Overview

Richard B. Gullen

Shareholder
Location:
San Jose, California
Phone:
408-261-4252
Fax:
408-261-4292
Email:

For over 25 years, Rick has delivered optimal cost-efficient solutions for his real estate and business clients, whether through negotiation and drafting of complex transactions, or litigating contentious disputes. Rick has handled a wide variety of matters for a broad spectrum of clients including investors, developers, builders, contractors, homeowners, brokers, lenders, borrowers, landlords, tenants, debtors, creditors, and title companies. Over his career, Rick has successfully tried dozens of real estate and business disputes involving millions of dollars in damages.

Rick represents investors and developers in commercial transactions through the acquisition, due diligence, management, sale, and exchange stages of investment properties and businesses. This includes forming entities, negotiating and drafting purchase agreements, development agreements, partnership agreements, CC&Rs, easements, leases, options, assignments, non-competition agreements, promissory notes, deeds of trust, security agreements, and subordination agreements.

In 2013, Rick was appointed to the Planning Commission for the City of Gilroy, and elected Chairman in 2015. As Chairman of the Planning Commission, Rick has specialized knowledge and experience regarding the process of obtaining development and land use entitlements, including tentative maps, building site approvals, zone changes, conditional use permits, certificates of compliance, and variances.

Since 2002, San Jose Magazine consistently recognized Rick as one of Silicon Valley's Top Attorneys. Rick also teaches real estate courses at DeAnza College and is a regular guest speaker at real estate firms, and on local television and real estate radio shows.

Cases of Note

Grammer v. Williams (JAMS) (2015):

Won a binding arbitration in which the client seller was awarded the full amount of the buyer’s deposit as liquidated damages, plus attorneys’ fees and costs, after the buyer wrongfully cancelled the sale. The arbitrator rejected the buyer’s argument that the client seller was unable to deliver marketable title because certain appurtenant easements over neighboring properties were junior to the neighbors’ deeds of trust. The arbitrator found that the neighbors’ deeds of trust were not liens on the easements, but rather other exceptions, and that the buyer had agreed to take title subject to those exceptions.

Van Buren Estates Lenders, LLC v. Van Buren Estates Partners, L.P., et. al., in Riverside County Superior Court, Case No. INC 1206888 (2015):

Won a summary adjudication, and defeated the subsequent appeal by the losing party, confirming that our client’s $10.45 million dollar deed of trust was secured against title insurance proceeds as additional collateral that the borrower obtained through a settlement, and that our client’s lien had priority over a competing creditor who obtained a junior attachment lien against the same title insurance proceeds.

Joseph A. Sands Jr. v. Boulevard Brokerage Group, Inc., dba Re/Max Commercial, et. al., in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Case No. LC088242 (2013):

Overturned on appeal a summary judgment against our client, a real estate investor who was defrauded into buying commercial real property in Colorado by several brokers who continued to advise the client to invest additional sums even though they knew the rental income was substantially less than as represented.

Van Zant v. Testate & Intes, in Calaveras County Superior Court, Case No. SCV39145 (2013):

Obtained quiet title judgment against 15 parties based upon adverse possession of 160 acres of land which had not been probated or otherwise transferred in over 100 years.

Frangadakis v. Teresa Rodgers, et al., in Santa Clara County Superior Court, Case No. 113CV252873 (2013):

Recovered full commission for a broker whose exclusive irrevocable listing on a property in Saratoga was prematurely and wrongfully terminated by the successor trustee of a trust.

Chan v. Tompane, in Santa Clara County Superior Court, Case No. 106CV075449 (2010):

Won a binding arbitration award on behalf of a homeowner in Los Altos Hills against the seller/neighbor to set aside parking easements wrongfully recorded at close of escrow without consent, plus damages and attorney’s fees of $340,238, in addition to a settlement with the escrow company in the amount of $225,000.

Transactions of Note

Rick has represented clients buying and selling shopping centers and single-tenant leased investments with national companies such as Gold’s Gym, Oliver Garden, IHOP, Walgreens, Carl’s Jr., Dollartree, Autozone, O’Reilly and Tireworks, as well as a carwash, a mini-storage and other local businesses.

Current Employment Position

  • Shareholder

Areas of Practice

  • Real Estate and Business Transactions – 40%
  • Real Estate and Business Litigation – 60%

Bar Admissions

  • State Bar of California, 1989
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of California, 1989

Education

  • Santa Clara University School of Law, Santa Clara, California, 1989 (J.D.)
  • University of the Pacific, 1985 (B.M.)

Published Works

  • (Firm Webpage & Facebook Page)
    • "Interference with Secondary Easements Does Not Require Physical Act," March, 2014.
    • "New Land Use Laws," March, 2014.
    • "A Below Market Rate Purchase Option is an Exaction under the Mitigation Fee Act," February, 2014.
    • "Landlords Can be Vulnerable to Prescriptive Easement Claims," October, 2013.
    • "New Laws Protecting Tenants and Occupants after a Foreclosure," May, 2013.
    • "Disclosing Pending Notice of Default to Prospective Tenants," January, 2013.
  • (Bay Area Lawyer Magazine)
    • "Dealing With Homeowners in Default," July, 2006.

Speaking Engagements

  • Multiple Offer Issues Intero Branch Office 2015
  • Top Five Disclosure Issues for Sellers Real Estate 360 Radio Show 2015
  • Top Five Contract Issues for Buyers Real Estate 360 Radio Show 2014
  • Saffie: Liability of Listings Agents for MLS Comments Intero Branch Office 2014
  • Unlicensed Contractors: Friend or Foe Intero Branch Office 2014
  • Deposit Disputes and Liquidated Damages Intero Branch Office 2014
  • Multiple Offers: Are you in Contract or Not Intero Branch Office 2013
  • Late Acceptance Intero Branch Office 2013
  • Title Issues Arising from Buying Properties In Foreclosure Kapowich on Real Estate Radio 2012
  • Updates to the C.A.R. Form Purchase and Sale Agreement Annual Intero RE Update Seminar 2011
  • Foreclosure and Short Sales Kapowich on Real Estate Radio 2010
  • Top 10 Mistakes Made by Buyers & Sellers De Anza College 2006

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • State Bar of California
  • Santa Clara County Bar Association
  • American Bar Association, Litigation Section
  • Santa Clara University Alumni, Santa Clara Valley Chapter (Chairman)