ARTICLES & SEMINARS

September 28, 2021
San Francisco Bar Association

The Ins-and-Outs of Real Property Liens and Encumbrances

The seminar examined common liens/encumbrances placed on real property, including lis pendens, prejudgment/attachment liens, judgment liens, execution liens, mechanics liens and stop payment notices, design professional liens, HOA liens, buyer liens, deeds of trust, options to purchase and other clouds on title. The CLE discussed, among other things, particular requirements to place such liens/encumbrances as well as steps necessary to remove them.

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October 14, 2020
San Diego County Bar Association

Court Practice Series: Superior Court (Civil)

In this seminar, Superior Court Judge Eddie C. Sturgeon and experienced trial attorney Sean E. Ponist discussed keys to success in the courtroom and useful tips for litigators. The presentation covers, among other things, “knowing your judge,” “sizing up your case,” motion practice and argument as well as trial pointers.

September 09, 2020
San Francisco Bar Association

Real Estate Brokerage During These Extraordinary Times

This legal education presentation discussed new laws and current issues affecting real estate brokerage industry during the extraordinary times of the pandemic, including:

  • Recent dual agency cases and issues—the conflicts, the ethics and the liability; 
  • Navigating broker duties—e.g., the duty to inspect and disclose vs. the obligation to shelter-in-place, etc.; 
  • Agent advertising and promoting—when boasting becomes actionable; 
  • Standard of care for agents involved in distressed sales, e.g., short sales and foreclosures; 
  • New COVID-19 disclosures and other disclosures in real estate transactions. 
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August 03, 2020
San Diego County Bar Association

The Art of Taking & Defending Virtual Depositions

This seminar addressed the new age of taking and defending virtual depositions, from the new (virtual) deposition notices and admonitions through tips to having your client make the best impression for the camera.

 Topics include: 

  • The nuts-and-bolts of taking a virtual deposition (including a discussion of remote realtime, videography and exhibit sharing); 
  • Taking the deposition as if you were in trial (as it may very well be used in lieu of live testimony at trial); 
  • Defending the deposition remotely (away from your client/witness and everyone else); 
  • Preparing your client/witness to make a great impression (including a discussion of the impact of stereotypes, biases, nonverbal language, etc.). 
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May 15, 2019
San Francisco Bar Association

The Keys To The House: Unraveling Equitable Remedies In Real Property Transaction (Part 2 of 2)

This seminar examined real estate remedies arising from disputes both before and after closing. This was the second in a two-part series and focused on powerful remedies, beyond damages, to enforce client rights, including a discussion of rescission, reformation, specific performance and other equitable remedies.

Topics Include:

  • Analysis of the nature and grounds for rescission as well as notice, restoration and pleading requirements for rescission
  • Discussion of the grounds and requirements in order to successfully maintain an action for specific performance
  • A look at other remedies and actions, including reformation, cancellation, and actions to quiet title
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May 1-3, 2019
Litigation Counsel of America

Attorney-Client Engagement Agreements: Key Language That Every Attorney Should Have In Their Agreement

Generally, we pay little attention to our engagement agreement—just fill in the blanks and get the new client signed up so that we can begin helping our new client.  When a dispute with a client later arises, however, the engagement agreement becomes Exhibit “A” in any subsequent proceedings.  A well-drafted engagement agreement makes it much easier for you to collect your fees and to defend against spurious claims, while a poorly drafted agreement may subject you to costly and time consuming challenges and, ultimately, could impair your ability to collect your fees.  This presentation provided examples of key language to have in your agreements and covered a broad array of attorney-client engagement issues, including pre-engagement considerations, scope of representation issues, multiple representation situations, other payor issues, client duties and payment obligations and forum considerations for resolving disputes.

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April 17, 2019
San Francisco Bar Association

The Keys To The House: Unraveling Damages In Real Property Sales (Part 1 of 2)

This seminar examined real estate damages arising from disputes before and after closing. This was the first in a two-part series and focused on damages; the second focused on real estate remedies.

Topics include:

  • Discussion of recoverable damages arising from contract breaches and tortious conduct
  • Analysis of threshold requirements to establish damages as well as to establish the amount of damages
  • A look beyond compensatory damages at appreciation damages, stigma damages, punitive damages, emotional distress and Stearman costs
  • Analysis of broker commission claims and disputes
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Nov 1, 2018
Daily Journal

Do you have a fundamental right to a view in California?

Panoramic view,” “expansive view,” “scenic view”—these are all common descriptions used to market highly coveted view property. A great view can substantially increase the desirability and value of a property, with view properties often selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars more than neighboring properties of comparable square footage without views. Developers also routinely charge substantially more for premium lots with views in new developments. In most cases, however, the property owner’s view is not protected and, accordingly, buyers unwittingly pay a hefty surcharge for something that can be taken away without recourse.”  

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May 22, 2018
San Diego County Bar Association, San Francisco Bar Association, Scientific Association of Forensic Examiners

How to Keep Your Expert In and Keep Their Expert Out

A legal education seminar covering expert reports, motions in limine, federal and state expert disclosure, exchange and report requirements as well as litigation tactics at each stage in the process. The program further discussed the seminal Daubert/Sargon decisions as well as how to attack and how to defend an expert’s report and opinions.

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March 27, 2018
Orange County Bar Association, San Diego County Bar Association, San Francisco Bar Association

Dual Agency Law Following the California Supreme Court’s Landmark HORIIKE Decision

A legal education seminar covering agency and dual agency law in California generally, with an in-depth analysis of the California Supreme Court’s landmark Horiike decision as well as the impact on agency and dual agency responsibilities following the Horiike decision and legislative proposals following the Horiike decision.

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Nov 9, 2017
Lorman

Rescission of Real Estate Contracts

Rescission is one of the most powerful remedies available to a party who has suffered damages resulting from breach of contract or fraud. Rescission is one of the few remedies which allows parties to truly be restored to their respective positions before the alleged harm. In this practical seminar, attendees learned how to effectively assert, and defend against, this forceful weapon.” 

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Nov 21, 2016
San Diego County Bar Association

Arbitrating Real Estate Cases

“A legal seminar discussing what kind of preparation needs to be completed before arbitration, including an arbitration brief and evidence; issues typically raised at arbitration; advocate strategies; what arbitrators look for and more.”

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Oct 13, 2016
San Diego County Bar Association

Mediating Real Estate Cases

A legal education seminar covering mediation of real estate disputes including, among other things, opening session and advocate remarks, caucus conversations with each side, mediation strategies and nailing down a settlement.

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May 18, 2016
San Diego County Bar Association

Common Real Estate Practices and their Pitfalls

A legal education seminar examining common practices of agents, brokers, attorneys and investors unthinkingly do as a matter of course and the associated pitfalls of such practices.

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Sep 29, 2015
San Diego County Bar Association

Deconstructing Commercial Leases

A legal education seminar analyzing commercial leasing issues from the start of a transaction through the completion of the transaction and beyond into litigation.

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Sep 16, 2015
San Francisco Bar Association

Having Real Estate Contracts Interpreted in Your Client’s Favor: Critical Rules of Construction Every Real Estate Transactional and Litigation Attorney Should Know

A legal education seminar covering key rules of construction of real estate and legal documents, including lease agreements, grant deeds, agreements with public entities, deeds of trust, and other real estate contracts.

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Jun 1, 2015
Commercial Investment Real Estate Magazine (May/June, 2015)

Going to the Source: Minimize your liability by providing attributions

The article discusses how real estate agents, brokers and sellers can minimize their liability for the unintentional disclosure of inaccurate information by attributing the source of the information.

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May 28, 2014
San Diego Bar Association and San Francisco County Bar Association

Commercial Real Estate Brokerage Standard of Care

A legal education seminar which looked at the duties and obligations of commercial real estate agents and brokers who, unlike their residential counterparts, are not presently bound by strict statutory requirements.

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May 15, 2013
San Francisco and San Mateo County Bar Associations

The Rogue Agent: Agency Issues in Real Estate

A legal seminar covering the existence and scope of agency relationships, including a discussion of agency agreements, ostensible agency, ratification, negligent supervision and the legal relationship between agents and principals.

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February 14, 2013
Women’s Council of Realtors

50 Shades of Legal

>A presentation to realtors covering general duties of real estate agents and brokers, traditional and novel legal issues arising in real estate transactions and “rogue” agent issues.

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Jul 19, 2013
San Francisco Bar Association

Private Investigation and the Legal Community

A legal education seminar covering private investigator techniques to assist lawyers in the prosecution and defense of their actions as well as the identification of critical persons and assets in litigation.

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July 11, 2012
San Francisco Bar Association and San Mateo County Bar Associations

Best Use of Expert Witnesses in Real Estate Cases

A legal education seminar covering the best and most effective uses of experts in litigation and at trial, including a detailed discussion of expert depositions and approaches to direct examination and cross-examination at trial.

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Mar 14, 2012
Forensic Expert Witness Association

How Expert Witnesses can Improve their Relationship with Busy Trial Attorneys

A presentation to expert witnesses covering all aspects of the relationship between experts and counsel, including the role of an expert in litigation and at trial as well as the key issues for experts to be aware of in discovery and at trial.

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Sep 14, 2011
San Francisco Bar Association

Bringing Down the House: Assessing Damages in Real Estate Cases

A legal education seminar covering pre-closing remedies, post-closing remedies, equitable remedies and broker commissions.

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Apr 27, 2011
Real Estate Quarterly Supplement to the Daily Journal

Recovering Lost Profits In Real Estate Transactions

This article discusses the recent Greenwich decision which has opened the door to the recovery of lost profits, but just slightly. As explained in the article, “Aggrieved investors should seek lost profits, but need to be mindful that courts are still skeptical of lost profits damages and will not allow them where even remotely uncertain or speculative.”

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Oct 19, 2010
San Mateo County Bar Association

When Real Estate Deals Go Bad

A legal education seminar covering issues arising in real estate transactions, including preventative measures aimed at avoiding problems commonly encountered in real estate transactions, obligations and duties of parties in real estate transactions, and problems occurring after the close of escrow.

Sept 2010
California Lawyer Magazine

The Nonrefundable Deposit-Not!

In many transactions, the seller requires that the buyer pay earnest money in the form of a non-refundable deposit. The deposit is one way the buyer can communicate to the seller that he or she really means business. Indeed, such deposits have for years been commonplace. Recently, however, the court of appeal ruled that a non-refundable deposit is in reality a form of liquidated damages and voided the practice despite the clear contractual documents that called for it…”

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Aug 5, 2010
San Francisco Daily Journal

Should Equitable Indemnity Apply Against Negligent Misrepresentation Claims?

The law is clear that a party is entitled to seek equitable indemnity against negligence claims alleged against it. Similarly, the law is clear that a party is not entitled to indemnity against fraud, intentional torts and other torts for which the application of indemnity would violate public policy. But the law is much less clear as to a party’s right to indemnity for negligent misrepresentation, a cause of action which straddles the line between negligence and fraud. Although the issue arises frequently between joint tortfeasors, the appellate courts have yet to address it. In their silence, trial courts have been all over the map…”

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Apr 29, 2009
National Business Institute

Direct and Cross-Examination for Civil Litigators

A legal education seminar covering the skillful and effective use of testimony and evidence in the courtroom which provided attendees with the skills necessary to elicit the testimony needed in order to build a strong case and to put themselves in the best position to win.

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