Civil Remedies Civil Procedure Commercial Real Estate

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Court Clarifies Rules for Recovery of Attorneys’ Fees in Eminent Domain Actions

In California eminent domain actions, absent special circumstances (such as an abandonment, successful right to take challenge, or inverse condemnation finding), a property or business owner is typically only entitled to...more

Real Estate Tip: Enforcing Shopping Center Reciprocal Easement Agreements in a Declining Market

Lord & Taylor signed a Reciprocal Easement Agreement, requiring its landlord to maintain a “first class high fashion regional shopping center.” The REA also required shared access and parking and required Lord & Taylor’s...more

Court Decision Helps REITs Strategize for Successful Acquisitions in the Face of Shareholder Litigation

Decision of note for REITs contemplating asset acquisitions involving stock consideration that requires stockholder approval, even if the transaction does not effect a change-in-control. Background – Following...more

Winners Beware – Fourth District Upholds Trial Court’s Discretion To Drastically Reduce Successful CEQA Plaintiff’s Fees In...

In an opinion filed March 18 and belatedly ordered published on April 13, 2015, the Fourth District Court of Appeal upheld a trial court’s discretion to award only $19,176 in attorneys’ fees under Code of Civil Procedure §...more

Ninth Circuit Addresses Several CERCLA Issues of First Impression in the Circuit

In AmeriPride Services Inc. v. Texas Eastern Overseas Inc., the Ninth Circuit examined several issues under CERCLA, some of which were issues of first impression in the Circuit, including: - Whether a district court...more

Allocating The Liability Shares of Settling PRPs Under CERCLA

Allocation of liability under CERCLA can get messy. One particularly complex issue arises in a private cost recovery action where some but not all the PRPs have settled with the private party. In contrast to a government...more

Georgia Supreme Court Rejects Challenge to Property Tax Incentives

On March 27, 2015, the Georgia Supreme Court rejected a challenge to the legal validity of property tax incentives in Georgia, largely on procedural grounds. SJN Properties, LLC v. Fulton County Bd. of Tax Assessors, No....more

Dividing CERCLA Site Just Won't Cut It On Liability

In an order on March 3, U.S. District Judge William C. Griesbach, who is presiding over the long-running Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act litigation concerning the Lower Fox River and...more

Illinois Supreme Court Declines to Apply Environmental Injunction Retroactively

In July 2004, the Illinois legislature amended the state Environmental Protection Act to authorize the Attorney General to seek “an injunction, prohibitory or mandatory, to restrain violations . . . or to require such other...more

Commercial Lease “Co-Tenancy” Clauses: Unconscionable, Penalty, or Enforceable?

When a court of appeal announces that it is tackling a new commercial lease issue for the first time ever in a published decision, it’s wise to pay attention....more

Is It Too Late to Just Throw Superfund to the Curb?

Last week, Judge Paul Borman of the Eastern District of Michigan, allowed a motion by the United States for judgment on the pleadings, dismissing a third-party complaint brought against the United States by Michigan...more

New Jersey Supreme Court Rules Unanimously: There is No Statute of Limitations Defense to Contribution Actions Under the Spill Act

On January 26, 2015, the New Jersey Supreme Court unanimously ruled in Morristown Associates v. Grant Oil Co. that the general six-year statute of limitations for injury to real property does not apply to contribution claims...more

Justice Department’s Kleptocracy Forfeiture Action Against Real Estate Allegedly Linked to Honduran Bribery Scheme Underscores...

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a civil forfeiture action seeking to recover certain Louisiana real estate allegedly purchased with funds traceable to a $2 million bribe paid to a former Honduran...more

Defining the “Larger Parcel” in Eminent Domain & Inverse Condemnation Actions

When a public agency acquires a portion of property, under California law the property owner is entitled to “severance damages” — or damages to the remainder portion of the property that was not acquired. Usually,...more

Property Insurance Law: 2014 Year in Review

Hurricane Sandy continued to generate a significant amount of litigation during 2014 which resulted in several important property insurance decisions. Most notably, as a result of Sandy and other events, the courts...more

Undisclosed Change in Building Height Requires Supplemental EIR

Ventura Foothill Neighbors v. County of Ventura (12/15/14, 2d Civil No. B254120) - The Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District of California has ruled that (i) a 20% increase in the actual height of a...more

Court Decision Confirms Shopping Center's Right To Limit Expressive Activity to Designated Areas

The California Court of Appeal recently affirmed a retail owner's right to limit expressive activity to areas designated in a written policy. The decision highlights the value of time, place, and manner policies to commercial...more

Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals Finds Late Notice Barred Claim for Hurricane Damage as a Matter of Law and Upholds Award of...

In The Yacht Club on the Intracoastal Condo. Assoc., Inc. v. Lexington Insurance Company, 2015 U.S. App. Lexis 293 (11th Cir. Jan. 8, 2015), the Eleventh Circuit upheld a district court’s entry of summary judgment in favor of...more

Supreme Court Rejects Whistleblower’s Double-Dip Attempt

On Monday the United States Supreme Court declined to hear Danny Smart’s appeal of the Fifth Circuit’s rejection of his attempt to share in the proceeds of a $5 million settlement of a False Claims Act suit brought by another...more

DTSC’s Lien Procedure Found to Violate Due Process

In Van Horn v. Department of Toxic Substances Control (“DTSC”), a California Court of Appeal found that DTSC’s procedure for imposing liens on property under the California “Superfund” law violates due process of law....more

Florida Supreme Court Limits Application of Statute of Limitations

A decision issued by the Florida Supreme Court earlier this year significantly limits the protection afforded by the statute of limitations to subcontractors and the like that are brought into construction litigation as...more

New York District Court Holds Lessee Not Liable Under CERCLA as an Owner

A New York federal district court recently held that a lessee will not be found liable under CERCLA as an owner where the lessee does not possess sufficient indicia of ownership. (Next Millennium Realty, LLC v. Adchem Corp.,...more

Condemnation and Contamination: The Spectre of Double Liability

Agencies acquiring private property for a public project conduct thorough investigations to determine whether the property has environmental contamination. If contamination is found, the question arises whether evidence of...more

CERCLA Cost Recovery v. Contribution Again: It’s Still Unfair

Parties in CERCLA cases continue to deal with the consequences of the Supreme Court decisions in Aviall and Atlantic Research which essentially created two classes of PRPs: (1) PRPs who entered into CERCLA settlements with...more

Insurance Alert: Insurer Delay Extends Time to Repair or Replace Damaged Property

In Stephens & Stephens XII v. Fireman's Fund Ins. (No. A135938, filed November 24, 2014), the plaintiffs obtained property insurance on a warehouse. Within a month, it was discovered to be stripped of all wiring and metal....more

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