Real Property & Land Use Litigation

Our litigators have expertise in a broad range of real property matters, covering the spectrum from lender and developer representation to eminent domain.

The firm’s real estate litigation clients are equally diverse, and include landowners, developers, contractors, brokers, lenders, investors, and public entities.  Consistent with the Firm’s approach to litigation matters in general, our attorneys approach their cases with practical, result-oriented plans which are tailored to the client’s particular needs and budget.

Some of the cases handled by the Real Estate Litigation Practice group include, but are not limited to:

  • Borrower and Lender Representation
  • Judicial Foreclosures
  • Receiverships
  • Quiet Title Actions
  • Partition and Boundary Disputes
  • Purchase and Sale Disputes
  • Unlawful Detainers
  • Commercial Lease Disputes
  • Construction Disputes
  • Environmental Litigation
  • Contaminated Sites
  • Brokerage, Agency and Commission Issues
  • Eminent Domain/Inverse Condemnation
  • Partnership Dissolutions

Selected Experience

  • Downey Brand handled contentious and protracted litigation on behalf of real estate holding company Park Cattle Co. in litigation against Bill Yung and his Tropicana gaming and holding companies for enforcement of a ground lease for the Horizon Casino Resort in South Lake Tahoe.  A two month jury trial resolved two days before Downey Brand’s closing argument when Yung and Tropicana agreed to dismiss their complaints against Park Cattle, return the Horizon property, and pay $165 million in damages, plus interest, to Park Cattle.
  • At the conclusion of a three week jury trial in Sacramento County Superior Court, jury returned a complete defense verdict for Downey Brand’s clients, real estate developers Charles Somers and Ron Alvarado, who were sued by AKT Development Corporation for fraud, breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty regarding an alleged joint venture to purchase significant development property near Sacramento.
  • In litigation filed in Placer County Superior Court, Downey Brand represented property developers sued by adjoining landowner for actions related to pursuit of development entitlements.  Downey Brand obtained complete dismissal of suit in its entirety under California’s Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation (“anti-SLAPP”) statute, based on client’s constitutional free speech and public participation rights, and dismissal was affirmed on appeal, entitling clients to recovery of attorney’s fees incurred both in the trial court and on appeal.
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  • Downey Brand handled contentious and protracted litigation on behalf of real estate holding company Park Cattle Co. in litigation against Bill Yung and his Tropicana gaming and holding companies for enforcement of a ground lease for the Horizon Casino Resort in South Lake Tahoe.  A two month jury trial resolved two days before Downey Brand’s closing argument when Yung and Tropicana agreed to dismiss their complaints against Park Cattle, return the Horizon property, and pay $165 million in damages, plus interest, to Park Cattle.
  • At the conclusion of a three week jury trial in Sacramento County Superior Court, jury returned a complete defense verdict for Downey Brand’s clients, real estate developers Charles Somers and Ron Alvarado, who were sued by AKT Development Corporation for fraud, breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty regarding an alleged joint venture to purchase significant development property near Sacramento.
  • In litigation filed in Placer County Superior Court, Downey Brand represented property developers sued by adjoining landowner for actions related to pursuit of development entitlements.  Downey Brand obtained complete dismissal of suit in its entirety under California’s Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation (“anti-SLAPP”) statute, based on client’s constitutional free speech and public participation rights, and dismissal was affirmed on appeal, entitling clients to recovery of attorney’s fees incurred both in the trial court and on appeal.
  • On behalf of commercial and residential developer seeking enforcement of easement rights against adjacent property owners in Butte County, jury rendered verdict in favor of client after trial.
  • In action seeking writ of mandamus against City of Chico to enjoin City’s action in directing Downey Brand’s client, a residential developer, to prepare supplemental environmental impact report, Downey Brand obtained alternative writ at outset of case, and after trial Butte County Superior Court issued final writ in favor of client.
  • In suit brought on behalf of developer based on defendants’ failure to honor contract to sell property to client, Downey Brand obtained jury verdict in Amador County Superior Court of in excess of $1M, including punitive damages. Verdict also required defendants to honor contract and sell 240 acres of property to client.
27 Attorneys

Annie S. Amaral

Partner

Sacramento 916.520.5243

Meghan M. Baker

Partner

Sacramento 916.520.5510

Professional headshot

Associate

Sacramento 916.520.5326

Jay-Allen Eisen

Outside Counsel

Sacramento 916.520.5290

Professional headshot to attorney Bradley Emmerson

Bradley M. Emmerson

Associate

Sacramento 916-520-5288

Professional headshot of Janlynn Fleener

Janlynn Robinson Fleener

Managing Partner

Sacramento 916.520.5227

Professional headshot of attorney Galen Gentry

Galen M. Gentry

Counsel

Sacramento 916.520.5435

Counsel

San Francisco 415.848.4834

Breana M. Inoshita

Associate

San Francisco 415.848.4845

Michael J. Laino

Senior Associate

Sacramento 916.520.5360

Annie R. Marcroft

Associate

Sacramento 916.520.5350

Christian L. Marsh

Partner

San Francisco 415.848.4830

Scott D. McElhern

Partner

Sacramento 916.520.5367

Partner

San Francisco 415.848.4820

Professional headshot of attorney Dustin Peterson

Dustin D. Peterson

Associate

Sacramento 916.520.5298

Kevin J. Rooney

Partner

Stockton 209.472.3924

Sacramento 916.444.1000

Professional headshot of attorney Andrew Skanchy

Andrew M. Skanchy

Partner

Sacramento 916.520.5412

Robert P. Soran

Partner

Sacramento 916.520.5364

Zachary A. Streiff

Senior Associate

Sacramento 916.520.5394

Anthony L. Vignolo

Partner

Stockton 209.472.3920

William R. Warne

Partner

Sacramento 916.520.5217

Matthew J. Weber

Partner

Stockton 209.472.3922

Sacramento 916.444.1000

Jennifer L. Williams

Counsel

Stockton 209.472.3918

Sacramento 916.444.1000

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