Garcia Rainey Blank & Bowerbank LLP, Attorneys in Orange County



December 15, 2022

GRBB’s seller and real estate developer client sold a 7.3-acre parcel in Malibu to a buyer. The buyer promised to pay GRBB’s seller client for, among other things, the development of medical office buildings. The buyer refused to perform. The buyer claimed fraud and sought rescission of the land purchase. GRBB filed cross-claims against the buyer, seeking the monies owed. GRBB, on behalf of the seller, not only vigorously disputed the buyer’s defense to non-payment of compensation to GRBB’s client, but also filed specific performance and declaratory relief claims against the buyer. GRBB also immediately recorded a lis pendens on the property, asserting a “you can’t have your cake and eat it too argument” (if you really want to give the property back, then it needs to be encumbered with a lis pendens until the buyer is forced to perform or the lawsuit is adjudicated in court). The buyer filed a motion to expunge the lis pendens, arguing that the seller’s claims did not have an affect on the title to real property. GRBB’s John Bowerbank and his team successfully argued to the Court that the declaratory relief claim did in fact have an affect on the title to the property. As such, the Court denied the motion to expunge the lis pendens. The Court also completely denied the buyer’s request that GRBB’s client should have to post a bond to maintain the lis pendens, including a request by the buyer that GRBB’s client should have to post a $6,000,000 bond.