Residential Real Estate Civil Procedure General Business

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Avoiding Gamesmanship in Appointing Appraisal Umpires

Appraisal has long been utilized as a tool for resolution of disputes over the amount of loss at issue in property insurance claims. Unfortunately, the appraisal process has devolved in recent years. What was once considered...more

Insurance Benefit Assignment to Contractors: Not in Texas

In Florida and other states, a post-loss assignment of insurance benefits (or AOB) has become commonplace and a hot-topic issue. The typical scenario is that after suffering a loss, the insured assigns the right to policy...more

A Contractual Attorney Fee Provision Cannot Override the Statutory Cap on Attorney Fees in a Small Claims Appeal

Michael Dorsey v. The Superior Court of San Diego (Crosier) - Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District (October 22, 2015) - Small Claims Court exists so those with meritorious claims under $10,000 can have their...more

New York Commercial Division to Tighten Eligibility Requirements For Two Categories of Disputes

Parties and counsel involved in disputes arising out of domestic arbitrations or home improvement contracts soon will have to clear heightened eligibility requirements before being able to proceed in the Commercial Division...more

Can Contract Ambiguity Cause Liability for Unfair Trade Practices?

Most of the time, a contract breach—even if intentional—does not violate N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1. A contract breach, however, can turn into a 75-1.1 violation if the breach is accompanied by “substantial aggravating...more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update: Weeks Ending October 30 & November 6, 2015

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - Eminent Domain: property owners forced to defend against excessive litigation caused by condemning authority entitled to attorneys’ fees: (1) for hours defending excessive litigation, fees should...more

Depreciation of Labor Class Action - Minnesota Supreme Court Oral Argument

I’ve been following closely a series of class actions around the country alleging that, in calculating the “actual cash value” of property damage under a homeowners or commercial property insurance policy, insurance companies...more

Vermont Supreme Court Collapse Case Underscores Danger of Insuring Against the “Risk” of a Peril

Three months ago in Equinox on the Battenkill Mgmt. Ass’n. v. Philadelphia Indem. Ins. Co., 2015 VT 98 (Vt., Aug. 7, 2015), Vermont’s highest court held that a policy insuring against the “risks of . . . collapse” affords...more

Reach of Contractual Jury Trial Waivers Narrowed By Alabama Supreme Court

In Ex Parte Acosta, No. 1140200, — So. 3d —, No. 1140200, 2015 WL 3537476 (Ala. June 5, 2015), the Alabama Supreme Court refused to incorporate a jury trial waiver from a collateral loan document into a Promissory Note. ...more

Court Of Chancery Explains Jurisdiction For Veil-Piercing

This is an interesting decision for its discussion on what must be pled to obtain Chancery jurisdiction in a claim seeking to pierce the corporate veil. It is not enough to just allege the entity was used to defraud. Rather,...more

High Fire Season Followed by El Nino Sets California Policyholders on Collision Course With Property Insurers

Regular readers of the San Francisco Chronicle saw two familiar headlines in the September 10, 2015 issue of that paper. The first – “Northern California wildfire explodes in size”[1] – would not have been unusual on any...more

Fundamental Evidentiary Issues – Avoiding Exclusion of Your Opinion of Value and Comparable Sales

In an unpublished opinion filed this week, the California Court of Appeal confirmed two fundamental evidentiary rules related to eminent domain matters: Before we delve into the case, here’s a basic reminder of California law...more

Kentucky Court Affirms Consumer Act Claim Does Not Apply to Real Estate Transactions

In Kennedy v. Parks, the Kentucky Court of Appeals affirmed that the Kentucky Consumer Protection Act (CPA) does not apply to real estate transactions. In Kennedy, the plaintiffs entered into a contract with a builder...more

Court Denies Motion For Interlocutory Appeal In Alleged Insurance Kickback Scheme

We have previously reported on a case styled Munoz v. PHH Corp., one of similar suits alleging putative class actions under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act arising from purported “sham” reinsurance transfers...more

New Jersey Panel: If a Flood Is Excluded, So Are the Unhealthy Water-Borne Substances that It Leaves Behind

Last week, a unanimous panel of New Jersey’s intermediate level appellate court rejected policyholder arguments that even though flood was excluded, the proximate cause of their Superstorm Sandy loss was the non-excluded...more

Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Upholds MERS’ Authority to Assign Mortgages

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently handed Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) another victory against challenges to MERS’ authority to assign a mortgage. In Ferguson v. Bank of New York Mellon, the...more

The Forthcoming Amendments to Regulation C – a Litigation Perspective

Dorsey partner Eric Epstein and Dorsey associate Augustine Lo wrote this recent article for The Real Estate Finance Journal regarding the new amendments to the HMDA regulation, Regulation C. This article discusses three...more

It just got a little bit easier to enforce judgment liens

Last year, we posted It just got a little bit harder to enforce judgment liens, which analyzed a Court of Appeals decision that invalidated a judgment lien against third-party purchasers due to the judgment creditors’ failure...more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update: Week Ending October 16, 2015

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - - Foreclosure/Standing: although bank established it had possession of note prior to commencement of action, bank did not demonstrate when blank endorsement was placed on note, nor did it prove it...more

New York Appellate Court Allows Repurchase Claims Against Nomura To Proceed

On October 13, 2015, the First Department of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court for the State of New York decided an appeal in four actions brought by HSBC Bank as Trustee on behalf of four RMBS trusts against Nomura...more

Mortgage Assignment Validity

In Marcuzzo v. Bank of the West, 862 N.W. 2d 281 (Neb. 2015), the Nebraska Supreme Court upheld a lower court’s ruling that the borrower-plaintiffs in a consumer foreclosure action lacked standing to challenge the validity of...more

Waivers of Rights to Compensation are Enforceable in Eminent Domain Actions

It’s not every day you’re involved in a successful eminent domain case before the California Court of Appeal. It’s even more unusual when the case deals with a number of interesting legal issues, such as the enforceability...more

RMBS Trustee Wins Partial Dismissal of Investor Claims

On September 29, 2015, Judge Valerie Caproni of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York partially granted RMBS trustee Bank of New York Mellon’s (“BNYM”) motion to dismiss claims brought by...more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update: Week Ending October 9, 2015

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - Certiorari; discovery: Certiorari review was not available to an owner of property seeking review of a trial court’s order denying his discovery requests, where the order did not completely...more

RMBS Contract Claims Against Trustee Dismissed in Part

On October 2, 2015, Justice Saliann Scarpulla of the New York Supreme Court issued an Opinion and Order partially granting Bank of New York Mellon’s (“BNYM”) Motion to Dismiss an RMBS action brought by Commerce Bank and other...more

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