November 2016 Real Estate Law Newsletter


Get Moving On Your Next Success

Many new things are just on the horizon — a new year, a slate of new laws, and even a new president-elect. So it’s time to MOVE! With so many opportunities ahead, now is the best time to get moving on your plans to capitalize on the many possibilities in front of you. If new laws present a future challenge, now is the time to create a strategy for overcoming those looming issues. Every new year brings the potential for meeting new people, so create a strategic plan for success before the end of this year.

This month, we carry the “get moving” theme into our November newsletter — Simon Offord covers an important shift in fiduciary duty for dual agents; Ashlee D. Adkins and Henry Chuang join forces to produce a webinar about California landlord-tenant law basics; our firm gets moving into the next year with a newly-redesigned website; and our team keeps moving with blog articles, radio appearances, case wins, and more.

Highlights in this month’s issue:

–Get informed about the most recent California Supreme Court decision affecting real estate agents from the same brokerage firm

–Register for our upcoming free webinar about California landlord-tenant law, which will be presented by attorneys Ashlee D. Adkins and Henry Chuang

–Check out our redesigned website! Featuring a brand new resource library, enhanced interactive features, and updated firm information

–Listen to the podcast of Simon Offord’s appearance on the Brian Copeland radio show

–Read blog articles written by Simon Offord and Julia M. Wei

–Catch up on recent updates from the firm, including speaking engagements, trips, articles, sponsorships, birthdays, and more

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

Dual Agent Fiduciary Duty

Right before the Thanksgiving holiday, the California Supreme Court handed down a highly anticipated ruling regarding whether or not agents owe a fiduciary duty of care to a buyer if both of the agents involved in the transaction are from the same brokerage.

For years, the real estate community has paid close attention to developments in Horiike v. Coldwell Banker — a contentious case involving the purchase of a Malibu mansion from a seller represented by celebrity agent Chris Cortazzo. The case was brought up to the California Supreme Court on appeal from the California 2nd District Court of Appeals, which originally held that, if both the buyer’s and seller’s agents are under the same brokerage, then it constitutes a dual agency and both agents owe a fiduciary duty of care.

Simon Offord covers the case in-depth in a featured article on our website.

Click the “View More” button below in order to read and download the article.

View More

Calfornia Landlord Webina

Rental property investments can be a lucrative business in the Bay Area, given the high rent amounts and high demand for housing. However, California is one of the most tenant-friendly states in the country. For owners and investors alike, there is a labyrinth of laws that a landlord must navigate in order to stay in compliance with the law — and thus out of trouble.

On December 16th, attorneys Henry Chuang and Ashlee D. Adkins from our firm will be presenting a webinar about the basics of being a landlord in California. This webinar will cover important landlord and tenant topics, including:

  • Deposit Disputes
  • Dispute Resolution Techniques
  • Habitability Issues
  • Leases & Rents
  • and much more

Register for our free webinar by clicking the “Register” button below.


New Brewer Firm Website

Our firm’s website has gone through many iterations since first coming online way back in 2003. Over the past 13 years, new advances in technology have naturally resulted in changing expectations that users have for websites — everything from layout to functionality to mobile-responsiveness.

To adapt to these constantly evolving standards, the time has finally come for a new look to elevate our website into the future. So, we are thrilled to announce the release of our newly redesigned website!

Version 1.0 of the new site features a number of upgrades, including:

  • Refreshed layout and design
  • Improved site organization, navigation, and structure
  • Mobile-responsive site infrastructure
  • Brand new resource library, jam-packed with excellent real estate law resources
  • Updated attorney and staff bio pages

Additional features, pages, and articles will be published in the coming days, so be sure to check back often!

Check it out at, and tell us what you think!

Visit Website

Simon on KGO 810

On November 17th, 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 real estate clinic, Simon spoke about trends in the Bay Area real estate market and answered questions from callers, along with a panel of local real estate agents.

You can listen to the entire podcast of this month’s show, including Simon Offord’s insights, by clicking the “Listen to Podcast” button below.

Simon on Copeland Show

Neighbor Nuisance

Excessive noise is one of the most common causes of strife between neighbors, and can result in nuisance litigation. Determining what exactly constitutes a noise nuisance involves many different facts being weighed to make a final judgment. Simon Offord writes about a recent Appellate Court case that handled the issue of what constitutes a nuisance.

Read More

Marijuana Commercial Leas

On November 8th, the “Adult Use of Marijuana Act”, or Proposition 64, was passed by California voters, by a margin of 57-43. As a result, the sale of marijuana for recreational use will be legal under California state law, effective January 1, 2018. Attorney Julia M. Wei discusses the impact of the new law on commercial leases in her blog article.

Read More


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!

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Brewer Firm News

  • On November 4th, Peter N. Brewer and Simon Offord presented about new laws, real estate trends, and tricky contract provisions on November 4th, as part of the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® (SILVAR) monthly speaker series

  • The Brewer Offord & Pedersen LLP was the presenting sponsor for the Keller-Williams BOLD seminar in Campbell on November 7th
  • Simon Offord assisted in the close of escrow of the sale of a home in Menlo Park by forcing a lien claimant to remove a series of improper mechanic’s liens recorded on the eve of sale
  • Henry Chuang reached a settlement in an adversary proceeding resulting in the client securing a $50K non-dischargeable judgment in bankruptcy court
  • Simon Offord presented to the Silicon Valley Associates, Campbell Office about easements and dual agency on November 28th in Campbell
  • Peter N. Brewer celebrated his birthday on November 30th, and Simon Offord celebrated his birthday on November 16th
  • Henry Chuang won a motion for summary judgment in Sacramento County
  • Simon Offord gave a presentation about dual agency and the recent Horiike v. Coldwell Banker case to the San Mateo County Association of REALTORS® (SAMCAR) Redwood City tour meeting on November 22nd
  • Henry Chuang and his husband traveled to Tokyo, Japan for a week-long vacation, surviving the earthquake and the first November snowstorm in 50 years
  • Simon Offord settled a dispute with an HOA in San Jose regarding the hardwood flooring in a unit, successfully avoiding trial for the client


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