Facing a Condemnation? Take These 5 Initial Steps

Unlike most types of litigation, ThinkstockPhotos-178998188 (1)a direct condemnation case generally assures the owner of at least some compensation for the property taken. So when an owner approaches an attorney, it’s usually to see if it’s possible to get more than what’s been offered. Low risk, right? Sadly, no.  Continue reading

Does “Red Tagging” Terminate a Lease?

ThinkstockPhotos-79934078There’s been an earthquake, and an apartment building is red-tagged by the city or county because the utilities have been disconnected and the utility lines need repair; the landlord is dragging his feet about getting them fixed. What happens to the lease? And what about red tagging that follows complete destruction? Continue reading

When Trespasser Becomes Plaintiff

ThinkstockPhotos-122406155The family of a 9-year-old California boy who survived a fall through a school’s skylight reportedly claims the school district should be held liable for his injuries because it was too easy to get on the school’s roof and district leaders knew children climbed up there but didn’t do enough to stop it. Property owners beware: A foreseeable risk can turn a trespassing child into a plaintiff. Continue reading

Dead Man “Kwoking”: Estate Planning Property Transfers Can Trigger Title Insurance Nightmares

475902405Estate planning attorneys regularly advise their clients about the tax and other advantages of transferring real property to revocable trusts or similar estate planning vehicles. But they may not consider the potentially disastrous title insurance implications of such transfers. The original property owners may have had coverage under their policy, but—depending on the type of policy—once the property is transferred to the estate planning entity, the entity (i.e. trustee of the trust) isn’t the “insured” anymore and coverage could be lost. Continue reading

Keeping Tabs on a Bad Neighbor

484190499When a conflict arises between neighbors, attorneys often recommend that their clients keep a record of events. A written log of dates and times is one thing, but a video or audio recording can easily step over the line from keeping tabs to violating privacy rights. Continue reading

Should You Build Green?

168717439As public concern about the effects of human activity on the environment has grown, so too has the interest in green building. And that interest is well-directed, because a Climate Action Team report (.pdf) has identified buildings as the second largest end-user contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in California.

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Fair Housing Law 101

463122973Thinking of practicing landlord-tenant law in California? Knowing the federal, state, and local fair housing laws will be critical to your success. Continue reading

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