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REAL NEWS – WINTER EDITION 2015/16

IN THIS EDITION - Ben Barrison reports on the long awaited Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Marks & Spencer plc v BNP Paribas Securities Services Trust Company (Jersey) Limited (pg 03); We dedicate two...more

Purple Line Continues to Move Forward

The Maryland Court of Appeals issued an opinion on January 22, 2016 holding in favor of Montgomery County, Maryland that the future Purple Line (the proposed light rail between Bethesda and New Carrollton that includes a stop...more

Can Lenders Foreclose While a Borrower’s Loan Modification Application is Under Review?

A recent decision by the California Court of Appeal held that the practice called “dual tracking” – when a lender forecloses on a property while the borrower’s application for a loan modification is under review – violates...more

Texas Federal Court Rejects Insured’s Attempt To Destroy Diversity By Naming Adjuster As Defendant

The insured in Patel v. Acceptance Indem. Ins. Co., No. 4:15-CV-944-A, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10300 (N.D. Tex. Jan. 28, 2016), alleged that Acceptance Indemnity Insurance Company and its adjuster, Charles Payne, did not fully...more

Contractors can be Liable for Following Owners’ Directives

In Downey v. Chutehall Construction Co. (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-001-16), the Massachusetts Appeals Court ruled a contractor can be liable for violating building codes despite the fact that the party suing it directed the...more

Are You My Brokers? The Evolving Legal Status of the Real Estate Salesperson

Under the Real Estate Law that governs the regulation of brokers and salespersons by the Bureau of Real Estate, a salesperson is theoretically subject to supervision and control at all times by the broker that employs the...more

When CEQA Violations Are An Afterthought: Fourth District Upholds Trial Court’s Independent Judgment Determination That City Of...

CEQA and land use law in California go together like a hand in a glove. Due to CEQA’s broad scope and exacting substantive and procedural requirements, it is relatively easy to plead a cause of action for CEQA violations in...more

The Thin Line Between Land Litigation and Land Use Controversies

Frequently, land litigation—land boundary and ownership claims - is a controversy concerning the use of land. The recent case of Hedgepeth v. Parker’s Landing Property Owners Association, Inc. ___ N.C. App. ___ ___ S.E.2d...more

Florida District Court of Appeals Addresses Voluntary Payment By Insurer After Suit Filed

In a recent decision, another Florida District Court of Appeals weighed in on the issue of whether voluntary payment by an insurer after suit is filed is a “confession of judgment” for purposes of awarding the insureds’...more

Tips on Pursuing and Defending Complaints against Contractors

The often staggering cost of litigation has prompted an equally staggering amount of regulatory complaints against contractors in recent years. Why? Because filing a complaint against a contractor may not cost a complainant...more

A Closer Look at "Accidental Contracts"

While the intention of the parties in the deal may be straightforward, unfortunately the law is often not. Most real estate deals begin with a letter of intent (or term sheet) spelling out the principal terms of the deal....more

North Carolina Supreme Court Rejects Claims against Lender over Failed Real Estate Development

The NC Supreme Court recently affirmed the dismissal of a multitude of lender liability claims asserted against BB&T in a quasi-class action by purchasers of undeveloped lots in Brunswick County. In Arnesen et al. v. Rivers...more

First Floods of 2016: Insurance Recovery Tips for Midwestern Businesses

The beginning of 2016 brought floods to the Midwest—and, tragically, loss of life and extensive property damage. With the floodwaters now receding and cleanup underway, affected businesses should consider obtaining insurance...more

Money, Dirt and Steel: Year End 2015 NC Real Property Litigation Update

Inverse Condemnation: Nies v. Town of Emerald Isle, COA15-169 (November 17, 2015). The Town of Emerald Isle established a beach nourishment project extending the mean high water mark seaward, and regulating vehicles...more

California Appellate Court Holds Unruh Act Does Not Apply to Legislative Action

Decision Comes in Short-Term Rental Ordinance Litigation - California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act, which prohibits a business establishment from discriminating in housing or other accommodations, does not apply to an...more

High court ruling imposes added notice for tax-auction property

Q: A recent Oklahoma Supreme Court ruling appears to impose additional notice requirements before the sale of real property due to property tax delinquency. What's this case? A: In the case of Crownover v. Keel, the...more

A Couple Of Points About Receiverships

There's a lot to wonder about receiverships. Like, how is the Receiver's compensation calculated? And does it make a difference to compensation if a corporate shareholder says the receivership was unnecessary, and that it...more

California Supreme Court Rules Mitigation Measures Constitute Take of Fully Protected Species

On November 30, 2015, the California Supreme Court issued its much-anticipated decision in Center for Biological Diversity v. California Department of Fish & Wildlife, Case No. S217763 (Nov. 30, 2015). The decision comes at...more

Property Tax and Valuation Topics: Fall 2015

"Celebrity" Value? In 2004, in the quaint Fenwick borough of Old Saybrook, a developer purchased the beachfront summer home of the late actress Katharine Hepburn. The discovery of a discontinued road, which ran over...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

Real Estate and Land Use - November 2015

CEQA Baseline Can Consider Historic Levels of Use - North County Advocates v. City of Carlsbad (2015)—Cal.App.4th—Case No. D066488: Why It Matters: This case addresses an important issue under CEQA relating to the...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

Real Estate and Land Use - September 2015 #2

Use It or Lose It: San Clemente Required to Refund $10 Million in Unused Impact Fees: Walker v. City of San Clemente (August 28, 2015, G050552) - Why It Matters: In a strict reading of a local agency’s...more

High Point Bank v. Highmark and Guarantor Liability in North Carolina

When a borrower’s default results in a foreclosure sale and purchase of the secured property by the mortgagee lender, can a guarantor’s deficiency liability be reduced by the difference between the property’s fair market...more

Deficiency Judgment Cases In North Carolina Just Got A Lot More Complex: CentsAbility: Creditors' Rights Law Update

A question that continually arose during the foreclosure deficiency actions that were spurred by the recent “Great Recession,” was whether or not a guarantor on a loan could raise the “defense” offered in N.C. Gen. Stat. §...more

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