Schedule of Events

Friday, May 1, 2015
Saturday, May 2, 2015
Sunday, May 3, 2015

Friday, May 1, 2015

Time Event

11 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.


1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Concurrent Sessions — (1.50 Hours of MCLE Credit)


[1] Thorny 911 Problems in Common Interest Developments

Mental illness, criminal conduct, gang and drug activity, angry neighbors, litigation threats: Homeowners associations are frequently called upon to consider and respond to these and other crisis situations. What should they do? This panel will discuss what homeowners’ associations and their board members should, and should not, do in such circumstances, and the ramifications of action and inaction.


  • Sandra Bonato, Berding Weil LLP, Walnut Creek
  • Matt Ober, Richard, Harman & Orber PC, Pasadena
  • Andrea O’Toole, Berding & Weil LLP, Walnut Creek

[2] Accounting Rules and Issues: Traps for Tenants (and Tenants’ Counsel) in Lease and Build-to-Suit Lease Transactions

Existing accounting rules often have unexpected  financial consequences for tenants. New accounting rules have been proposed that would significantly affect commercial lease transactions. With tenants expanding and investing in their businesses, lawyers who draft and negotiate leases need to focus on the implications of existing and proposed accounting rules for lease transactions, including rules that materially affect Build-to-Suit transactions.


  • Chad C. Soares, CPA (licensed in Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey)
  • David H. Kremer, Shartsis Friese LLP, San Francisco
2:45 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.

Concurrent Sessions — (1.50 Hours of MCLE Credit)


[3] Title Insurance in Tough Economic Times: Recent Developments in Underwriting and Claims

Despite conflicting opinions regarding the strength of the real estate and  financial market recovery, the title industry continues to face ever changing underwriting and claims issues. Recent legislation and case law have had a major impact on coverage and underwriting requirements. Topics will include application of equitable subrogation, new rules affecting mortgage lending, the continuing impact of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Stern v. Marshall, and other signfiicant issues affecting availability of title insurance.


  • Michael Busch, Fidelity National Title Group, Irvine
  • Kathleen Cashman- Kramer, Pyle Sims Duncan & Stevenson APC, San Diego
  • John Demas e Demas Law Firm, San Diego
  • Michael Dullea, Title Resources Guaranty Company, San Diego

[4] Redevelopment is Gone, Now What? – A Practical and Legal Discussion with a San Diego County Twist

Even several years after the demise of redevelopment, many legal and practical questions remain. This panel of private and public lawyers and an economic development specialist will discuss topics such as (i) recent developments in the wind down of redevelopment; (ii) the latest proposal by the legislature to establish a new alternative to redevelopment; and (iii) the strategies local agencies, owners, developers and their attorneys are using or can use to promote real estate and economic development regardless of what happens with the legislature and governor.


  • Brian Fish, McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP, San Diego
  • Kendall Levan, Principal at Kane, Ballmer & Berkman, San Diego
  • Jeff Graham, Senior Vice President of the Public Institutions Group of Jones Lange LaSalle and former President of Civic San Diego (the implementation arm of the City of SD Redevelopment Agency)
  • Kevin Reisch, City of San Diego Chief Deputy City Attorney, San Diego
5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Wine Reception (see Social/Ticketed Events for details)

Theopolis Vineyard

6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Family & Friend

BBQ Dinner (see Social/Ticketed Events for details)

8:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Section Leadership Dessert Party (see Social/Ticketed Events for details)

Saturday, May 2, 2015

7 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.


7 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.

Networking Breakfast

8 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Concurrent Sessions — (1.50 Hours of MCLE Credit)


[5] 5th Annual Financial Executives Roundtable

Real estate executives from the commercial  finnance markets will discuss their views of current market trends and projections for the next year – how  financial underwriting standards have changed in the past year, the kinds of deals that are being made, which markets are hot and which are languishing, whether too much money is chasing too few deals, the impact of inevitably rising interest rates, and whether the Federal Reserve is adequately protecting the economy.


  • William J. Bernfeld, K&L Gates LLP, Los Angeles
  • John Jardine, Ares Management LLC, Dallas, TX
  • Larry Schiff, Unicon Financial Services, Inc., Long Beach
  • Sar Kotoyan, Redwood Trust, Los Angeles

[6] Strategies for Urban Infill Development

With the demise of redevelopment, cities and counties must plan for the reuse of public properties without many formerly available tools.  is panel will describe legal constraints on the in ll development of urban properties, and techniques that agencies can use to redevelop sites for uses most consistent with local plans.


  • Dianne Jackson McLean, Goldfarb & Lipman LLP, Oakland
  • Fernando Villa, Allen Matkins, Los Angeles.

[7] The Meaning of Rights of First Offer and First Refusal in a Commercial Lease, and other Interesting Contract Issues

This presentation will compare rights of  first refusal and rights of  first offer, tell a real-life tale of litigation over which was intended by specific contract language, and give practical drafting advice for transactional lawyers on this and a host of other interesting contract issues.


  • Jean Bertrand, Schiff Hardin LLP
  • Susan Taylor, Shartsis Friese LLP, San Francisco
  • Elaine Andersson, Publisher, Commercial Real Estate Diversity Report,San Francisco
9:45 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.

3rd Annual RPLS Real Property Persons of the Year Award (“RPOY”) and Morning Star Awards

10:30 a.m. - 12 noon

Plenary Session — Professor’s Roundtable — (1.50 Hours of MCLE Credit)

Professors discuss the most important decisions of the past year affecting the real property community.


  • Roger Bernhardt, Professor, Golden Gate University, San Francisco
  • Shelley Saxer, Vice Dean and Laure Sudreau-Rippe Endowed Professor of Law, Pepperdine University, Malibu
  • Christine Tour-Sarkissian, Adjunct Professor, Golden Gate University, San Francisco
12:15 p.m. - 1:45 p.m.

Tom FellenzSpeaker Luncheon

Keynote Speaker Tom Fellenz, General Counsel

High Speed Rail Authority (Complimentary for registrants. RSVP required. See Program Registration. Guests $45)

2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Concurrent Sessions — (1.50 Hours of MCLE Credit)


[8] Can Your Clients Realistically Expect to Be Awarded All Their Attorney Fees?

Judges and litigator panelists will discuss tips that every real property litigator should know to maximize fee awards. The panel will also discuss how to conduct litigation to avoid claims by opposing counsel (and clients) and decisions by judges that the attorney fees charged were not reasonably related to the litigation or were unconscionable.


  • Hon. Harry M. Dorfman, Judge, San Francisco Superior Court, San Francisco
  • Hon. David A. Garcia (Ret.), JAMS, San Francisco
  • Kavita Sharma, Steven Adair MacDonald & Partners, San Francisco

[9] Release Your Inner Author: How to Publish a Book to Promote Your Expertise (includes .50 Hour of Legal Ethics)

Nothing bestows authority like being the person who “wrote the book.” New options have made it possible for lawyers to control their work from inspiration to publication and release a book in months rather than years. Attorney Helen Sedwick and her co-panelists will demystify the process, and review applicable ethical rules and considerations affecting your work.


  • Helen Sedwick, Bennet Valley Law, Santa Rosa and San Rafael Offices
  • Carla King, co-founder of Self-Pub Boot Camp
  • Gary Laturno, Goode, Hemme, Peterson, San Diego

[10] Land Use Decisions Under the New Sustainable Groundwater Management Act

Increased groundwater regulation and management has arrived with the enactment of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. Beyond managing basins, however, this new law will have a signi cant impact on a range of land use decisions. This multidisciplinary panel will explore the scope of this impact.


  • Barry Epstein, Allen Matkins Leck Gamble Mallory & Natis LLP, San Francisco
  • Timothy Parker, PG, CEG, CHG, Parker Groundwater, Sacramento
  • Glenn S. Russell, PhD, RPA, Director, Planning and Development County of Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara
3:45 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.

Concurrent Sessions — (1.50 Hours of MCLE Credit)


[11] Client Love: How to Earn It, How to Keep It

The competition for clients becomes more cutthroat every day. You believe you give great client service; so does every other lawyer. Learn how to get an edge by giving clients what they actually want, not what you think they want.

Speaker: Charles Ehrlich, Principal, Client Consult LLC, Woodside

[12] Are You a Good Host? The Shifting Legal Landscape of AirBNB, VRBO, and Other Online Rental Hosting Platforms

The panel will discuss the rapidly developing legal controversy over the use of web-based short term rental sites such as AirBNB, VRBO, Homeaway, and Turnkey, including questions about the legality of rentals using these sites in California’s major metropolitan areas.  e panel will also discuss some of the legal consequences of such short-term rentals, including tax fraud, penalties by governmental entities for zoning and building code violations, insurance coverage issues, and evictions.


  • Andrew Azarmi, McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP, San Francisco
  • DannyWang, Steven Adair MacDonald & Partners, P.C., San Francisco
7 p.m. - 9 p.m.

Will DurstDinner and a Few Jokes by Comedian Will Durst ($95 per person)

Sunday, May 3

7 a.m - 10:30 a.m.


7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.

Network Breakfast

8:30 a.m. - 10 a.m.

Concurrent Sessions — (1.50 Hours of MCLE Credit)


[13] Environmental Due Diligence in Real Estate Transactions: What Really Matters

This panel will address the various reasons for conducting environmental due diligence and the problems that can be avoided and benefits provided by a thorough environmental investigation. The panelists will discuss the typical documents reviewed in an environmental due diligence review, and common negotiations regarding provisions, indemnities, insurance, and lender requirements. Finally, the panel will cover the requirements for an ASTM-compliant Phase I Environmental Site Assessment, what is and is not generally included in a Phase I Report, and how to use the results of a Phase I Report to your clients’ benefit.


  • Betsy McDaniel, Sheppard Mullin, San Francisco
  • Mike Leslie, Caldwell Leslie & Proctor, Los Angeles
  • Katherine Allen, Sheppard Mullin, San Francisco

[14] Expert Witnesses: Helping You Help Your Clients (and Making You Look Good in the Process)

This panel will discuss ways for attorneys to get the most out of experts with whom they work. The panel will also discuss the effect of Sargon Enterprises Inc. v. University of Southern California, which held that the trial courts have a “substantial gatekeeping responsibility” in ensuring the reliability of expert testimony.


  • Martin F. Triano, Triano & Byrne, San Diego
  • B.J. Hawkins, PhD, CLPF,NCG
  • Adam Minow, MinowCPA Corporation, CPA, MBA, CVA, CF, Santa Ana
10:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

Concurrent Sessions — (1.50 Hours of MCLE Credit)


[15] Transfer Tax and Reassessment

What are the background rules for triggering transfer tax and reassessment? How are the two regimes different? This panel will provide practical advice on structuring common transactions to minimize or avoid reassessment and transfer tax, consistent with law.


  • Robert Miller, Lubin Olson & Niewiadomski LLP
  • Mike Muzzy, Lubin, Olson & Niewiadomski LLP

[16] Affordable and Inclusive: How Do We Ensure That Subsidized Affordable Housing Contributes To Promoting Inclusive and Diverse Communities?

Panelists will provide an overview of the Fair Housing Act, and the ramifications of both its prohibition of policies with a disparate impact on protected classes, and the duty it imposes upon governmental entities to affirmatively promote fair housing. Panelists will discuss the potential impact of the pending Supreme Court decision in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. and the continued responsibility in California to locate and build affordable housing in a manner consistent with fair housing law. Throughout the presentation, participants will learn how these requirements apply to different protected classes, including people with disabilities and persons with limited English proficiency.

Moderator: Navneet K. Grewal, Western Center on Law and Poverty, Los Angeles


  • Scott D. Chang, Relman, Dane & Colfax PLLC, Washington DC
  • Mike Rawson, Public Interest Law Project, Oakland
  • Dara Schur, Disability Rights California, Oakland;
  • Renee Williams, National Housing Law Project, San Francisco