Contra Costa Lawyer, March 2017

Page 1

Contra Costa

Lawyer Volume 30, Number 2 | March 2017

Millennium Tower, S an Francisco

The Real Estate Issue A Macro Approach to Large-Scale Construction Defects page 5

New Eviction and Rent Control Measures

page 8

The Ruckus Over Airbnb

page 13

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MARCH 2017

Contra Costa  2016 BOARD of DIRECTORS Philip Andersen President James Wu President-Elect Michelle Ferber Secretary Wendy McGuire Coats Treasurer Elva K. Harding Past President Mary Carey Steven Derby Mika Domingo Oliver Greenwood Renée Welze Livingston David Marchiano

Ericka McKenna Nicole Mills Craig Nevin Dorian Peters Laura Ramsey Summer Selleck

CCCBA   EXECUTIVE   DIRECTOR Theresa Hurley | 925.370.2548 | CCCBA main office 925.686.6900 |

Barbara Arsedo Emily Day

LRIS Coordinator Systems Administrator and Fee Arbitration Coordinator

Carole Lucido

Communications Coordinator

Jennifer Comages

Membership Coordinator

Anne K. Wolf

Education and Programs Coordinator

Lawyer Volume 30, Number 2 | March 2017

The official publication of the

B   A   R        A   S   S   O   C   I   A   T   I   O   N













Contra Costa Lawyer CO-EDITORS EDITORIAL BOARD David Pearson David Arietta 925.287.0051 925.472.8000

Suzanne Boucher Marcus Brown 925.933.1500 925.482.8950

BOARD LIAISON Inga Miller Nicole Mills 925.402.2192 925.351.3171 Beth Mora


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The Contra Costa Lawyer (ISSN 1063-4444) is published 12 times a year – six times online-only – by the Contra Costa County Bar Association (CCCBA), 2300 Clayton Road, Suite 520, Concord, CA 94520. Annual subscription of $25 is included in the membership dues. Periodical postage paid at Concord, CA. POSTMASTER: send address change to the Contra Costa Lawyer, 2300 Clayton Road, Suite 520, Concord, CA 94520. The Lawyer welcomes and encourages articles and letters from readers. Please send them to The CCCBA reserves the right to edit articles and letters sent in for publication. All editorial material, including editorial comment, appearing herein represents the views of the respective authors and does not necessarily carry the endorsement of the CCCBA or the Board of Directors. Likewise, the publication of any advertisement is not to be construed as an endorsement of the product or service offered unless it is specifically stated in the ad that there is such approval or endorsement.

ON THE COVER: The Millennium Tower, San Francisco’s tallest building, is sinking. To date it has sunk about 16 inches into the earth and is tilting towards the northwest. Read the article on construction defects on page 5 for more. Photo Credit: Gabrielle Lurie/ San Francisco Chronicle / Polaris.

departments 4

INSIDE | by Marcus T. Brown

11 PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE: Giving Back | by Philip Andersen 20-21 Photos: Installation Lunch, JAnuary 25 MCLE Self Study | ETHICS: All By Myself: Ethical Duties Prosecuting Quiet Title Actions When the Other Side is Absent and/or Unknown by Steven Kahn 27

Board of Directors - Did You Know? | by Nicole Mills

28 SPOTLIGHT: Housing and Economic Rights Advocates (HERA) 31 Pro-Bono spotlight: Kathleen Day-Seiter 33 LAST MONTH’S Contra costa Lawyer: FEBRUARY 2017 THE dIVERSITY iSSUE 35-37 Calendar 38 Classifieds 39

fOOD FROM THE bAR: cOMEDY nIGHT: May 18, 2017



INSIDE by Marcus T. Brown, Guest Editor

High Demand, Low Supply, and Technology Converge on Local Real Estate Thank you to the Contra Costa Lawyer for inviting me to edit this issue devoted to real estate. And what an exciting time to be a real estate practitioner, particularly in our county. All factors seem to be pointing to Bay Area real estate keeping and hopefully increasing its long-term value. Supply is limited, but the demand keeps going up, driven by the local economy and jobs, and the resulting need for housing. This creates all sorts of challenges for property owners, investors, lenders, local governments, businesses, renters, and the professionals they hire. Inside this issue, we see examples of how the stakeholders in local real estate have recently attempted to deal with these challenges, sometimes more successfully than others. In Airbnb, entrepreneurs, property investors, and technology have converged to substantially increase income on residential property through short-term rentals. But with demand for affordable housing at so-called “crisis” levels, more cities are moving to limit these arrangements, as well as place increased 4

MARCH 2017

controls on rents and evictions. We are also reminded of the risks that come with the incentives and pressures on developers and cities to maximize value through increased density; San Francisco now has its very own “leaning tower.” For attorneys and their clients, such events will inevitably lead to litigation but will likewise cause developments in disclosure practices, lending, risk allocation, due diligence, insurance coverages, local planning, and many other transactional considerations. This environment holds much in store for Contra Costa County practitioners, especially. Among the Bay Area counties, ours may be the most affordable and have the most developable land. Businesses and residents in the Bay Area are looking east. With so much more real estate activity on the horizon, the CCCBA and its Real Estate Section will continue to be essential resources for local real estate attorneys. If you practice real estate, or are interested in the topic, please contact the CCCBA to join the Real Estate Section,

and whether or not you are a section member, please attend the Real Estate Section MCLE breakfasts, free to section members, which occur on the third Friday of most months. Please also read inside about Housing and Economic Rights Advocates (HERA) as a resource for real estate matters that require legal aid or pro bono services. Finally, many thanks to the authors (as well as the interviewers and interviewees) who contributed to this edition. Given the amount of practical information here, I am looking forward to keeping this issue on my desk as a quick reference. Marcus Brown represents investors, lenders, property managers, homeowners, commercial tenants, contractors, and privately-held businesses in real estate and litigation matters. His office is in Walnut Creek.


A Macro Approach To Large-Scale Construction Defect Matters

Salesforce Tower (left) and 181 Fremont Tower, located near the seismically hazardous San Francisco waterfront

By David E. Young and Erica L. Morris, Wood, Smith, Henning, and Berman, LLP

Introduction Construction defect cases often bring with them a multitude of issues and parties. However, when the subject property is large and the defects are many, the issues and parties involved increase substantially. Below, we provide a macro-level approach to such large-scale construction defect matters, including who may be implicated and the inevitable coverage issues involved. What are construction defects, exactly? It depends. In layman’s terms, construction defects are those unexpected conditions of or damages to a property that cause the owners’ additional expense to repair or cause the property to lose value. Common examples include cracked concrete, electrical malfunctions, or plumbing leaks. Severe cases include water intrusion or movement of the property.

For instance, look at the nowfamous leaning tower in San Francisco, the Millennium Tower. This tower, completed in 2009, took about five years to build.1 It is 60 stories tall and has 419 individual units and about 434 spaces of underground parking. It also cost about $600 million to construct.2 Unfortunately, the Millennium Tower is now sinking, and it has sunk about 16 inches into the earth and is tilting

towards the northwest.3 According to recent satellite data, released by the European Space Agency, the tower is sinking at an exponential rate.4 However, the Millennium Tower is not the only concern. The ESA satellite data further demonstrated that the new Salesforce East tower, across the street from the Millencontinued on page 6



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Construction Defects Continued from page 5 nium Tower, was also sinking.5 Therefore, the city needs to be prepared to deal with the possibility that its other large buildings will also begin to sink6.

Potentially Responsible Parties

The owners of a home, condominium, or office suffering from construction defects will generally sue each and every potentially responsible party (“PRP”), in order to have the property repaired or to be compensated for repairs or loss of value. Developers and/or general contractors are the first and obvious PRPs because they had the most control over the situation and were likely the sales contact. However, they likely relied on architects and engineers to construct the overall dimensions of the respective property and evaluate sub-base conditions. For instance, engineers would survey the soil and estimate the necessary depth, length, and width of pillars needed to support the building, to prevent any movement or sinking from groundwater or other soil conditions. Furthermore, architects would design, provide plans, and opine on the necessary materials, such as type, strength, width, length, to support the building and prevent it from shifting due to weather conditions or gravity. For structures like the Millennium Tower, the tower’s massive height would be a great consideration. Moreover, the developers and/or general contractors likely enlisted a host of subcontractors to construct the individual components of the property. Therefore, while less concerned, subcontractors are just as implicated.


MARCH 2017

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(925) 948-8998 From framing to painting, from plumbing to electrical, each subcontractor will likely be brought into the litigation until they prove that their work is unrelated to the cause of the construction defects. For those unable to prove with certainty that their work is unrelated to the alleged defects, the subcontractors will be required to undergo the heavy litigation and defend themselves against the owners in addition to the other PRPs. The above PRPs are the first targets in any construction defect case, and they should be prepared to defend their work and opinions. In doing so, because these are complex matters, several experts will be retained to

support each of the their respective positions. Thus, each respective party needs to be prepared to undergo necessary and costly litigation that will last for several years, before eventually it settles or goes to trial. Potential Coverage Issues Once a PRP is implicated, it will inevitably tender its defense to its insurers. The developers and general contractors will also tender their defense to each of their subcontractors, any sub-subcontractors, and their insurers. Given the relatively high-exposure involved with large-scale construction defect matters, insurers will generally be cautious and hire coverage attorneys to provide critical analyses of their insurance policies against the facts of each case, the identity of their insureds, and the insureds’ scope of work. Further-

more, insurers will not lightly accept additional insureds on their policies without clear evidence, such as a written contract requiring additional insured status and/or a valid Certificate of Insurance naming the PRP as an additional insured. Thus, a series of a claims adjusters and coverage attorneys will be added into the mix. Additionally, PRPs should be aware of any exclusions in their policies. Exclusions make denying coverage relatively easy for insurers because, if an exclusion applies, all coverage could be precluded. For example, the “Earth Movement Exclusion” is a common exclusion in standardized Commercial General Liability policies. The Earth Movement Exclusion generally precludes coverage for loss resulting from “Earth Movement, meaning earthquake including land shock waves or tremors before, during or after a volcanic eruption; landslide; mudflow; earth sinking, rising or shifting . . . .7” But, if coverage is denied entirely, the PRPs may have to fund their entire defense and indemnity, unless another insurer accepts their tender. This risk alone suggests that all PRPs should retain their own coverage attorneys if an insurer denies coverage or otherwise “reserves its rights” to potentially deny coverage at a later time. However, even if an insurer accepts the claims, its liability will likely not exceed its maximum policy limits, which may or may not erode with defense payments. As such, for a large-scale condominium project, such as the Millennium Tower, many insurers will pay out their policy limits in order to satisfy the claims asserted. Such payments may implicate excess insurance, or, if the insurance is limited, the PRP’s own funds. Conclusion We hope the above macro-level approach sheds light on what you will face when dealing with large-scale construction defect matters. The key take-away is that it will be expensive and lengthy litigation, where the potential liability ranges from the low thousands to hundreds of millions of dollars, and insurance companies will only add to its complexity.

Erica Morris is an Associate with the national law firm of Wood, Smith, Henning, and Berman, LLP in its Concord, California office. Erica’s practice focuses on civil litigation in construction, real estate, personal injury, and premises liability. Erica has substantial experience in litigating low to high value construction and real estate claims, providing coverage opinions, and evaluating and obtaining risk transfer on behalf of her clients.

1. (Millennium Tower,, last visited on January 27, 2017.) 2. (Millennium Tower in San Francisco is a $750M sellout, San Francisco Business Times, April 5, 2013, 3:00 AM, millennium-tower-in-san-franciscois.html.) 3. (San Francisco’s leaning Millennium Tower seen sinking from space, CBS News, November 28, 2016, 9:40 PM, located at news/san-franciscos-leaning-millennium-tower-seen-sinking-fromspace/.) 4. (San Francisco’s leaning Millennium Tower seen sinking from space, CBS News, November 28, 2016, 9:40 PM, located at news/san-franciscos-leaning-millennium-tower-seen-sinking-fromspace/ [“the Millennium Tower sunk . . . 1.6 to 1.8 inches -- over a recent one-year period and almost double that amount -- 2.6 to 2.9 inches -- over its 17-month observation period[.]”].) 5. (California Today: A View of San Francisco’s Leaning Tower From Space, mike McPhate, The New York Times, November 30, 2016, located at https://www.nytimes. com/2016/11/30/us/california-todaysentinel-satellites-millennium-tower. html?_r=0.) 6. Note, sinking condominiums are not one of first-impression in this country. Colorado is a State wellfamiliar with the concept and incurred ample litigation as a result. The cases and legislation that have unfolded in Colorado provide both beneficial insight and cautionary foresight on how to handle these situations in the legal realm. 7. (Julian v. Hartford Underwriters Ins. Co. (2005) 35 Cal.4th 747, 751 [as modified (May 5, 2005)] [emphasis added].)

David Young is Senior Counsel with Wood, Smith, Henning, and Berman, LLP. His practice focuses on construction and real estate litigation and transactions. David has extensive experience in litigating high value construction and real estate claims and evaluating and obtaining risk transfer on behalf of his clients.




Bay Area Cities Implement New Eviction and Rent Control Measures By Puneet Singh, Esq., Kimball, Tirey & St. John LLP In response to the affordable housing crisis, several cities passed ordinances, and rent and eviction control ballot initiatives became a hot topic for residents in several California cities in the 2016 election. The election results were mixed. Rent and eviction control ordinances passed in Richmond and Mountain View. In Alameda, voters approved a Rent Review, Rent Stabilization and Limitations on Evictions Ordinance (previously established by the City Council in March 2016), but rejected a rent control ordinance. Emeryville adopted a new ordinance requiring just cause to terminate a tenancy. In Berkeley, Oakland, and East Palo Alto, voters approved measures to strengthen their existing rent control ordinances. Voters in Burlingame and San Mateo voted against rent stabilization proposals. So what exactly are the new requirements for landlords? Alameda: In November 2015, the City Council adopted a temporary moratorium on rent increases over 8%, and prohibited terminating a tenancy except for “just cause.� In March 2016, the City Council adopted the Rent Review, Rent Stabilization and Limitations on Evictions Ordinance 3148, to stabilize rents and limit the grounds for terminating tenancies. Pursuant to the ordinance, landlords must inform the Rent Review Advisory Committee if a rent increase of more than 5 percent is implemented so that it may mediate any landlord-tenant dispute. It also requires that certain notices be provided to tenants, imposes limitations on evictions, and requires landlords to pay relocation fees when terminating certain tenancies. 8

MARCH 2017

On November 8, 2016, Alameda voters: •

Passed Measure L1, the Rent Stabilization Act, which confirmed Ordinance 3148.

Rejected Measure MI, the Charter Amendment to Establish Rent Control, a Rent Control Board, and Regulate Termination of Tenancies

Berkeley: Voters approved Measure AA, amending the Rent Stabilization Ordinance to prohibit owner move-in evictions of families with children during the academic year, increase relocation assistance amounts for owner move-in evictions, clarify protections for elderly/disabled tenants, require filing of eviction notices, change the source of interest rates for security deposits, and clarify exemptions and penalties, effective December 19, 2016. Effective April 30, 2016, the city of Berkeley enacted a Tenant Buyout Ordinance, to provide protections to rent-control protected tenants entering “buyout” agreements. Voters also passed Measure U1, which increases the business license tax on landlords with five or more residential rental units. The tax may not be passed on to tenants. East Palo Alto: Voters passed Measure J, amending the 2010 Rent Stabilization and Just Cause for Eviction Ordinance. The revisions include: simplifying administrative procedures, clarifying the maximum allowable rent increase (at 10 percent per year), revising the registration fee pass-through, streamlining annual general adjustment calculations, addressing nuisance-based terminations of tenancy, strengthening notice provisions, and eliminating the annual rent registration and certification requirement for each unit.

Voters also passed Measure O, which will assess a business license tax on landlords with five or more residential rental units. The tax may not be passed on to tenants. Emeryville: On December 6, 2016, Emeryville adopted the Residential Landlord and Tenants Relations Ordinance. Effective April 1, 2017, the ordinance prohibits a landlord from terminating a tenancy except for one of the enumerated just cause reasons. The ordinance also requires a “Notice of Tenant Rights” be served on the Emeryville residents. All rental units are covered unless specifically exempted under the ordinance. Mountain View: On November 8, 2016, voters approved the Community Stabilization and Fair Rent Act (“Measure V”). Measure V was intended to implement rent control for most multifamily rental units built before February 1, 1995, prohibit evictions without just cause, create a Rental Housing Committee, and allow landlords to be charged fees to implement Measure V. On November 15, 2016, the City passed an Urgency Ordinance for Just-Cause Evictions. It was “intended to be a stop-gap on no-cause evictions” until Measure V went into effect. This ordinance prohibits evictions except under specified circumstances, and applies to all rental units (even those not rent-controlled) unless listed in the ordinance as exempt. Measure V, which would require a roll back of rents to October 2015, was due to go into effect on December 23, 2016. On December 21, 2016, the City was served with a lawsuit challenging Measure V and the eviction ordinance, and a TRO was filed to halt Measure V. The Plaintiff and the City entered into an agreement which stays the implementation of Measure V but not the eviction

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Eviction & Rent Control Continued from page 9 ordinance. Thus, landlords do not have to roll back rents to October 2015 unless the stay is lifted but they may only terminate a tenancy for just cause. Mountain View also has a Right to Lease Ordinance and a Rental Dispute Resolution program. Oakland: Effective February 1, 2017, voters approved Oakland’s Measure JJ, the Renters Upgrade Act. The city’s existing Just Cause for Eviction ordinance will now apply to properties built before December 31, 1995. (Previously it applied only to units built before October 14, 1980.) Additional amendments include giving more power to the Rent Board, requiring a landlord to pre-petition for all increases above the annual allowable increase, and increasing the restrictions on “substantial rehabilitation.” Richmond: Approved by voters on November 8, 2016, the Richmond Fair Rent, Just Cause for Eviction, and Homeowner Protection Ordinance (Measure L): (1) restores rents of controlled units to the rents effective July 21, 2015 (for tenancies beginning after that date, the initial rent will apply); (2) establishes a Rent Board that will set a maximum allowable rent increase (based on the Consumer Price Index) for controlled units throughout the city; (3) prohibits landlords of any rental unit (even those not subject to rent control) from terminating tenancies except for the reasons specifically listed. Units

controlled under the ordinance include all rental units except for those exempted by state law or the ordinance (units certified for occupancy after February 1, 1995, single family homes, small second-unit condominiums, temporary rentals, and rooms for rent in which the tenant shares a bathroom or kitchen with the homeowner. Rental property owners should educate themselves about the new laws, and consult with experienced legal counsel.

Puneet Singh has been practicing real estate and business law in California for over 14 years. She is the managing partner for the Northern California offices of Kimball, Tirey & St. John LLP where she oversees all landlord-tenant and post foreclosure related issues. Ms. Singh advises, counsels and represents owners, management companies and institutions in unlawful detainer actions, landlord-tenant litigation and transactional matters. Ms. Singh sits on the board of directors for numerous local real estate associations. She regularly provides legal seminars in the state of California and throughout the country. Ms. Singh and her law firm have both been recognized and received numerous awards for their significant contributions within the real estate industry.

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MARCH 2017

from the

President by Philip Andersen CCCBA President

Have you ever been in need? Did someone come to your aid? How did it make you feel? What have you done lately to give back? Let me share a story which I told at the installation lunch in January. When I was in the eighth grade, my Boy Scout Troop went on a snow camp trip to Dodge Ridge. Even though I was only thirteen, the fourteen and fifteen year old boys let me sneak out of the cabin with them one night – I felt so cool! We took a long walk into town. It was freezing cold and I only had my tennis shoes and one pair of socks. Half way through the walk my feet started getting numb, but I was too embarrassed to say anything. By the time we got back to the cabin I was in great pain and I was afraid I had frost bite. One of the older boys, John (not his real name), saw me crying and he kindly helped me get my shoes off and rubbed my feet and reassured me that it would be okay. That scout trip was one of the best trips I will always remember. Fast forward 10 years – it was my first week of law school at BYU. I could tell I was in over my head (fun fact: I never wanted to be a lawyer. I went to law school because I did much better on the LSAT than the GMAT). The straw that broke my emotional back was when a pipe in

Giving Back my bathroom sink burst and flooded my apartment. The carpet began to smell and I felt like I could not go on with any of it. Just as I was at the end of my rope, who shows up, but John! I had not seen John for years, but for some reason we ended up in the same apartment complex and he chose that time to drop by. As he had so many years before, he noticed my distress and returned a few minutes later with a large fan and a carpet knife. Even though I was just a renter, he cut the carpet, pulled it back, exposed the wood and set the fan on it. He took care of me when I needed help. It made all the difference in the world. My emotional breakdown was averted and I made it through the rest of the week – and law school. About three years ago I got a call from John. I had not seen him for years. He said that life had not turned out the way he thought it would. His kids and wife and moved out and he was wondering if I could refer him to a good family lawyer. I knew just who to refer him to – an outstanding family law attorney who is a member of the CCCBA. For once, it was my turn to help him when he was in need. Later he thanked me for the referral and the advice given to help him make a logical cost benefit analysis of whether to fight or settle.

So often we have the opportunity to use our legal backgrounds to repay favors from long ago or provide tremendous relief to a friend in need.

My message this month is to look for ways to give back. It feels right. You can make a difference. It will also enrich your life. If you need any ideas of things you can do to help check out the Pro Bono/Volunteer Opportunities information on the CCCBA website (under the Build Your Practice tab). These are just a few ways we can give back to our community. There are many more. Find the one that calls to you and help make somebody’s life a little bit better. Philip M. Andersen is the Managing Attorney of the State Farm Insurance Company In-House Litigation Department in Pleasanton. (Philip M. Andersen & Associates). He has extensive litigation and trial experience defending policy holders in personal injury lawsuits. He has been managing in-house insurance litigation offices since 1994. Contact Phil at (925) 225-6838 or philip.



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MARCH 2017



The Ruckus Over Airbnb:

Local Governments Struggle to Control (or Welcome) Short-Term Vacation Rentals By Robert B. Jacobs, Mediator | Attorney at Law

Airbnb is presently valued at $30 billion. Not bad for a couple of guys who couldn’t even make their house payment a decade earlier.1 Started in 2007, Airbnb was nothing special. A couple of broke San Francisco tenants wanted to subsidize their income by renting out three air mattresses on the floor of their apartment loft, plus breakfast. Turns out that there was a design conference that weekend, and hotel space was tight. These guys created a simple website, found their first three guests, and voila! Airbnb was born. First known as “Air Bed and Breakfast” (because guests stayed on air mattresses), the name was later changed to Airbnb when the company upgraded its image.2 It started with a simple concept. Find an event with a shortage of hotel space, and connect attendees with hosts. The company quickly found that there was enormous pent-up demand for affordable short short-term residential rentals. The concept of subletting entire vacation homes as short-term rentals was nothing new. VRBO had been coordinating vacation rentals since 1995.3 But Airbnb seemed to be on to something different: finding hosts who wanted to rent out part of their own living spaces while they continued living there. Fast forward to 2016. The Wall Street Journal reports that Airbnb has just completed its most recent round of investment funding at a whopping $850 million, with the company being valued, according to some, at $30 billion.4 Airbnb, originally founded in San Francisco, is now suing the city and county that gave birth to it.5 Homeaway, ostensibly a formidable competitor, joins forces with Airbnb in suing San Francisco to enjoin the continued on page 15 CONTRA COSTA COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION CONTRA COSTA LAWYER


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Short Term Rentals Continued from page 13 city from enforcing ordinances that threaten to squelch the very type of short-term rental business that has made Homeaway and Airbnb the vacation rental titans they have become. What’s going on? And what went wrong? The short answer is “Capitalism.” In high demand markets, landlords make more money from short-term rentals than from long ones. Plus, tenants can earn income by renting out part of their living spaces. Unfortunately, the same factors that benefit landlords can sometimes harm tenants, neighborhoods or communities. Municipalities that have considered the issue of short term rentals in residential areas have found three major negative impacts:

ApartHousing Stock. l ca Lo ed as re 1. Dec two, three herwise rent for ot ht ig m at th ts men can command dollars a month nd sa ou th ur fo or landnight. As a result, r pe e or m or 00 prices of $2 es opt to tments sometim ar ap nt ca va ith lords w short shortnants in favor of te rm -te ng lo go essed fore alities have expr ip ic un m e m So term rentals. ock being about housing st serious concerns t-term rentals. converted to shor some sing Stability. In ou H ed as re ec 2. D long long-term rds have evicted lo nd la s ce an st in nverted to eir units can be co tenants so that th rentals. short short-term s. Short borhood Impact gh ei N e iv at eg 3. N the stability of tenants may lack al nt re m er t-t or fi nd Sh some neighbors nd A s. nt na te rm long long-te come ntal properties be re m er t-t or sh t that shor activity. cessive noise and ex ith w ” es us ho “party

Responses worldwide have been varied. Some municipalities have adopted ordinances that welcome short short-term rentals with “open arms.” Others have levied big fines.7 Some, like San Jose, have adopted ordinances that allow the municipality to collect taxes that would otherwise be lost.8 Some have taken a “middle road” approach by capping the number of short short-term rental days per unit per year. In some of these cases, a landlord (or a tenant) can have

an unlimited number of short short-term rental days if such rental is “clearly incidental to the occupancy of the dwelling unit” by a family.9 The benefit of this approach is that it allows an owner or tenant to subsidize their income through short term rentals. It increases the available short short-term rental stock, but it does not cause displacement of long long-term occupants in favor of short short-term renters. Between 1981 and 2014, San Francisco banned short short-term rentals for fear of losing important housing stock.10 Since February of 2015, San Francisco has allowed residents to “rent out their residential units on a short-term basis if they register their units with the City, which assigns the unit a registration number and lists it on a City-run registry.”11 However, only about 25% of San Francisco short short-term rentals complied with this registration requirement. 12 On June 24, 2016 San Francisco adopted an ordinance which required “hosting platforms” (such as Airbnb) to ensure that every property listed was registered with San Francisco. Violators were subject to fines up to $1,000 per day plus criminal liability. Airbnb thereafter filed suit in federal District Court and sought to enjoin San Francisco from enforcing the ordinance. Airbnb claimed that San Francisco seeks to hold Airbnb liable for the online content of persons who list properties for short short-term rental without registration. (The federal Communications Decency Act provides important immunities to online content providers for content uploaded by third persons). In denying the motion of Airbnb for injunction, the District Court found that the ordinance doesn’t seek to hold Airbnb liable for content uploaded by landlords, but instead makes platform hosts (like Airbnb) liable for charging and collecting a fee in connection with booking reservations for unregistered postings. The suit isn’t over. San Francisco looks like it may be in scoring position – for now. But it’s clear these issues won’t be going away anytime soon. Robert B. Jacobs mediates real estate, business and construction disputes. He has practiced law in the Bay Area for 28 years. He holds an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell.

footnotes continue on page 32




Caveat Venditor – Expanding Disclosure Obligations of Residential Real Property Vendors by: Victoria Naidorf, Esq. & William Fiske, Esq. California has enacted several new laws and revised existing statutes that impact sellers’ disclosure requirements. These developments affect not only sellers of residences with one to four dwelling units, who must complete a Transfer Disclosure Statement (“TDS”), but also those who are exempt from completing a TDS.1 Practitioners who counsel real estate vendors should keep apprised of all disclosure obligations because a seller’s failure to satisfy statutory and/or common law disclosure obligations leads not only to liability in tort, but also contractual liability.2 The standard (C.A.R.) purchase-sale agreements provide that a seller “shall … make any and all other disclosures required by law.”3 A buyer’s contract claim against a seller is usually not covered by insurance, is associated with a longer limitations period than a tort claim, and can trigger attorneys’ fees clauses. As such, sellers and their attorneys should understand the importance of full and complete disclosure. NEW C.A.R. FORM: Exempt Seller Disclosure To address the evolving landscape for TDS-exempted sellers, the California Association of Realtors has created its Exempt Seller Disclosure (“ESD”). The “exempt” status created by Civil Code Section 1102 does not abrogate a seller’s common law duty to disclose all known material conditions or defects that can affect the value or desirability of the property, which are not known to or within the diligent attention and observation of the buyer. Further, contrary to urban myth, merely including an “as is” clause in a real property purchase agreement does not circumvent the seller’s disclosure duties.4


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DEATH ON THE PROPERTY: Changes to Civil Code Section 1710.2 (effective 2016) Since July 1, 1986, Section 1710.2 has provided that Sellers and listing brokers have no liability for nondisclosure of a death on the property that occurred more than three years before the purchase offer. The statute was intended to protect the privacy rights of AIDS victims and to limit the holding of the Appellate Court in Reed v. King (1983) 145 Cal.App.3d 261, which held that death in the home 10 years pre-sale was a “material fact” that the seller should have disclosed. The revised statute clarifies there is no obligation to disclose that any occupant is or was living with HIV or died from AIDS, regardless of whether it is a recent death or a death at any time in the past. This latest amendment to Section 1710.2 protects the buyer’s broker from nondisclosure claims concerning a death on the property that occurred more than three years before the purchase offer. Unfortunately, the revised provisions may create an internal inconsistency. After declaring that a death on the property occurring more three years before the offer is “not a material fact” that requires disclosure, the Legislature did not repeal or otherwise change Section 1710.2(d), which still provides: “This section shall not be construed to immunize an owner or his or her agent from making an intentional misrepresentation in response to a direct inquiry from a transferee or prospective transferee of real property concerning deaths on the real property.”

If a Buyer questions whether anyone has “ever” died on the property, the Seller may still be liable if he/she knows of an on-site death that occurred more than three years earlier but fails to respond truthfully. There are no exemptions, exclusions, or exceptions for the disclosure obligations under the revised statute. Sellers who are exempt from completing the TDS remain obligated to disclose actual knowledge of death on the property occurring within three years before the purchase offer. They cannot simply write “Exempt” across the ESD. They must, instead, answer all yes/no questions and explain the “yes” responses (including whether anyone died on the property less than three years ago). WATER CONSERVING PLUMBING FIXTURES: Water Code Section 365; Civil Code Sections 1101.4, 1102.155 (effective January 1, 2017) Sellers of residential property built before 1994 are now obligated to disclose if they are aware that their property has any plumbing fixtures that do not comply with water-conserving law. This is a disclosure obligation; it is not a repair obligation or a warranty. The state has not mandated that non-compliant water-conserving plumbing fixtures be retrofitted or replaced at the point of sale. Enforcement of this new law is left to local jurisdictions to require installation of water-conserving plumbing fixtures as a condition precedent to securing finalized permits for repair or remodel work. The TDS will not be modified to add questions regarding the Seller’s awareness of any “non-compliant” plumbing fixtures. Instead, the various Supplemental Disclosure forms used with the TDS (e.g., the CAR Seller Property Questionnaire dated December 2016) have been revised to add a new question on this topic. The CAR ESD dated December 2016 has also added a new question on this topic because even Sellers who are exempt from

completing the TDS are still obligated to disclose their knowledge about the existence of any “non-compliant” plumbing fixtures. WATER USE CONSERVATION: Water Code Section 365 (effective January 1, 2017) Water suppliers are now required to create their own definition for what constitutes “excessive water use” by an individually metered residential customer. The new law requires imposition of fines or rate surcharges that must be detailed in the water bill and paid at the time the bill is due. Although this law applies during “drought emergencies” it is anticipated that these “excessive water use” fees will become part of standard water bill charges. Thus, Sellers should provide Buyers with recent water and electric bills so that Buyers can better determine their projected expenses. In conclusion, it is extremely important that a Seller complete a TDS or ESD as honestly, completely, and accurately as possible. Given the breadth of the common law and statutes, the best advice should always be “when in doubt, disclose”. Victoria Naidorf and Will Fiske are part of the Law Division of NRT, LLC. They provide transactional advice to branch managers who supervise approximately 4,800 sales associates, and handle claims and lawsuits concerning Northern California residential real estate transactions. Victoria also creates transaction forms and provides legal training for NRT companies and multiple Associations of Realtors throughout Northern California. 1. Civ. C. § 1102, et seq. 2. It is imperative to check local disclosure requirements, which are not covered by this article. 3. See CAR forms RPA-CA, ¶ 11, PPA REVISED, ¶ 13. 4. Shapiro v. Hu (1986) 188 Cal.App.3d 326.


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Practically Expands 1031 Exchange Period to Two Years By G. Scott Haislet, Esq. IRC §1031(a)(1) provides that no gain is recognized on an exchange of like kind properties if taxpayer holds each property for business or investment purposes. A recent tax case, Bartell, illustrates how “parking arrangements” may be used to, practically speaking, extend the timeframes in like-kind exchanges. Typically, an exchange occurs as a deferred exchange. A deferred “exchange” occurs when a taxpayer sells relinquished property in one transaction and later buys a replacement property in an unrelated transaction, provided (1) the replacement property is identified within 45 days after relinquished property sale, (2) the replacement property is purchased within 180 days after relinquished property sale, and (3) taxpayer implements the transactions through a qualified intermediary (“QI”).1 In 2000, IRS adopted Rev. Proc. 2000-37, safe harbor methods for 1031 exchange “parking arrangements,” providing for reverse exchanges and improvement exchanges. A “reverse” exchange occurs when


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taxpayer buys replacement property before selling the relinquished property. An “improvement” exchange occurs when taxpayer buys the replacement property and adds improvements to it as part of the replacement property received in the exchange. Rev. Proc. 2000-37 allows an “exchange accommodation titleholder” (“EAT”) to hold legal title to the parked property, yet taxpayer retains all benefits and burdens of the parked property. The approved legal fiction requires EAT to hold title to the relinquished property or replacement property during the exchange. Absent the EAT, there is no exchange – the taxpayer can’t exchange with himself. Illustration – Reverse Exchange: On May 15, 2017, taxpayer transfers title of relinquished property to EAT and taxpayer buys replacement property. Provided EAT sells the relinquished property to a third-party buyer not later than November 11, 2017 (180 days). IRS will respect the exchange as 1031-qualified.

Illustration – Improvement Exchange: On May 15, 2017, EAT buys the replacement property (with taxpayer’s money or debt). EAT appoints taxpayer as project manager. EAT transfers replacement property (as improved) to taxpayer not later than November 11, 2017. On or before June 29, 2017, taxpayer identifies a relinquished property. At any time between May 15, 2017, and November 11, 2017, taxpayer sells relinquished property to a third party. Additional requirements apply: (1) The purchase price (including improvement costs) of the replacement property must equal or exceed the sale price of the relinquished property; (2) taxpayer must avoid receipt of net cash after the last property closes; and (3) the relationship among QI, EAT, and taxpayer must be documented properly. Rev. Proc. 2000-37 limits reverse or improvement exchanges by a 180-day period, while IRC §1031 does not address such exchanges. Rev. Proc. 2000-37 provides a safe harbor but does not apply to parking

arrangements over 180 days, instead providing that any nonsafe harbor parking arrangement is governed by general tax principles. One court 2 permitted a five year exchange period. The Bartell 3 decision permitted a parking arrangement of 24 months4 and required no identification within 45 days of inception. Bartell hired EAT to buy and hold replacement property called “Lynnwood.” EAT bought Lynnwood on August 1, 2000. Bartell intended to buy Lynnwood from EAT by August 1, 2002. In April 2000, Bartell had designated property called “White Center” as the relinquished property in a 1031 exchange for Lynnwood. The Bartell-EAT agreement provided that EAT would buy Lynnwood with Bartell’s money

and a bank loan guaranteed by Bartell. Bartell retained a two-year option to buy Lynnwood from EAT for its original cost (plus improvement costs). Bartell also agreed to indemnify EAT for losses and expenses. Bartell retained benefits and burdens of ownership, though EAT held legal title. Bartell did not exchange White Center for Lynnwood. Instead, Bartell sold relinquished property “Everett” on December 28, 2001, then bought Lynnwood from EAT on January 3, 2002. Thus, the exchange period was six days. Note regarding identification: Rev. Proc. 2000-37 requires taxpayer to identify the relinquished property in a parking arrangement within 45 days after purchase of replacement property. Bartell did not identify

Everett as relinquished property until December 1, 2001, 15 months after EAT’s purchase of Lynnwood. IRC §1031(a)(3) requires that the replacement property be identified within 45 days after sale of the relinquished property, but is silent as to identification of a relinquished property. Thus, the identification issue was not dispositive in Bartell. In Bartell, IRS argued that EAT had no benefits and burdens of Lynnwood; thus, Bartell held Lynnwood through EAT’s mere bare legal title. Under that theory, IRS said Bartell could not exchange with himself. Bartell argued the arrangement met the requirements of IRC §1031(a)(1): Lynnwood and Everett were properties of a like kind, both held for business or investment, continued on page 24



Installation Lunch 2017 Members of the Contra Costa County Bar Association came to celebrate the installation of new Board President Philip Andersen, a new Board of Directors, new Section Leaders and to honor two

retiring judges and celebrate their service. It was a beautiful day and there was a festive vibe in the air as new leaders took the reigns as past leaders congratulated them.

Pictured on this page: incoming CCCBA President Philip Andersen with outgoing CCCBA President Elva Harding; Nicole Mills with Supervisor Candace Andersen; Phil and Candace Anderson’s family; Andersen with Judge Thomas Maddock; Andersen with Judge Trevor White; Judge Lois Haight; and Judge Rebecca Hardie.


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Pictured on this page: David Marchiano and Jeffrey Seymour; Malcolm Sher, Ken Larson and Hon. Coleman Fannin (ret.); CCCBA Executive Director Theresa Hurley with Joan White; Rand Stephens, Hon. Steve Austin, Mark LeHocky, Richard Koss; Hon. Joyce Cram (ret.) with Denae Budde; Oliver Greenwood and Renee Welze Livingston; David Erb, David Arietta and Kent Parr; Matt Talbot, Tracy Regli and Sarah Harrison; Jocelyn Jones Torru




All in the Family –

Leslie Johnson & Inga Miller This is the third installment of Lisa J. Mendes’ interview with CCCBA member attorneys whose children join them in the practice of law. Past interviews included Skip Pfeiffer and his daughter Laura who practice family law and were featured in the October 2016 issue of Contra Costa Lawyer; and The Marchiano family with Justice James Marchiano (ret.), his daughter Karen, who practices franchise litigation at DLA Piper’s Palo Alto office, and son David who practices litigation and employment law at Archer Norris in Walnut Creek. The Marchianos were featured in the December 2016 issue of Contra Costa Lawyer. by Lisa Mendes Leslie Johnson had practiced commercial real estate law for more than 30 years when her daughter, Inga Miller, went to law school to advance her career as a journalist. While Inga worked for Leslie and her law partners during an externship, mother and daughter found a common love for the law that led to a job at the firm and carries on between them long after Inga started her own law practice. I noticed at the inception of our interview that Inga referenced her mother as “Leslie” and not “Mom.” It threw me off, so I asked her to explain why that was. IM: When I went to work for Leslie’s firm, I think we both felt more comfortable. How is this going to come off that we’re a parent and child in the workplace? There was really a discussion between us about trying to keep the workplace 22

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separate, and also the formality of being a lawyer in play. I mean, “I need to check with my mom to see if that settlement is going to fly?!”

offices and was asking Leslie to be a reference on these applications. I remember it very vividly, you had a really strong reaction and said… LJ: “Why don’t you apply with us?” IM: It was sort of like, “Why wouldn’t you just stay here?” It was really thoughtful. Leslie made me feel like it made sense for me to stay working with her.

LM: What did you think when Inga came to you and said she wanted to leave journalism to be a lawyer?

LJM: And how were the office dynamics impacted because of your mother/daughter relationship?

LJ: I was astonished. She was actually raised in a law firm literally, coming to work with me, crawling around on the floor. She had never expressed an interest. I was shocked at first. But she has always been very detailed oriented and inquiring, fabulous reporter. Great skills to have as a lawyer.

IM: In regard to family in the workplace, Leslie did really well in coming to the conclusion that her firm was not a family business with Leslie and Inga. It was a firm with her law partners and their associates. I think that was really important. There was a hierarchy to the firm. That was very cool.

LJM: I am sure you are proud of her.

LJM: Leslie, at the time Inga came to you and said she wanted to be a lawyer, you needed the help. But had you not needed the help, what would your thoughts have been?

LJ: Yes, really. IM: So after I took the bar my focus was, “I need a job.” So I was sending out my resumes to district attorney’s

LJ: I didn’t really have any input. From my perspective, the important thing in my mind was always when I started as a lawyer, it was a totally different world than when she came in. The practice of the law can sometimes, in certain practice areas, become negative and distrustful and so I am not sure that I would have been a big advocate of going into the profession. LJM: So, because of how the practice of law has changed, and the perception of lawyers has changed, if you could have had a say, you would not have been a proponent of her becoming a lawyer? LJ: I might have hesitated. I might have asked the question. But she did not ask. And I think I am glad for that. I loved being a lawyer, and I still love being a lawyer. LJM: Since Inga had decided she was going to be a lawyer, did you give her any advice? LJ: No, I don’t think so. IM: You did! She really encouraged me to study for the LSATs, and to invest the time in learning my subject area. And while I was in law school, she gave me amazing advice. LJM: You embraced whatever decision she was making with confidence. Did you ever feel like, “Perhaps I should not have her working for me, but I would definitely refer her to work for someone else?” LJ: Definitely not. The funny thing is that perhaps as much by happenstance as intent, we ended up in a position to help each other during one of the most challenging times for real estate and lawyers, and

...we ended up in a position to help each other during one of the most challenging times for real estate and lawyers, and in particular, real estate lawyers...We were understaffed and Inga was geared up and willing to jump in. Leslie Johnson in particular, real estate lawyers. Many transactional practices dried up, and we were very lucky in that our firm was diversified and we faced a deluge of business from title insurers looking to fix title so their clients could foreclose. We were understaffed and Inga was geared up and willing to jump in.

erties were sitting on them. There were bargains to be had here and there and that was a source of business but not the fun stuff. The fun stuff comes when clients are excited about the perfect opportunity to do something new. And that started to come back in late 2012 and early 2013.

IM: It was the perfect job for a newspaper reporter – putting together a “paper trail” that painted the story of what had gone wrong: a borrower secures a loan against property, then sells it to his friend without anyone paying off the loan, and the friend gets another loan, and then when the bank comes looking for someone to pay, everyone disappears. Or, more commonly, a title officer busy with surges of business during the uptick missed the incomplete reference to the legal description discovered by the bank when it went to foreclose. It was fun stuff and the courtroom experience was unparalleled. But as I worked with Leslie more and more to learn the ins and outs of title insurance law, I knew I wanted to do what she did – transactional work. There, you are building something for your client – value in their real estate.

IM: I think because we trust each other – and intrinsically know each others’ strengths and weaknesses, we are able to pinpoint the best in our client’s ideas and also the possible weak points in order to shore those up. That is something that a parent-child team is specially positioned to do.

LJ: My practice essentially dried up during the downturn. There were no properties for my clients to buy. Sellers with quality prop-

A Bay Area native, Lisa Mendes has a B.A. in Spanish Language and Literature, a Masters in Business, and a Juris Doctorate. Lisa practices primarily family law at her own law firm in Walnut Creek. She became interested in the subject of parents and children in the legal profession after the birth of her son.



Bartell Continued from page 19 and a deferred exchange had occurred within a 180-day period. Bartell sold Everett on December 28, 2001 and bought Lynnwood from EAT on January 3, 2002, a 6-day period. Bartell argued that EATs lack of benefits and burdens of ownership had no bearing on whether §1031 applied to the exchange. Bartell prevailed. IRS may still appeal. Takeaways: (1) An investor should consider a Bartelllike parking arrangement when buying a replacement property, whether or not improvements are contemplated, to make that property available as a replacement property for 24 months in case the investor later sells another investment property (i.e., parking a replacement property in case of a relinquished property sale not presently contemplated – think receipt of an unsolicited astronomical offer); (2) an improvement exchange is limited to 180 days construction time under Rev. Proc. 2000-37, but Bartell appears to allow 24 months.


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G. Scott Haislet is a 1031 qualified intermediary, CPA, and tax attorney (certified specialist) in Lafayette. Scott teaches courses for California CPA Society on Section 1031 and other real estate tax issues, and represents clients in 1031 exchanges and other tax and real estate matters. Scott is a CCCBA tax section member and past tax section president. 1. Reg. §1.1031(k)-1 provides for deferred exchanges generally; Reg. §1.1031(k)-1(g)(4) provides for “qualified intermediaries” to implement a deferred exchange. 2. T. J. Starker v. United States, 602 F.2d 1341, 9th Cir., August 24, 1979. Starker inspired IRC §1031(a)(3), adopted in 1984; §1031(a)(3) significantly reduced the exchange period permitted under Starker. 3. Bartell v. Commissioner, U.S. Tax Court, 147 TC 5, August 10, 2016. 4. Bartell’s EAT bought the replacement property August 1, 2000 and transferred it to Bartell on January 3, 2002, but Bartell had the right to buy the replacement property until August 1, 2002.

MCLE sELFAll By Myself: Ethical sTUDY Duties Prosecuting Quiet Title Actions When the Other Side is Absent and/or Unknown by Steven J. Kahn A lawsuit with no opposition, let alone no appearing defendants at all, may sound like a respite from our adversarial, sometimes inefficient system. It certainly can be something different and, at times, low(er) stress, but it by no means an opportunity to slack. After all, you owe your clients, the Court, and the State Bar a duty of professional competence.1 This article discusses two circumstances where you might be all by yourself in the litigation – suing unknown defendants and proceeding to default judgment against them and defaulted parties. Your duties to the Court and your client remain paramount even when you and your client are the only folks actively participating in a case. One of your very first acts as an attorney is to swear that “[a]s an officer of the court, [you] will strive to conduct [your]self at all times with dignity, courtesy and integrity.”2 The Contra Costa County Bar Association’s standards of professional conduct follow this theme, devoting an entire section to “Candor to the Court and Opposing Counsel.” 3 It is not uncommon in litigation to name defendants whom you know will not respond to the complaint,

and sometimes those defendants are entirely unidentified throughout the case – the amorphous “persons unknown” or “unknown heirs and devisees.” This is particularly true in quiet title cases, where one purpose of the action – sometimes the sole objective – is to eliminate the potential claims and interests in real property. There are several ways to name “unknown” defendants in a quiet title action. Save for uncommon circumstances, these defendants likely will never participate in the case: • “All Persons Unknown Claiming Any Legal or Equitable Right, Title, Estate, Lien or Interest in the Property Described in the Complaint Adverse to Plaintiff’s Title, or Any Cloud on Plaintiff’s Title Thereto are unknown to Plaintiff.”4 • “The Testate and Intestate Successors of [Defendant], Deceased, and All Persons Claiming By, Through, Or Under Such Decedent” – In other words, a deceased, necessary Defendant whose personal representative is unknown to Plaintiff.5 • DOE Defendants of whom Plaintiff is truly ignorant of their identity (who will be dismissed prior to obtaining the final judgment).6 continued on page 26



Prosecuting Quiet Title Continued from page 25 Once you name these unknown, unidentified defendants, how do you serve them and known but unlocatable parties while fulfilling your lawyerly duties? Most likely, by publication of the summons in a newspaper of general circulation in the county of the real property at issue.7 This is commonly done on an ex parte basis,8 which raises an interesting question – How do you give ex parte notice to parties whom you cannot even identify, or to those whom you know but cannot find? Of course, you can’t. Instead, it is your duty to the Court to show a diligent (but ultimately unsuccessful) effort to identify and/or locate these defendants. The Court is required to examine your attempts to find and serve defendants before issuing an order for publication. This would include efforts to directly communicate with defendants – known and potential – to assess their interest in the property, if any. Keep in mind, however, that if you discover a defendant is represented by counsel, you cannot communicate directly or indirectly with them about the matter, and should instead go through their counsel.9 Service by publication is a “last resort” or final method of service authorized by the code.10 Getting the order of publication is not automatic. Courts are increasingly scrutinizing applications to serve by publication, requiring parties and their counsel to thoroughly prove that there was no other way to identify and/or locate certain defendants. Some effective ways to show due diligence include: • Attempted service by mail with acknowledgement of receipt. • Inquiries with family members. 26

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• Inquiries with neighbors of the subject property. • Inquiries with former employers. • Internet database searches. • Hiring of a private investigator, who also searches non-public databases. Eventually you will get all defendants – known and unknown – served and, hopefully, defaulted by the court clerk. Now what? You need to apply for a default court judgment. In quiet title cases, a hearing with live testimony is required.12 Some judges are still unaware of this rule, and will issue a judgment without a hearing, or issue a tentative ruling that will naturally go unargued. Both practices are wrong, and potentially very detrimental to you and your client. Judgments entered based solely on written applications, without live testimony, are arguably void for lack of a hearing.13 What to do in these situations? If the judge is unfamiliar with the rule, your duty of candor requires that you inform the Court that a hearing is required. Do not assume the judge knows best, and be assertive for the sake of your client and the case!

• Consider third party witnesses to present evidence that corroborates and explains your client’s claims. • Consider employing experts to better explain specialized concepts (e.g. title to real property, historical practices, standard of care in certain industries). Follow the rules and procedures, and treat a case where your opponent is absent, unknown, and/or deceased just as seriously as you would any other matter. Dedication to candor, procedures, and to some extent decorum, puts you and your client in the best light possible, even if it is shining on nobody else. Earn one hour of Ethics MCLE credit by answering the questions on the Self-Study MCLE test. Send your answers, along with a check ($30 per credit hour for CCCBA members / $45 per credit hour for non-members), to the address on the test form. Certificates are dated as the day the form is received.

When putting on your default judgment prove-up hearing, treat it like any other court trial: • Present the best evidence whenever possible. • Use secondary evidence sparingly. • Be mindful of the limitations of a request for judicial notice – The Court can take notice of the existence of a document, but not necessarily its substantive content.14 • Have your client testify as to his or her ownership of the property and any other salient facts that bear on the relief requested.

Steven J. Kahn is a shareholder in Hoge, Fenton, Jones & Appel’s Tri-Valley office. Steven’s practice focuses on real estate and business litigation, title insurance coverage, escrows, and real estate transactions. He represents individuals, families, businesses, real estate developers, regional and national lenders, title insurers, escrow companies, and real estate profes-

sionals throughout Northern California. Steven regularly handles all phases of litigation, including trials, arbitrations, appeals, and mediations. He has litigated and provided counsel to his clients on a wide variety of issues, including: title insurance coverage; escrow procedures and best practices; real estate transaction nondisclosure; defense of real estate professionals; 1031 exchanges; boundary disputes; easements; encroachments; priorities of title and lien priority disputes; and mechanic’s liens. Steven also sits on the Advisory Board of Santa Clara University’s Alexander Community Law Center, in San Jose.   1. California Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 3-110 (Failing to Act Competently) 2. California Rules of Court, Rule 9.4; California Business & Professions Code Section 6067. 3. Contra Costa County Bar Association, Standards of Professional Courtesy – Part IV. 4. California Code of Civil Procedure Sections 762.020 & 762.060. 5. California Code of Civil Procedure Section 762.030(b). 6. California Code of Civil Procedure Section 474; Woo v. Superior Court (Zarabi) (1999) 75 Cal. App. 4th 169, 177. 7. California Code of Civil Procedure Sections 415.50(b), 763.010(b). 8. California Rules of Court, Rule 3.1200 et seq. 9. California Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 2-100 (Communication With a Represented Party) 10. California Code of Civil Procedure Section 415.50(a) (“A summons may be served by publication if upon affidavit it appears to the satisfaction of the court in which the action is pending that the party to be served cannot with reasonable diligence be served in another manner specified.”) 11. California Code of Civil Procedure Section 415.30. 12. California Code of Civil Procedure Section 764.010 (“The court shall examine into and determine the plaintiff’s title against the claims of all the defendants. The court shall not enter judgment by default but shall in all

cases require evidence of plaintiff’s title and hear such evidence as may be offered respecting the claims of any of the defendants, other than claims the validity of which is admitted by the plaintiff in the complaint. The court shall render judgment in accordance with the evidence and the law.”) 13. Nickell v. Matlock (2012) 206 Cal. App. 4th 934, 944 (citing Harbour Vista, LLC v. HSBC Mortgage Services, Inc. (2011) 201 Cal. App. 4th 1496, 1506) (“The court shall examine into and determine the plaintiff’s title against the claims of all the defendants. The court shall not enter judgment by default but shall in all cases require evidence of plaintiff’s title and hear such evidence as may be offered respecting the claims of any of the defendants, other than claims the validity of which is admitted by the plaintiff in the complaint. The court shall render judgment in accordance with the evidence and the law.” 14.See Richtek USA, Inc. v. uPI Semiconductor Corp. (2015) 242 Cal. App. 4th 651, 658-660.

MCLE Self Study Test

Did you know? At the February Board of Directors meeting, your Board voted on and approved its new Mission Statement to guide our actions and decision-making: Empower our members to deliver outstanding legal service to our community.

To download the test form and instuctions for this Self Study MCLE article, visit www. and click on the “SelfStudy MCLE” link at the top, then click on the article “All By Myself: Ethical Duties Prosecuting Quiet Title Actions When the Other Side is Absent and/or Unknown.”

That mission statement is informed

If you prefer to receive the test form via email, contact Anne Wolf at awolf@ or (925) 370-2540. Send your answers, along with payment ($30 for CCCBA members) to the address on the test form.

the community with the legal

by our vision: The CCCBA empowers our members to build thriving legal practices that deliver outstanding legal service to our community. We do this through educating our members, fostering fellowship among members of the bar, building strong relationships with the court and connecting assistance it needs. by Nicole Mills, Esq.




A Unique, California Statewide, Non-Profit Law Office With A Broad Economic Justice Mission for Low and Moderate Income Residents Where can low and moderate income residents across the State of California, including immigrants, go for advice and legal help on a vast array of consumer problems? Housing and Economic Rights Advocates (HERA) is the go-to resource. Headquartered in Oakland, HERA addresses issues ranging from student loan problems, homeowner concerns and automobile loan problems, to miscellaneous fees and fines, payday and auto title loans, credit reporting and identity theft problems. Maeve Elise Brown, Executive Director and co-founder of HERA, along with HERA’s staff of eight attorneys and one paralegal, serve several thousand individuals annually, and many hundreds more at HERA’s workshops. Unlike most legal services programs that serve only low or very low income residents and have restrictions on whom they can serve based on immigration status, HERA provides free legal services to both low and moderate income community members, and immigration documentation is not a concern. Why does HERA also serve moderate income residents? “Because moderate income community members are just one or two paychecks, or one illness away from losing everything,” says Brown. “How can households become or remain financially stable if they cannot get high quality legal help 28

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with financial concerns?” Not only is hiring an attorney unaffordable for many moderate income residents, but the subject areas that HERA covers are ones for which it is not always easy to find expert help.

HERA addresses issues ranging from student loan problems, homeowner concerns and automobile loan problems, to miscellaneous fees and fines, payday and auto title loans, credit reporting and identity theft problems. Among these subject areas are debt collection and student loan matters. Take the story of Edgar, for example. When Edgar graduated from a forprofit college, he expected he would be entering into a profession that paid well enough for him to repay his student loans. He did not know that, within days of graduation, he would experience epileptic seizures so severe that he could not sustain employment. The Department of Education discharged the $25,000

he owed in student loans, but a private loan servicer continued to pursue Edgar vigorously on a separate, $8,000 loan, even though he qualified for a similar waiver based on his severe disability. Rather than providing the appropriate waiver, the loan servicer kept requesting the same medical documentation over and over again, an abusive practice that continued for two years. HERA and its Managing Attorney, Noah Zinner, represented Edgar, secured the waiver of the debt, and put a stop to the loan servicer’s unfair practices against him. HERA also assists in real estate matters, particularly wrongful or unfair foreclosures. Every day, individuals and families at risk of losing their home turn to HERA for help. Although the volume of foreclosures is down from recent years, the face of the foreclosure problem is changing, and the nature and extent of foreclosure issues in California vary from county to county. For elderly homeowners especially, high property taxes compared to their limited income stream leave them at risk of foreclosure, as do deferred maintenance and other physical problems with the property. In need of financing, such homeowners turn to reverse mortgage lenders, who often end up threatening the family home.

In addition to representation on individual matters, HERA holds many consumer workshops each year. Frequently, workshop attendees become clients. One of HERA’s workshop participants, Rochelle, was homeless and had applied to low-income housing after receiving a Section 8 voucher. She was denied housing because she had too much debt listed on her credit report. HERA offered to help her, so she could qualify for rental housing. After review of the denial letter, Rochelle’s credit report, and the housing authority’s policies, HERA helped Rochelle dispute a significant debt in her credit report and assisted her with an appeal of her denial. The housing authority accepted the appeal and overturned its previous denial. Rochelle is no longer homeless.

Maeve Elise Brown, Executive Director and co-founder of HERA If you are a member of the private Complex litigation for individuals bar, think about partnering with and class action cases are other tools HERA, and consider HERA when it in HERA’s arsenal to address abuses comes time to determine who may aimed at consumers and homebenefit from a cy pres award. Please owners. On its own, or co-counuse HERA as a resource and referral seling with private attorneys, HERA for residents, staff, clients, or family. has an excellent track record of To get involved, or make a referral, achieving relief for clients across a please write to inquiries@heraca. broad spectrum of consumer finanorg, and for HERA’s workshop cial and housing concerns. schedule, visit




MARCH 2017

CCCBA Pro Bono Spotlight: Kathleen Day-Seiter The Pro Bono Committee of the Contra Costa County Bar Association is pleased to announce the quarterly Pro Bono Spotlight winner. The goal of the Pro Bono Spotlight is to recognize individuals in our community who are dedicated to improving civil legal aid and access to justice in our county. We are fortunate to have individuals who consistently donate their time and talents to help those in need. Our Pro Bono Spotlight is a chance to recognize and thank those individuals who help allow basic services and justice to remain accessible. Catherine Cutler, Staff Attorney for Contra Costa Senior Legal Services (CCSLS) nominated Kathleen Day-Seiter. “Every month, Kathleen Day-Seiter single-handedly staffs a Free Wills Clinic held in Martinez for low-income seniors that is sponsored by Contra Costa Senior Legal Services,” said Cutler. This clinic provides simple wills for seniors aged 60 and older and solves a real legal problem for these senior clients, who have no other method of obtaining important end-of-life legal services. A trusts and estates and elder law attorney with Southworth Chavez & Day-Seiter in Orinda, Day-Seiter’s practice is focused on Elder Law and Estate Planning. She received her B.A. from U.C. Riverside, her Masters of Social Welfare with a specialization in gerontology from U.C. Berkeley, and her law degree from Rutgers University. She worked as a medical social worker for over 20 years advocating for the needs of the elderly and disabled in both California and New Jersey prior to becoming an attorney. Day-Seiter has volunteered for seven years at San Francisco Legal Assistance to the Elderly, as well as volunteering for CCSLS. In staffing this clinic, Day-Seiter is providing a legal service to a very large number of individual clients that is

simply not available anywhere else to low-income seniors in the county, except through CCSLS’ free clinics. Simple wills are, sadly, beyond the reach of most lowincome seniors. Through Day-Seiter’s devoted efforts, these seniors are able to obtain high quality, end-of-life planning and obtain peace of mind that their wishes will be carried out. CCCBA members have been generous with their time in support of CCSLS free legal clinics throughout the county. Currently there is a need for a volunteer attorney for two hours per month at a legal clinic for seniors in Pinole. The clinic is held monthly at the Pinole Senior Center and may be scheduled at a regular date and time of the volunteer attorney’s choosing. CCSLS provides training and no specialized knowledge of elder law is required. Cutler explained, “this opportunity is unique, as the volunteer’s time commitment is finite – seniors visit the Pinole clinic for one stand-alone advising session only, with no continuing case file opened and no continuing duties for the volunteer once the appointment concludes.” If you can help, contact Gina at or (925) 609-7900. The Pro Bono Committee of the CCCBA applauds DaySeiter’s ongoing efforts to donate her time and special expertise to this pro bono endeavor.

Mergers &


If you would like to nominate a CCCBA member for the Pro Bono Spotlight, complete the Pro Bono Spotlight nomination form on the website under Build Your Practice and pro bono opportunities.

Hubert Lenczowski 1615 Bonanza Street #212 Walnut Creek, CA 94596 (925) 280-7788

Attorney At Law A Professional Corporation

Planning Exits and Growth Acquisition for Business Owners



Short Term Rentals continued from page 15 30 years experience in Probate & Trust Administration

1. http://www.businessinsider. com/how-airbnb-was-foundeda-visual-history-2016-2/#itstarted-with-an-email-joegebbia-sent-his-roommatebrian-chesky-an-idea-whatif-they-made-a-designers-bedand-breakfast-complete-witha-sleeping-mat-and-breakfastit-was-a-way-to-make-a-fewbucks-almost-nine-years-laterthat-idea-is-worth-25-billion-1; airbnb-raises-850-million-at30-billion-valuation-1474569670

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Tax attorneys

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(925) 930-6000 The average survival rate is eight years after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s — some live as few as three years after diagnosis, while others live as long as 20. Most people with Alzheimer’s don’t die from the disease itself, but from pneumonia, a urinary tract infection or complications from a fall. Until there’s a cure, people with the disease will need caregiving and legal advice. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, approximately one in ten families has a relative with this disease. Of the four million people living in the U.S. with Alzheimer’s disease, the majority live at home — often receiving care from family members.

If the diagnosis is Alzheimer’s, call elder law attorney

Michael J. Young

Estate Planning, Disability, Medi-Cal, Long-term Care & VA Planning

Alzheimer’s Planning 32

MARCH 2017

2. Id. 3. php?threads/vrbo-homeawayannouncement.35409/ 4. airbnb-raises-850-million-at30-billion-valuation-1474569670 5. See Airbnb v. City and County of San Francisco, filed on June 27, 2016, United States District Court for the Northern District of California, case number 3:16cv-03615 6. http://money.cnn. com/2016/06/22/technology/ airbnb-regulations 7. travel/2014/jul/08/airbnb-legaltroubles-what-are-the-issues 8. See City of San Jose City Council Memorandum at View/37954 9. See City of San Jose Ordinance 29523 View/38486

Protect your loved ones, home and independence.

10. See Order Re Preliminary Injunction, entered November 8, 2016, Case No. 3:16-cv-03615, supra


11. See page 3 of the Complaint in Case No. 3:16-cv-03615, supra

n 1931 San Miguel Drive, Suite 220 Walnut Creek, California 94596

12. See Order Re Preliminary Injunction, supra at page 3

The February Issue of Contra Costa Lawyer – Here’s What You Missed Guest Editor Summer Selleck did a fabulous job with this issue. She brought together a great line up of articles on the current legal rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (“LGBTQ”) and some of the issues facing the community. Here are some of the highlights: FEATURES: • California Law Protects the Rights of LGBTQs - What You Can Do to Help Protect the Civil Rights of the LGBTQ Community and Other Victims of Bias, by Carolyn Cain • The Evolution of Parentage Law and Recognition of LGBT Families and the Impact on Children in Dependency Proceedings: A View from the Bench, by Hon. Rebecca C. Hardie • Considerations in Domestic Violence Restraining Order Cases involving LGBT Parties, by Hon. Christopher R. Bowen • A Brief Overview of the Transgender Employee in California and Their Rights in the Workplace (Self Study), by Beth Mora, • Reparative Therapy: An Old Conflict Returns with New Skirmishes Ahead, by Ben Barr

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• Probate, Trust & Estate litigation and administration • Elder Abuse litigation • Conservatorship and Guardianship establishment and litigation • Fiduciary Representation and Court Accountings • Estate Planning, Wills & Trusts

COLUMNS: Pro Bono: Difficult Year Ahead and How You can Help, by Ilona Turner, Transgender Law Center Bar Soap, by Matt Guichard Inns of Court, by Greg Howard Board of Directors: Did You Know?, by Nicole Mills Holiday Party Photos

Find it online at www.contracostalawyer.

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MARCH 2017

Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender


Upcoming Events | Overview March 9 | Estate Planning & Probate Section Mentoring Group Meeting

more details on page 36

March 20 | Alternative Dispute Resolution Section An ADR Interactive Round Table: Can You Make a Living at Mediation?

April 25 | Women’s Section Women’s Power Lunch more details on pages 37

May 2 | Estate Planning & Probate Section 24th Annual Estate Planning Symposium more details on page 37

more details on page 36

March 21 | Estate Planning & Probate Section This Just In – 2016’s Updated Guide to Using Probate Referees What You Need to Know Now! more details on page 36

March 23 | Women’s Section Women’s Section Annual Wine Tasting and Silent Auction Fundraiser 2017 more details on page 36

April 13 | Estate Planning & Probate Section Mentoring Group Meeting

more details on page 36

April 20 | CCCBA Happy Hour Gathering (Martinez)

May 15 - 26 | CCCBA Food From the Bar 26th Annual Food From the Bar - 2017 more details on page 37

May 18 | CCCBA Food From the Bar Res Ipsa Jokuitor XXII Comedy Night more details on page 37 and 39

May 19 | CCCBA Food From the Bar Food From the Bar Walk-A-Thon 2017 more details on page 37 The Contra Costa County Bar Association certifies that the MCLE activities listed on pages 35-37 have been approved for the specific MCLE credit indicated, by the State Bar of California, Provider #393.

more details below and on page 36

Mark your calendars for CCCBA Happy Hours! At these casual, no host events CCCBA Board Members and Section Leaders gather together with CCCBA members in a relaxed, happy hour setting to socialize from 4:30 to 7:00 pm. We can’t wait to see you! 4/20

Martinez: Creek Monkey


Walnut Creek: Rooftop


Lafayette: Metro


West County: TBD


10/19 Walnut Creek: Corners Tavern



March 9 | Estate Planning & Probate

March 20

Mentoring Group Meeting

An ADR Interactive Round Table: Can You Make a Living at Mediation?


CCCBA members are invited on the second Thursday of the month to a meeting with mentors of the Probate Section to discuss issues of general interest or concern. The mentors would like to know what’s on your mind and will offer some practical feedback provided by practicing attorneys from all areas of practice within the probate section. Please submit discussion topics and questions in advance via email to Deborah Moritz-Farr at Efforts will be made to include all suggested topics, however, due to time limitations, topics identified by more than one member will be prioritized. Bring your brown bag lunch. Time: 12 Noon – 1:15 pm Location: Turner, Huguet, Adams & Farr, 838 Escobar Street, Martinez, CA 94553

| Alternative Dispute Resolution Section

Speakers: Mark LeHocky David Miller Ron Mullin Light refreshments and beverages will be provided. Time: 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm Location: CCCBA Conference Room, 2300 Clayton Rd., Suite 510, Concord Cost: $10 for ADR Section members, $15 CCCBA members RSVP: Online at calendar More Info: Contact Anne K. Wolf, at (925) 370-2540 or

| Estate Planning & Probate Section

This Just In – Updated Guide to Using Probate Referees – What you Need to Know Now! Speakers: David Elefant Franza Giffen Mike Herwood Nick Tarlson Theresa Taylor Join the members of our distinguished panel as they review the “2016 Guide to Using Probate Referees,” and discuss how to ensure the efficient and accurate appraisal of estate assets. Time: Noon - 1:30 pm Location: CCC DA’s Office Community Rm., 900 Ward St., Martinez Cost: $10 for CCCBA members MCLE: 1 hour EP/T & Probate Specialization MCLE Credit Registration: Online at attorney/calendar

RSVP: Online at

March 23 | Women’s Section

April 13 | Estate Planning & Probate

April 20 | CCCBA

Annual Wine Tasting & Silent Auction Fundraiser

Mentoring Group Meeting

Happy Hour Gathering (Martinez)

The Women’s Section of the CCCBA will present its Annual Wine Tasting and Silent Auction Fundraiser. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Hon. Patricia Herron and the Hon. Ellen James Scholarship Fund. Interested in Sponsorship? Contact Mika Domingo at Time: 5:15 pm – 7:30 pm Location: Contra Costa Country Club, 801 Golf Club Rd., Pleasant Hill Cost: $50 for section members and judges, $55 for CCCBA members, $65 for nonmembers Registration: Online at More Info: Contact Anne K. Wolf at (925) 370-2540 or


CCCBA members are invited on the second Thursday of the month to a meeting with mentors of the Probate Section to discuss issues of general interest or concern. The mentors would like to know what’s on your mind and will offer some practical feedback provided by practicing attorneys from all areas of practice within the probate section. Please submit discussion topics and questions in advance via email to Deborah Moritz-Farr at Efforts will be made to include all suggested topics, however, due to time limitations, topics identified by more than one member will be prioritized. Bring your brown bag lunch. Time: 12 Noon – 1:15 pm Location: Turner, Huguet, Adams & Farr, 838 Escobar Street, Martinez, CA 94553 RSVP: Online at More Info: Contact Anne K. Wolf at (925) 370-2540 or


March 21

MARCH 2017

Join your CCCBA friends for a casual, no-host event, where CCCBA Board Members and Section Leaders gather together with CCCBA members in a relaxed happy hour setting to socialize. Don’t expect anything formal like name tags or check-in tables. Instead come when you can, grab a beverage, and find us on the patio or in the ba area. A gathering of the CCCBA big or small, is typically hard to miss. Time: 4:30 pm – 7:00 pm Location: Creek Monkey, 611 Escobar St., Martinez More Info: Contact Anne K. Wolf at (925) 370-2540 or

April 25 | Women’s Section Women’s Power Lunch What is a Power Lunch? Think LinkedIn but over lunch. The Women’s Section Power Lunch is an opportunity to meet and build professional relationships. If you find at the last minute that you’re free and haven’t RSVPed, please come! Time: 11:30 am – 1:00 pm Location: Tender Greens 1352 Locust St., Walnut Creek

May 2 | Estate Planning & Probate Section

24th Annual Estate Planning Symposium Co-sponsored by Wealth Management at Mechanics Bank Registration: 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm Program: 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm Reception: 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Cost: Pay for self, no registration, no split checks

Post Event Cocktail Reception/Social Hour catered by Scott’s Restaurant. Speaker details and registration information coming soon.

RSVP: to

Time: 12:30 pm – 4:30 pm

More Info: Contact Anne Wolf at (925) 370-2540 or

Location: Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek 94553 MCLE: Of course! Hours TBD Registration: Available soon online at

May 18 | Food From the Bar

May 19 | Food From the Bar

Res Ipsa Jokuitor XXII –


Comedy Night This year Rocky LaPorte will delight the crowd with his “everyman style” of comedy. A champion for charity work, he is sure to blend fun with the serious cause of raising funds to feed the less fortunate residents of Contra Costa County. Thank you to Justice Maria Rivera who has agreed to act as emcee for the evening.


Cost: TBD

Cost: $60 each, $550 for a table of ten Tickets: Online at

Make a difference to the hungry people in Contra Costa County (and show those other law firms how generous your firm really is)! This year marks the 26th Annual Food From the Bar drive benefitting the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano. Currently in its 42nd year, the Food Bank provides food to over 132,000 people every month in Contra Costa and Solano Counties. All monetary donations are tax-deductible and will be acknowledged. The firm in each category with the highest per capita figures in each category will receive an individual award for permanent display in their office. Do your part to feed the hungry in your area. Participate in Food From the Bar! To donate or for more info, go to www.foodbankccs. org/fftbcc.

Get a group together and join us! Time: 9:00 am

Location: Back Forty BBQ, 100 Coggins Dr., Pleasant Hill (Vegetarian option available.)

26th Annual Food From the Bar 2017

It is that time of year again for the annual Food From The Bar (“FFTB”) Walk-A-Thon around downtown Walnut Creek. Ten years ago, Archer Norris started doing a Walk-AThon as a fun and healthy activity to raise money for the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano. Today the firm takes the lead by encouraging the entire bar to participate.

Bring a can of protein (tuna, beef stew, etc.) for a chance to win valuable prizes! For sponsorships, contact Theresa Hurley, (925) 370-2548. 6:00 pm Doors Open 6:30 pm Buffet 8:00 pm Show Begins

May 15 - 26 | Food From the Bar

Location: Archer Norris, 2033 N. Main St., 8th Floor, Walnut Creek Registration: Available soon More Info: Contact Anne K. Wolf at (925) 370-2540 or

Questions About these Events?

Call Anne

Give CCCBA’s Education and Programs Coordinator, Anne K. Wolf a call at (925) 370-2540 or



Classifieds Contra Costa



has gone full color! Color Ads at black and white rates through 2017 only: Display Ad Print MEMBER Rates: Full page: 2/3 page: 1/2 page: 1/3 page: 1/6 page: Business card: 1/12 page:

advertisers  index ADR Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

Novak Wealth Management . . . . . . . 2

David A. Arietta . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

David B. Pastor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

Barr & Young Attorneys . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

Pedder, Hesseltine, Walker & Toth, LLP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9, 17

Bingham Osborn & Scarborough, LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

Candice Stoddard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Bray & Greenwood . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

Trustcare Fiduciary Services . . . . . . . . 6

Diablo Valley Reporting Services . . 40

Lisa M. West . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

First Republic Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

Women’s Section . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

JAMS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

Michael J. Young . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

Lenczowski Law Offices . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

Youngman Ericsson Scott . . . . . . . . . . 32

Morrill Law Firm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

Zandonella Reporting Service . . . . . . 9

MARCH 2017


Walnut Creek, Two window offices available in a 9 attorney

$ 550 $ 500 $ 415 $ 350 $ 215 $ 165 $ 125

Call Carole Lucido at (925) 370-2542 or email


Rent furnished or unfurnished. Scanners, internet, and telephone system available. Window office-$800/Mo; interior offices-$650/Mo; and paralegal spaces-$200/Mo. Discount available for rental of multiple offices. Please call Travis (925) 256-9855.

suite. Both offices are furnished and have available legal assistant cubicles. The offices are on the 2nd floor of a handicapped-accessible building which offers free parking. Rent includes access to the high speed copier (pay by page), internet, wireless, phone system and cable. Also available are coffee/tea/soda services and conference rooms. $1100 per office. Call Neil at (925) 279-3433.

BEAUTIFUL WALNUT CREEK OFFICE SPACE AVAILABLE Beautiful offices w/ 7 solos. Networking poss. Single story converted house w/ pillars, built in’s, FP, molding, kit., conf rm, lg treed rear deck, etc. Corner w/ skylight & built-ins. Perfect for working hard and relaxing at end of long day! Very congenial. No smoking. Call Paul at (925) 938-8990.

Probate paralegal to attorneys Joanne C. McCarthy. 2204 Concord Blvd. Concord, CA 94520. Call (925) 689-9244.

CONFERENCE ROOM AVAILABLE CCCBA members can rent the conference room at the CCCBA office in Concord by the hour for client meetings, negotiations or other small group sessions. Convenient location near Concord BART. For information call Barbara Arsedo at the Contra Costa County Bar Association at (925) 370-2544.




KICKOFF FOR FOOD From the BAR 2017 Benefitting the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano

When: Thursday, May 18, 2017 Doors open at 6 pm Show starts at 8 pm Where: Back Forty BBQ 100 Coggins Drive Pleasant Hill Tickets: $60 each | $550 for ten BBQ Buffet: 6:30 - 7:30 pm Vegetarian option available upon request, contact Renee by May 12 at (925) 771-1310.

Bring a can of protein (tuna, peanut butter, chicken) to enter for a chance for valuable prizes!

GET YOUR TICKETS TODAY! For tickets, scan the QR code or go to


Rocky LaPorte

nationally renowned comedian

BENEFACTORS Contra Costa County Bar Association Huseby PATRONS Archer Norris CONTRIBUTORS 3D Forensic Aiken Welch Court Reporters Law Office of Suzanne Boucher Brown, Gee & Wenger, LLP Certified Reporting Services First Legal Network Gagen McCoy, APC Miller Starr Regalia Vasquez Benisek & Lindgren

presented by benefitting fftbcomedynight/

For sponsorship opportunities, contact Theresa Hurley at (925) 370-2548 or 2017_02-17

Deposition Reporting in Contra Costa County since 1986

Trusted with the Bay Area’s most complex cases, Diablo Valley Reporting Services has been part of the legal landscape for more than 30 years. Contra Costa County attorneys have come to rely on DVRS as a firm that is large enough to handle the most challenging cases, but small enough to provide the utmost in personal and professional service. • • • • • •

Proud to Partner with Some of the Area’s Best Certified Shorthand Reporters Leading Technology Personal Service and Delivery Deposition Suites and Conference Rooms Available Centrally Located in Downtown Walnut Creek, near BART A Loyal Supporter of the Contra Costa County Bar Association for Three Decades

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MARCH 2017


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