Lance A. Adair
Mr. Adair is experienced in handling a wide range of disputes involving real property law and litigation; construction and construction defects; land use and land use entitlements; wrongful foreclosure claims and other commercial lender litigation; contract disputes and breach of guaranty claims; quiet title and declaratory relief claims; mechanic's liens and priority claims; eminent domain and inverse condemnation; real estate purchase and sale transactions; SB 800 and Calderon claims; commercial lease disputes; injunctive relief claims; writs of mandate; corporate governance and alter ego claims; anti-SLAPP motions; and insurance coverage matters.
Mr. Adair was born in Orange, California, and graduated from the University of California, Riverside, in 1982. He received his law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, in 1985. While at Hastings, he served as the Symposium Editor of the Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly.
Mr. Adair was formerly an associate and shareholder in the firm of Jackson, DeMarco & Peckenpaugh and, before that, an associate in the firm of Best, Best & Krieger. From 2003 to 2012, Mr. Adair successfully ran his own litigation and real estate transactional law firm based in Irvine, California. Mr. Adair was a collegiate-level tennis player and, more recently, a successful Little League coach and manager.
Development and Access Rights.
Lead counsel in the successful defense of an owner/developer in an action involving future development rights, easements and access rights pertaining to an 1,100-acre coastal tract of land in Santa Barbara County.
Construction Defects Prosecution and Defense.
Personal and/or litigation counsel for builders and general contractors in numerous complex construction defect matters. Also served as lead counsel for an owner/developer in a successful action to recover $2.1 million in costs incurred in repairing construction defects and extensive water damage to 32 hilltop homes following severe El Nino rains. The latter case was reported in The National Law Journal.
Construction Cost Overruns.
Lead counsel in the successful defense of a designer/builder of theme park exhibits and movie sets in a dispute involving cost overruns in the construction of a Disneyland attraction.
Improvement Agreements and Performance Bonds.
Lead counsel in the successful defense of a former owner/developer in a complex dispute involving unperformed public improvement agreements and performance bonds for a golf course community in Rancho Mirage.
Eminent Domain/Inverse Condemnation.
Lead counsel for a Fortune 500 company in two eminent domain matters involving partial takings of service station properties; and lead counsel for a publicly-traded company in a successful inverse condemnation action involving flood-related damage to the client’s assisted living facility.
California Environmental Quality Act.
First-chaired successive writ of mandate proceedings under the California Environmental Quality Act involving (1) a successful challenge to a rival water agency’s negative declaration for its proposed water importation project; and (2) the successful defense of clients’ environmental impact report for an alternative project involving the acquisition and use of an existing private water system and groundwater rights.
Easement Disputes/Quiet Title.
Lead counsel for a residential developer in an action to quiet title to an easement providing the only economically feasible means of access to the client’s undeveloped, $7 million parcel in Monarch Beach. Obtained both the easement and a recovery of attorney’s fees.
Lead trial counsel in the defense of a title insurance company’s insured in action for alleged wrongful foreclosure. Prevailed on a theory of equitable estoppel following a five-day bench trial.
Equitable Lender Lien.
Lead counsel for an institutional lender in a successful action to establish an equitable lien against property the defendant had improved with funds advanced by the lender.
Breach of Lease/Land Use.
Co-Counsel for then-largest roofing company in North America in the successful defense of an action for breach of lease stemming from the alleged illegality of client’s use of leased premises in Santa Ana.
Representing majority shareholders in an action for alleged corporate mismanagement and fraud brought by numerous investors in a failed company, obtained a pleading-stage dismissal after filing a motion to strike pursuant to California’s anti-SLAPP legislation.
Lead trial counsel for the prevailing partner in a dispute between business partners over the distribution of $950,000 in proceeds from the sale of a car wash.
Malicious Prosecution/Trade Secrets.
Lead counsel in the successful defense of a manufacturer of commercial airline galleys in a malicious prosecution action arising out of an underlying trade secret dispute. Obtained summary judgment for client.
Lead counsel for homeowner in a successful action to recover the cost of repairing extensive flood damage to client’s $7.5 million residence caused by the breach of a pressurized fire sprinkler pipe during a home remodel project. The combined settlement proceeds covered both the cost of the repairs and four months’ lost use of the residence.
- California, 1985
- U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 1988
- U.S. District Court Eastern District of California, 1985
- U.S. District Court Northern District of California, 1985
- U.S. District Court Southern District of California, 1985
- U.S. District Court Central District of California
- University of California, Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco, California
- Juris Doctor - 1985
- Law Review: Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly, Symposium Editor
- University of California, Riverside
- B.S., Bachelor of Science - 1982
- “School Fee Decision May Benefit Commercial and Industrial Projects”—The Property Guide (1989)
- “Personal Liability of Public Agency Board Members”—Journal of Public Law Section, State Bar of California (1986)
Honors and Awards
- “AV-Preeminent”™ by Martindale-Hubbell
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Orange County Bar Association, Construction and Real Estate Sections
- Building Industry Association
- California Land Title Association
Past Employment Positions
- Jackson, DeMarco & Peckenpaugh, Associate and shareholder
- Best, Best & Krieger, Associate
Pro Bono Activities
- Little League coach and manager