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Sonia S. Banks,

Attorney At Law, LLM (Taxation)

Real Estate Broker



Background Information:

I am a practicing business and real estate attorney for over 12 years in the Monterey County and I have been teaching various Business related and Business Law classes and Real Estate classes (including Real Estate Law, Legal Principles, Real Estate Practice, Property Management) for over 9 years in colleges and universities all over Monterey County, Santa Cruz County, San Benito County and Santa Clary County.   I am also a real estate broker for over 10 years and have been fortunate to represent some of the largest real estate companies, property management companies and mortgage companies in the area as part of my practice.  

Through my legal practice and my practical experience in the business and real estate industry, I believe this is a very exciting time to further one's education and take advantage of the multitude of opportunites that are presenting themselves to the young and young at heart in this area.  Knowledge is the ultimate power and education gives you the tool to access it and use it well.

I truly enjoy teaching and meeting the great leaders of tomorrow.  I was inspired by a teacher who motivated me to become an attorney, which profession I have loved from the first minute I practiced.  My aim in teaching is to inspire one other person, in the way I was inspired.


Contact Information:

Tel:         831 320 6762 

Feel free to leave a message and I generally return all  calls within 24 hours except if you call on Fridays or weekends and then I will call you back by the following Tuesday.


E-Mail:  sbanks@gavilan.edu

This is the best way to contact me and I usually return all emails within 12 hours.


Office Hours: 

Available on Campus by Appointment


Courses I Teach:

On Line:  Legal Principles of Real Estate

Fall 2008 - Online Course

Course Description:

This Course offers you an understanding of the laws that affect Real Estate such as the Laws of Agency, Responsibilities of a Real Estate Agent, Law of Real Estate Contracts, Acquisitions and Conveyances, Recording Laws, Rights and Ownership Title to Real Property, Escrow and Title Process, Security Devices in Real Property as well as Landlord Tenant Laws.

To Gain Access to this course site, please log on through the College's On Line Site of ilearn.gavilan.edu and then access it by user names and your student passwords.  Should you have any problems in accessing the web site for the online course, please contact the distant education coordinator who will be happy to assist you in gaining access to the Course. 


Please note that access to the site for the course will NOT be available until the start of the semester. This means that you will not have access to the lecture notes or class assignments or announcements until such date.


All  information related to the course will be posted in the Course Syllabus for that course on the course site itself that is accessible through ilearn, once the course begins. There is no access to the Course Syllabus through this web site.  Please do not worry about getting all the information now or about access to the course before it start.  I give everyone the first week of the course time to become familiar with the course and accessing it through the web site and fixing any problems that may come up in this new class format module.


Should you have any specific questions or concerns, please do feel free to contact me via email or by phone. 


In Class:   Business Law (GBUS 80)

Tuesday Evenings 6:00 - 9:10 p.m.

Fall 2008


Details for In Class Business Law GBUS 80:

All Course Materials, Information, Assignments, Tests and Course Objectives are provided in the first class meeting.  I look forward to seeing you all there!!


Details for the On Line Course of Legal Principles of Real Estate for Summer 2007:

Course Format:

The course is an online course and therefore those registering must have access to a computer and the internet to be able to properly complete the course work.  The course is very intense because we cover a great deal of infomation in only 6 weeks but we cover it well and in detail and I help you.

Text:  Required

California Real Estate Law, Sixth Edition by Privar and Bruss

Course Length:

16 weeks

Class Work:

Course work is divided into 2 categories:  Reading Assignments and Writing Assignments. 

Reading Assignments: shall be given every week.  Since, there are 15 chapters in the text, there shall be 1 Chapter of Reading for each week.

Writing Assignments: There will be a total of 15 Writing Assignments covering 1 chapter per assignment which correlate to the Reading Assignment chapters you previously completed.  Writing Assignments will be posted only via the web site of Moodle and will be available for a week for you to complete the assignments.  The Writing Assignments ask questions to test your understanding of the Reading Assignments and are open book and open notes and you have a week to complete the assignments and then submit them all via the ilearn web site.

Lecture Outlines:

I post my lecture outlines for each of the Chapters to aid and assist you in understanding the materials of the Chapters as well as to guide and frame your analysis and organization of all the materials.  Use the Lecture Outlines as guidelines to understanding the materials and answering the questions.

Teaching Philosophy:

This is my teaching philosophy is as follows:

Tell them and they will know it

Show them and they will learn it

Involve them and they will understand it

I apply all three of these teaching philosophies in my instruction.  I tell you the information through the text and my lecture outlines.  I show you the course information through examples and real live cases which illustrate the legal concepts of the various classes.  Finally, I involve you by having in class or online debates with hypotheticals where you are responsible for taking a position on a case and arguing the law and the facts to reach the conclusion you want.   You may conduct surveys, you can select your juries, you can present arguments and witnesses and prepare your case to best support your position, all the while using the legal principles that are introduced through the course.

It is my job to make sure that your learning experience is a great one, an enjoyable one and that you gain from it not only information but also knowledge and most importantly the ability to think and analyze issues using the framework and foundation of legal principles that you learn in my classes.  In my courses, I focus on the learning process and your ability to explain and understand a concept rather than in getting the right answer to a question.  In law, there are very few "correct" answers, but there is "correct" reasoning and analysis, which is what I hope to teach all of you to master.

I look forward to a very enjoyable learning experience!!



Teaching Policy :

Given that I place heavy emphasis on analysis and understanding, I try to give each of you students plenty of opportunities to demonstrate your understandings.  As such, most graded assignments are a compilation of multiple choice questions, essay answers and true and false. Thereby giving you an wide range of options through which you can demonstrate your understanding.   For on line courses, the format is a little different with emphasis placed on essays since most of the course work is open books and open notes and without time limits.

I do NOT tolerate cheating or plagiarism in ANY FORM.  If you are caught cheating or plagiarizing (which is copying information from  another source and claiming personal credit), You will receive a ZERO for that assignment. 

On the other hand, if you perform really well with great work and great analysis and complete answers, I reward you with extra credit points for the assignment.

I am not aiming to "trick" any of you or burden your already demanding lives.  My goal is to have each of you understand the concepts and apply them in your future.