Measure JJJ will Adversely Affect the Feasibility of Some Residential Projects in the City of Los Angeles

Measure JJJ, which was approved by voters on Nov. 8, adds important new requirements to certain residential projects in the City of Los Angeles. Subject to exceptions for projects in specified locations, the measure applies to projects that contain 10 or more residential units and need a General Plan amendment, zone change or height district change. (Because the City's land use regulations are outdated, many residential projects in recent years have needed at least one of these modifications.) Where Measure JJJ applies, it requires that a certain percentage of residential units be made available at affordable cost to persons of low- or moderate-income (the measure allows for alternative performance such as providing affordable housing off-site or paying an in-lieu fee to the City's affordable housing trust fund), that workers be paid prevailing wages, that 30% of work hours be performed by City residents and that 10% of work hours be performed by persons who live within 5 miles of the project and qualify as Transitional Workers by having two or more specified obstacles to employment.
Developers must factor Measure JJJ into their feasibility analysis when buying land for residential development or planning a project. If the effects of Measure JJJ cannot be avoided (such as by limiting the project to a maximum of 9 residential units or working within the generally applicable land use regulations), any pro forma for the project should be prepared in consultation with legal counsel and reflect careful consideration of Measure JJJ's impact on project costs and revenue stream.

Opus Bank SLAPP-ed! LimNexus Litigation Team Successfully Defends Whistleblower who was Sued by his Former Employer for Reporting Perceived Misconduct

The LimNexus team of Bryan Sheldon and David D. Yang secured an important anti-SLAPP victory in defense of a former Opus Bank employee. Following the bank’s written procedures for reporting suspicious conduct, the employee, who was employed by the bank as a Senior Loan Review Analyst, reported what he felt were improper banking practices and that his supervisor told him he was “making the bank look bad.” The bank responded by not only firing the employee for making the report, but, along with two of its officers, filing a lawsuit against him for defamation and other claims.LimNexus filed a Special Motion to Strike the complaint under California Code of Civil Procedure section 425.16. Under this code section, a lawsuit against a person arising from any act of that person in furtherance of the person’s right of petition or free speech under the United States Constitution or the California Constitution in connection with a public issue can be stricken unless the court determines that the plaintiff has established that she or he is likely to win on the claim. In enacting this law, the Legislature found and declared that “there has been a disturbing increase in lawsuits brought primarily to chill the valid exercise of the constitutional rights of freedom of speech and petition for the redress of grievances.” The Legislature further found and declared that “it is in the public interest to encourage continued participation in matters of public significance, and that this participation should not be chilled through abuse of the judicial process.”In granting the Special Motion to Strike, the Court noted that the former employee “engaged in protected activity under Civ. Proc. Code §425.16(e).” The court also held that “Plaintiffs failed to establish that their causes of action had a probability of success” because the statements made by the employee were privileged communications that could not form the basis of a legal action. Accordingly, the complaint of Opus Bank and its senior officers’ was stricken by the Court.Under Code of Civil Procedure section 425.16(c), the law provides that “a prevailing defendant on a special motion to strike shall be entitled to recover his or her attorney’s fees and costs.” Accordingly, LimNexus will seek to recover its client’s attorney fees and costs expended in defending this lawsuit forthwith.

"Forward-Thinking" by the Los Angeles Daily Journal

The Daily Journal recently published a feature story that chronicles the 30 year journey of LimNexus as a minority-owned firm that has gained respect and earned strong client relationships with a broad range of clients from small businesses to global Fortune 500 companies.Click here for the full story.We are deeply proud of our history, but the title of the Daily Journal article, "Forward-Thinking," reflects our Firm's determination to help our clients meet the challenges of today and beyond. We chose the name LimNexus to highlight the strong connection between our Firm and its clients. That connection has been the catalyst for the journey described in the Daily Journal, and it motivates us every day to do the finest legal work that best serves our clients.
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