Recent Articles from All Practice Groups

Consider Carefully The New Certification Required Under The Revised DC FP7

The DC Recorder of Deeds announced today that it has revised the Real Property Recordation and Transfer Tax Form FP 7/C (herein “FP7C”).   The purpose of this revision was to “contain a self-certification of compliance with tax payment, per DC Code § 42-407(2).” That statute, reprinted below,... Read More >

DC: 2016 Final Zoning Regulations Published

On March 4, 2016 the Zoning Commission of the District of Columbia, after scores of hearings and meetings, issued completely revised zoning regulations. The changes from earlier regulations are extensive and practitioners and laymen are encouraged to read the new regulations carefully. The new regulations will take... Read More >

DC: Proposed Laws Challenge the Airbnb Model

Vincent Orange, Councilmember of the D.C. Counsel has introduced two bills that would directly challenge the Airbnb business model. The “Short Term Rental Regulation and Housing Protection Amendment Act of 2015” would establish a Special Enforcement Division with DCRA to regulate the industry, monitor compliance by the housing providers and... Read More >

Analysis of Key Changes To GCAAR Documents

Analysis of Changes in 10/2015 Version Roy L. Kaufmann Jackson & Campbell, P.C. A well-formatted, printable .pdf of this article is available here. GCAAR SALES CONTRACT (GCAAR FORM 911) [1] General Comments             The new GCAAR Sales Contract (here, we will call it the “Contract”, formerly called the “Regional Sales Contract”) to be implemented on... Read More >

TAGGED:

D.C. Court of Appeals: TOPA Extensions Must Be Defined To Preserve Tenant Rights

In an important new ruling construing the Tenants Opportunity to Purchase Act (“TOPA”), the D.C. Court of Appeals held on September 23, 2015, that extensions of the deadlines for a seller and a tenant association to negotiate a sales contract must be express and contain a definite end-date to... Read More >

Published Fourth Circuit Opinion On Maryland Credit Law Relies On Unpublished Opinion

In a published opinion that relied upon the reasoning of a previous unpublished opinion, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held in Gardner v. GMAC that the Maryland Credit Grantor Closed End Credit Provisions, Md. Code Ann., Com. Law sec. 12-1001, et seq., require borrowers to have repaid more than the original principal amount of their loans... Read More >

Conservation Lawsuit Revived—Whether Act Is Inconsistent With Another Law Does Not Deprive Court Of Jurisdiction

The Fourth Circuit again reversed dismissals under Rule 12(b) in Goldfarb v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore, in a case regarding contamination claims brought under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, 42 USC sec. 6901, et seq. The City of Baltimore gave a parcel of land near the Patapsco River, formerly used for... Read More >

Mortgage Company’s Indemnification Claim Against Loan Officer Not Discharged In Bankruptcy

When Fidelity First Home Mortgage Company was found liable by a jury under the doctrine of respondeat superior when one of its loan officers engaged in a fraudulent foreclosure rescue scheme, it sued the loan officer seeking indemnification and contribution. The loan officer claimed that Fidelity’s claims were discharged... Read More >

U.S. Supreme Court: Same-Sex Marriage Is a Right

[caption id="attachment_315" align="alignright" width="150"] Photo Credit: US Rep. Mark Pocan Twitter[/caption] Coincidentally timed on the anniversary of the decisions in Lawrence v. Texas and U.S. v. Windsor, two prior gay-rights cases, Justice Kennedy announced the majority opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges, in which the five-person majority held that the Fourteenth Amendment requires all... Read More >

Maryland Court of Appeals: Breeding v. Koste

The Maryland Court of Appeals held in Breeding v. Koste that the “woodlands exception” applied in cases involving prescriptive easements also applies to adverse possession where the land at issue is unimproved or otherwise in a general state of nature. The exception holds that in such circumstances, there is a legal presumption that the claimant’s use is by... Read More >

SCOTUS: 2nd mortgages on ‘underwater’ homes cannot be voided in Chapter 7 bankruptcy

In Bank of America v. Caulkett, the Court declined to allow a Chapter 7 bankruptcy debtor to “strip down” a mortgage lien that is junior to liens that claim all of the equity in a home, thus allowing those “underwater” liens to survive a discharge. Caulkett owned a house where the senior mortgage lien was greater than his... Read More >

MD Court of Special Appeals: Greentree Series V, Inc. v. Hofmeister

In a matter of first impression, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals held in Greentree Series V, Inc. v. Hofmeister that the word “or” in Md. Rule 14-305(g) was to be read literally to give a trial court an either/or option, thus precluding the trial court from granting both options in relief. The Rule in question states that when a... Read More >

DC: Emergency Legislation on April 14– Pop-ups

[caption id="attachment_248" align="alignright" width="150"] Photo Credit: Stop The Pop DC[/caption] Pop-ups (upper-level expansions of DC row houses) have recently become the topic of discussions, particularly in light of some fairly ugly or disproportionate examples. The DC Council will hear emergency legislation absolutely and immediately banning pop-ups until... Read More >

DC Economic Interest Purchase Money-Recordation Tax

DC Expands Exemptions for Recordation Tax on D/T’s Association with Deeds of Economic Interest While it has long been the practice and law that deeds of trust filed simultaneously with the acquisition of real estate are exempt from recordation tax, the exemption was limited to interests in real estate. Since a Deed... Read More >

VA Supreme Court: Shevlin Smith v. McLaughlin

The opinion in Shevlin Smith v. McLaughlin provides a veritable cornucopia of rulings—15 assignments of error were considered!—that touch on important areas of legal malpractice and civil litigation that all practitioners should review. The case concerns a legal malpractice case by McLaughlin against his former firm of Shevlin Smith,... Read More >

DC: Home Seller is not a merchant under CPPA; Buyer’s Claim of Withholding Information fails – no detrimental

In Sundberg v. TTR Realty, Buyers entered into a contract to purchase a home and alleged that, after the contract was signed, but before closing,  the Seller and his real estate agent and brokerage withheld information and provided false information about construction that was to occur across the street. Buyers further allege... Read More >