Friday, June 30, 2017

Welcome to the ACREL Notes!  It appears in those months in which the ACREL News is not published, and features upcoming meetings, ACRELive presentations, Fellows, and local ACREL events, as well as short articles on substantive areas, noteworthy cases and hot topics. We welcome your suggestions! Send ideas to Peggy Rolando,  

--ACREL Communications Committee


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Douglas M. Bregman has been named the “Distinguished Maryland Real Property Practitioner” for 2016-2017 by unanimous decision of the Maryland State Bar Association’s Real Property Section selection committee. The award was presented at the MSBA Annual Business Meeting in Ocean City, Maryland on June 16, 2017. The award recognizes the highest level of technical skill, client service, experience, integrity, collegiality and courtesy among Maryland’s real estate lawyers.



Thomas W. Mitchell was featured in a Texas A&M article in connection with the Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act, which he was principally responsible for drafting. The uniform act has now been enacted into law in 10 states, and provides protection to low and middle income families.  For the full article, click here.



Michael H. Rubin has been appointed to the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility. The committee drafts the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, guidelines for lawyers across the nation, and issues opinions on the rules governing lawyers' responsibilities to the law, clients, and the courts.



ACREL President Roger D. Winston and President-Elect Jay A. Epstien, along with the 33-member Ballard Spahr Cycling Team,  raised over $45,000 at Komen Maryland Promise Ride last Saturday.  Jay Epstien, of DLA Piper (US), joined the Ballard Team and was the top fundraiser, at over $9,000. Donations support vital breast health services such as screening, diagnostic, and treatment services, as well as survivor support and critical breast cancer research.  The Promise Ride marked the second consecutive long-distance weekend for the Ballard Spahr team: several cyclists rode in the Bike MS: Chesapeake Challenge, starting and finishing in Easton, Maryland, on June 17 and 18. That ride benefits the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.



Three ACREL Fellows were recognized by The Florida Bar’s Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section at its annual Convention on June 2nd



Michael J. Gelfand of West Palm Beach received the Robert C. Scott Memorial Award, the highest honor given by the Section.  This award is bestowed on the RPPTL member who best exemplifies devotion and continued service to the Section and the practice of law.  Michael was honored for his history of contributions to the Section, including his service before, during and after his tenure as Chair of the Section 2015-2016.



Peggy A. Rolando, of Miami, received the William S. Belcher Lifetime Professionalism Award.  This award recognizes a Section Executive Council member for long term contributions to the Section and public in promoting the highest standards of ethics and professionalism.  Peggy served as Chair of the Section 2013-2014.


William P. Sklar, also of West Palm Beach, received the John Arthur Jones Annual Service Award. This honor is granted to the Section member who has rendered dedicated and significant service to the Section and its programs throughout the year.  Sklar was recognized for his extraordinary efforts in lobbying state lawmakers on numerous proposed bills on behalf of the Section during the recently concluded annual legislative session.   Bill is the Chair of the RPPTL section’s Condominium and Planned Development Committee.


In Memoriam


John D. Hastie

December 9, 1939 - June 18, 2017


It is with great sorrow, we inform you of the passing of ACREL Past President, John D. Hastie of Oklahoma.  A Memorial was held on Thursday, June 22, 2017 at McFarlin Memorial United Methodist Church, in Norman, Oklahoma.  In lieu of flowers, please share your memories of John at or consider donating to the OU Foundation (


To view John's obituary, click here.



To all Senior Fellows and Other Interested Fellows:


The Senior Counselors Task Force is exploring how ACREL can assist Senior Counselors and those on a path to retirement or other move away from the full-time practice of law.  Since a number of our Senior Counselors are unable to attend ACREL meetings, the Task Force has decided to establish a Senior Counsel column in ACREL Notes modeled on traditional college class newsletters, through which Senior Counselors can keep in touch with others as to their use of time, minds, and whatever else is important to them.  Morty Fisher has agreed to serve as editor.  We would be interested in your views and suggestions on this as we move forward, and we encourage you to send Morty some news to include in our column. Please email   


U.S. Bank v. Village at Lake Ridge:  Possible amicus brief opportunity

David R. Kuney, co-chair, ACREL Amicus Committee


The ACREL Amicus Committee is currently following a case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court that has major significance for commercial real estate bankruptcies. The case is significant both because of the ruling by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and equally important, the limited grant of certiorari by the Supreme Court. The core issue is whether an insider can sell a claim to a person with whom he or she has a close personal relationship, and have that person vote the claim as a non-insider for purposes of plan confirmation. The answer according to the Ninth Circuit is yes, that this can be done in many cases.  READ MORE >>






Registration is live for the 2017 Annual Meeting in Los Angeles, CA!
Click here for more information and to register.  



Upcoming ABA RPTE and ACREL Webinar: Wednesday, July 19, 2017 @ 1:00 pm EST


Local Counsel Opinions in Real Estate Finance Transactions

As a member benefit, ACREL Fellows and members of their firms are eligible for a steeply discounted fee of $95 for individual sessions, and if more than one person registers, additional registrants pay only $75 each. The discount code is ERP17RLO. This code should be entered at the end of the registration process. Before payment, there will be an “Item Summary” section showing the total purchases and the code is entered under “Add Coupon or Promo Code” then click apply. Please support ACREL programming by using the ACREL code to register.  For more information and to register click here.



Upcoming ACRELive!: Thursday, July 27, 2017 @ 1:00 pm EST


The Retail Bankruptcy Crisis:

Ten Things a Real Estate Lawyer Needs to Know about Retail Bankruptcy

Retail bankruptcies are now at an all time high. Store closings are the norm. Landlord’s claims for rent and related damages are often the key to survival.  What does a real estate lawyer need to know about bankruptcy when drafting the leases? When bankruptcy is imminent, and when, despite all, the tenant files?  For more information, click here.




Enforceability of Private, Environmental Use Restrictions

Thomas J Coyne, Thompson Hine LLP, Cleveland, OH 

In this article, Coyne considers the enforceability of private use restrictions established in connection with the sale of real property, in the context of environmentally impacted land.    READ MORE >>


New Partnership Audit Rules Under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 

Mark D. Yura and Gregory R.A. Dahlgren, DLA Piper LLP (US), Chicago, IL 

Section 1101 of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (the “BBA”) repeals the current rules governing partnership audits and replaces them with a new centralized partnership audit regime (the “New Audit Rules”).  READ MORE >>


Dumb Dualism 

Roger Bernhardt, Retired, San Francisco, CA

California, like many other jurisdictions, permits a real estate broker to act as a dual agent for both parties in the same transaction, thereby making it possible to claim the entire sales commission rather than having to split it with another broker.  Roger Bernhardt discusses the implications in this article. READ MORE >>


 Some Practical Experience with an Insurance Loss

 Charles W. Trainor, Trainor Fairbrook, Sacramento, CA

In this note, Trainor discusses two aspects related to the loss of a client through an insurance claim.  His thoughts may assist you when reviewing one of your clients' property insurance policies.  READ MORE >>



Read all of this issue's articles here.




Please note: When sending memos through the ACREL committee listservs, filenames of attachments are limited to a maximum of 50 characters, and attachments are limited to 15MB in size. 



Tech Tip:


A Note from Beat U. Steiner on ACREL Shares


My ACREL Shares experience started with the Leasing Committee. We were asked to be an early user of ACREL and benefitted from some training. There was a bit of a learning curve, but once I got on the system and indicated that I wanted to be kept “signed in,” the hard part was over. Now I open my browser, click “Favorites,” select “ACRELShares!” and I’m in. The Leasing Committee Documents page includes folders for ACREL Fellow Publications, Articles of Interest, Cases of Interest, Forms and Checklists, and some Georgetown University Law Center Advanced Commercial Leasing Institute materials. Lots of good stuff - just a start, but new material is added regularly. As the Los Angeles Meeting Leader, I post everything relating to the meeting on our own page in the Programs Committee file so it is accessible to the whole team working on the program for that meeting. ACRELShares! is perfect for Committee work, since you don’t need to ask others to find stuff for you (and you get asked less often). Like any computer tool, there is the cost of learning, but the benefit of efficiency.





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