Real Estate Litigation 101: Easements
Neighbor boundary disputes and other real property litigation often involve claims of easements. Not even all real estate lawyers are clear on what constitutes an easement and how to establish a claim of easement. This article discusses what easements are and are not, and how to establish or defeat a claim for an easement.
An easement is an interest in the land of another, which entitles the owner of the easement to a limited use or enjoyment of the other’s land. Notice right up front that the land is owned by “another”, meaning an easement is not a claim of ownership. An easement creates a nonpossessory right to enter and use land in another’s possession and obligates the possessor not to interfere with the uses authorized by the easement.
Words of Wisdom from Coach K
On Tuesday night, Coach Mike Krzyzewski (“Coach K”) coached his 903rd basketball victory, making him the winningest coach in Men’s Division 1 basketball. Having graduated from Duke, watched Coach K coach for the last 25 years and twice attended Coach K’s Leadership Conference at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business, I am an unabashed fan of Coach K and his incredible team building ability. Here are some quotes from Coach K and congratulations to Duke and to Coach K for their legacy of excellence.
COOPERATION – “People want to be on a team. They want to be part of something bigger than themselves. They want to be in a situation where they feel that they are doing something for the greater good.”
EXCELLENCE – “Everything we do has our own personal signature one it. So we want to do it as well as we possibly can.”
LEADERSHIP – “Almost everything in leadership comes back to relationships.”
LEADERSHIP – “People are not going to follow you as a leader unless you show them that you’re real. They are not going to believe you unless they trust you. And they are not going to trust you unless you always tell them the truth and admit when you were wrong.”
Settled at 9:30 pm on the night before trial…
Gas TowerWe have been vigorously defending our client in a real estate “resulting trust” case, in which the plaintiff claimed to have invested with her mother (our client) over 30 years ago and now claimed an ownership interest in one of her mother’s Beverly Hills apartment buildings. After we discovered an old legal document in the Los Angeles Superior Court archives that destroyed plaintiff’s case, we were able to settle the case with just hours to go before the start of trial.
Wholesale Mortgage Case Settled…
In another case, we were able to appear on the day of trial with a mutually beneficial settlement for both parties. Our client, a wholesale mortgage originator in Tennessee was sued on a Loan Repurchase Agreement by Countrywide Home Loans.
We have been hired by a client to defend against a claim that the client is the beneficiary of a fraudulent conveyance. We are seeking the dismissal of the case on collateral estoppel grounds in that the non-liability of the conveyor was already determined in a prior lawsuit.
We continue to represent homeowners in a boundary dispute with adjoining property owners…to represent two brothers in a partition lawsuit with their younger brother over the ownership and sale of two apartment buildings…to assist the seller of an apartment building over claims of fraud, non-disclosure and breach of contract…to assist a home buyer in the purchase of a new home…to represent a shopping center owner in an ADA (disability) claim…and to assist a client with a breach of lease lawsuit over a retail space on Melrose Avenue.