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February 29, 2008

Assessment of Vapor Intrusion


Vapor intrusion into structures on property can potentially create significant liability for owners and prospective purchasers and have a material impact on property value.  ASTM Standard E 2600, Standard Practice for Assessment of Vapor Intrusion into Structures on Property Involved in Real Estate Transactions was developed to facilitate assessment of vapor intrusion (VI) on these properties. 

This course covers:

>> Introductions and Overview

>> History, Rationale, and Overview of E 2600

>> Tier 1/Tier 2 (non-invasive) Screening

>> Site-Specific RBC Determination (in Tier 2)

>> VI Screening Case Studies

>> Tier 2 Invasive Screening

>> Tier 3 VI Assessment Approaches

>> Tier 4 Mitigation Alternatives

>> VI Assessment Case Studies

>> Q & A

For a full course description, use this link or contact Scott Murphy, 610-832-9685 or Eileen Finn at 610-832-9686.  For on-site training at your business location, contact Scott Murphy.

2008 Dates:
Boston, MA • March 25
Edison, NJ  • March 26
W. Conshohocken, PA (ASTM HQ) • March 27
Orlando, FL • April 29
Atlanta, GA  • April 30       
For more 2008 dates use this link.

Fee: $449

Added bonus:  Anyone attending this course gets a FREE 1-year membership in ASTM and Committee E50 on Environmental Assessment, Risk Management, and Corrective Action.

Professional Engineers:
If your state has a continuing education requirement for license renewal, ASTM training courses should count towards your Continuing Professional Competency (CPC) Professional Development Hour (PDH) requirement. ASTM is an approved sponsor of PDH activities in all states that preapprove training providers.

For more information, use this link.

You have received this promotional email based on your related purchases made at ASTM International. If this email has reached you in error or if you prefer not to receive such ASTM product updates, please use this link and send us an email and we will delete you from our list.

ASTM International • 100 Barr Harbor Drive • PO Box C700 • West Conshohocken, PA 19428
service@astm.org • 610-832-9585

442494

 

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February 27, 2008

Brand New Anchored

 Brand New Anchored
 "A+"Class  NNN Retail Center
AVAILABLE
(Centennial Crossing)
http://home.pacbell.net/jmcrae/Centennial_Crossing_Corner__Main_.jpg
6385 Simmons Street, North Las Vegas, NV  89031

Centennial Crossing Retail Center
-High Visibility, Signalized Corner of Two Major Intersections
-Anchored by National Credit Tenant Fresh & Easy, World's 4th Largest Retailer
-"A+" Quality NNN Asset / Location
-Easy Ingress & Egress
-Excellent Cash on Cash Return & Evenly Disbursed Rollovers
-Synergistic Tenant Mix
-Ample Parking
-Rental Upsides in Leases
-North Las Vegas is the Fastest Growing Major City in the U.S.
-Numerous Housing Projects Surround Center
-Price:  $9,850,000

Please feel free to e-mail or call either: Dario Franceschi  (702) 914-2200 / dariof1@cox.net, or Jack McRae at (702) 372-1888 / Jack.McRae@svn.com for a full marketing package
 

Click Here For a Pictorial Synopsis of Our Other Exclusive Properties (Synopsis Without Pictures Below)

1). Brand New,  "A" Class NNN Retail Center AVAILABLE (Lone Mountain Plaza),  Las Vegas, NV  89129
 Brand New NNN Retail Center. A+ Class Center / Located Just East of Wal-Mart Grocery Market. High Visibility, Signalized Corner with Easy Ingress & Egress. Excellent Cash on Cash Return & Evenly Disbursed Rollovers. Synergistic Tenant Mix. Located on Major Thoroughfare Near Freeway Off/On-Ramps. Ample Parking. Rental Upsides in Leases. Excellent Assumable Financing and Cash on Cash Returns. Price:  $9,900,000.Contact Dario Franceschi (702) 914-2200 / dariof1@cox.net, or Jack McRae at (702) 372-1888 / Jack.McRae@svn.com for a full marketing package.

2). Brand New, National Credit Tenant "A+" Class NNN Retail Center AVAILABLE (Centennial Plaza),  North Las Vegas, NV  89031
High Visibility, Signalized Corner of Two Major Intersections. Be Part of National Anchors: Starbuck's, Quizno's, Colonial Bank, Goodyear Tire, etc.
"A+" Quality NNN Asset / Location. Easy Ingress & Egress. Excellent Cash on Cash Return & Evenly Disbursed Rollovers. Synergistic Tenant Mix. Numerous National Credit Tenants. Ample Parking. Rental Upsides in Leases. North Las Vegas is the Fastest Growing Major City in the U.S. Numerous Housing Projects Surround Center. Includes Prime & Improved Land (Approx. 150,486 Sq. Ft) For Additional Retail Development.  Price:  $25,600,000. Contact Dario Franceschi (702) 914-2200 / dariof1@cox.net, or Jack McRae at (702) 372-1888 / Jack.McRae@svn.com for a full marketing package.

3). Brand New, Anchored "A+" Class NNN Retail Center AVAILABLE (Centennial Crossing),  North Las Vegas, NV  89031
High Visibility, Signalized Corner of Two Major Intersections. Anchored by National Credit Tenant Fresh & Easy, World's 4th Largest Retailer. "A+" Quality NNN Asset / Location. Easy Ingress & Egress. Excellent Cash on Cash Return & Evenly Disbursed Rollovers. Synergistic Tenant Mix. Ample Parking. Rental Upsides in Leases. North Las Vegas is the Fastest Growing Major City in the U.S. Numerous Housing Projects Surround Center. Price:  $9,850,000. Contact Dario Franceschi (702) 914-2200 / dariof1@cox.net or Jack McRae at (702) 372-1888 / Jack.McRae@svn.com for a full marketing package.

4). Brand New, NNN  "A" Class Retail Center AVAILABLE (South Maryland Pkwy Shopping Center),  Henderson, NV  89052
Excellent Retail Cap Rate. Brand New Construction. Ample Parking Including Underground Parking. High Visibility with Easy Ingress & Egress. Strong Parking Throughout Entire Center. Leasing Underway With Several Spaces Already Leased. Synergistic Tenant Mix. All Leases NNN. Rent Guarantees For Any Remaining Space not Leased at Close of Escrow. Price:  $8,350,000 Contact Dario Franceschi (702) 914-2200 / dariof1@cox.net, or Jack McRae at (702) 372-1888 / Jack.McRae@svn.com for a full marketing package.

5). Brand New, NNN  "A" Class Retail Shopping Center AVAILABLE (Stetson Ranch Plaza),  Las Vegas, NV  89148
Excellent Retail Cap Rate. Brand New Construction within This A++ Area. Ample Parking Including Underground Parking. High Visibility with Easy Ingress & Egress. Strong Parking Throughout Entire Center. Leasing Underway With Several Spaces Already Leased. Synergistic Tenant Mix. All Leases NNN with Annual Increases. Rent Guarantees For Any Remaining Space not Leased at Close of Escrow. Very Close Proximity to I-215 Beltway. Adjacent to Retail/Office/Medical Uses. Price:  $10,040,000. Contact Dario Franceschi (702) 914-2200 / dariof1@cox.net, or Jack McRae at (702) 372-1888 / Jack.McRae@svn.com for a full marketing package.

6). CityScape Professional NNN Medical/General Office Building AVAILABLE (CityScape Professional),  Henderson, NV  89012
Class "A" Upscale, Modern Amenity Building. Brand New Development Starting 1st Qtr. 2008. All Leases NNN for Current and Prospective Tenants. High Visibility, I-215 Beltway Location and 10 Minutes From McCarran Airport. Located Within Highly Developed Business District. Excellent Cap Rate for Upscale and Professional Development. Ample Parking, Including Underground Parking. Seller to Guarantee Vacant Space, if any, at Close of Escrow. Currently Selling Building 1 of 3. Price: $13,500,000. Contact Dario Franceschi (702) 914-2200 / dariof1@cox.net, or Jack McRae at (702) 372-1888 / Jack.McRae@svn.com for a full marketing package.

7). Fully-Leased, Class "A" Professional NNN Office Building AVAILABLE (Rainbow-Russell ), Las Vegas, NV  89118
 NNN, Fully Leased Class "A" Investment. Impeccably Maintained 2003 Building For Pride of Ownership. Extremely Stable & Well Established Strong Tenants. High Visibility with Easy Egress & Ingress. Ample Front and Rear (Covered) Parking Within Development. Minutes from I-215 Beltway in this High Growth Area. Elevator and Staircases for Easy Access to 2nd Floor. High End & Beautiful  Tenant Improvements Throughout. Built 2003. Price: $5,100,000.
Contact Dario Franceschi (702) 914-2200 / dariof1@cox.net, or Jack McRae at (702) 372-1888 / Jack.McRae@svn.com for a full marketing package.

8). Owner-User "A" Class Office / Industrial Building AVAILABLE (Sandhill Professional Building), Las Vegas, NV  89120
 "A" Class Pride of Ownership, Fire-Sprinklered Building. Well Maintained 1996 Development. Block & Mortar Building Constructed to High Standards.
High Visibility, Corner Location for Easy Ingress & Egress. Near McCarran Airport and Located Within Highly Developed Business District. Elevator For Easy Access Between Both Floors. High End & Beautiful  Tenant Improvements Throughout. Approx. 13,800 Sq. Ft. with Approx. 86% Office / 14% Industrial R&D. 1 Grade Level Dock Door, 24' Clearance with Addition of a Dock Possible. 1200 Amps Power. MD Zoning. Price:  $3,025,000. Contact Dario Franceschi (702) 914-2200 / dariof1@cox.net, or Jack McRae at (702) 372-1888 / Jack.McRae@svn.com for a full marketing package.

9). 8 Luxurious, Class A++, NNN Retail-Office Investments AVAILABLE (The Mayfaire), Las Vegas, NV  89113
Luxurious 8 Building, Class A++ Retail-Office NNN Business Park. Located Within the Absolute Best Location in the Southwest. Explosive Retail, Office, Medical & Residential Growth Areas, which includes a 1,000,000 square foot regional mall and three new hospitals. Abundant Parking, Including Vast Underground Parking Structure. Developer is Speaking to a Strong & Diverse National Tenant Mix. Very Competitive Capitalization Rates for This Stellar NNN Investment. Las Vegas Strip View & I-215 High Visibility  Frontage. Minutes From McCarran Airport. Buildings Available For Sale Individually or Separately. Pricing Per Building: Buildings A & B: $26,400,000; Buildings C & D: $10,950,000; Buildings E & F:  $26,900,000; Front Retail Pads 1 & 2: $3,300,000.   Contact Dario Franceschi (702) 914-2200 / dariof1@cox.net, or Jack McRae at (702) 372-1888 / Jack.McRae@svn.com for a full marketing package.

10) NNN Retail-Office Building AVAILABLE (Rancho & Alexander Business Park), Las Vegas, NV  89130
Fully-Leased NNN Investment. Excellent Cap Rate, Cash Return and Price per Square Foot. Located Within a Very High Growth Area. First Rate Tenants Within Business Park. Very Close to Major Freeways. Very High Visibility with Easy Ingress & Egress. Strong Parking Throughout Entire Park. Expected Completion Date: August 2007. Vacancies at Close of Escrow, If Any, Shall be Fully-Guaranteed. Entire Park Consists of +/- 140,000 sq. ft. Price:  $3,350,000. Contact Dario Franceschi (702) 914-2200 / dariof1@cox.net, or Jack McRae at (702) 372-1888 / Jack.McRae@svn.com for a full marketing package.

11).  NNN Retail-Office Building AVAILABLE (Rancho & Alexander Business Park), Las Vegas, NV  89130
Fully-Leased, NNN Investment. Excellent Cap Rate, Cash Return and Price per Square Foot. Located Within a Very High Growth Area. First Rate Tenants Within Business Park. Very Close to Major Freeways. Very High Visibility with Easy Ingress & Egress. Strong Parking Throughout Entire Park. Expected Completion Date: August 2007. Vacancies at Close of Escrow, If Any, Shall be Fully-Guaranteed. Entire Park Consists of +/- 140,000 sq. ft. Price:  $2,300,000. Contact Dario Franceschi (702) 914-2200 / dariof1@cox.net, or Jack McRae at (702) 372-1888 / Jack.McRae@svn.com for a full marketing package.

12). Prime & Graded Land AVAILABLE (Whitney Ranch), Henderson, NV  89014
Highly Desirable Area of Henderson, Nevada.  Adjacent to High Density Residential, Schools & Other Businesses. Graded, Pad Ready, Utilities at Street. Approximately 1.77 Acres with Approximately 317 Ft. Frontage. Easy Ingress & Egress. Minutes From International Airport. Current Zoning: C-C (Community Commercial). Price: $1,400,000. Contact Dario Franceschi (702) 914-2200 / dariof1@cox.net, or Jack McRae at (702) 372-1888 / Jack.McRae@svn.com for a full marketing package.

If you wish to be removed entirely from this mailing list, please send a message to unsubscribe-New.Property.Listings.Available@listbox.com . If you are subscribed to the list with the address you are writing from, you will be automatically unsubscribed. Thank you.

http://home.pacbell.net/jmcrae/svn.jpg

Under Bill(s) 1618 TITLE III by the 105 US Congress, per Section 301, Paragraph(a)(2)of S. 1618, a letter cannot be considered spurious if the sender includes contact information and a method of "removal".

The information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed reliable, but not guaranteed.  While we do not doubt its accuracy, we have not verified it and make no guarantee, warranty, or representation about it.  Any projections, opinions, assumptions or estimates used are for example only and do not represent the current or future performance of the property.  Purchasers should conduct a careful, independent investigation of the property during a due diligence period to determine to their satisfaction the accuracy and completeness of the information contained herein.

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February 25, 2008

“County’s Alleged Breach of Contract Does Not Equal Condemnation”

John C. Murphy
949.732.3736
Charles A. Bird
619.699.2406
Douglas J. Evertz
949.732.3716
Christopher H.
Findley
619.699.2515
Steven C. Knoblock
949.732.3721
Timothy A. Tosta
415.356.4612
Steven S. Wall
619.699.2469
Jennifer R. McClure
949.732.3707
Antony D. Nash
619.233.2968
Jennifer Wood
Dienhart
949.732.3706
Lisa J. Holmes
949.732.3703
Emily L. Madueno
949.732.3709

 


Aristotle, a master of logic, might have put it this way: “Everyone knows that California
cities and counties can be liable for inverse condemnation. They get sued for inverse
condemnation all the time. So does that mean that every time a city or county might be
liable for an activity on any grounds, it is necessarily liable for inverse condemnation?”
Of course not. Specifically, a California Court of Appeal held that a governmental entity
cannot face liability on an inverse condemnation theory when the alleged taking is really
just a garden variety breach of contract. Citizens cannot include inverse condemnation
claims willy-nilly, whenever they feel aggrieved by a city.
In County of Ventura v. Channel Islands Marina, Inc. (January 30, 2008, B183532 ____
Cal.App.4th ___), the court declared that the government cannot be liable through
inverse condemnation for what is really a breach of contract. The court also held that the
fair market value of the improvements in-place is not an appropriate measure of
damages under either an inverse condemnation or breach of contract theory. In so
holding, the appellate court reversed the trial court’s inverse condemnation award of $3.5
million against the government and ultimately denied recovery to the private party. The
court explained that even under a breach of contract theory, the government could not be
liable where it did not cause the damages.
Background
The County of Ventura (“County”) entered into a 40-year lease with Channel Islands
Marina (“CIM”) to have CIM construct and operate a marina. CIM added substantial
waterside and landside improvements to the leased property. The lease required CIM to
remove these improvements after the lease expired, unless the County purchased them.
If the County did not purchase the improvements and CIM did not remove them, title to
the improvements vested in the County and CIM would have to pay for their removal.
During the lease, the County offered to purchase the improvements, but negotiations
broke down.
As the lease neared its end, the County filed a complaint against CIM and sought to
enjoin removal of the improvements. CIM cross-complained for, among other things,
breach of contract and inverse condemnation, claiming that the County made removal of
the improvements impossible.
Soon after CIM filed its cross-complaint, the lease expired. The County took possession
of the improvements without payment and entered a new lease with a third party to
continue operating the marina.

 

LUCE FORWARD EMINENT DOMAIN AND CONDEMNATION E-UPDATE
“County’s Alleged Breach of Contract Does Not Equal Condemnation”
By Emily L. Madueno, Lisa J. Holmes and John C. Murphy
Page 2
A Takings Claim Does Not Arise From A Breach Of Contract
The appellate court held that a government’s breach of a contract, such as a lease, cannot support an inverse
condemnation claim. The court reasoned that:
• The parties’ rights and duties spring from the lease, and liability for breach of a lease is a creature of the
lease.
• Allowing an inverse condemnation claim imposes extra-contractual liability on the government for breach of
a lease. A private party would not face this liability under the same facts.
Nothing Gained, Nothing Lost
The case’s result would have been the same whether CIM had been allowed to recover under an inverse
condemnation or breach of contract theory. “Under any theory of liability,” the court explained, “there is no
justification for awarding damages based on the value of CIM’s improvements in-place.” CIM would only have
been entitled to the salvage value of its improvements whether damages were awarded under an inverse
condemnation or breach of contract theory.
As it was, CIM recovered nothing because the County could not be liable for breach of contract where its alleged
breach did not cause CIM’s damages. That is, even if the County had not opposed the improvements’ removal,
Coastal Commission regulations made removal impossible.
Parting Reminders
The crux of the court’s opinion is that an inverse condemnation claim does not arise from a government’s breach
of contract. Additionally, this case reminds us that:
• Inverse condemnation claims remain possible against the government to vindicate rights that exist
independent of a contract.
• A government’s breach of contract is still actionable under a breach of contract theory if it can be established
that the government’s alleged breach caused the non-breaching party’s damages. In the court’s words, “Bad
behavior does not establish damages: causation does.”

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February 23, 2008

U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, January 10, 2008
Feldman v. Bomar, No. 06-55675
In an action claiming defendants violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) in adopting a program to restore and protect Santa Cruz Island by, in part, eradicating its feral pig population, an appeal from a judgment for defendants is dismissed as moot as: 1) the National Park Service completely eradicated the feral pigs from the island during the pendency of the litigation; and 2) plaintiffs alleged only procedural violations in the development of the eradication program and did not seek compensation in monetary damages. Read more...

California Appellate Districts, January 10, 2008
People ex rel. Gallegos v. Pacific Lumber Co., No. A112028
In suit brought under California's Unfair Competition Law for alleged fraudulent business practices, sustaining of demurrer is affirmed over claims that the trial court erred by: 1) applying the litigation privilege under Civil Code section 47(b) and the Noerr-Pennington doctrine under federal law to defendant's alleged wrongful conduct in connection with the CEQA administrative process; and 2) deciding on demurrer as a matter of law that defendant's alleged material concealments and misrepresentations did not undermine the legitimacy of that process. Read more...

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FInd Law Library Search

http://library.lp.findlaw.com/property---real/index.html

 

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February 22, 2008

USPAP Q&a

Vol. 10, No. 2 February 2008
USPAP Q&A
Vol. 10, No. 2 February 2008
The Appraisal Standards Board (ASB) of The Appraisal Foundation develops, interprets, and
amends the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) on behalf of
appraisers and users of appraisal services. The USPAP Q&A is a form of guidance issued by the
ASB to respond to questions raised by appraisers, enforcement officials, users of appraisal
services and the public to illustrate the applicability of USPAP in specific situations and to offer
advice from the ASB for the resolution of appraisal issues and problems. The USPAP Q&A may
not represent the only possible solution to the issues discussed nor may the advice provided be
applied equally to seemingly similar situations. USPAP Q&A does not establish new standards or
interpret existing standards. USPAP Q&A is not part of USPAP and is approved by the ASB
without public exposure and comment.
Appraiser Qualifications in Report
Question:
I’ve seen several narrative appraisals that include a copy of the appraiser’s résumé,
professional qualifications, or curriculum vitae (CV). Does USPAP require an appraisal
report to include the appraiser’s qualifications?
Response:
No. Although certain professional appraiser organizations or users of appraisal services
might require the report to include the appraiser’s qualifications, it is not a USPAP
requirement.
Appraisal Report Received by Others
Question:
I was recently contacted by a lender regarding an appraisal I had performed for another
client. The lender had somehow obtained a copy of my appraisal report and had some
questions they wanted me to answer. However, this lender was not my original client and
was not named as an intended user. Are there any USPAP prohibitions against
discussing my appraisal with this lender?

Vol. 10, No. 2 February 2008
Response:
Yes. USPAP prohibits the appraiser from communicating assignment results or
confidential information (as defined in USPAP) to anyone other than the client and
parties specifically authorized by the client (with the exception of those authorized by
due process of law, etc.) Even if the lender who had contacted the appraiser was
identified as an intended user in the original appraisal report, that lender is not part of the
appraiser-client relationship. Therefore, authorization from the client would be needed if
that lender wanted to discuss assignment results or confidential information.
Barring an agreement between the appraiser and the original client prohibiting disclosure
of any information pertaining to the assignment, the appraiser may confirm that he or she
performed an appraisal on the subject property, and may communicate anything other
than assignment results (which include the appraiser’s opinions and conclusions, in
addition to the value conclusion) or confidential information (as defined in USPAP).
Changing the Effective Date
Question:
I recently had a client contact me and ask me to change the effective date of my appraisal,
to make it one week after the effective date shown in my report. Does USPAP permit me
to simply change the effective date without taking additional steps?
Response:
No. As indicated in the SCOPE OF WORK RULE, the effective date of the appraiser’s
opinions and conclusions is an assignment element.
If the client is asking for an appraisal with a different effective date, the appraiser needs
to determine the appropriate scope of work to produce credible assignment results for this
request. Such a request would need to be considered a new assignment, but that does not
necessarily require “starting from scratch.” As with all new assignments, the appraiser
must decide the appropriate scope of work to produce credible assignment results. This
would include a decision as to whether or not it was necessary to perform another
inspection, as well as the extent of any additional research and analyses that might be
required. The scope of work for the new assignment can be different from the scope of
work completed in the earlier assignment. As with any assignment, the appraiser might
be able to use information and analyses developed for a previous assignment.

Vol. 10, No. 2 February 2008
The USPAP Q&A is posted each month on The
Appraisal Foundation website For further information regarding
USPAP Q&A, please contact:
John S. Brenan, Director of Research
and Technical Issues
The Appraisal Foundation
1155 15th Street, NW, Suite 1111
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 624-3044
(202) 347-7727 fax
john@appraisalfoundation.org
(www.appraisalfoundation.org). The ASB
compiles the monthly USPAP Q&A into the
USPAP Frequently Asked Questions (USPAP
FAQ) for publication with each edition of USPAP.
In addition to incorporating the most recent
questions and responses issued by the ASB, the
USPAP FAQ is reviewed and updated to ensure
that it represents the most recent guidance from
the ASB. The USPAP Frequently Asked Questions
can be purchased (along with USPAP and USPAP
Advisory Opinions) by visiting the “Foundation
Store” page on The Appraisal Foundation website
(https://commerce.appraisalfoundation.org ).

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February 20, 2008

RCA

The REALTORS® Commercial Alliance (RCA) needs your help! For many, social networking (such as networking websites, chats, bulletin boards, blogs, podcasts, and videos) is increasingly becoming a way to connect with friends and business associates. But what role does social media play in the business space? Please help the REALTORS® Commercial Alliance find out by completing this brief survey - and thank you for your time!

Please click on the link below to participate in the survey, or, if you prefer, copy and paste the link into your browser:

http://www.zoomerang.com/survey.zgi?p=WEB227GKH7B67D

 

Thank you, The RCA Staff

If you'd like to verify the validity of this survey, please call NAR at 1-800-874-6500 and ask for Lisa Herceg, Marketing Research, at extension 8563.

Please do not respond to this email. This mailbox is for distribution only.

Questions or comments? Please email us at responsecenter@realtors.org.

As a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, you are entitled to receive the most updated information on the programs, products, and services offered by the association. However, if you would like to be removed from the NAR email distribution list, please click here.

National Association of REALTORS®
REALTORS® Commercial Alliance
430 N. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611

 

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Multi-Housing News

!
 MHN TOP MULTIFAMILY PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE PROVIDERS.

Current data on the leading software firms specializing in the multi-housing market, compiled exclusively by the editors of Multi-Housing News. Includes management, screening, and payment tools.

Company name, web site and contact info; key contact name, phone and email; performance benchmarks. A vital resource for every business doing business in the multi-housing market. Multi-Housing News is the leading publication serving the multifamily sector..



This is a Microsoft Excel file that is available for immediate
download after purchase.

MHN TOP MULTIFAMILY BROKERS.

Latest data on the leading brokers specializing in the multi-housing market, compiled exclusively by the editors of Multi-Housing News.

Includes company name, web site and contact info; key contact name, phone and email; total 2006 multi-housing volume in dollars; number of transactions; regions of operation.

A vital resource for every business doing business in the multi-housing market. Multi-Housing News is the leading publication serving the multifamily sector.



This is a Microsoft Excel file that is available for immediate
download after purchase.


MHN TOP MULTIFAMILY LEADERS.

Current data on the leading lenders specializing in the multi-housing market, compiled exclusively by the editors of Multi-Housing News. Includes mortgage bankers, commercial banks, and private funds.

Company name, web site and contact info; key contact name, phone and email; regions served; application fee; sources of capital; condominium financing availability. A! vital r esource for every business doing business in the multi-housing market. Multi-Housing News is the leading publication serving the multifamily sector.



This is a Microsoft Excel file that is available for immediate
download after purchase.

 



To take your email address off the list for future messages from Multi-Housing News, please follow this link:
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February 17, 2008

DEA National Clandestine Laboratory Register

http://www.dea.gov/seizures/index.html

Conditions of Use: The U.S. Department of Justice ("the Department") provides this web site as a public service. It contains addresses of some locations where law enforcement agencies reported they found chemicals or other items that indicated the presence of either clandestine drug laboratories or dumpsites. In most cases, the source of the entries is not the Department, and the Department has not verified the entry and does not guarantee its accuracy. Members of the public must verify the accuracy of all entries by, for example, contacting local law enforcement and local health departments. To report erroneous information found in the database, please contact DEA at NCLR@usdoj.gov. The Department does not establish, implement, enforce, or certify compliance with clean-up or remediation standards for contaminated sites; the public should contact a state or local health department or environmental protection agency for that information. Entries on this web site are not intended to constitute advice nor should entries on this web site be used as a substitute for advice from a licensed professional familiar with the specific facts and circumstances of the situation in question. The public should not act or refrain from acting based on entries on this web site. The Department does not accept responsibility or liability for damages of any kind resulting from reliance on an entry or on the lack of an entry on this web site.

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February 16, 2008

UNIFORM STANDARDS OF PROFESSIONAL APPRAISAL PRACTICE

UNIFORM STANDARDS OF PROFESSIONAL APPRAISAL PRACTICE

2008-2009 EDITION

PLUS

Guidance from the Appraisal Standards Board

USPAP
ADVISORY OPINIONS
&
USPAP
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)

http://commerce.appraisalfoundation.org/html/USPAP2008/index.htm

Foreword

The Appraisal Standards Board (ASB) of The Appraisal Foundation develops, publishes, interprets, and amends the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) on behalf of appraisers and users of appraisal services. The 2008-2009 Edition of USPAP (2008-2009 USPAP) is effective January 1, 2008 through December 31, 2009.

 

USPAP has five sections: DEFINITIONS, PREAMBLE, Rules, Standards and Standards Rules, and Statements on Appraisal Standards. For convenience of reference, USPAP is published with this Foreword and a

TABLE OF CONTENTS

. These reference materials are forms of “Other Communications” provided by the ASB for guidance only and are not part of USPAP.

 

 

It is important that individuals understand and adhere to changes in each edition of USPAP. State and federal regulatory authorities enforce the content of the current or applicable edition of USPAP.

 

 

History of USPAP

These Standards are based on the original Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice developed in 1986–87 by the Ad Hoc Committee on Uniform Standards and copyrighted in 1987 by The Appraisal Foundation. The effective date of the original Uniform Standards was April 27, 1987. Prior to the establishment of the ASB in 1989, USPAP had been adopted by major appraisal organizations in North America. USPAP represents the generally accepted and recognized standards of appraisal practice in the United States.

 

At its organizational meeting on January 30, 1989, the Appraisal Standards Board unanimously approved and adopted the original USPAP as the initial appraisal standards promulgated by the ASB. USPAP may be amended, interpreted, supplemented, or retired by the ASB after exposure to the appraisal profession, users of appraisal services, and the public in accordance with established rules of procedure.

 

 

Guidance

The ASB issues guidance in the form of Advisory Opinions, USPAP Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and monthly questions and responses “USPAP Q&A.” These communications do not establish new Standards or interpret existing Standards and are not part of USPAP. They illustrate the applicability of Standards in specific situations and offer advice from the ASB for the resolution of appraisal issues and problems.

 

The USPAP Q&A is published monthly and available on The Appraisal Foundation website. These questions and responses are compiled and published in the USPAP Frequently Asked Questions.  

 

 

Changes to USPAP

Over the years, USPAP has evolved in response to changes in appraisal practice. The ASB has developed a process for developing both Standards and guidance based, in part, on written comments submitted in response to exposure drafts and oral testimony presented at public meetings.

 

 

Contacting the Appraisal Standards Board

The ASB invites questions about USPAP, commentary on USPAP and proposed changes to USPAP from all interested parties, including appraisers, state enforcement agencies, users of appraisal services, and the public.

 

If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions regarding USPAP, please contact the ASB.

 

Appraisal Standards Board
The Appraisal Foundation
1155 15th Street, NW, Suite 1111
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: 202-347-7722
Fax: 202-347-7727

E-Mail: info@appraisalfoundation.org

www.appraisalfoundation.org

 

USPAP TABLE OF CONTENTS

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

USPAP 2008–2009 Edition
©The Appraisal

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Foundation News

ASB and AQB Seek Your Input
Boards Issue Invitation to Comment
The Appraisal Standards Board (ASB) and the Appraiser Qualifications Board (AQB) are seeking public input on USPAP and USPAP education.   An Invitation to Comment was released in late December and the deadline for comments is approaching on February 25, 2008.   To view the document and download a copy of the questions posed by the Boards, please click here.   
The ASB and AQB will hold a joint Public Hearing on March 3, 2008 in Los Angeles, California to consider the comments received and an open forum will be held during the meeting.  For more information on the hearing, please click here.  Questions on this event can be directed to Carrie Composto, Standards Administrator.

Foundation Seeks Qualified Candidates for Board of Trustees
The Appraisal Foundation is beginning its search for qualified candidates to serve on its Board of Trustees.  Completed applications for vacancies on the Board of Trustees must be received by March 21, 2008.  The search for qualified candidates for the AQB and ASB will begin in late spring of this year.

 

 

There are three At-Large Trustee seats available as of December 31, 2008.   There are special requirements for two of the three At-Large seats available:

 

-one seat is reserved for a candidate that is a licensed or certified real estate appraiser and unaffiliated with any of the Sponsoring Organizations of the Foundation; and,
-one seat is reserved for qualified candidates working in academia.
To view the announcement and further details, please click here.  To obtain an application package on-line, please click here.  Any questions on the application process can be directed to Paula Douglas, Executive Administrator or Anne Raley, Office Assistant.
 

Update on the National Uniform Licensing and Certification Examination Data
There was an adequate sampling size to validate the test items based on candidates taking the national exams through January 31, 2008.  The exam vendors submitted their exam data to The Appraisal Foundation's exam developer, and the data has been validated with answer keys and cut scores sent back to each vendor.  The vendors are currently in the process of scoring the exams and will then report the scores to the candidates.  No candidate exam score information is available from The Appraisal Foundation, as we have no control over the length of time or process the vendors will use to provide candidates with their score reports.  Candidates must contact their exam vendors directly for score report information.  Future exams will be scored "instantaneously" gain, as they were in the past.

Calling All Business Valuers:  Foundation Seeks Qualified Applicants for Working Group on Intangible Assets Valuation
The Appraisal Foundation is looking for qualified applicants to serve on a working group to draft best practices relating to valuing customer relationships. Please click here to download an application package. 
These positions are voluntary with participants being reimbursed for travel expenses.  This working group is the second in a series.  Keep an eye on the Foundation's web site for news on a discussion draft from the first working group on Contributory Asset Charges.
Any questions on these projects can be directed to Paula Douglas, Executive Administrator.


Foundation Publications
              
NEW for 2008!
USPAP Monthly Q&As (one-year, electronic subscription)
Stay informed!  Each month you will receive via email the USPAP Question and Answer bulletin that is issued to inform appraisers, enforcement officials, and users of appraisal services of the Appraisal Standards Board (ASB) responses to questions.  These responses illustrate the applicability of USPAP in specific situations and offer advice from the ASB for the resolution of appraisal issues and problems.
Cost:  $25.00, Item #251
1-Year USPAP Monthly Q&A E-Subscription Service
How to Order:
Phone: 1.800.348.2831 (toll free)
            or 240.646.7010 (local)
Fax:     301.206.9789
Mail:    The Appraisal Foundation Publications,
            P.O. Box 381, Annapolis Junction, MD 
            20701-0381
Please visit the Foundation Store on the Foundation's web site to download a complete listing of Foundation Publications.
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Chamber works towards getting affordable housing legislation passed

Chamber works towards getting affordable housing legislation passed
The L.A. City Council preliminarily approved legislation Wednesday granting various incentives to developers for building affordable housing. The ordinance amends sections of the Los Angeles Municipal Code to comply with revisions to the state law, SB 1818. The Chamber was a key stakeholder in crafting the compromise language and working with City Council offices to ensure passage. The Chamber applauds City Council President Eric Garcetti and Councilmembers Jan Perry and Ed Reyes, who were partners and proponents of the plan. The ordinance will return to council for a second reading and final vote next week. Contact Public Policy Manager Vanessa Rodriguez, 213.580.7531 or vrodriguez@lachamber.org.
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February 14, 2008

RIVAL EMINENT DOMAIN MEASURES FACE OFF

February 14, 2008 www.luce.com
RIVAL EMINENT DOMAIN MEASURES FACE OFF
By Lisa J. Holmes
EMINENT DOMAIN
AND
CONDEMNATION
PRACTICE
John C. Murphy
949.732.3736
Charles A. Bird
619.699.2406
Douglas J. Evertz
949.732.3716
Christopher H.
Findley
619.699.2515
Steven C. Knoblock
949.732.3721
Timothy A. Tosta
415.356.4612
Jennifer R. McClure
949.732.3707
Antony D. Nash
619.233.2968
Jennifer Wood
Dienhart
949.732.3706
Lisa J. Holmes
949.732.3703
Emily L. Madueno
949.732.3709
The June 2008 ballot promises to pit taxpayer groups, farmers, and mobile home park
owners against local governments, senior groups, and renter advocates. Each side is
supporting an eminent domain reform measure that could affect millions of Californians.
Neither goes quite so far as the November 2006 anti-eminent domain ballot measure,
Proposition 90, which fell just 2.5% short of the 50% needed for passage. But one - the
Howard Jarvis Taxpayer Association’s Proposition 98 - would make some radical
changes to eminent domain law. It would also end rent control in California.
Statewide, about 1.2 million people are currently protected by rent control laws. Los
Angeles alone has over 635,000 rent-controlled residential units and could be impacted
more than any other city if Proposition 98 passes.
The face-off will culminate June 3, 2008 on a ballot with no other statewide measures.
Because the two measures purport to concern eminent domain reform, they will likely
present an interesting confrontation for voters - who may vote against both out of sheer
confusion. At a minimum, the competing measures guarantee to liven up what is
expected to be an otherwise quiet ballot with low turnout.
The Competing Measures
Proposition 98: California Property Owners and Farmland Protection Act (Howard
Jarvis Taxpayers Association)
On January 17, 2008, the California Secretary of State approved the California Property
Owners and Farmland Protection Act for the June ballot. This measure will appear on the
June 3, 2008 ballot as Proposition 98.
Proposition 98 is funded by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, the Western
Manufactured Housing Communities Issues Political Action Committee, and the
Apartment Owners Association Political Action Committee, among others. It is reported
that over 100 apartment and mobile home park owners and operators have contributed
close to a total of $2 million to the campaign.
Advocates tout the measure as one that would end the use of eminent domain for
redevelopment purposes.
Opponents - who have dubbed the measure the Hidden Agendas Scheme - charge that
the measure is not confined to eminent domain reform and property rights. They contend
that the measure slips in a provision that really has nothing to do with eminent domain -
the elimination of rent control. They also argue that the measure would end the
acquisition of private property for large water projects in California by prohibiting the use
of eminent domain for the consumption of natural resources.
Continued…

“private use” to
include the taking of private property "for the consumption of natural resources.” This provision could preclude
the use of eminent domain to construct public water projects.
• Changes the evidentiary standard for challenges to the right to take. Prohibits deference to the agency’s
findings in any action to challenge the take. Requires the court to consider all relevant evidence and exercise its
independent judgment.

 Proposition 99: Homeowners and Private Property Protection Act (League of California Cities)
• Prohibits - with several exceptions - the use of eminent domain to acquire an owner-occupied residence
for transfer to a private person. Protects only single family residences, such as detached homes,
condominiums, townhouses, or granny units, that were the owner’s principal place of residence for at least one
year before the agency’s initial written offer to purchase the property. Does not protect apartment residents,
business owners, farms, or churches.
• Permits transfer to a private person if it is for - or incidental to - a public work or improvement. Permits
transfer of an owner-occupied residence to a private person if the acquisition is for, or incidental to, a public work
or improvement, to protect public health and safety, to prevent serious, repeated criminal activity, to respond to
an emergency, or to remedy environmental contamination.
• Supersedes competing measure. Supersedes any rival eminent domain ballot measure if this measure
receives a higher number of votes. This means that if Proposition 99 receives more votes than Proposition 98,
Proposition 99 becomes the law, even if Proposition 98 passes.
Luce Forward's mission is to provide quality, efficient solutions to our clients' legal needs and to enable our clients to achieve
their goals and objectives. Luce Forward's E-Updates are published as a free service to our clients and friends. The material
contained herein is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute advertising, a solicitation or
legal advice. If you wish to receive additional or more specific information about any subject covered in an E-Update, please
contact one of the attorneys at Luce Forward.
Visit Luce Forward's "Subscription Preferences" page on www.luce.com, where you can subscribe or unsubscribe to Luce
Forward's E-Updates in this area and/or other practice areas or industries.
Copyright © 2008 Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps LLP. All rights reserved.

 

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February 13, 2008

Vacancy Announcements

Appraiser (SF), GS-1171-11/12, Processing and Underwriting Division, Office of Housing, Single Family Homeownership Center, Vacancy Announcement 03-DEU-2008-0002z (Denver, CO)

Appraiser (SF), GS-1171-11/12, Processing and Underwriting Division, Office of Housing, Single Family Homeownership Center, Vacancy Announcement 03-DEU-2008-0003z (Philadelphia, PA)

Appraiser (SF), GS-1171-11/12, Processing and Underwriting Division, Office of Housing, Single Family Homeownership Center, Vacancy Announcement 03-DEU-2008-0004z (Santa Ana, CA)

Housing Program Specialist, GS-1101-11/12, Office of Single Family Housing, Vacancy Announcement 07-DEU-2008-0005z ( Philadelphia , PA )

The Vacancy Announcements are posted at www.usajobs.gov  Please visit that website to view the announcements, additional information and to search for additional new HUD job listings.  HUD-FHA also has job opportunities in other locations around the nation.  Please bookmark and revisit www.usajobs.gov  frequently to see the new jobs as they appear online. Application forms can be found at: http://www.usajobs.opm.gov/forms.asp

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February 07, 2008

New Money Pouring into Funds Targeting Distressed Deals

New Money Pouring into Funds Targeting Distressed Deals

Some in Industry Wonder Just How Smart This New Money Is

Everybody loves a bargain. And these days, just about everybody thinks they might be able to get one.

Since Aug. 1, just before the credit markets went into a tailspin, CoStar has reported on 28 funds that have raised or were in the process of raising more than $30 billion, with the bulk of the money targeted for distressed real estate and value-added opportunities.

That money is on top of more than $23 billion in private equity raised in the first half of 2007 according to Ernst & Young. The total for the year nearly doubles the total amount raised in 2006.

Not counted in that group are the existing funds that also have started to shift focus and resources. Funds that were originally looking for solid occupancy in Class A or B office and industrial assets or properties in solid or emerging markets are now buying properties to which they can add value through lease up or repositioning.

These opportunity funds have come to be called somewhat crudely vulture funds for the picture they conjure up of investors perched and poised to swoop in on troubled deals, mismanaged and/or underperforming assets. In many cases, though, it doesn't do the investors justice, because as every bargain hunter knows, one man's discards can be another man's gold - the trick is being able to turn trash into gold.

The flock that is now rapidly gathering is starting to raise, if not concerns, then at least a lot of questions about which ones have that ability and which ones can spot the diamond in the rough.

"Many of the new funds are made up of the same groups that were part of the run-up leading to today's distress, only under a new cloak," said Gregory J. Nieder, principal and executive vice president of Foresite Realty Partners LLC in Rosemont, IL. "What is getting lost in the fervor over the rise of these new opportunity funds is the operational inexperience of many of these groups and the need for a buyer of these assets to understand not only the underlying real estate, but also the complexity of the default, workout, foreclosure and bankruptcy process, especially given the dramatic shift in how real estate has been financed over the past 10-15 years."

Foresite Realty works with structured finance servicers, lenders, bankruptcy trustees, attorneys and distressed corporations to provide a source of capital and third-party services.

"In the case of the funds focused on purchasing debt, these situations simply can't be looked at as commercial paper trading at what appears to be an attractive discount," Nieder added. "There invariably are going to be real stresses on the ability for the borrowers to repay, and it won't be solved by a creditor's committee. These groups will need to work the foreclosure and bankruptcy process. In either case, REO or note purchases, certainty of execution is the key for holders of these assets."

"We have been positioning a lot of the broken deals for investors to take on, whether they are directly from the seller or workouts through banks," said Richard C. MacDonough, Jr., vice president director of Maryland operations for Fraser Forbes Land Sales in McLean, VA. "There are a ton of funds out there and they talk a lot, but it is the smart money that is going to make these deals work. There is a relatively small universe of these funds out there that can take these deals soup to nuts, and we are working with most of them and actually working to create a few more."

The amount of private money pouring into the market is raising other questions too.

"With so much capital 'supposedly' sitting on the side-lines, it is a good question to ask ... will the inexperienced capital sources be jumping in too early only to extend the ongoing correction," said Jose Padilla, partner in AXIS Realty Partners in Miami Beach, FL.

The answer to that question seems to be running 50-50 right now.

"How much of an impact these funds will have on the market will depend on how much leverage they can obtain at the equity level and at the individual deal level," said Terri A. Gumula, vice president, commercial acquisitions for Real Estate Capital Partners in New York. "By popping up early in the process, the venture funds will backstop pricing declines, much like we saw in 2000-2001. The core product has remained strong."

Steve O'Connor, a controller in the Scottsdale, AZ, office for Triyar Companies LLC, a private real estate development company, is seeing the market from the finance/accounting side.

"I believe there is a lot of equity in this market and that it will take a while for good buying opportunities to appear and they most likely will appear as vacancies rise," O'Connor said. "I am still seeing great reluctance from lenders for most any real estate project. The fear is that they are lending into an overpriced industry and until prices come down further it will be tough to put the amount of debt on these projects that investors would like. If opportunity funds are jumping in, they are doing it too early."

One acquisition specialist likened it to a track meet with Marion Jones, who could run 200 meters in less than 22 seconds. Now that her artificially enhanced times have been voided, those who run a legitimate 22 seconds are back on top. Cash buyers now aren't changing their returns, but they are more likely to get the winning bid, now that the ultra-leveraged buyers are out of the picture.

Sellers aren't necessarily ready to sell at this juncture though, others said. Sellers that are sitting on property purchased at 5% cap rates with 10-year interest-only mortgages will never get the price they want from today's buyers who have more traditional funding at 6.5% interest rates on a 30-year schedule.

Steve Forde, a vice president at Signature Bank in Chicago, IL, said he is not seeing much movement yet either.

"Buyers still expect price discounts and are looking but not signing because they are worried about more devaluation in the market. They would really be taking on more risk at this juncture due to market softness," Forde said. "In addition, many of the funding sources are up to their eyeballs working out current projects, so there will be no loosening of credit until inventory levels are more reasonable."

Still the re-emergence of opportunity funds has created a renewed need in the marketplace for strong real estate operations, said Regina T. Mullins, CPM and president of the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM).

"As the sub-prime mortgage crisis depresses the commercial credit market, which until recently had fueled soaring real estate investment returns, emphasis now is shifting to improving operating results to drive property values," Mullins said. "Operations is replacing speculation as the stimulus for growing real estate values - and the lead players in this essentially back-to-basics scenario are the top-notch, professional managers of real estate assets who are hired by investors to do just that, to optimize ROI from operations."

"Now that flipping properties no longer is as prevalent or feasible as it once was, owners and investors are looking to sustained long-term ROI growth as the key to increasing the value of their investments," Mullins added.

We're already seeing new operations focused on turnarounds starting to crop up as well.

Alvarez & Marsal Real Estate Advisory Services LLC just formed a dedicated team to advise commercial developers and owners in the office, retail and apartment building sectors with over-leveraged portfolios, as well as their lenders.

"It was only a matter of time before the commercial markets became swept up in this capital markets crisis," said Greg Gotthardt, a managing director for the group who is based in Los Angeles and heads the firm's West Coast real estate practice. "The worst of the pain, of course, is going to be felt by those who bought at the peak with minimal due diligence under duress of market conditions that wildly favored sellers. Many of these deals have little margin for error in a declining market. Perhaps one positive sign, however, is that some developers, owners and lenders have begun to recognize the dire straits they're in and are taking proactive steps to deal with the issues ahead of major defaults."

 http://www.costar.com/News/Article.aspx?id=080349D6E1362D9292CB91040F44EC53&ref=100

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February 06, 2008

Small Law Firm At Center Of Loan Universe

Headline Legal News

Small Law Firm At Center Of Loan Universe



The New York Times
Feb. 1, 2008


In recent years, as subprime lending proliferated, a small law firm played a big role on Wall Street.
More from the New York Times

The young firm, McKee Nelson, helped investment banks and mortgage lenders bundle home loans into securities — lots of them. Since 2000, McKee has been involved in almost 3,300 deals totaling $2.7 trillion, according to Asset Backed Alert, an industry newsletter.


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The Wall Street banks and lenders hired McKee Nelson, which is based in Washington and New York, to write or review prospectuses for the securities. It was a lucrative arrangement, helping to generate $202.5 million for the firm in 2006, the latest year for which figures are available.

Now, with losses on bad mortgage investments exceeding $135 billion, questions are growing about whether prospectuses like these adequately disclosed the risks to investors.

Mark H. Adelson, a co-founder of Adelson & Jacob Consulting, a securitization and real estate consulting firm, said offering documents in general lacked clear warnings about the deteriorating quality of home loans. ''That's what was missing,'' Mr. Adelson said. Most of these documents, however, did detail the mechanics of the investments and the kinds of loans backing the securities, he said.

Reed D. Auerbach, a structured finance partner at McKee Nelson, stands by the firm's work.

''We get paid to write good disclosure,'' Mr. Auerbach said. ''We think that the offering documents we've written disclosed all the risks to investors.''

New York state prosecutors are investigating whether Wall Street banks withheld crucial information from investors about the risks posed by subprime loans. McKee Nelson has not been subpoenaed in the investigation or accused of any wrongdoing.

But as investors' losses mount, companies across the financial services industry are coming under scrutiny. Bankers, auditors and lawyers are bracing for a wave of lawsuits. One law firm, Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft, is already fighting a $70 million malpractice suit over its mortgage securities work.

''Anybody who touched the security in the process of creating or selling it is going to be subject to litigation,'' said Joseph A. Grundfest, a business and law professor at Stanford and a former commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Internal Revenue Service, meantime, recently opened an inquiry into the special trusts that are typically used to issue mortgage securities. A McKee Nelson spokeswoman declined to comment.

McKee Nelson burst onto the scene in 1999 and quickly grabbed lucrative Wall Street work from long-established rivals. William F. Nelson, one of its co-founders, said the firm, which is known for its sophisticated tax work, did not employ any special legal maneuvers to outflank its competitors. ''There's no secret, magic elixir that we sprinkled,'' Mr. Nelson said.

In any case, the mortgage turmoil is now hitting the highly regarded McKee Nelson hard. The firm recently pared its structured finance department to 80 lawyers from about 115 through buyouts, sabbaticals and transfers to other departments. More cuts are unlikely, a spokeswoman said.

Across Wall Street, the structured finance industry is hurting. Just this week Merrill Lynch, which has lost billions of dollars on mortgage investments, said it would pull back from the business.

But after profiting from the mortgage boom, McKee Nelson is now positioning itself to profit from the bust by riding the coming wave of lawsuits. In January, the firm flew its partners and their spouses to Charleston, S.C., aboard four Delta commuter jets, to map out its strategy.

''We're heavily committed to doing more litigation,'' Mr. Nelson said. The firm hopes to represent investment banks, hedge funds and other financial companies, as well as their executives, in a variety of litigation, he said.

Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company


Headline Legal News
News Archive
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February 01, 2008

Real Estate Law Center

http://real-estate-law.freeadvice.com/

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US v. NAR

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
EASTERN DIVISION



UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Department of Justice, Antitrust Division,    
325 7th Street, N.W., Suite 300
Washington, DC 20530, Plaintiff,

                  v.

 

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF
REALTORS
430 North Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611,

                  Defendant.


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Civil Action No. 05C-5140

Judge Filip

Magistrate Judge Denlow

Filed: September 8, 2005

 

COMPLAINT

The United States of America, by its attorneys acting under the direction of the Attorney General, brings this civil action pursuant to Section 4 of the Sherman Act, as amended, 15 U.S.C. § 4, to obtain equitable and other relief to prevent and restrain violations of Section 1 of the Sherman Act, as amended, 15 U.S.C. § 1. The United States alleges:

1. The United States brings this action to enjoin the defendant — a national association of real estate brokers — from maintaining or enforcing a policy that restrains competition from brokers who use the Internet to more efficiently and cost effectively serve home sellers and buyers, and from adopting other related anticompetitive rules.

2. The brokers against whom the policy discriminates operate secure, password-protected Internet sites that enable the brokers' customers to search for and receive real estate listings over the Internet. These websites thus replace or augment the traditional practice by which the broker conducts a search of properties for sale and then provides information to the customer by hand, mail, fax, or e-mail. Since these websites were first developed in the late 1990s, brokers' use of the Internet in connection with their delivery of brokerage services has become an important competitive alternative to traditional "brick-and-mortar" business models.

3. Defendant's members include traditional brokers who are concerned about competition from Internet-savvy brokers. Before defendant adopted its policy, several of its members voiced opposition to brokers' delivery of listings to customers through their websites — sites that defendant referred to as "virtual office websites," or "VOWs." The head of the working group created by defendant to develop regulations for VOWs argued that defendant should act quickly in adopting regulations for the use of these websites because brokers operating VOWs were "scooping up market share just below the radar." The chairman of the board of RE/MAX, the nation's second-largest real estate franchisor, publicly expressed his concern that these Internet sites would inevitably place downward pressure on brokers' commission rates. One broker complained that because of the lower cost structure of brokers who provide listings to their customers over the Internet, "they are able to kick-back 1% of the sales price to the buyer." And Cendant, the nation's largest real estate franchisor and owner of the nation's largest real estate brokerage, asserted in a widely circulated white paper that it was "not feasible" for even the largest traditional brokers to compete with large Internet companies that operated or affiliated with brokers operating VOWs.

4. In response to such concerns, defendant, through its members, adopted a policy (the "VOW Policy") limiting this new competition. The VOW Policy significantly alters the rules governing multiple listing services ("MLS"). MLSs collect detailed information about nearly all properties for sale through brokers and are indispensable tools for brokers serving buyers and sellers in each MLS's market area. Defendant's local Realtor associations ("member boards") control a majority of the MLSs in the United States.

5. The VOW Policy permits brokers to selectively or generally withhold their clients' listings from VOW operators by means of an "opt-out" right. In essence, the VOW Policy allows traditional brokers to block the customers of targeted competitors from using the Internet to review the same set of MLS listings that the traditional brokers provide to their customers.

6. The working group that formulated the VOW Policy understood that the opt-out right was fundamentally anticompetitive and harmful to consumers. Two members of the working group wrote that the opt-out right would be "abused beyond belief" as traditional brokers selectively withhold listings from particular VOW-based competitors. The chairman of the working group admitted that the opt-out right was likely to be exercised by brokers notwithstanding the fact that "it may not be in the seller[']s best interest to opt out." But he took comfort in the fact that the rule did not require brokers to disclose to clients that their listings would be withheld from some prospective purchasers as a result of the brokers' opt-out decision, thus providing brokers "flexibility without conversation."

7. The VOW Policy restricts the manner in which brokers with efficient, Internet-based business models may provide listings to their customers, and imposes additional restrictions on brokers operating VOWs that do not apply to their traditional competitors. Defendant thus denies brokers using new technologies and business models the same benefits of MLS membership available to their competitor brokers, and it suppresses technological innovation, discourages competition on price and quality, and raises barriers to entry. Defendant — an association of competitors — has agreed to a policy that suppresses new competition and harms consumers.

 http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/cases/nar.htm

http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/cases/f211000/211009.htm

 

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