Archive for the ‘Real Property’ Category

Tribeca Companies v. First American – Escrowholder Not Liable for $1 Million Claim (2015-9-4)

The recent decision in Tribeca Companies, LLC v. First American Title Insurance Company (Aug. 26, 2015) ___ Cal.App.4th ___ reaches an unsurprising result – an escrowholder is not liable for damages when it delivers money to the owner of the funds. If you continue to the end of the decision, however, you’ll find a peculiar […]






Wong v. Stoler – Delay Does Not Benefit Defendants (2015-6-30)

Here’s a thorny problem.  The trial court found that the seller of a house lied to the buyer.  The buyer sought the remedy of rescission.  The trial court denied relief, in part because of events that occurred with the passage of time. The court of appeal disagreed in Wong v. Stoler (June 23, 2015) __ […]






A History Lesson on the Development of Cash Rents (2012-4-27)

In early English society, rent was paid by way of labor or other services.  Only gradually did rent became an item paid in money.  Consider this analysis by Oxford Prof. A. W. B. Simpson. “At the time of the Conquest [in 1066] large parts of the country were not cultivated, and those that were, were […]






A. W. B. Simpson on English Wills in the 12th and 13th Centuries (2012-4-22)

A study of the ancient English common law begins, for many points, with the law that developed after 1066.  The history of inheritances of land is certainly curious, as we inevitably find it tied to the duties owed in a feudal, agricultural society. Here is an excellent analysis from Oxford Prof. A. W. B. Simpson. […]






Trustee’s Foreclosure Sale Is Valid, Despite Substantial Error in Opening Bid (2011-11-12)

A recent case illustrates the need for a beneficiary to exercise care when making a bid at a trustee sale.  In Biancalana v. TD Service Company (Oct. 31, 2011) 2011 DJDAR 15972, the secured debt was $219,105.  However, due to error by the beneficiary, the trustee was instructed to make an opening bid of only […]






Strict Compliance Regarding Three-Day Notice Essential for Eviction Proceeding (2011-11-6)

A recent case reinforces the necessity to comply with the technical requirements for prosecuting an unlawful detainer complaint in California. [Commonly known as an eviction.]  Specifically, the issue at trial was whether the three-day notice had been served properly.  The trial court held that service was defective.  This was reversed on appeal, based on the […]






The Long-Standing Connection Between Real Estate Law and Probate (2011-10-31)

I am reading a series of lectures delivered in 1972 by S.F.C. Milsom and collected in The Legal Framework of English Feudalism (Cambridge University Press 1976).  The text is difficult, as it frequently refers to rights, remedies, and procedures that long ago ceased to be relevant in the law of English-speaking nations. Still, as I […]






Weinberger v. Morris – Why Doesn’t the Merger Doctrine Extinguish Many Living Trusts? (2011-9-19)

This writer has commented regularly that the modern estate planning trust is a legal fiction.  A convenient legal fiction, mind you, but still a legal fiction. The estate planning trust (also known by the unfortunate term, “living trust”) is a merely a will substitute.  It takes effect – meaning, it provides a benefit to a […]






Paul Ronald vs. Bank of America – Court Closes Door on Another Exotic Theory of Mortgage Liability (2011-8-30)

The trend in the courts has been to reduce the legal theories available to persons who suffered losses during the mortgage meltdown.  Traditional theories based on breach of contract, fraud, and promissory estoppel, remain viable causes of action. Yet the more exotic theories seeking to impose liability have been narrowed and often eliminated.  Such is […]






William Penn Partnership – There are No Winners (2011-5-30)

The Delaware Supreme Court recently decided William Penn Partnership v. Saliba, a case in which there are no winners.  In the case, one of the members breached his fiduciary obligations, but his conduct caused no damage.  Nonetheless, the court awarded attorneys’ fees as an “equitable remedy.”  In this author’s view, the award distorts the law […]