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Weekly Opinion Summaries
Real Estate Cases

June 4, 2010 Weekly Real Estate Newsletter
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Table of Contents


  • Tiara Condo. Assoc., Inc. v. Marsh & McLennan Cos.
  • Lucky United Properties Inv., Inc. v. Lee
  • Valencia v. Smyth
  • Texas Midstream Gulf Servs. LLC v. Grand Prairie
  • Yankton Sioux Tribe v. US Army Corps of Eng'rs.
  • Mabry v. Superior Court
  • La Union Del Pueblo Entero v. Fed. Emergency Mgmt. Agency
  • Barnes-Wallace v. San Diego
  • Bay City, Inc. v. Williams
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U.S. 11th Circuit, May 28, 2010
Tiara Condo. Assoc., Inc. v. Marsh & McLennan Cos., No. 09-11718
In an action for breach of contract between an insurance broker and the association responsible for managing a condominium tower located on Singer Island, Florida, the Eleventh Circuit affirmed in part summary judgment for defendant, holding that plaintiff failed to offer evidence that any of the alleged errors made by defendant were intentional or made in bad faith. However, the court certifies the following question to the Florida Supreme Court: Does an insurance broker provide a "professional service" such that the insurance broker is unable to successfully assert the economic loss rule as a bar to tort claims seeking economic damages that arise from the contractual relationship between the insurance broker and the insured? Read more...

California Appellate Districts, May 28, 2010
Lucky United Properties Inv., Inc. v. Lee, No. A124965
Trial court's grant of defendants' motion to compel plaintiff's attorney to acknowledge the satisfaction of a prior order for attorney's fees and costs and denying in part the attorney's motion for other attorney's fees and costs incurred in connection with his successful motion to strike, arising from an underlying suit involving a contract dispute over purchase of real property, is reversed where: 1) trial court erred in denying the attorney's request for attorney fees as the judgment was not fully satisfied by the time the attorney brought his motion for attorney fees incurred in connection with the abstract of judgment and lien notices; 2) the trial court erred in denying the attorney's memorandum of costs; and 3) the trial court erred in granting defendant's motion for satisfaction of judgment under section 724.050. Read more...

California Appellate Districts, June 01, 2010
Valencia v. Smyth, No. B216753
In plaintiffs' suit against real estate agents, title companies, and others, arising from a real estate transaction, trial court's judgment is affirmed where: 1) based on the plain meaning of the arbitration provision, the parties agreed that the California Arbitration Act (CAA), not the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA), would govern the arbitration; and 2) trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying arbitration given the possibility of conflicting rulings if the claims against defendant-agents had been arbitrated and the claims against the remaining defendants had been adjudicated in court. Read more...

U.S. 5th Circuit, June 02, 2010
Texas Midstream Gulf Servs. LLC v. Grand Prairie, No. 08-11200
In an action seeking a declaration that a city ordinance regulating natural gas pipelines was preempted by the Pipeline Safety Act (PSA), 49 U.S.C. sections 6010160137, and that the ordinance impinged on plaintiff's state-conferred eminent domain powers, the district court's partial grant of injunctive relief for plaintiff is affirmed in part where: 1) the city's zoning power was not subservient to plaintiff's eminent domain power; 2) the PSA did not preempt the setback requirement of the ordinance; and 3) the ordinance's preempted security fence requirement was severable from the remainder of the ordinance. Read more...

U.S. 8th Circuit, June 02, 2010
Yankton Sioux Tribe v. US Army Corps of Eng'rs., No. 08-2255
In an action by the Yankton Sioux Tribe challenging the validity of land transfers by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to the State of South Dakota, summary judgment for defendants is affirmed where: 1) the fee-patented lands at issue were outside the "external boundaries" of the reservation before they were acquired by the Corps; and 2) allotted lands still held in trust became lands "located outside the external boundaries" of the Reservation when fee simple title was acquired by the Corps for the Fort Randall Dam project. Read more...

California Appellate Districts, June 02, 2010
Mabry v. Superior Court, No. G042911
In homeowners' petition for a writ of mandate challenging an order of the trial court, allowing for foreclosure to proceed on their home, is granted in part and remanded to the trial court to determine whether or not the lender complied with Civil Code section 2923.5. To the extent that the trial court's order precludes the assertion of any class action claims, the petition is denied. Read more...

U.S. 5th Circuit, June 03, 2010
La Union Del Pueblo Entero v. Fed. Emergency Mgmt. Agency, No. 09-40948
In a case involving the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) administration of the home repair provisions of Section 408 of the Stafford Act, the district court's preliminary injunction requiring FEMA to publish standards that comply with 42 U.S.C. section 5174(j) is vacated where plaintiffs merely complained that the regulations lacked specificity, not that FEMA wholly abdicated its responsibility to promulgate regulations, or promulgated regulations that directly contravened the statutory language. Read more...

U.S. 9th Circuit, June 03, 2010
Barnes-Wallace v. San Diego, No. 04-55732
In an action claiming that the Boy Scouts' lease of public lands for its headquarters, accompanied by the Boy Scouts' prohibitions on atheism and homosexuality, was unconstitutional, the Ninth Circuit certifies the following questions to the California Supreme Court: 1) Do the leases interfere with the free exercise and enjoyment of religion by granting preference for a religious organization in violation of the No Preference Clause in article I, section 4 of the California Constitution?; 2) Are the leases "aid" for purposes of the No Aid Clause of article XVI, section 5 of the California Constitution? and 3) If the leases are aid, are they benefiting a "creed" or "sectarian purpose" in violation of the No Aid Clause? Read more...

Supreme Court of Delaware, June 03, 2010
Bay City, Inc. v. Williams, No. 746, 2009
In an action seeking a declaratory judgment permitting a transfer and retention of plaintiff's mobile home in a city mobile housing park, judgment for plaintiff is affirmed where the city's requirement of a Housing and Urban Development (HUD) seal was arbitrary and capricious, because the seal signified nothing about the home's safety since the manufacturer affixed it, and HUD did not affix seals to homes manufactured before 1976. Read more...

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