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3rd Annual Alabama Real Estate Law Conference - Materials Only

3rd Annual Alabama Real Estate Law Conference - Materials Only

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3rd Annual Alabama Real Estate Law Conference
Presented by Alabama Law Weekly

Presented on: Friday, November 4, 2016
Birmingham Marriott

Order your materials from this information-packed event, and get the latest word in Alabama real estate law.


Alabama attorneys who practice real estate law, including litigators, closing attorneys, and attorneys who work for title insurance companies and lenders attended this one-day learning and networking event. 

In just one day, we covered:

  • How an easement or right-of-way can be terminated 
  • What are the essentials of closing a commercial real estate transaction – pre-closing, closing, and post-closing 
  • What disclosures are required by TILA and RESPA – before, at, and after settlement 
  • How to screen and qualify tenants 
  • How to handle the landlord-tenant relationship, including inspection of the property, security deposits, late fees, terminating the tenancy and more 
  • How to cure title problems prior to commencing a foreclosure action 
  • How to pursue guarantors before a foreclosure sale and how to collect a deficiency judgment after the foreclosure sale 
  • Who has the power to zone 
  • How to deal with the Board of Zoning Appeals 
  • How to negotiate with a pro se tenant at court 
  • And much more! 

This event was loaded with the very latest on laws, decisions, and developments affecting your practice and your clients: 

  • Commercial real estate transactions. Karen Johns will guide you through a commercial real estate transaction – pre-closing procedures, the closing, and post-closing procedures. 
  • TILA-RESPA. Patrick Smith will update you on the integrated disclosure rule, clarify statutes, and recap enforcement procedures. 
  • Residential landlord and tenant law. Sarah Taggart will review the obligations of landlords and tenants under the landlord and tenant law. 
  • Foreclosure. Ellis Brazeal will discuss the foreclosure process, the foreclosure sale, the pursuit of guarantors, and deficiency judgment issues. 
  • Easements and rights-of-way. James Bradford will discuss basic principles when dealing with easements and rights-of-way and common problems that arise. 
  • Land use law. James Griffin will take a comprehensive look at land use law, including the ins and outs of the Board of Zoning Appeals. 
  • Ethical considerations. Lee Teague will explore ethical situations that may arise in landlord-tenant law, including conflicts of interest and fee arrangements. 

Attendees got an insider’s perspective on the most significant recent developments in Alabama real estate law: 

  • Closing commercial real estate transactions 
  • TILA/RESPA disclosures 
  • Residential landlord and tenant law 
  • Foreclosure, pursuit of guarantors, and deficiency judgment issues 
  • Easements and rights-of-way 
  • Land use law issues, including ubiquitous manufactured housing, the zoning appeal process, and environmentally driven zoning law 
  • Ethical considerations in landlord and tenant law 


Your Outstanding Faculty

James BradfordJames Bradford, a partner in the Birmingham office of Balch & Bingham, LLP, has over 35 years of experience in representing individuals and companies in a wide range of litigated matters. In recent years, his practice has become more concentrated in the area of real estate law, including the law of titles, title insurance, real estate information services, eminent domain, and land use and planning. A significant portion of his practice is now devoted to eminent domain proceedings on behalf of condemning authorities and to the evaluation and resolution of coverage issues and claims on behalf of a number of title insurance underwritets, title agents, and providers of real estate information services, including the defense of first-party and third-party actions and the pursuit of negotiation and litigation to cure or establish title.  He established and remains an active member of the Real Estate Litigation Focus Group. Mr. Bradford has served as trial counsel in dozens of cases in federal and state courts on behalf of condemning authorities, title insurers, title agents, and insured lenders and owners.  He has also represented real estate appraisers and real estate inspectors in suits arising from their involvement in real property transactions.  In addition to handling appeals on behalf of clients, Mr. Bradford has represented the American Land Title Association, the Alabama Land Title Association, the Business Council of Alabama, title insurance underwriters, and public utilities in amicus curiae submissions to the Supreme Court of Alabama. 


C. Ellis Brazeal, IIIC. Ellis Brazeal, III, is a partner in the firm’s Business & Commercial Litigation Practice Group and practices from the firm’s Birmingham office. He has more than 25 years of experience in commercial litigation, including all levels of state, federal, and bankruptcy courts. His areas of experience include the representation of financial institutions, construction and surety litigation, and environmental law. He is listed in Best Lawyers in America®, and regularly lectures on bankruptcy and creditors’ rights issues. Mr. Brazeal’s representation of financial institutions has involved a specific focus on creditors’ rights in bankruptcy. In the construction arena, he has represented owners, contractors, and suppliers, both in negotiating contracts and in litigating and arbitrating disputes. His practice in the environmental field includes litigation; administrative proceedings; and providing counsel to owners of real property, as to both greenfield and brownfield sites, and operators of businesses. In the past, Mr. Brazeal served as an adjunct professor at the College of Engineering for The University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he taught courses in Engineering Law and a course in Environmental Law.


James GriffinJames B. Griffin, with James B. Griffin, LLC, in Birmingham, has represented cities, development authorities, counties, sheriffs, school boards, state agencies and universities, and private parties in litigation and regulatory matters in Alabama and Georgia. He has appeared before governing boards over a broad spectrum of issues such as zonings, variances, restrictive covenants, employment, Section 1983, eminent domain, and state and local taxes and fees. Mr. Griffin has advised clients regarding ethics laws, civil rights, labor and employment, government immunities, contracts, real property, nuisances, law enforcement, public health, and environmental law. He has drafted state legislation and revised city and county codes in areas such as historic preservation, annexations, sign regulation, nuisances, and the delivery of public services. More recently, he has been applying his knowledge of property and natural resources to estate-planning matters. Mr. Griffin earned his B.A. degree from Gordon College, his M.A. degree from the University of Alabama, and his J.D. degree from Vanderbilt University Law School. He is admitted to practice in Alabama and Georgia; and before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit; and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama and the Northern and Middle districts of Georgia. James B. Griffin, LLC is based in the Birmingham metro area. He speaks to groups large and small about law, property, constitutions, ethics, education, history, and literature.


Karen JohnsKaren Johns is special counsel in Jones Walker’s Real Estate Practice Group and practices in the firm's Birmingham office. Her practice primarily involves banking and transactional law, commercial real estate law, and corporate law. She has significant experience in all types of commercial loan closings, including SBA loans, acquisition and development loans, and workouts. She also advises clients on real estate acquisitions and financing, and represents both lenders and borrowers in a variety of transactional capacities. Ms. Johns advises clients in the banking, financial services, and real estate industries, and her clients include developers, retailers, and government entities.

Ms. Johns is a member of the Alabama State Bar and the Birmingham Bar Association. She is also a member of the Birmingham Chapter of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW).


Patrick SmithPatrick F. Smith is President of TitleSouth and General Counsel for RealtySouth in Birmingham, Alabama. TitleSouth and RealtySouth are wholly-owned operating subsidiaries of Minneapolis-based HomeServices of America, Inc., a Berkshire-Hathaway affiliate. Prior to joining TitleSouth /RealtySouth, He was a partner in the Birmingham law firm of Dominick, Fletcher, Yeilding, Wood and Lloyd, P.A., and at Strickland, Smith & Wagnon. He. is a frequent speaker at title insurance and real estate industry conferences and seminars. He has addressed Stewart Title Guaranty Company’s Alabama/Mississippi agent’s conference on numerous occasions on various topics. He has addressed the Alabama Bar Association’s Annual Meeting on the topic of law office management software and the Birmingham Bar Association on the topic of automating the real estate closing practice.  Mr. Smith also has served as a speaker for the American Land Title Association (“ALTA"), the Real Estate Services Providers Council (“RESPRO”), Cumberland School of Law CLE, CLE Alabama, and has also presented at seminars on “Complex Section 1031 Transactions” and “Boundary Law and Boundary Dispute Resolution.” He serves as an adjunct instructor in the College of Business at Athens State University. Mr. Smith holds the Juris Doctorate and Master of Laws in Taxation degrees from the University of Alabama School of Law, and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration (Accounting) from Auburn University.


Sarah Leopold TaggartSarah Leopold Taggart, with Sarah Taggart, P.C., in Huntsville, graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude from the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. She attended Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, Missouri, on a full academic scholarship. She returned to her hometown of Huntsville after graduating from law school and founded the law firm of Sarah Taggart, P.C. Her law firm is a boutique practice which is specifically tailored to meet the needs of residential and commercial landlords throughout the entire State of Alabama. She is a frequent lecturer throughout the state on issues pertaining to landlord-tenant law and is often interviewed about landlord-tenant issues by local news and media outlets. She is on the board of the Alabama Apartment Association and serves as a legal advisor to the Apartment Association of North Alabama. Ms. Taggart also publishes a monthly educational newsletter and blog with issues relating to residential and commercial rental property. She has authored a widely popular Alabama-specific book of legal forms for the Alabama landlord which is available for purchase.


Alto Lee Teague, IVAlto Lee Teague, IV, of Engel, Hairston and Johanson, P.C., in Birmingham, practices in the areas of collections, commercial litigation, creditors’ rights, and bankruptcy. Mr. Teague is admitted to the Alabama State Bar and is also admitted to practice before the U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Middle, and Southern districts of Alabama. He was recognized as a Rising Star® in 2010 by Alabama Super Lawyers® and is a member of the Birmingham Bar Association’s Bankruptcy and Commercial Law Section, Continuing Legal Education Committee, and Civil Courts Procedure Committee. Mr. Teague received his B.A. from Samford University and his J.D. from the Samford University Cumberland School of Law.


AGENDA for Alabama Real Estate Law Conference

Friday, November 4, 2016

Understanding Easements and Rights-of-Way 
8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. 
James Bradford 
Balch & Bingham LLP 

  • What is an easement or right-of-way? 
  • Rights of grantors vs. rights of grantees 
  • Creation of easement/right-of-way
  • Scope of use and maintenance of easement/right-of-way
  • Obstruction of/or interference with easement/right-of-way
  • Enforcement of easement/right-of-way 
  • Termination of easement/right-of-way 

Closing Commercial Real Estate Transactions 
9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. 
Karen Johns 
Jones Walker LLP 

  • Pre-closing procedures 
    • Pre-due diligence deadline 
    • Post-due diligence deadline 
  • At the closing table 
    • Escrow closing 
    • Round table 
    • Preparation 
    • Procedure 
    • What to do when good closings go bad 
    • "Deal breakers" 
    • Remote closings
  • Post-closing procedures 
    • Disbursement of funds and escrow items 
    • Preparing the closing package 
    • Release of liens and encumbrances 
    • Recorded documents from the recorder 
    • Other post-closing items

10:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. 

TILA/RESPA Disclosures: Necessary Information and New Requirements 
10:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. 
Patrick Smith 
TitleSouth, LLC/RealtySouth 

  • TILA and RESPA fundamentals 
  • The TILA-RESPA integrated disclosure rule 
  • Requirements at the time of loan application 
  • Disclosures before settlement 
  • Disclosures at settlement 
  • Disclosures after settlement 
  • Statutes clarified: Consumer protections and illegal practices 
    • Kickbacks, fee-splitting, unearned fees 
    • Seller required title insurance 
    • Limits on escrow accounts 
  • TILA-RESPA enforcement 
    • Civil lawsuit 
    • Loan servicing complaints 
    • Other enforcement actions 
    • Filing a complaint 

LUNCH (on your own) 
11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. 

Landlord and Tenant Law: Rights, Obligations, and Agreements 
1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. 
Sarah Taggart 
Sarah Taggart, P.C. 

  • Negotiating lease agreements you want 
  • Enforcing a lease agreement 
  • Inspecting the property 
  • Screening and qualifying tenants: Fair Housing, discrimination, and background checks 
  • Third parties not on lease who are living with your tenant 
  • Security deposits and personal guarantees 
  • Late fees: How much is too much? 
  • Handling repairs 
  • Terminating the tenancy 
  • Demands, notices, lockouts 

Foreclosure Issues 
2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. 
Ellis Brazeal 
Jones Walker LLP 

  • Curing title problems prior to commencing the action 
  • Foreclosure timeline 
  • Demand Letter 
  • The foreclosure action – lis pendens, parties named, summons, complaint 
  • Foreclosure/sheriff's sale – notice requirements, bidding process, closing, etc. 
  • Pursuit of guarantors 
    •  Before foreclosure sale? 
    •  Checking percentage guarantees 
  • Deficiency judgment issues 

3:00 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. 

Take a Comprehensive Look at Land Use Law 
3:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. 
James Griffin 
James B. Griffin, LLC 
• Who has the power to zone? How does it affect you? 
• The ins and outs of the Board of Zoning Appeals 
• Ubiquitous manufactured housing: Implications for your community 
• What quasi-judicial decisions usually involve 
• Navigating the appeals process 
• What is environmentally driven zoning law? 
• Determine the impact of current land use law 

Ethical Considerations in Landlord-Tenant Law 
4:15 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. 
Lee Teague 
Engel, Hairston and Johanson, P.C. 

  • Negotiating with a pro se tenant at court 
  • Conflicts of interest, unrepresented, dual representation, and competency 
  • Fee arrangements and getting paid 
  • Ethical situations 


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