Kenneth Styles

Shareholder
415.638.4807

Ken has over twenty-five years of experience as a litigator and has represented clients on real estate and commercial disputes. As a member of the Appellate Practice Group, he has worked on appellate matters involving title insurance, secured transactions, easements, and boundary disputes.

Ken has over twenty-five years of experience as a litigator and has represented clients on real estate and commercial disputes. As a member of the Appellate Practice Group, he has worked on appellate matters involving title insurance, secured transactions, easements, and boundary disputes.

Biography

As a litigation shareholder in Miller Starr Regalia’s San Francisco office, Ken has over twenty-five years of experience representing a range of clients, from Fortune 500 companies to individuals, in litigation and regulatory/consulting matters, principally involving real estate and commercial disputes. As a litigator, Ken tried and arbitrated cases in both California state and federal courts. His litigation experience spans from defending insurance companies in bad faith litigation or representing software companies in disputes over technology, to representing individuals in disputes regarding easements or boundaries. Ken has developed specific experience in the following areas:

Title and Escrow: Ken has more than twenty years of experience working with title insurance companies and escrow companies in litigation disputes, claims handling, regulatory matters, and consulting. His experience includes representing title insurance companies (and title companies) in litigation filed by opponents, including defending title insurance companies in bad faith matters.  Ken represents title insurance companies (and title companies) in evaluating specific claims tendered by insureds to the company, insureds in certain matters involving title disputes under a title insurance policy (e.g., priority disputes, boundary disputes, etc.), and assists title companies and escrow companies with regulatory matters, including licensing with the California Department of Insurance. He also consults with title insurance companies, title companies, and escrow companies with respect to compliance matters and RESPA. Representative matters include title claims analysis in complex transactions, claims resolution, defense of title insurance companies in bad faith litigation, and claims counsel and large mortgage fraud cases. Ken has lectured on title and escrow matters, including the University of California's CEB “Title Insurance: Transactions, Claims and Litigation” in San Francisco, California. Ken is a member of the firm’s Title Industry Practice Group.

Easements:  Ken is the author of “Easements,” Chapter 15 of the legal treatise Miller & Starr, California Real Estate, 3d Edition (West). As the author of the chapter on easements as well as the annual supplements, Ken has read every published decision in California that involves a substantive legal ruling on easements. He has also represented numerous clients, both commercial and individual, who have disputes involving easements. His representation includes both consulting with clients as a means to avoid litigation, litigating easement and/or boundary disputes in trial courts, and briefing and arguing appeals. Ken has lectured on easement and boundary matters, including the University of California's CEB “Easement and Boundary Disputes” in San Francisco, California.

Appellate Practice:  In addition to litigating and consulting clients regarding real estate and commercial disputes, Ken has worked on dozens of appellate matters. These matters include developing arguments relating to secured transactions to briefing and arguing appeals arising from easements and boundary disputes to bad faith litigation. Ken is a member of the Appellate Practice Group.

Education

J.D., with Honors, University of California, Hastings College of the Law (1991)

  • Order of the Coif
  • Thurston Honor Society
  • Hastings International and Comparative Law Review, (Associate Editor)

B.S., Atmospheric Science, with Honors, University of California, Davis (1985)

Associations

American Bar Association – Title Insurance

American Land Title Association  

Association of Business Trial Lawyers  

California Land Title Association  

Continuing Education of the Bar – Lecturer

State Bar of California

Publications

“The End Of Robo-Signing Challenges To CA Foreclosures,” Law360, January 6, 2017

“Calif. Mortgage Industry Must Clean Up Its Documentation,” Law360, February 22, 2016

"Calif. Supreme Court Lets Borrowers Challenge Wrongful Foreclosures," American Banker, By Kate Berry, February 18, 2016 (quoted)

"Lenders Beware: California Considers Significant Changes To Residential Foreclosures," The Registry, December 3, 2015

“Warning to Property Owners: ‘Neighborly’ Accommodations May Result In Losing Property Rights,” Orange County Business Journal, May 11, 2015

“California Foreclosure Law: Plaintiff May Recover Tort Damages For A Claim Of Wrongful Foreclosure,” Miller Starr Regalia’s The Title & Escrow File blog, May 7, 2015

“Judge Gives Mortgage Fraud Claimants Last Chance,” Daily Journal, By America Hernandez, April 13, 2015 (quoted)

“Foreclosure Challenges In High Court,” Daily Journal, January 8, 2015

“California Foreclosure Law: California Supreme Court Grants Review Of The Keshtgar Decision,” Miller Starr Regalia’s The Title & Escrow File blog, December 8, 2014

“California Foreclosure Law: A Defaulting Borrower Cannot Enjoin A Foreclosure Sale By Asserting That The Lender Lacks Standing,” Miller Starr Regalia’s The Title & Escrow File blog, July 21, 2014

“Real Estate Cases To Watch In 2015,” Law360, By Natalie Rodriguez, January 2, 2014 (quoted)

“New Case Alert [Easement Law]: Refusing To Consent To Development Plans May Trigger Tort Liability For Interference With Easement,” Miller Starr Regalia’s The Title & Escrow File blog, January 2, 2014

“New Case Alert [Easement Law]: The Area Of An Express Easement May Be Limited By Its Historical Use,” Miller Starr Regalia’s The Title & Escrow File blog, December 19, 2013

“New Case Alert: California Affirms Equitable Exceptions To The ‘Merger Doctrine’,” Miller Starr Regalia’s The Title & Escrow File blog, April 17, 2013

“California Court Holds That A Tripartite Attorney-Client Relationship Exists Between A Title Insurer, Its Insured And Counsel Retained By The Title Insurer,” Miller Starr Regalia’s The Title & Escrow File blog, January 24, 2013

“What’s In A Name: In California, Borrowers May Be Liable For Purely Innocent ‘Bad Faith’ Waste,” Miller Starr Regalia’s The Title & Escrow File blog, January 10, 2013 (co-author)

“Laches Does Not Preclude a Prescriptive Easement Claim,” Miller Starr Regalia’s The Title & Escrow File blog, October 26, 2012

“New Case Alert: A California Court Of Appeal Applies Equitable Subrogation to a Missed Deed Of Trust,” Miller Starr Regalia’s The Title & Escrow File blog, September 28, 2012

Chapter 15, “Easements” Miller & Starr, California Real Estate 3d

Chapter 14, “Adjoining Landowners,” Miller & Starr, California Real Estate 3d (contributor)

Chapter 16, “Adverse Possession,” Miller & Starr, California Real Estate 3d (contributor)

Ken has written extensively on matters relating to easements, including articles in the Miller & Starr, California Newsalert, as well as local and state bar publications.

Speeches & Presentations

“Recent Cases: Easements, Licenses and Encroachments,” Orange County Bar Association, Real Property Section Meeting, May 26, 2015

“The Top Ten Legal Issues Facing The Title Industry,” ALTA Annual Convention, October 17, 2014 (co-presented with Marjorie R. Bardwell and Cheryl Cowherd)

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