Real Property Law

Cal. Real. Prop. Journal 2015, Vol. 33, No. 1

The Top Ten Real Property Cases of 2014

By Basil ("Bill") S. Shiber

©2015 All Rights Reserved.

As 2014 winds down (by the time you are reading this, 2015 will be in full swing), it is time to look back over the past year and identify those "Top Ten" cases that had the most widespread impact on the practice of real property law in California. Case law is often a barometer of social and economic changes, albeit a lagging one. This year has seen more bread-and-butter real property cases in areas such as easements and lien priorities, as well as more cases in the areas of land use and CEQA. That seems to indicate a more stable real estate economy and the return of productive activity and development, which, in turn, generate disputes that percolate up to the courts. There are also issues that have been identified by the lower courts but not yet resolved by reviewing courts—for example, the standards applicable to government’s efforts to leverage land use approvals to solve social ills, such as housing insecurity. We look forward to more activity in those areas in next year’s batch of cases. As always, the list that follows is subject to the caveat that picking the top ten cases is more of an art than a science, and 2014 is no exception. Here then, are our Top Ten Real Property Cases for 2014.


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