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O’Melveny Lawyers Author Article on San Bernardino Eminent Domain Proposal

January 16, 2014

O’Melveny & Myers partners Walter Dellinger, Jonathan Hacker, and Matthew Close recently co-authored the article “San Bernardino Eminent Domain Proposal,” which appears in the latest issue of the Conference on Consumer Finance Law Quarterly Report. The piece discusses the proposal for the use of eminent domain authority by San Bernardino County, as well as the cities of Fontana and Ontario, California. The authors outline the proposal's various defects, potential constitutional and legal challenges, and financial risks in the article. “We believe the entire scheme is likely to be ruled unconstitutional as violating the Commerce Clause, the Contract Clause, and/or the Takings Clause,” the authors argue.

Dellinger, Hacker, and Close lead an O'Melveny team that is representing the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) in its challenge to the legality of the Mortgage Resolution Partners proposal discussed in the article. In July 2012, Dellinger, Hacker, Close and their team drafted a widely publicized legal memo on behalf of SIFMA addressing the numerous legal and Constitutional problems involved with the proposal's plan to use eminent domain to acquire performing underwater mortgages held in Residential Mortgage Backed Securities.

Close is a member of the Firm’s Securities Litigation Practice, and resides in the Los Angeles office. Hacker is chair and Dellinger is a member of O’Melveny’s Supreme Court and Appellate Practice, and both reside in the Firm’s Washington, DC office.