Entries by Peterson, Martin & Reynolds LLP

License Agreement Granting Use of Commercial Property Was Not a Lease and Therefore Not Subject to Landlord-Tenant Laws 

Summary The dispute in Castaic Studios v. Wonderland Studios centered on the interpretation and enforcement of a commercial property agreement, highlighting critical distinctions between the law governing commercial lease agreements and license agreements.  Because the agreement in the case was governed by contract law, not landlord-tenant law, the owner of the commercial property was barred […]

Yes in My Back Yard v. City of Culver City (2023): Court Clarifies Limits on Local Zoning Under Housing Act

This case involves a challenge under California’s Housing Crisis Act to the City of Culver City’s ordinance reducing the floor area ratio (FAR) permitted for single-family homes. Plaintiffs Yes in My Back Yard and Sonja Trauss (collectively, YIMBY) filed a petition for writ of mandate after the city adopted Ordinance No. 2020-010, which lowered the […]

Fitness International v. KB Salt Lake III: California Court Rejects Tenant’s Covid Defense as an Excuse for Unpaid Rent

In a September 2023 decision, the California Court of Appeals affirmed a judgment in favor of a commercial landlord who prevailed on summary judgment in an unlawful detainer action against a tenant fitness center that stopped paying rent during COVID-19 closure orders. The Second Appellate District ruled in Fitness International, LLC v. KB Salt Lake […]

Beebe v. Wonderful Pistachios: California Court Lowers Causation Bar in Bird Droppings Lawsuit

Background In June 2023, the California Court of Appeal examined the proof needed to establish causation in toxic exposure cases, reversing a defense summary judgment in Beebe v. Wonderful Pistachios & Almonds LLC. The court held that the plaintiff had raised a triable issue of material fact through circumstantial evidence connecting his exposure to contaminated […]

Property Litigation in The Wake of Natural Disasters

Natural disasters in California sometimes lead to complicated property disputes and insurance claims. The aftermath of a natural disaster can leave property owners grappling not only with the physical aftermath but also with boundary issues and insurance claims. You need a serious and committed real estate attorney to help you successfully work through any property […]

What Is a Zoning Variance and When Do You Need One?

Zoning refers to legally designating different kinds of properties that can be built in a specific neighborhood or area. Municipalities and counties enact zoning ordinances for dictating and shaping a particular community. It also prevents illegal, inappropriate, or disputed real estate properties from cropping up. Choose an experienced real estate litigation attorney who can help […]

Legal Challenges in Mixed-Use Commercial Developments

Mixed-use commercial developments have become increasingly popular in California due to their ability to combine residential, commercial, and recreational spaces in a single project. These developments aim to create vibrant, sustainable, and walkable neighborhoods. Moreover, this innovative approach to urban planning presents unique legal challenges for developers, businesses, and residents alike. With a knowledgeable commercial […]

Navigating Real Estate Litigation in Cohousing Communities

Co-housing communities have gained popularity in California as an alternative living arrangement that emphasizes cooperation, shared resources, and a sense of community. These communities are characterized by individuals or families living in separate units while sharing common areas and responsibilities. As with any communal living arrangement, however, conflicts may arise, leading to real estate litigation. […]