Developments of Interest

New Cases of Interest - November 14, 2014

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Najah v. Scottsdale Insurance Company (2014) 230 Cal.App 4th 125.  This is an anti-deficiency case that involves a factual situation in which a lender who had sold  commercial property to the borrowers acquired that property through a full credit bid and a foreclosure sale under a second deed of trust, but the lender also had taken an assignment of the first deed of trust.  The lender sued the borrower seeking to recover for known pre-foreclosure damages deliberately caused by the borrowers to the building on the property.  The court held that the full credit bid precluded the lender from making an insurance claim under the mortgagee protection provision and it made no difference whether the lender also held the first deed of trust by way of assignment.

ELLIS Law Group, LLP, v. Nevada City Sugar Loaf Properties, LLC (2014) 230 Cal.App 4th 244.  This is a SLAPP case.  The trial court had awarded attorney's fees to a law firm in connection with a successful SLAPP motion.  The Court of Appeal reversed, noting first that the order regarding award of attorney's fees was appealable.  The court then found that attorney's fees could not be awarded to the law firm for the work of an attorney who was a member of the firm given his identification of the caption, and the lack of a notice of any association of counsel, regardless of whether the attorney was also an independent contractor for federal tax purposes.  

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