CC&R’s cannot impose restrictions on the addition of ADU’s, including Junior ADU’s. Civil Code §4751 states that CC&R’s can impose “reasonable restrictions” so long as they do not interfere with Sections 65852.2 or 65852.22 of the Government Code. This probably means submitting plans for approval to their design approval board and paying a small fee for that review.

The legislature has passed several bills promoting additional housing loosening up restrictions on building Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU’s). Until 2025, new for January 2020, Senate Bill 13 adds Government Code §65852.2, and removes Health and Safety Code 17980.12 restrictions as to land use. The new law now allows ADU’s up to 1,200 sq. feet to be built where previously prohibited for both single-family or multifamily dwellings. You can add junior units and effectively create a triplex out of a single-family house! They can be attached to, or located within, an attached garage, storage area, or other structure. Maybe even in a large storage room!
The setback requirements are loosened for an existing garage conversion to only require five feet from the side and rear lot lines for an ADU constructed above a garage.
While a parking space must be provided, you do not need to replace parking spaces if a garage, carport, or covered parking is demolished to construct an ADU. There cannot be additional parking restrictions if the ADU is located within one-half mile walking distance of public transit.

The current law is only staying evictions or unlawful detainer actions for non-payment of rent.  Please read this memo: July 14, 2020 Updated Letter to Clients re COVID-19 – UD

Civil trials will probably be continued until after November 1, 2020 if it is a short matter, e.g. court trial.  Jury trials will (may) be in 2021.  The backlog will force most civil trials to be continued for months after that.  Most civil court hearings will be continued as well.  Issuance of new summons’ and Default judgments are stayed unless the public health is at risk.  Trials are also to be delayed 60 days unless the pubic health is at risk.  Read more here: April 6, 2020 Court Emergency Order on Summons, trials, etc.

If a tenants does not pay the rent,, the money is still due.  Tenants must prove an inability to pay the rent caused by the Covid-19 harm to business effects and the tenant will have one year to pay it back.  There are some technical legal issues, but landlords and tenants are encouraged to make a re-payment plan, however, there is a “legal secret” behind that to the detriment of landlords.  Nevertheless, I expect a flood of evictions from these issues.  The problem is even if your eviction case concerns “health or safety” multiple ex parte hearings are required.  I estimate the average eviction (for  a serious health or safety issue) will cost $10,000+.  My estimate is $15,000-$20,000.  The court’s eviction related rules are also here Los Angeles Superior Court Eviction and Other Rules

While most things are negotiable, there are a few items which by law are allocated to the seller or buyer.  Even if allocated, so long as the legal obligation to perform is done, the parties can negotiate who pays for what.  See this memo as to costs applicable in Los Angeles including retrofit.  See this pdf: Seller pays for Retrofit and LA compliance certificate

As to allocation of title, escrow and some other closing costs, see this memo from a title company: Guide To California Closing Costs

Trial courts have great discretion as to determining what is a reasonable attorney fee.  Some judges look at what is a “market rate” and for high end clients they will pay $1,200 per hour.  In an unpublished opinion, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge William Fahey awarded attorney’s fees in favor of Latham Watkins, Gibson Dunn and Munger Tolles in excess of $1,200 per hour.

Judge Fahey in a case involving an professional and former Olympic beach volleyball player, Alan Jay Weil of Kendall Brill & Kelly, was awarded $850 which was his discounted rate in 2018 , discounted from his standard rate of $950; $360-$395 for the associate, discounted from $490; and $290 for the paralegals, discounted from $300.

The plaintiffs’ attorneys in a class action were denied attorney’s fees because some of the attorneys failed to disclose their lack of professional liability insurance to the client at the time the client retained the attorney.  The Court of Appeal concluded the agreement was unenforceable because of failure to comply with former rule 3-410 and reversed the fee award with directions to redetermine the division of fees. (Hance v. Super Store Industries (Cal. App. 5th Dist., Jan. 23, 2020) 2020 WL 373070.)  The new rule after 2018 is Rule 1.4.2.  Read the case:


In Berkeley Cement, Inc. v. Regents of the Univ. of California (2019) 30 Cal.App.5th 1153, the court confirmed that a trial court may award mediation fees as costs, whether the mediation is court ordered or privately agreed to. In affirming the award of mediation fees as costs, Berkeley Cement noted that although mediation costs are not expressly allowable in the Code of Civil Procedure, such costs “fall within the category of costs that may be awarded in the trial court’s discretion.” (Id. at p. 1140.)

Waiver of the right to a jury trial cannot be imposed as a sanction.  In a Los Angeles unlawful detainer action, the pro per tenant (who was also pro per on appeal) appeared on the trial date without complying with a Los Angeles County Superior Court Civil Division unlawful detainer standing order. The court found “defendant had waived jury by not preparing for a jury trial,” and following a court trial, judgment was entered against her and possession of the premises was awarded to plaintiff. Because the court exceeded its authority in denying defendant’s right to be tried by a jury, the judgment was reversed.

The tenant/defendant had requested the Court to continue the matter to prepare jury instructions, etc.  But the Court found the defendant not credible legal reason why she was not prepared for trial.

Code of Civil Procedure section 631, subdivision (f), sets forth the exclusive grounds for a jury waiver, and failure to prepare for trial is not listed. Showing up for trial unprepared may subject a party to monetary sanctions, but it does not constitute a waiver of the right to jury, and a court has no power under these circumstances to refuse to conduct a jury trial.

The Appellate Court pointed out that the Standing Order states, “Failure to comply with any provision of this Standing Order without substantial justification may result in monetary sanctions.” (See Code Civ. Proc., § 575.2 [authorizing imposition of sanctions for failure to comply with trial court rules when the rules specify sanctions may be imposed]; see also Code Civ. Proc., § 177.5 [“A judicial officer shall have the power to impose reasonable money sanctions … for any violation of a lawful court order by a person, done without good cause or substantial justification”].) Notably, the Standing Order does not provide failing to prepare for trial per its requirements can result in a jury waiver.3
“But, more to the point, even if the Standing Order had provided that failing to comply with its provisions could result in a jury waiver, it would be unenforceable. “The fundamental flaw here is that the court imposed a remedy for the violation of its order that was not authorized by law.”

Guo Zhang Chen v. Lin (Cal. App. Dep’t Super. Ct., Nov. 14, 2019, No. BV 033055) 2019 WL 6341283


I had a case where the issue was if the work had been previously published invalidating the US copyright.  This case will be very useful for showing no publication occurred if the work was only posted on a foreign website.  In Moberg v 33T LLC (D Del 2009) 666 F Supp 2d 415, the district court held that a work posted on a foreign website was not “published” in the United States for purposes of 17 USC §411 and therefore did not trigger the registration requirement.