June 2016 Real Estate Law Newsletter

Timing & Preparation Creates Opportunities

During the summer months, the Bay Area real estate market is brimming with opportunity. Agents are working fervently to take advantage of the spike in home sales activity. Investors are making deals that generate high returns. Small businesses are scaling up their efforts to capitalize on good weather. The opportunity to make a big impact is created when effective preparation coincides with favorable timing.

Our firm wants you to maximize the impact you can make this summer. So, we focus on the theme of making an impact in the June edition of our newsletter. This past month, Simon Offord appeared on the Brian Copeland radio show to discuss the impact that high prices have on the real estate market. Additionally, Julia M. Wei presented a webinar about partition actions and how an aging baby boomer population is impacting co-ownership in the Bay Area. And finally, our law firm won an award for the impact that our use of technology has on our firm’s operations.

Highlights in this month’s issue:

–Read about Simon Offord’s appearance on The Brian Copeland Show, and listen to the rebroadcast as an on-demand podcast

–Watch the replay and download the slides from our partition action webinar presented by Julia M. Wei

–Check out the award won by Brewer Offord & Pedersen LLP

–Learn about the risks of non-contingent offers from Simon Offord

–Catch up on recent updates from the firm, including speaking engagements, TV shows, mediations, awards, presentations, and more

We hope you enjoy reading the June edition of our newsletter!


The real estate market in the Bay Area is one of the most difficult and expensive markets in the country. Summer is the busiest time of year for the industry, and consumers all around the Bay are looking for information about real estate trends, traps, and tips.

On June 16, attorney Simon Offord appeared as a guest on The Brian Copeland Show on KGO 810. The popular radio talk show is hosted by Brian Copeland, an award-winning actor, comedian, author, and radio personality. During the hour-long real estate feature, Simon spoke about trends in the Bay Area real estate market and answered questions from callers.

You can listen to the entire podcast, including Simon Offord’s insights, by clicking the button below.


Co-ownership is a common way that siblings, families, and investors hold title to property in the Bay Area. However, disagreements can arise between the co-owners about the use, rights, or benefits of the property. These contentious disputes can be resolved through partition action, where one co-owner has the ability to sever the co-ownership through a sale of the shared real estate asset.

On June 21st, Brewer Offord & Pedersen LLP produced a webinar about co-ownership disputes and partition actions in California. Attorney Julia M. Wei discussed a number of critically important topics regarding partition actions and co-ownership issues in California, including:

  • Basics of Co-Ownership of Property
  • Who, What, Where, When, and Why of Partition Actions
  • Typical Situations and Characteristics of Partition Actions in California
  • Common Reasons for a California Partition Action
  • Mechanics of a Partition Action & Trial
  • Using a Referee in a Partition Action
  • Accounting, Attorney Fees, & Special Interests

A full video replay of the webinar, including the corresponding slides, are now available to view and download. Visit https://www.brewerfirm.com/partitionwebinar, or click the button below, to access the webinar resources!



In today’s startup era, entrepreneurs are churning out new technology solutions at a rapid pace. However, law firms traditionally lag behind the adoption and implementation of new technology. Innovations that impact the practice of law are constantly emerging. These advancements are transforming all aspects of law, from case management to discovery to marketing.

This past June, the Midwest chapter of the Legal Marketing Association (LMA) hosted the 2016 Legal Marketing Technology Conference in Chicago, Illinois. To recognize the importance of technology on a law firm’s ability to serve its clients, the conference presented awards to honor firms that excelled in using technology to advance client service.

Brewer Offord & Pedersen LLP was selected as a finalist for the Impact Award, among two AmLaw 200 law firms, in the Marketing & Business Development category. The firm finished in 2nd place! You can read more about the accomplishment in the press release below.



Non-contingent offers are on the rise in the Bay Area, as a strategy for accelerating real estate transactions. However, there are a number of risks associated with non-contingent offers.

Here are some highlights from Simon Offord about the risks that buyers and sellers should know.

  • Use the Buyer’s Inspection Advisory and Waiver, and the Market Condition Advisory forms
  • Use the Statewide Buyer and Seller Advisory
  • Watch out for outdated reports or incomplete disclosures
  • Be on the lookout for title issues
  • Pay special attention to the Natural Hazards Report
  • Don’t give assurances

For real estate agents, it is beneficial to spell out the risks of non-contingent offers in writing — not just sending the forms for clients to sign. Make sure the client has read through the advisories and waivers, and encourage them to ask questions or seek counsel.

  • Understand the risks of non-contingent offers and liquidated damages
  • Be thorough in your investigation prior to putting in an offer
  • Buyers: Ensure that all issues with the property are adequately disclosed


You can find all of our firm’s published resources in one place on our website!

Access all of our resources, including

  • Past Newsletters
  • Articles
  • E-books
  • Infographics
  • Published Industry Materials
  • And much more!


  • Peter N. Brewer attended and presented at the 2016 California State Bar Solo & Small Firm Summit in Newport Beach on June 16-17th. Alongside his colleague Peter M. Rehon of Rehon & Roberts, Peter was a presenter for three different educational sessions about law practice technology, attorney marketing, and law firm growth
  • Brewer Offord & Pedersen LLP won 2nd place in the Marketing and Business Development Category of the 2016 Impact Awards, presented by the Legal Marketing Association (LMA) Technology Conference-Midwest
  • Simon Offord gave a presentation on June 20th to a group of agents and brokers from Silicon Valley Associates about non-contingent offers and disclosures
  • Julia M. Wei closed a $2M option contract for a piece of real property in San Francisco
  • Henry Chuang enjoyed a trip to Mexico over the Memorial Day holiday weekend
  • Peter N. Brewer and Ashlee D. Adkins successfully settled a deposit dispute over a $2M+ property in Palo Alto through mediation, effectively saving the client from paying the full liquidated damages amount
  • On June 14th, Simon Offord was the featured guest on the “Kapowich on Real Estate” TV show, speaking about off-MLS real estate listings
  • Director of Marketing Clayton Dodds had an article about law firm mergers & acquisitions published in the Bar Association of San Francisco’s (BASF) June Bulletin
  • Julia M. Wei helped an international corporate client complete a $4M purchase of commercial property in Palo Alto
  • Simon Offord assisted in creating an easement during escrow to facilitate the closing of a $1M+ deal for property in Orinda
  • Office Manager Jessica Urioste attended a mixer for the Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce on June 15th, and also attended the Emerging Professionals in Commerce (EPIC) event on June 21st with Clayton Dodds
  • Simon Offord settled a deposit dispute over a failed purchase of a $3M+ property in Palo Alto



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