Thursday, August 15, 2019

Welcome to the ACREL News & Notes!  It is published throughout the year and features articles on substantive areas, noteworthy cases and hot topics, upcoming meetings, ACRELive presentations and Fellow and local ACREL events.


We welcome your suggestions!  Send ideas to David Gordon,

--ACREL Communications Committee


Be sure you're logged in to the ACREL site to view any individual articles below!


If you prefer a printable version of the News & Notes click here.



Not sure how this works where you live . . . but, in this part of the world, August imposes its will on everything -- “the dog days of summer” are now on full display. If that’s your lot, too, then here’s to some time away in a cooler clime, w/ adult beverages, etc. In any case, hope you’ve been able to spend time relaxing, chasing kids/grandkids, etc., completing back-to-school activities, and pushing to end the year on a high note (how the year is already 2/3 over is a total mystery).


Montreal.  As of today, 266 of you and 126 guests, including 34 new Fellows (and 40 mentors), have registered for our fall meeting in Montreal. And it’s not too late for stragglers – take a look at the Program and tours and other activities, and you’ll see why you should not delay any longer.  Programs Committee Chair Jack Fersko and his hard-working leadership team, and Meeting Leader Adam Weissburg, have put together a brilliant program that includes, following our recent practice, enriching business speakers, in this case from the U.S. and Canada. Come on up (passport in hand)!


To read the rest of Steve's Message, click here.



Samuel H. Levine


On July 11, Samuel Levine, received the 2018-2019 Austin Fleming Award, presented by the Illinois State Bar Association's Journal Editorial Board.  This award honors outstanding editors of past editors for the Association; Samuel was honored for his contributions over more than 20 years with the ISBA's Construction Law and Real Property newsletters.

Matthew J. Schiller


On August 1, Matt Schiller, a New Fellow from the Class of 2019, has been named vice-chair of the Real Estate Department for his firm, Greenbaum, Rowe, Smith & Davis LLP.  ACREL Fellow, Jack Fersko is co-chair for the firm's Real Estate Department.  On his appointment, Matt comments, "I look forward to working side-by-side with Jack, Tom and everyone on our real estate team as we continue to serve our clients and further expand Greenbaum's dynamic real estate practice."



      Bliss                     Dysart                      Locke                         Reuler          


ACREL Fellows played prominent roles at the 2019 Advanced Real Estate Law Course, sponsored by the State Bar of Texas, July 11-13 in San Antonio.  Sara Dysart was Course Director.  Bob Bliss received the Weatherbie Workhorse Award, which recognizes selfless dedicated service to Texas Bar CLE. The Award is named for ACREL Fellow, David Weatherbie, who has presented the annual case law update for 30-plus years - including at this year's course.   Bill Locke received the Jerry Charles Saegert Award for Best CLE Paper at the 2018 Course for his presentation of the 500+ page Texas Risk Manual. The Award is named for deceased ACREL Fellow, Jerry Saegert.  Sharon Reuler received REPTL's 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award in Real Estate, a distinguished award honoring significant service to the real estate bar of Texas over an entire career. For 30+ years Sharon has been a prominent advocate for common interest ownership law, starting with the Texas Uniform Condominium Act.


David Dickson, of the ACREL Class of 2019, was honored as REPTL's outgoing Chair.  Reid Wilson was introduced as REPTL's Chair-Elect, and Mary Axelrad and Jonathan Thalheimer were elected to three-year terms on the REPTL Council.









Who's Who Legal released its list of "Thought Leaders - Global Elite 2019."  All honorees in the USA in the real estate division are ACREL Fellows.  Those honored include: Elwood Cahill, Ann Cargile, Jay Epstien, John Hollyfield, Robert Ivanhoe, Jonathan Mechanic, Jay Neveloff, Mark Senn, Joshua Stein, Linda Striefsky, Susan Talley, Ira Waldman and Scott Willis.  Congratulations to all who were honored! 


Have you recently received an award?  Been published?  Presented at a conference?  

Share with us today on the ACREL LinkedIn group!



ACREL Gatherings



As shown in the above photo, Texas ACREL Fellows have started an annual tradition of dining together at Grey Moss Inn during the Texas Annual Meeting of Real Estate, Probate and Trust Law.



Thanks to Earl Segal for organizing another great annual luncheon for the DC, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia Fellows on July 18, which was hosted in the DC office of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, courtesy of David Miller.  Look closely and you'll see a couple past Presidents (not including Roger Winston, who snuck out before the photo.)


2019 Annual Meeting: Montreal

October 17-20, 2019


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It's time to renew those passports!  The 2019 ACREL Annual Meeting will take place in Montreal, Canada from October 17-20.  The meeting is jam-packed with educational and social activities, with something for everyone.  Registration is now open!


  1. Click here to register Fellows and guests
  2. Click here to sign-up for tours

Join ACREL Cares in Montreal

We are still looking for volunteers in Montreal for our ACREL Cares project with Canadian Habitat for Humanity.   We have all the volunteers for the build project, but are still looking for more participants to volunteer at the Community Store on October 18.  To sign up, please email



ACREL and ALI Present:

When the Owner Won't or Can't Sell: Alternative Real Estate Acquisition Methods

September 12 @ 1:00 pm EST 


For all questions please contact Jaimee Taibi by email or 215-243-1654.


Have you ever needed a particular property for your project, but the owner won’t or can’t sell? This program examines alternatives to the traditional negotiated purchase and sale agreement as a means of acquiring property when the owner is unwilling or is prevented from selling. We look quickly at a list of alternative creative methods, and then focus in detail on three different types of loan-to-own approaches, which may be particularly useful in the next economic downturn.



Thomas F. Kaufman, Montfort Fiduciary Advisors LLC, Arlington, Virginia

Danna M. Kozerski, Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass LLP, San Francisco, California
F. Thomas Muller, Manatt Phelps & Phillips, LLP, Los Angeles, California
Steven L. Wilner, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, New York, New York



Be sure to use ACREL discount code ACRELCB for a 50% discount.


Click here to register.




Opportunity Knocks, Should You Answer?
David H. Jones, Troutman Sanders LLP, Charlotte, NC
For a while, Qualified Opportunity Zones reminded me of the old joke about the weather, everyone was talking about opportunity zones, but no one was doing anything about them. Fortunately, that is no longer true. Since much already has been written about Qualified Opportunity Zones, including the types of investment that qualify for the beneficial tax treatment and how investors can take advantage of the federal income tax breaks, this article will not replow that ground.      



The article below is part of an ongoing project of the Acquisitions Committee, undertaking a comprehensive survey of the law relative to enforceability of liquidated damages clauses and alternative remedies in purchase and sale agreements.


Liquidated Damages in Colorado

Edward N. Barad, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, P.C., Denver, CO

In Colorado, liquidated damages are the customary, exclusive remedy for a default by the buyer. See Creditors’ Remedies - Debtors’ Relief. There are no statutes controlling the validity or requirements of liquidated damage provisions. Rather, the jurisprudence surrounding liquidated damage provisions exists in the state’s common law.     READ MORE >>




Read all of the articles from this and past issues of News & Notes here.


This section of News & Notes features content that was originally published elsewhere or was written by non-ACREL members, but is believed to be relevant to our Fellows.


United States-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement: Will the Replacement of NAFTA Affect Real Estate Law or Real Estate Development?

Last October, the United States and Canada agreed on terms allowing Canada to join the United States and Mexico in an agreement replacing NAFTA.  The new  trilateral agreement—referred to as the USMCA— touted by some as a needed replacement for NAFTA, actually leaves in place much of what was in the NAFTA.  It relies heavily on the heritage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, from which the United States, after having heavily influenced its negotiation, withdrew.    READ MORE >>


Online Notarization: Implications for the Real Property Bar

Virginia’s Electronic Notaries Act of 2011 has emerged as the national model for implementation of “online notarization” – electronic notarization by means of webcam or audio-video teleconference technology – wherein a signer who is located anywhere in the world can lawfully “appear” online before a notary public who is physically located in the state of commissioning. And, on July 31, 2018, the United States Department of the Treasury called for online notarization to be enacted in all states.  




ACREL Fellow, Eric Rapkin, featured in two recent publications


Akerman's Development Prowess Aids Opportunity Zone Work

This article was originally published in Law360 on July 23, 2019.

Akerman's head of Real Estate, Eric Rapkin, was recently interviewed by Law360.  READ MORE >>


Tax Changes Result in Business Migrations

This article was originally published on on July 25, 2019.

Florida and Texas are the low-tax states positively impacted from high-tax states outflows.  



In appreciation of their support, we have invited our sponsors to share with us, for publication in News & Notes, information on services they provide or can provide to our Fellows.  In many cases, our Fellows and their firms and companies already do business with our sponsors but may not be aware of the full range of services that are available.  We begin this month with a submission from CPG Corp.


The Hidden Risks in Development-Related Contracts

Contributed by ACREL Gold Sponsor



Why would anyone take the time to read an article about insurance?  Well, among other things, who doesn’t want to avoid having an inadvertent uninsured loss?  How about not breaching a fiduciary duty to a partner?


In the post-GFC development world, the construction industry is experiencing a significant rebound in development activities, the size and complexity of which also have increased, but with thinning profit margins.  Nevertheless, the anticipated returns make it worth taking these risks, at least those taken on purpose. Taking the time to understand and appropriately allocate risk in and among the relevant contracts involving the various parties is important.  Because a complete, thoughtful approach often is not the one taken, doing so can produce a negative reaction (just because it’s perceived as new or different).


Click here to read more.



ACREL is fortunate to have seventeen sponsors for 2019.  Their support defrays the cost of the ACREL Directory and helps to support other initiatives of the College.   Many ACREL Fellows already work with one or more of our Sponsors.  If you do, please take a minute to thank your contact at the Sponsor for their support.  If not, take this opportunity to become familiar with their products and services.       


If you need additional contact information for any Sponsor, contact Julie Burgess in the ACREL office at or (310) 816-9811 and she can provide phone and email contact for each of our sponsors.




Contact: Kim Bordeau | 905-373-7223|


The complexities of insurance can be overwhelming, but the steps to obtaining proper coverage are simple. A company’s insurance program must be linked to the unique needs and risks of the business for insurance to respond effectively.

CPG develops an insurance plan for their clientele by synchronizing their clients’ business strategy and accompanying risks. They assess existing exposures, analyze coverage gaps, and monitor insurance requirements to allow the insurance program to evolve with the needs of any growing business.





A Message from the Senior Counselors Task Force

Are you interested in matters related to retirement or otherwise moving on from your current law practice? The Senior Counselors Working Group focuses on these issues and through use of a new blog/discussion group is ready to provide a way to share information and exchange thoughts with interested Fellows. If you would like to join the group and be part of the information-sharing and exchange group, simply reply to this message and you’ll be added. This is not something that will overwhelm your mailbox. Should you choose to opt out at any time you may do so easily through a link that will be included with every message.

Bob Wright will initiate communication and send out some articles of interest in a couple of weeks, so if you are interested, please email Caitlin McIntire.



A Message from the Attorneys' Opinions Committee




All Fellows should know of and join in applying the legal opinion reports that the ACREL Attorneys’ Opinions Committee has co-sponsored along with its counterpart committee of the ABA RPTE Section and ACMA.  These reports, developed over the last 10 years, provide on a national scale present-day consensus on customary practice for opinions in real estate finance transactions.  The reports are exceptionally useful in drafting, negotiating, and reviewing legal opinions.  They also provide illustrative language for opinion, assumptions, and qualifications about which there is broad national acceptance among skilled opinion practitioners – givers, recipients’ counsel, and recipients themselves.  They are benchmarks for opinion practice in real estate finance transactions beyond state lines.


Read them, adapt them to your models, and spread the word about them to other firms with which you work.  They are in print in the ABA Real Property, Trust & Estate Law Journal, but fully accessible online for anyone:



Click here for more information.





























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