Anatomy of a Real Estate Fraud Case: A Case Study

​Having practiced real estate law in Southern California over the past 30 years, I have represented a variety of clients in real estate fraud cases. These clients, both plaintiffs and defendants, have run the gamut from individuals, families, investors, homebuilders and developers. Buyers of both residential and commercial properties oftentimes complain that they were unaware … Continued

A legal hold notification plan is “nice- to-have,‟ but not legally required.

In our era of e-mails and electronically- stored information (“ESI”), all companies must have a plan for storing and preserving ESI, particularly when faced with litigation. The risks of not having a well-established legal hold plan can be severe, including creating undue leverage for the opposition, in- creased settlement costs, greater risk of sanctions and … Continued

Pitfalls for a New Trustee

Your parent(s) set up a living trust and named you as the “successor” trustee. That’s the easy part. The hard part comes after the parent/settlor’s death, when you are now faced with administering the trust, preparing an estate tax return, selling and reinvesting assets per the Uniform Prudent Investor Act, paying debts, prosecuting claims, obtaining … Continued

BURCH vs. PREMIER HOMES, LLC, et al. (2/19/14)

FACTS: Custom Home Builders, a general contractor, built a single-family residence in Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles pursuant to a written construction contract with Premier Homes, the developer. The residence was not built specifically for plaintiff Burch, but instead was built to be marketed to the general public. After the construction was completed and … Continued

How (and When) Do Trusts Provide Asset Protection?

If Mr. Smith has a judgment entered against him, and he decides you create an irrevocable trust, the greater will be your chances of success.
In California, Probate Code §15304 (the “self-settled trust rule”) provides that an irrevocable trust in which the settlor is also a beneficiary is invalid against the settlor’s creditors, at least to … Continued

Have You or Your Business Been Sued? Maximize Your Defense Costs

You have been served with a summons and complaint by an unhappy customer, business competitor, neighbor, guest injured on your premises, or some total stranger. You believe the lawsuit is frivolous and that the court will eventually rule in your favor. However, until then, you are worried about paying expensive legal bills. As insurance coverage … Continued

Landmark Decision

Prevailed on landmark appellate decision of Furla v. Jon Douglas Co. (1998) 65 Cal.App.4th 1069, which established the standard of care and duties owed by real estate brokers to purchasers in residential real estate transaction.