Schorr Law Named one of the Top 20 Real Estate Law Firms

Schorr Law has been recently notified that it was chosen as one of the Top 20 Real Estate Law Firms in Los Angeles by the team at Expertise.com! As real estate attorneys in Los Angeles who focus almost exclusively on real estate law, it is an honor to receive such recognition. Schorr Law prides itself on obtaining the best possible results for its clients, and it is known for having experts in the field. Expertise.com’s goal is to connect people across the US with the best experts in their local area by creating lists of each city’s best professionals. Out of 901 Real Estate Law Firms in Los Angeles, the team at Expertise.com chose what they believe are the top 20 (in no specific order).

Posted in Real Estate Attorney Los Angeles

When Can a Landlord Keep a Security Deposit?

  Many of us have been renters at one point in our adult lives, so most of us are familiar with security deposits.  A security deposit is there to protect the landlord for the risk they undertake in allowing what is usually a relative stranger to take possession of their property.  If all goes well, the tenant should receive the entire security deposit back when they move out of the landlord’s property.  In fact, if you are a tenant about to sign a residential lease, keep in mind that it is against the law for the landlord to charge you a “nonrefundable” deposit! But when is a landlord entitled to keep a security deposit?  While residential security deposits cannot be nonrefundable, they are usually forfeitable, meaning

Posted in Leases Tagged with:

“Adverse” Element for Adverse Possession/Prescriptive Easements

One of the factors for obtaining a prescriptive easement or adverse possession is that the use of land must be “adverse” to the true property owner. What does “adverse” mean? The term “adverse use” “means only that the owner has not expressly consented to [the use] by lease or license….” (Felgenhauer v. Soni (2004) 121 Cal.App.4th 445, 450, 17 Cal.Rptr.3d 135 (Felgenhauer).) The 2006 case of Aaron v. Dunham, 137 Cal.App.4th 1244, provides insight on what the adverse term means.   It provides as follows: “Adverse use” means only that the claimant’s use of the property was made without the explicit or implicit permission of the landowner. As explained in Felgenhauer: “Claim of right does not require a belief or claim that the use is legally justified. [Citation.] It simply

Posted in Adverse Posession, Prescriptive Easement Tagged with: , ,

Recent Changes to Beverly Hills Rent Control Laws

  On February 21, 2017, the Beverly Hills City Council (“City Council”) voted unanimously to amend its rent control laws.  Specifically, the City Council adopted the Amended Rent Stabilization and Urgency Ordinance (“Amended Ordinance”) to Chapters 5 & 6, of Title 4, of the Beverly Hills Municipal Code (the “BH Rent Control Laws”).  The Amended Ordinance creates the following three major changes to the BH Rent Control Laws: The BH Rent Control Laws now limit rent increases from a maximum of 10% annually to a maximum of 3% annually.  Specifically, Paragraph B of Section 4-6-3 of Chapter 6 of Title 4 now reads, Such increases shall not exceed the greater of: (1) three percent (3%) of the rental rate then in effect, or (2) the percentage

Posted in Commercial Lease, Residential Lease Tagged with: ,

Coaching a Witness During Deposition is Prohibited!

We have been taking a lot of depositions lately and, in so doing, we have noticed a lot of improper coaching of witnesses during deposition by opposing counsel. This caused us to revisit the Los Angeles County Superior Court’s Rules Guidelines for Civility in Litigation. In particular, Appendix 3.A provides: (8) While a question is pending, counsel should not, through objections or otherwise, coach the deponent or suggest answers. What does this mean? It means that when a lawyer asks a question the deponent (the person answering the question) must answer the question only subject to the deponent’s lawyer’s objection. The lawyer cannot take or break or attempt to go off the record while the question is pending. That is completely improper. The deponent must

Posted in Depositions, Litigation Tagged with: ,

How Technology Can Facilitate Court Appearances

With the advent of technology, litigators do not have to be restricted to practicing in their immediate geographical vicinity. For example, litigators have the option of appearing for most court appearances remotely via CourtCall or even via video conference calls. Similarly, to save clients time and money, attorneys can conduct remotely via video conferencing technology. As another example, many courts are in the process of transitioning to electronic filing, which has made it far easier for attorneys to instantly file documents in a cost effective manner. Indeed, attorneys can even access copies of filed documents without ever leaving their office. Schorr Law routinely uses technology to represent clients in real estate matters in all areas of both Northern and Southern California, including, but not limited to, Los Angeles

Posted in Court / Trial

Why the Appraisal Contingency Matters?

A few years ago, Schorr Law’s lead trial attorney, Zachary Schorr was quoted in an article entitled “An Appraising Eye”, which was included in a new home buyer’s guide. The article talked about the importance of the appraisal in the home buying process. We now would like to focus on why the appraisal contingency matters. An appraisal contingency is a condition in a typical real estate contract that allows the potential buyer of the property to back out of the transaction if the property does not appraise at the purchase price. For example, consider the following scenario: Buyer agrees to buy a property for $1 million Buyer has $200,000 for a down payment Buyer’s lender will only lend buyer 80% of the purchase price, buyer

Posted in Contingencies, Contracts/ Agreements, Purchase and Sale Tagged with: ,

Neighbor Disputes and Attorney Fees under the Penal Code

  Neighbor disputes involving real property are never fun.  To sustain your neighborly relationship with those who live next door, it is always best to amicably resolve these disputes.  Common neighbor disputes include loud noise, blocking the driveway, tree roots or overhanging trees, and, of course, the litigious boundary line dispute. Unfortunately, however, on many occasions these disputes cannot reasonably be resolved.  Moreover, in the process of attempting to resolve them, discussions between neighbors become acrimonious and relationships crumble.  For this reason, whenever you encounter these types of disputes, it is sometimes worth the extra money to hire an attorney.  Yes, attorney’s fees are often unrecoverable in cases involving neighbor disputes over real property.  Nonetheless, these fees could be recoverable under the penal code. In

Posted in Neighbor Disputes Tagged with: ,

Statutes of Limitation for Quiet Title Claims

At the outset of brining or defending any claim involving use and possession of real property it is always a good idea to examine the applicable statutes of limitation. This is true because they can either present a possible winning defense or, if you are the plaintiff, they can provide a potential pitfall that you have to carefully navigate around. For example, for quiet title claims there is no particular statutes of limitation. The limitations period is instead determined by the underlying theory of relief – fraud, adverse possession, mistake, trespass, etc. We frequently see statute of limitation defenses rear their head in quiet title claims where the person out of possession seeks to quiet title after a period of time where they were not

Posted in Litigation, Quiet Title Tagged with: ,

How to Initiate Probate Litigation in California

In California, probate petitions are initiated in superior court where the court has jurisdiction pursuant to probate code section 7050. The superior court has jurisdiction over (1) will probate and will contests, (2) the appointment or removal of personal representatives, (3) estate management and (4) the distribution of the probate estate. One issue that comes up when initiating a probate proceeding is the property venue – the place to file the lawsuit. If the decedent (person who died) was living in California at the time of their death, then the proper place to commence the probate is in the county where the decedent lived prior to their death. Probate petitions or responses thereto must be verified under Probate Code section 1021. This means that the

Posted in Probate Disputes

Zachary D. Schorr’s Expert Appearance on the Dr. Phil Show

Zachary D. Schorr’s Expert Appearance on ABC’s Nightline

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Super Lawyers

Zachary Schorr Superlawyers

Zachary D. Schorr has been named to the Southern California Super Lawyers (Rising Stars) list for attorneys in Real Estate for 5 straight years - 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. Each year, no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state receive this honor. In 2016 he was also included as one of the top 100 lawyers in Southern California in this category. The selection for this respected list is made by the research team at Super Lawyers.

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If you are currently involved in a real estate dispute, either commercial real estate or residential, and are looking for a Real Estate Attorney in Los Angeles with a cost-effective, results oriented approach designed to meet your case's specific needs, contact the attorneys at Schorr Law. Our real estate firm has the specific knowledge and experience necessary to get you the best possible results.

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