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CA Supreme Court Provides Key CEQA Guidance Regarding Categorical Exemptions

The California Supreme Court issued a long-awaited ruling regarding categorical exemptions under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) reversing a court of appeal decision that would have sharply curtailed the use...more

CEQA Alert: California Supreme Court Issues Long-Awaited Guidance on the “Unusual Circumstances” Exception to CEQA’s Categorical...

In its March 2 decision in Berkeley Hillside Preservation v. City of Berkeley (SC Case No. S201116), the California Supreme Court provides critical guidance to CEQA lead agencies and practitioners regarding the proper...more

The Electronic Communications Code - Security of Tenure

This is our second article on the Electronic Communications Code. A key issue for operators to be aware of when entering into agreements with landowners or occupiers for the siting of telecoms apparatus on their land is...more

Important Alert for Commercial Owners/Landlords and Brokers/Agents: Changes to California Dual Agency Disclosure Laws Effective...

Effective January 1, 2015, California law requires real estate brokers and agents to provide their clients and prospective clients with specific new disclosures, including an initial disclosure form regarding the nature of...more

When "Shall" Means "May": Wisconsin Court of Appeals Allows Mortgage Lenders to Slow the Foreclosure Sale Process

Last week we discussed the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s decision in Bank of New York v. Carson permitting circuit courts to force a mortgagee to hold a sheriff’s sale. Today we rewind the clock a bit to a decision last December...more

California Supreme Court Upholds Most Commonly Used CEQA Categorical Exemptions

The California Supreme Court has issued its long-awaited decision in Berkeley Hillside Preservation v. City of Berkeley, No. S201116 (March 2, 2015). The Court’s decision clears up some of the ambiguity that surrounded the...more

CFPB Takes Action Against Mortgage Lender Targeting Veterans, Imposes $2M Penalty

Why it matters - Alleged deceptive marketing by a mortgage lender to veterans was at the heart of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) latest enforcement action. NewDay Financial, LLC, “profited from the...more

No Stone Undisclosed: City of Vancouver and Developer Appeal New Public Disclosure Standards for Development Projects

The City of Vancouver and Brenhill Developments Ltd. have appealed the January 27, 2014 decision of the BC Supreme Court in Community Association of New Yaletown v Vancouver (City), 2015 BCSC 117 (the Brenhill/New Yaletown...more

Quebec Environment Minister Aims to Modernize Environmental Approval Process

On February 25, 2015, the Quebec Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and the Fight against Climate Change David Heurtel, announced a proposal to modernize the current environmental authorization regime provided...more

Berkeley Hillside: New Supreme Court decision defines limits of CEQA exemption challenges to development

Today, the California Supreme Court issued the highly anticipated CEQA decision: Berkeley Hillside Preservation v. City of Berkeley. The case addresses whether the "unusual circumstances" exception to CEQA's categorical...more

Texas Claims Are Getting Nasti: The Insured’s Burdens

Texas courts have long taken the position that “[w]hen covered and excluded perils combine to cause an injury, the insured must present some evidence affording the jury a reasonable basis on which to allocate damages.”...more

Celebrating residents in public housing

Residents in public housing are resilient, despite the overwhelming obstacles that they face every day. Public housing has been home to many inspiring stories of success for individuals and families. Put simply, the people of...more

Morgan Stanley Reaches Agreement to End DOJ Investigation into MBS Deals

On February 25, 2015, Morgan Stanley announced that it reached an agreement in principle with the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Division, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Califoirnia, Civil...more

Eleventh Circuit Holds Not All Damage Is “Structural Damage” For Purpose Of A Sinkhole Claim

In Hegel v. The First Liberty Insurance Corporation, 2015 U.S. App. Lexis 3024 (11th Cir. Feb. 27, 2015), the Eleventh Circuit reversed summary judgment in favor of the homeowners because the trial court applied an improper...more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update: Week Ending February 27, 2015

Foreclosure/Statute of Limitations: filing date of amended complaint for purposes of statute of limitations relates back to filing date of original complaint – HSBC Bank USA, National Association as Trustee for Nomura Asset...more

Statutory Class Actions: Developments and Strategies

In this Newsletter: - An Aspect Of Adequacy: Do Traditional Standing Requirements Apply To Statutory Class Actions? - The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act: A Constantly Shifting Battlefield. - Telephone...more

FHFA House Price Index Shows Increases for Fourteen Consecutive Quarters

On February 26, the FHFA House Price Index showed that U.S. house prices rose 1.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014. This marked the fourteenth consecutive quarterly price increase in the purchase-only, seasonally...more

Best in Law: Tug-of-War Over Changing Prop. 13 Remains Intense

A “split roll” might sound like something you would find in a bakery. But in fact, it is a real property tax concept that has been the subject of a tug-of-war since Proposition 13 was overwhelmingly passed by California...more

Can a Condominium Association Ban Smoking in an Individual Unit?

States, cities and businesses are banning smoking in more and more places. Can condominium associations do the same by prohibiting residents from lighting up in their own homes? Many American smokers may think that’s...more

Western District of Washington: Insured That Violated Duties of Notice and Cooperation Could Not Make Out Claim for Bad Faith...

Granite State Ins. Co. v. Integrity Structures, LLC, No. C14-5085BHS, 2015 WL 136006 (W.D. Wash. Jan. 9, 2015). The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington held that an insurer did not act in bad faith...more

Affordable Housing is an Economic Development Benefit

When we think of economic development opportunities that lead to greater prosperity, we are likely to think of major employers such as factories, corporate offices, universities or health care centers. ...more

UDAAP Council Weekly UDAAP Standards Report - 2/25/2015

Every week, courts around the United States issue decisions addressing aspects of civil UDAAP claims. In an effort to illuminate the UDAAP standards, below is a sampling of some of this week’s UDAAP decisions on the meaning...more

Does micro housing present opportunities for affordable housing?

Two recent news stories highlight a possible surge in the development of housing in high cost rental markets like New York and Washington, DC. A New York Times article and NPR story featured approaches to living in small...more

Chapter 40 Reform Provides Relief for Nevada Homebuilding Industry

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval signed into law AB 125 (2015) ushering in critical reforms for Nevada’s construction defect laws. The law, which the Nevada Legislature passed this past Friday, Feb. 20, 2015, provides crucial...more

The Electronic Communications Code - Some Basics

The Electronic Communications Code (“Code”) provides statutory rights to telecommunications operators to install and maintain electrical communications apparatus in, over or under land. The principle of the Code is that no...more

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