This year, I had difficulty figuring out which presentation I wanted to attend on a given time-period. There was almost never a time slot where I did not have to make a hard choice about which program to see.
Have you ever given or attended a webinar?
I give webinars all the time. For C.A.R. I am responsible for giving or coordinating a webinar every month. When I don’t speak, I often moderate. It is so important to maintain enthusiasm throughout the presentation. Not only does that engage the audience but it keeps the speaker alert as well. When I can, I like to poll the audience on their thoughts about an issue. It provides a nice break in the presentation and lets the audience know their opinions are important. The key is to be flexible enough to incorporate the feedback into the presentation without simply resorting to prepared remarks.
Incoming Co-Chair Tom Lombardi
Lombardi & Donohue, LLP
I APPRECIATE THIS ORGANIZATION AND THE PEOPLE WHO VOLUNTEER THEIR VALUABLE TIME IN SO MANY DIFFERENT AND POSITIVE WAYS TO IT. I GET A GREAT DEAL OF SATISFACTION FROM BEING AROUND AND LEADING THE PHENOMENAL PEOPLE THAT CONTRIBUTE TO THE SUCCESS OF THE REAL PROPERTY SECTION. I WANT TO FACILITATE ALL OUR VOLUNTEERS EFFORTS TO REACH OUR GOALS AND EXCEED THEM.
WE WANT TO CONTINUE TO EXPAND OUR EDUCATIONAL AND NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES FOR OUR MEMBERSHIP, BRINGING IN NEW MEMBERS ALONG THE WAY, WITH AN EMPHASIS ON ENSURING DIVERSITY AND OPPORTUNITY FOR PARTICIPATION.
WE WANT TO FOLLOW UP ON OUR PRIOR SUCCESSES, SUCH AS OUR ANNUAL REAL PROPERTY SYMPOSIUM, AND REGIONAL SYMPOSIUMS ON VARIOUS REAL ESTATE TOPICS, AS WELL AS INCREASING THE NUMBER AND QUALITY OF MCLE AND NETWORKING EVENTS.OF COURSE, WE ALREADY HAVE A VERY IMPRESSIVE LIBRARY OF MCLE’S ANY MEMBER CAN ACCESS. WE ALSO HAVE THE REAL PROPERTY JOURNAL. TO THE POINT, I ALSO WANT TO IMPROVE OUR MARKETING AND PROMOTIONAL EFFORTS TO EDUCATE ALL OUR MEMBERS AS WELL AS POTENTIAL MEMBERS ON THE AMAZING MCLE AND NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES WE HAVE SO THEY CAN PARTICIPATE!
Tell me about what you/your firm does.
WE ARE A DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES BOUTIQUE BUSINESS LITIGATION FIRM WHICH HAS BEEN IN BUSINESS SINCE 2000 SPECIALIZING IN REAL ESTATE LITIGATION.
Who’s your favorite attorney in your firm? Just kidding, what do you like about your firm’s size and the people who work there?
BEING IN A SMALL BOUTIQUE CREATES A TEAM ENVIRONMENT WHERE EVERYONE HAS A SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT OF RESPONSIBILITY. OUR TEAM IS COMPRISED OF PEOPLE WHO DO SUPERIOR WORK, ENJOY THE COMRADERY AND BRING A POSITIVE ATTITUDE TO THE OFFICE, MAKING IT A GREAT ENVIRONMENT FOR ALL LAWYERS AND STAFF.
What is your favorite area of real property law?
I CANNOT NARROW IT DOWN TO ONE AND THAT IS WHAT I ENJOY ABOUT MY PRACTICE. I HAVE LITIGATED PURCHASE AND SALE, COMMERCIAL LEASING, FINANCE, CONSTRUCTION AND JUST ABOUT ANY OTHER TYPE OF SUIT THAT COMMERCIAL REAL PROPERTY OWNERS AND OPERATORS EXPERIENCE.
Are there any parts of your business you are trying to grow?
WE BELIEVE IN STABLE ORGANIC BUSINESS GROWTH AND I STRIVE TO CONTINUE TO GROW MY PRACTICE IN THE FIELD I AM ALREADY ESTABLISHED, WHICH IS PRIMARILY REPRESENTING REAL ESTATE OWNERS AND OPERATORS, FROM REITS TO FAMILY OWNED COMPANIES.
Tell me about your favorite case of all time and what happened that made it so interesting.
I HAD A CASE I TRIED BEFORE A JURY IN MALIBU FOR A WEEK. THE CASE ITSELF WAS NOT SO INTERESTING, BUT THE LOCATION WAS DEFINITELY A NOVELTY! COME TO THINK OF IT, I TRIED ANOTHER JURY IN AN ANNEX COURT IN SAN PEDRO THAT WAS A REAL NOVELTY. IT WAS AN OLD BUILDING BUILT IN THE 20’s THAT USED TO SERVE AS A JAIL AND COURT AND WAS RIGHT ON THE MAIN ENTRANCE TO SAN PEDRO HARBOR.PERRY MASON COURT SCENES WERE ACTUALLY FILMED THERE. MY COURTROOM WAS LIKE A TIME WARP THE WINDOWS HAD TO BE OPENED AS THERE WAS NO AIR CONDITIONING AND WE HAD TO STOP AS SHIPS WENT BY DUE TO ENGINE NOISE AND BLARING HORNS. THAT CASE WAS ACTUALLY VERY IMPORTANT TO ME BECAUSE I REPRESENTED A SMALL FAMILY OWNED BUSINESS IN A REAL ESTATE DISPUTE THAT WOULD BE BANKRUPTED IF THE TRIAL WAS LOST.WE WON TRIAL AND APPEALS THAT FOLLOWED. IT GAVE ME GREAT SATISFACTION TO KNOW I MADE A SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCE IN MY CLIENTS’ LIVES.
What were the challenges in the beachfront apartment building collapse case referenced on your website?
THAT WAS A UNIQUE CASE. ADJACENT EXCAVATION DONE IMPROPERLY CAUSED THE COLLAPSE.TURNS OUT THE EXCAVATORS HIT THE FOUNDATION OF AN ABANDONED AND CAPPED OIL WELL, DEMOLISHED IT AND HAULED IT OFF WITHOUT ADEQUATE SUBAJECENT SUPPORT! WHO WOULD HAVE THUNK OIL WELLS ON THE BEACH, BUT WHERE THIS WAS THERE USED TO BE HUNDREDS!
Whittier or UCSB, which is better? UCSB Why? BEACH
I MAKE SURE TO TAKE BREAKS TO PARTICIPATE IN MY KIDS SPORTING EVENTS AND TAKE TIME FOR MY FAMILY. I ALSO MAINTAIN A SATELLITE OFFICE NEAR MY HOME WHICH MAKES ME MUCH MORE EFFICIENT RATHER THAN SPENDING MORE TIME COMMUTING TO WORK AT PEAK TRAFFIC HOURS.
What areas of real estate law interest you the most?
I ENJOY ALL AREAS THAT AFFECT COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE OWNERS AND OPERATORS.
What CLE’s would you like to see in the future?
I WOULD LOVE TO SEE CLE’S FOCUSED ON THE LOS ANGELES REAL ESTATE SCENE…COINCIDENTALLY THE RPLS IS PUTTING ON A COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE SYMPOSIUM ON OCTOBER 4 AT THE JONATHAN CLUB IN DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES. I HEAR IT WILL BE FEATURING PANELS ON CREATIVE LEASING, REDEVELOPMENT IN THE ARTS DISTRICT / LA RIVER AREA AND REAL ESTATE FINANCE TRENDS AND DEVELOPMENTS.
Having the real property retreat, is that a good idea?
MOST CERTAINLY IS AND I ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO EXPERIENCE IT FIRSTHAND! IT IS A TERRIFIC OPPORTUNITY TO EARN MCLES AND MEET FELLOW REAL ESTATE PRACTITIONERS. WE ALSO WELCOME ALL ATTENDEES TO MEET THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE AND VOLUNTEERS OF THE RPLS. WE ARE ALWAYS LOOKING FOR PEOPLE WHO WANT TO GET INVOLVED!
THE 8TH FINANCIAL EXECUTIVE’S ROUNDTABLE. DYNAMIC SPEAKERS, INDUSTRY EXPERTS, INFORMATIVE AND LOTS OF BANTER BETWEEN THEM. THIS ANNUAL PRESENTATION HAS BECOME ONE NOT TO MISS.
I ENJOYED IT TREMENDOUSLY. I THOUGHT SAN FRANCISCO WAS A GOOD VENUE BECAUSE IT PROVIDED SUCH GOOD ACCESS TO THE EVENT BEING SITUATED IN THE CITY. THE PROGRAMMING WAS PHENOMENAL, INCLUDING SOME PLENARY SESSIONS FEATURING “BALANCING THE SCALES” DOCUMENTARY AND “REAL ESTATE REIMAGINED- WHEN TECH AND REAL ESTATE MEET”. THE FEEDBACK WAS TREMENDOUS ON BOTH THOSE PRESENTATIONS.
I HAVE ONLY GIVEN A LIVE-CAST. I WILL BE DOING WEBINAR SOON AND LOOKING FORWARD TO LEARNING HOW TO DO IT. I AM TOLD IT IS VERY EASY, SO I ENCOURAGE ANYONE WHO HAS AN INTEREST TO CONTACT US AND WE CAN HELP YOU MAKE IT A REALITY! I HAVE ATTENDED PLENTY.
By John (J.R.) Richards
“Balancing the Scales” Documentary Presentation Speakers filmmaker Sharon Rowen and California Supreme Court Justice Therese Stewart
Real Property Law Section Co-Chair Gary Laturno
Real Property Law Section Executive Committee Members Ashley Peterson, Dianne Jackson McLean and Giselle Rooparvar
Event sponsor Susan Boch, former Real Property Section Executive Committee Chair Gillian Van Muyden, and Real Property Journal Interim Editor-in-Chief and Managing Editor Christina Sansone
Speaker Lynn Dover of Kimball, Tirey & St. John speaking about ADA/504/Fair Housing Act
Speaker Daisy Nishigaya, Deputy District Attorney in Santa Clara County speaking about “Stress and the Practice of Law”
Frequent speaker about easements, David Roth and Celine Simon
“Demolition in Progress” A panel discussion on Breaking Through Barriers to Advancement in Commercial Real Estate Law: Candace Neal (Wendel Rosen Black and Dean, LLP), Wakako Uritani (Lorber, Greenfield, & Polito, LLP), Elizabeth Pappy (Burke, Williams & Sorenson, LLP), Maria Bernstein (Foley & Lardner, LLP), and Moderator Elaine Andersson (Lubin, Olson & Niewiadomski, LLP).
Erin Bernstein, Supervising Deputy City Attorney for the City of Oakland speaking about Resolving Housing Code Violations.
Attendee, Real Property Law Section Co-Chair Gary Laturno and filmmaker/speaker Sharon Rowen “Balancing the Scales”
Moderator Jethro Busch with Steven Adair McDonald & Partners, PC
Real Property Law Section Executive Committee members Ashley Peterson and Giselle Roohparvar
John (J.R.) Richards of Richards Law with Michael Notaro
Frequent speaker Larry Volintine
Speakers Seagrumn Gilbert (Law offices of Seagrumn Gilbert) and Laura Drossman (Drossman Law) speaking about hidden tricks in today’s commercial lease forms.
Megan Cesare-Eastman (Conrad & Metlitsky, LLP) speaking about Resolving Housing Code Violations.
Jason Klawitter and incoming Real Property Law Section Co-Chair Neil Kalin
Attorney/Mediator Scott Goering
Sponsor Stonecrest Financial
Speaker Liz Hart, Executive Managing Director of Newmark, Cornish & Carey and Moderator Tony Natsis of Allen Matkins, “Real Estate Re-imagined: When Tech and Real Estate Meet”
Victoria Weatherford (Deputy City Attorney for the City and County of San Francisco) speaking about Resolving Housing Code Violations.
Real Property Law Section Executive Committee Members Elizabeth Blair and Giselle Roohparvar
By Richard G. Kolostian, Jr.
Deputy City Attorney, City of Los Angeles
“Cable Cars, Real Estate, and Jello Wrestling: A first-time Attendee’s Impressions of the Real Property Section Retreat”
I have practiced law for nearly 25 years, but never in the real estate field. I recently attended my first Real Property Section retreat at the Hyatt Regency Embarcadero in San Francisco, on April 19-22. I joined the Real Property section last year in order to learn more about real estate. People close to me may have to rely on my assistance to help with their property in the near future, and I would like to be as ready as I can be if that scenario becomes reality.
While excited about attending the retreat, I was somewhat apprehensive about going, since I don’t practice real property law for a living. I wasn’t sure if I would comprehend even a small portion of the information taught in the MCLE classes. Moreover, I felt defensive, that as a first-timer without knowledge of the field, participants would be dismissive or hostile towards me.
The exact opposite happened.
I felt very welcome, not just by section leadership, but also by participants and speakers. Everywhere I went, people easily engaged in pleasant conversation, helpful dialogue, and offered useful information.The reception for first-time attendees made me feel especially comfortable. About 10-15 of us gathered informally in a small meeting room, and were welcomed warmly to the section and the retreat.The session was led by section co-chair Gary Laturno, who made us all feel at ease. I made contacts at the reception that I spent time with later in the retreat, in addition to those that I made throughout the retreat. It was a very easy and encouraging session, during which most, if not all, of our questions were answered.
By the end of the retreat, I had earned more than half of my total MCLE requirements. The sessions were interesting and informative. Contrary to my earlier fear, I had little or no difficulty understanding the subjects being taught.Many speakers would explain the basics of a subject briefly, before going on to new developments.Like many MCLE seminars, there were times when two courses of interest to me were taught at the same time. Hopefully, those sessions will be available on demand in the near future.
This year’s location in San Francisco was very convenient, which was a significant reason for my ability to attend. I flew into San Francisco International Airport, took BART to Embarcadero Station, got out, and crossed one street to the hotel. Since everything at the retreat—lodging, classes, receptions, food—was self-contained; it was very convenient to participate the entire weekend. Though I didn’t enjoy any of the nighttime excursions offered by the section, I did enjoy the Ferry Building and Fisherman’s Wharf. They were convenient located to the retreat hotel, either by walking or transit.I also took the cable car up and down Market Street, just outside the hotel. The pleasant weather and unique scenery made the trip highly enjoyable.
The highlight (or lowlight, if you wish), of the retreat was at the Friday lunch session. The topic was the intersection of technology and real estate, specifically the substantial and varied real estate needs of the high tech industry.The panelists at one point were asked by the moderator to name the strangest lease request made by a technology company.One panelist said that a tech company requested that a “jello wrestling” pit be installed in their San Francisco offices. Amazingly, it was eventually installed on a platform on the top level of the adjacent parking garage!
Probably not something that you would hear in the Public Law Section (though maybe in the Criminal Law Section).
My hope for future retreats is that more introductory courses on real estate be taught, so that new attendees can learn the basics, or so experienced practitioners can learn a new area of real property. Such courses, when their descriptions are read in the schedule of events, may induce more people, with little or no experience in the real estate area, to sign up and attend.
Maybe there can be an MCLE course on how “jello wrestling” pits can be made compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. That would surely attract a large crowd, though I strongly believe that there should NOT be a live demonstration in the class.
I would like to thank the Real Property Section for putting on such a great weekend, and specifically the planning committee members, presenters, and volunteers for giving of your time, so that all of us could learn and enjoy ourselves.
I would encourage all Real Property Section members to attend future retreat. You will find the experience worth your time and money.
The views and opinions herein are solely associated with Mr. Kolostian and are not those of the City of Los Angeles.
By Dianne Jackson McLean
The 37th Annual Real Property Law Section Retreat of the California Lawyers Association, held April 19-22, 2018 at the Hyatt Regency Embarcadero in San Francisco was refreshing and enjoyable. It kicked off with a welcoming wine reception in one of the rooms on the first floor of the hotel, showcasing wines for several Napa wineries.The representatives from the wineries were very knowledgeable, personable and engaging. I sampled a pinot noir from Bouchaine, and a chardonnay from Boisset Collection.Both were quite tasty.More importantly, the atmosphere at the reception was one in which it was very easy to mingle and engage in conversations with others.The next day on Friday, the Retreat kicked off a full (complete meal) networking breakfast in the morning.A little too early for me at 7:30 a.m., so I went straight to the panel that started at 9:00 a.m. titled" the Top 10 Real Estate Cases of 2017.This panel was presented by two attorneys, Karl Geier and Bill Shiber, Miller Starr Regalia, and a professor, Professor John Sprankling, University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law.I thought I was back in my real property law class, as the panel members went through the various holding of each case, sometimes describing new tests that have been created, old tests that were disregarded, or unanswered questions such as in the case of Vasilenko v. Grace Family Church (2017) 3 Cal.5th 1077, which address the issue of when is a duty established regarding a dangerous condition related to the owner's property.Luckily the panel members did not use the Socratic method for audience participation, as members voluntarily asked questions.Throughout the rest of the day, I attended various others seminars including one on the new housing laws and the challenges and opportunities of the tech industry and the real estate market.Tony Natsis, Allen Matkins, had a somewhat dry sense of humor, but provided a candid discussion regarding the issues that should be considered in negotiating leases for tech companies. Jay Bechel, Head of Google Real Estate for North California and Liz Hart of Newmark Cornich & Carey presented different perspectives on what factors are important in the tech industry in creating spaces for their clients.
I was struck by the buzz of excitement and discussion that took place in the hallways and open areas outside of the rooms at the Retreat.It was also refreshing to see that both the panel members and the participants were quite diverse, both in ethnicity, geographical area, and experience in the practice of law.There were also many young attorneys and women attending the conference.
On Saturday, I still missed breakfast at 7:30 a.m., because I couldn't resist getting up early to walk for three miles on Embarcadero Street overlooking the San Francisco bay.I also stopped by the nice farmer market.However, I still made it back in time to attend the plenary session that started at 8:30 a.m.It was a showing of the film "Balancing the Scales" followed by a thoughtful discussion led by filmmaker Sharon Rowen and California First Appellate District Court Judge Therese Steward.It is a film that I would like to see again.It presented various view points as to how gender and racial bias are prevalent in the legal field and some of the consequences, as well as steps that can be taken to address the issue.Recognizing bias is the first step to starting to initiate change.It wasn't a "in your face" type of documentary, but presented real life scenarios and offered a great place to start the discussion.It is a must see for all attorneys.I was a speaker at a couple of panels at the Retreat.It is always rewarding to engage in dialogue regarding the materials being presented.This was my experience during my panel on Ethics in Complex Real Estate Transactions.
The Real Property Retreat, now changed to be called the Real Property Spring Conference, is a great way to meet people in the profession, to keep current on new legal issues and the law, and to confirm why practicing Real Property Law is a rewarding profession.Each year, it is getting better.I hope that more of you will join us next year.
The CLA Real Property Law Section, 37th Real Property Law Section Retreat, April 19-22, 2018, a review by Dianne Jackson McLean, Partner at Goldfarb & Lipman LLP, and Advisor to the Real Property Law Section Executive Committee.
By Elizabeth Blair
1125 Jefferson Street
Napa, California 94559
The Real Property Law Section’s 37th Annual Real Property Law Retreat was held from April 19 to 22, 2018 in San Francisco at the Hyatt Regency.The Retreat began with a CLE presentation about Common Contract Claims on Thursday afternoon.We had an amazing wine reception on Thursday evening featuring wines from Bouchaine Vineyards, Gentleman Farmer and Modus Wines.On Friday, there was a full day of continuing legal education which ended with another networking reception and a solo dinner.
Saturday morning brought some of the highlights of the weekend.Jonathan R. Kathrein received the Student Writing Award for his article, “The Future of Drones is the Railroad” and Gillian van Muyden and Eileen Chauvet received the 2018 Outstanding Service Awards. This plenary session continued with the film, “Balancing the Scales” about bias that women have faced in the legal profession.After viewing the film, the filmmaker, Sharon Rowen, had a discussion with California Courts of Appeal’s Justice Therese Stewart about bias toward women in the legal profession and touched on Justice Stewart’s experience with advocating for gay marriage rights in California.
With educational sessions on topics as varied as the top 10 real property cases of 2017 to commercial leasing and fair housing, there was something for everyone. It was a great weekend filled with networking opportunities and over sixteen hours of continuing legal education. We look forward to seeing you at the 38th Annual Real Property Law Section Spring Conference (formerly the Real Property Law Section Retreat) on May 2 to 5, 2019 at the Hyatt Regency Newport Beach in Newport Beach, California.
John (J.R.) Richards
Would you like to be interviewed for our next E-bulletin and have attended an RPLS Event?Shoot me an e-mail.Let’s document your experience!
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Wednesday, June 13, 2018, 12 noon - 1 p.m.
This program offers 1 hour participatory MCLE credit. You must register in advance to participate.
Recent California decisions address key issues in the context of insurance coverage for construction liabilities under Commercial General Liability policies: whether faulty work constitutes an “occurrence”; the “trigger” of coverage; the applicability of several standard “business risk” exclusions; and “Anti-Montrose” and similar provisions. A review for construction law practitioners and corporate counsel with an eye toward maximizing coverage.
Speaker: Ashley Jordon
CLA's Real Property Summer Soiree
Thursday, June 14, 2018, 5:30pm - 8:00pm
The Loma Club in Liberty Station2960 Truxtun Rd, San Diego, CA 92106
Click here to register!
Wednesday, July 18, 2018, 12 noon - 1 p.m.
Learn the underlying causes of hoarding, why it is a disability that raises fair housing issues, how to recognize it, how to identify the health and safety issues associated with hoarding and strategies for effectively handling a hoarding situation in a residential rental property.
Speaker: Lynn Dover
Membership in CLA is now available to:
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