Member Legal Services Tel (213) 739-8282 Fax (213) 480-7724 Oct. 30, 2012 (revised)
C.A.R. proactively defends your real estate profession in the appellate courts. C.A.R.'s Legal Action Fund contributed to favorable decisions in many landmark cases in which C.A.R. had filed amicus curiae (friend of the court) briefs. For questions about the Legal Action Fund, please contact, Neil Kalin, Assistant General Counsel.
Peake v. Underwood
California Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, Division 1
Issue:Whether a real estate broker is entitled to an award of sanctions against a buyer and her attorney for maintaining a frivolous lawsuit.
Case Status:No briefs filed yet.
De Santis v. Ruppert
California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District
Issue:Whether a seller of commercial property has a duty to disclose to a buyer speculative information that is readily available to the buyer upon the buyer’s own investigation.
C.A.R. position:A buyer of commercial property is responsible for conducting its own investigation. A seller does not have to disclose potential conclusions that can be drawn from facts discoverable by the buyer.
Case Status: Oral argument held September 2012. Awaiting court decision.
Meher Mount Corporation v. Hagman Trust
California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District
Issue:Whether a person claiming another’s property by adverse possession needs to pay property tax on the acquired property if the owner of that property is a non-profit exempt from taxation.
C.A.R. position:Yes. Payment of property tax for purpose of adverse possession should not depend on the tax status of the underlying property owner.
Case Status:Case fully briefed. Waiting for oral argument date.
Nguyen v. Lee
California Court of Appeal
Issue: Whether a broker is liable to a buyer if escrow funds seized by government agency.
C.A.R. position: Broker not liable if broker did not know of seizure or have any reason to suspect it.
Case Status: Unpublished court decision in September 2012 holding broker not liable to buyer for funds seized by government agency.
Sandler v. Sanchez
California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division 7
Issue:Whether a designated officer of a corporate real estate broker is personally liable for misconduct of a salesperson working for the corporation.
C.A.R. position:The designated officer may be disciplined for lack of supervision but only the corporation has vicarious liability for acts of the salesperson.
Case Status:Published opinion holding that designated broker is not personally liable for acts of salesperson.
Lyon v. Superior Court (Henley)
California Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District
Issue:Whether a clause in a buyer representation agreement that limited the time to bring a legal claim against a broker is extended or tolled during the time the parties mediate.
C.A.R. position:The contractual limitation period is reasonable and enforceable as written.
Case Status: P
ublished court decision April 2012 holding that contractual limitation clause is not enforceable by broker against that broker's buyer for claims arising out of the fiduciary relationship.