Monthly Archives: March 2014

Purcell v. Schweitzer- How To Avoid A Questionable Windfall

California Appellate Report: Purcell v. Schweitzer Cal. Ct. App. – March 17, 2014.

Professor Shaun Martin, at The California Appellate Report generally puts my work to shame. He entertains and educate and his analysis of the Purcell matter is no exception.

I have also used stipulated judgments with the hammer of a larger judgment should the defendant fail to perform (and had them used against my defendant client). To avoid the windfall of a larger judgment near the end of the payment schedule, I always include a notice and cure provision in the event of a default. If, as in Purcell, the defendant had notice that his next to last payment was late and had a cure period, then it would be his choice as to whether the plaintiff could enter the hammer of a judgment.

The decision in Purcell is correct, but terribly unfair to the defendant and not in the spirit of the settlement agreement. A notice and cure period would eliminate these concerns.

Saffie v. Schmeling- Buyers Need To Do Their Homework

Click here for opinion.

An MLS listing stated that an undeveloped parcel of land in Riverside County was “declared buildable” and that there was a report available.  The report, however, was from 1982, before the 1994 Northridge earthquake.

The buyer reviewed the report, bought the property, and tried to develop it.  Riverside County was more sensitive about development and stated that what might have been a state of the art investigation in 1982 was not in 2006.  The buyer concluded that the additional geological testing made development impractical and sued his broker, the seller, and the seller’s broker.

The buyer prevailed against his own broker, but lost versus the seller and his broker.  The buyer only appealed the decision involving the seller’s broker.

The court of appeals affirmed.  The report was accurate at the time and generally approved the condition of the property (even though it did not use the term “buildable”).  The court would not impose on the seller’s broker a duty to confirm the ongoing reliability or accuracy of a report.  That task falls to the buyer and his broker.

Buyers must review disclosures and reports carefully with their broker.  If questions arise, then ask them.  A developer cannot blame a seller’s broker because a 24 year old earthquake fault report did not create an absolute right to develop property.



Last Week’s Stupid Lawsuit- UPDATE!

Rachel Canning, ‘spoiled’ N.J. teen, goes home to parents – NY Daily News.

The lawsuit, however, remains pending.

Today’s Stupid Lawsuit

High school student, 18, moves in with lawyer’s family, sues parents for support and college tuition.

The last time I checked, 18 year olds are adults.  While parents may support their children beyond their 18th birthday, I am not aware of any obligation to do so.

It could be that New Jersey courts so much funding that this waste of judicial resources would not be a big deal, but there have to be more important matters for the courts to address.

In a March 4 2014, articlethe New York Post, not often the most objective source of news, stated that the judge, “blasted the teenager who showed “gross disrespect” for her parents,  left home and now wants mom and dad to pay almost all her expenses.”  Maybe the judge should have just dismissed the case.

I just hope it does not give my kids any ideas…