Santa Barbara Municipal Code (SBMC) §28.87.170 regulates the height and location of fences, screens, walls and hedges on private property in residential zones. In 2008, after being inundated with complaints from citizens about spite hedges and fences, the City of Santa Barbara temporarily suspended enforcement of the hedge ordinance. Read more
Kevin Nimmons of Hollister & Brace recently spoke at length on the important topics of commercial and residential lease provisions. The event was held on April 29, 2014, in Santa Barbara, California, and was attended by real property managers, real estate brokers, attorneys, and others in the Santa Barbara County and San Luis Obispo County real estate industry.
Marcus Bird has an article published in a recent issue of the California Bar Association’s California Real Property Journal, Vol. 31, No. 2, 2013 entitled “In Defense of Equitable Access Easements.” The article discusses the history of equitable easements and the basis for pursuing an equitable access easement claim when no other legal theory will support access to a landlocked parcel.
In February of 2013, Paul Roberts was named a distinguished speaker by the University of Southern California School of Business.
Marcus Bird was a panelist at the California Bar Association’s annual meeting in October 2013.
The Title of the Panel was: “Litigating Prescriptive Use, Encroachment, and Boundary Agreement Cases: Essentials and Beyond. The program dealt with effective representation of an owner when a neighborhood dispute ends up in court. The program covered bedrock principles and often overlooked subtleties in boundary agreements, encroachments, and prescriptive use litigation, and included a review of recent California statutes and pertinent appellate decisions. Mr. Bird addressed issues concerning prescriptive easements.
Notwithstanding the exception for alter ego liability, many members of the public (and even the State Bar) believe that operating a business through an entity will protect the entity’s officers and directors from personal liability for negligence and other torts. Read more
Liability and Damages for Wrongful Trimming or Erection and Maintenance of Trees and Hedges
Property owners in and around Santa Barbara are famous, and sometimes infamous, for erecting and maintaining hedges and trees for privacy, shade, and other reasons. Although property owners—and often their neighbors—do not know it, wrongful trimming, removal, or even erection and maintenance of a tree or hedge may be a very expensive and regretful decision. Read more
I have represented title insurance companies and their insureds for well over a decade. The difference for clients between having valid title insurance and not having valid title insurance has amounted to hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees and costs defending lawsuits filed by their neighbors.
Some of the issues I have handled that have been covered by title insurance include: (1) a claim that there was a forgery in the chain of title 20 years before my clients purchased the property and thus they did not have valid title (after I took the plaintiff’s deposition, his attorney promptly dismissed the case); (2) a claim that a neighbor had adversely terminated a deeded exclusive easement for landscaping, recreation and fencing, and that the exclusive easement violated the Subdivision Map Act (we established at trial, with the judgment upheld on appeal, that the easement did not violate the subdivision Map Act, and the easement had not been terminated); and (3) a claim that although my client had been using a roadway on his neighbor’s property for over decade, my client had no valid easement and thus no access at all to his property (this case is still pending). Read more
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