Commercial Real Estate Civil Procedure

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Supreme Court Rules that Citizenship of a Real Estate Investment Entity is Based on Citizenship of its Members, Which Includes...

On March 7, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court (the “Supreme Court”) ruled that the citizenship of a Real Estate Investment Entity (“REIT”), for purposes of federal diversity jurisdiction, is based on the citizenship of its...more

Two Decisions out of San Diego Remind Us to Follow the Rules

We don’t often see multiple takings-related cases in one week, but last week we saw three. The California Supreme Court’s decision in Property Reserve was obviously the most important, but the Fourth Appellate District Court...more

Text on the Dotted Line: A Text Message Can Create a Binding Contract

Here’s another story in the “It never gets easier” file. The Massachusetts Land Court recently decided a case that perhaps we should have all guessed was coming. This is the above the fold headline: Text...more

Early Break Clauses in Lease Renewals

Be aware of the consequences of negotiating an early break right in a renewal lease. The flexibility that this might bring will come at a cost. On a 1954 Act lease renewal, the court has power to determine the rent for the...more

Late Relief From Forfeiture

Commercial landlords know that if a tenant fails to pay rent and the lease contains a forfeiture clause, the landlord can forfeit the lease by peaceable re entry i.e by changing the locks when the tenant is not in the...more

Classic Private Property Rights and Public Coffers

In April 2014, we posted a blog discussing the North Carolina Supreme Court’s opinion in Beroth Oil v. NCDOT, 367 N.C. 33, 757 S.E. 2d 466 (2014). (See here) In that post, we compared high frequency stock market trading and...more

Is Anyone Home? Washington Supreme Court Interprets Two-Step Vacancy Endorsement

Disputes involving “vacancy” exclusions typically involve the appropriate definition of that word. The recently-decided case of Lui v. Essex Ins. Co., 2016 Wash. LEXIS 692 (Wash. June 9, 2016) presents a somewhat different...more

New York and North Carolina Take a Narrow Approach to Common Interest Doctrine

Brief Summary - The "common interest doctrine" generally protects attorney-client communications, even if such communications are disclosed to a third party, as long as the third party shares a common legal interest with...more

SCOTUS Gives Landowners New Tools to Challenge Wetlands Permitting Decisions

The United States Supreme Court handed landowners and developers a win this month in a unanimous decision allowing appeals to federal courts of Army Corps of Engineers determinations that a body of water or wetland is subject...more

Drilling to the Essence of a Land Use Proceeding

What type of land use proceeding is this? Finding the correct answer to this question is critical to knowing your client’s rights and avoiding legal error. Like different sports, there are distinct types of land use...more

Delaware Supreme Court Weighs In On “Direct v. Derivative” Question Certified By Second Circuit

In Citigroup Inc. v. AHW Investment Partnership, No. 641, 2015 (Del. May 24, 2016), the Delaware Supreme Court answered a certified question of law presented by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals allowing shareholders...more

Of Formal Offers and Multipliers: Court of Appeal Explains Costs Consequences in Key Oil and Gas Decision

In Stewart Estate v. TAQA North Ltd, (Decision) the Alberta Court of Appeal (Court) released its costs decision after a complex and lengthy appeal involving multiple appellants and respondents involved in a dispute regarding...more

Supreme Court Rules Landowners Can Challenge Jurisdictional Determinations

On May 31, 2016, in a unanimous ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court held in USACE v. Hawkes Co. that approved jurisdictional determinations (“JD”) are final actions which can be reviewed by the courts. Under the Clean Water Act a...more

Increasing Legal Scrutiny of Website Accessibility in the Real Estate Industry

From fair housing laws to licensing requirements, the real estate industry is accustomed to navigating various legal constraints and requirements. However, as a result of current ambiguity in the law, class action lawsuits...more

Clean Water Act Client Alert: US Supreme Court Concludes US Army Corps of Engineers Wetland "Jurisdictional Determinations"...

Earlier this week, the US Supreme Court unanimously concluded that wetland determinations by the US Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) under the Clean Water Act constitute final agency action, meaning that landowners can...more

Lessee Escapes Termination

Escondido and Justapor. Next up on Tiny Desk Concert? Good guess, but no. They are the parties in Escondido v. Justapor, a Texas case presenting the perils of lease termination clauses and vaguely-drawn contracts....more

Insurers Take Notice: Ninth Circuit Rules that EPA Request Letter Triggers Duty to Defend

On May 11, 2016, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a general liability insurer owed a duty to defend an environmental matter even though no suit had technically been filed. Ash Grove Cement Co v. Liberty Mutual...more

City of Perris v. Stamper Oral Arguments Tomorrow

Eminent domain fans!  Take heed: The City of Perris v. Stamper case (S213468) will finally be heard by the California Supreme Court tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. in San Francisco.  I recapped the issues that are going to be addressed...more

Minnesota Supreme Court Addresses SOL in Construction Defect Suit

In the case of 328 Barry Avenue, LLC v. Nolan Properties Group, LLC, 871 N.W.2d 745 (Minn. 2015), the Supreme Court of Minnesota considered the statute of limitations under Minn. Stat. § 541.051, subd. 1, for actions “arising...more

Applying New California Rules to Your Real Estate Litigation Practice

Several new California procedural rules went into effect on January 1, 2016. While we are several months into the new year, litigators may need a reminder of these new rules. The list below summarizes several of the notable...more

Americold Realty Tr. v. ConAgra Foods, Inc.: Citizenship of Maryland REITs

In Americold Realty Tr. v. ConAgra Foods, Inc., 136 S. Ct. 1012 (2016), the Supreme Court held that, for purposes of federal diversity jurisdiction, the citizenship of a Maryland real estate investment trust (formed pursuant...more

A Lesson in Maintaining Privity: SCC Resolves Dispute over Interpretation of Alberta Agreement

On May 6, 2016, in Heritage Capital Corp. v. Equitable Trust Co., the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) weighed in on one of the many disputes stemming from the foreclosure proceedings taken with respect to the historic Lougheed...more

Muslim Group Rejects New Jersey Township’s Offer to Resubmit Mosque Application

Bernards Township, New Jersey has invited the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge to resubmit an application to develop a mosque. Earlier this year, the Township denied the Islamic Society’s application for a 4,250 square foot...more

California Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument in Friends of the College of San Mateo Gardens v. San Mateo County (Case No. S214061)

On May 4, 2016, the California Supreme Court heard oral argument in Friends of the College of San Mateo Gardens v. San Mateo County Community College District (Case No. S214061), which addresses the standard of review that...more

Real News - Spring 2016

Earlier this year, David Cameron fired the starting gun on whether Britain should continue its membership of the EU. As we all know, the potential effect of a Brexit is a topic which has divided the opinions not only of our...more

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