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9th Annual Tennessee Real Estate Law Conference

9th Annual Tennessee Real Estate Law Conference - Materials Only

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9th Annual Tennessee Real Estate Law Conference - Materials Only

Held at the Nashville School of Law on Friday, October 14, 2016

Tennessee attorneys who practice real estate law, including litigators, closing attorneys, and attorneys who work for title insurance companies and lenders — order your materials today from this one-day learning and networking event. Attendees got the very latest on laws, decisions, and developments affecting their practice and their clients: 

  • Commercial & investment transactions. T. Kevin Bruce will walked through some often overlooked elements when handling commercial or investment transactions, including entity formation issues, CAP issues, and 1031 exchanges. 
  • Real estate opinion letters. Pete Ezell provided guidelines in preparing real estate opinion letters and offered illustrative language of an opinion letter. 
  • Title insurance. Kirk Moser explained hot topics such as title endorsements, limitations of the warranties in a mortgage or a deed, and risks that title insurance covers. 
  • Bankruptcy. Griffin Dunham explained how bankruptcy changes the landscape for a real estate practitioner. 
  • TILA-RESPA. Matthew Ellis provided an update on the integrated disclosure rule, clarifies statutes, and recaps enforcement procedures. 
  • Environmental issues. Scott Thomas outlined recent trends in environmental law and offered proactive practices to minimize liability. 
  • Ethical concerns. David Wilson Long presented ethical scenarios that real estate attorneys must watch for. 
  • Update. Wes Turner discussed the latest appellate court cases and legislation in real estate. 

This information-packed event provided an insider’s perspective on the most significant recent developments in Tennessee real estate law.

  • Special considerations for commercial and investment transactions, including 1031 exchanges
  • Opinion letters in real estate transactions
  • “Hot” topics in title insurance
  • TILA-RESPA issues, including new requirements and necessary information
  • The effect of bankruptcy on commercial and residential real estate
  • Environmental issues in real estate transactions
  • Ethical considerations in real estate law
  • Real estate case law/legislative update 


  • T. Kevin Bruce, Hagler Bruce & Turner PLLC
  • Griffin Dunham, Dunham Hildebrand, PLLC
  • Matthew J. Ellis, Batson Nolan PLC
  • Kenneth P. (Pete) Ezell, Jr., Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC
  • David Wilson Long, Long, Ragsdale & Waters, PC
  • R. Kirkland Moser, Old Republic National Title Insurance Company
  • G. Scott Thomas, Bass, Berry & Sims
  • Wes Turner, Gullett Sanford Robinson & Martin PLLC

Your Outstanding Faculty

T. Kevin BruceT. Kevin Bruce
Hagler Bruce & Turner PLLC

T. Kevin Bruce is a member and founder of the law firm of Hagler Bruce & Turner PLLC in Memphis. Mr. Bruce’s law practice is concentrated in the areas of business and commercial transactions, public finance, real estate, general business law and estate planning. Before joining Hagler Bruce & Turner, Mr. Bruce was a partner at Farris Bobango Branan, PLC. Prior to that, Mr. Bruce was the founder and Chief Executive Manager of Bruce, Norris & Bass, PLLC, positions he held from the time the law firm was organized in 1998. From 1996 to 1997, Mr. Bruce was employed by the law firm of Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs, PLLC, where his practice was focused on securities law and mergers and acquisitions, particularly in the banking industry, and public finance. Mr. Bruce served in the Division of Corporation Finance of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, D.C., from 1993 to 1995, where he regulated various types of securities (stocks and bonds) transactions and participated in law-making and interpreting. Mr. Bruce has participated in several legal professional organizations, including the National Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the Tennessee Bar Association, the Memphis Bar Association and the National Association of Bond Lawyers. In addition, Mr. Bruce has been active in a number of other professional, civic and community organizations, including The Memphis Challenge, the National Black MBA Association, the Black Business Association, the Mid-South Minority Business Council, the National Association of Black Accountants and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., among others. Mr. Bruce is an adjunct professor at the University of Memphis, teaching courses entitled “Real Estate Practices” and “Business Associations.” He has been involved with several financial institutions, including the Imani Federal Credit Union, which he helped create and for which he served as the first chairperson, and the Postal Employees Credit Union.

Griffin DunhamGriffin Dunham
Dunham Hildebrand, PLLC

Griffin Dunham, with Dunham Hildebrand, PLLC, in Nashville, has been practicing law for 13 years and has represented large and small businesses, business owners and officers, borrowers, guarantors, private equity investment firms, property management companies, risk management companies, commercial landlords, healthcare facilities, medical field companies, farmers, electric companies, construction businesses, and developers. Mr. Dunham handles every aspect of litigation. The first six years of his practice concentrated on trial and appellate work as a judge advocate in the United States Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps. He has handled cases involving claims of breach of contract, business interference, fraud and misrepresentation, fraudulent transfers, contract interference, unfair competition, breach of fiduciary duty, conversion, misappropriation, copyright infringement, harassment, and real estate claims related to contract interpretation, quiet title, partition, and easements. As a workout and bankruptcy lawyer, Mr. Dunham represents debtors to reorganize their businesses under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. His focus in these cases is concentrated on de-leveraging the business, increasing and managing cash flow, reducing inefficiencies that are reducing margins, improving the business model, maximizing the value of the equity interests, and ensuring the company’s long-term viability. He also represents creditors in contested matters or adversary proceedings. His experience includes all aspects of the bankruptcy process, drafting and confirming plans of reorganization (debtor side), objecting to and defeating plans of reorganization (creditor side), prosecuting and defending adversary proceedings, claims litigation, claims trading, stay relief actions, 363 asset sales, preferences and fraudulent transfers, first day motion practice, motions to appoint a trustee, asset valuation, lien avoidance, disclosure statement approval, negotiating plan treatment, DIP and exit financing arrangements, and motions to dismiss and convert cases.

Matthew EllisMatthew J. Ellis
Batson Nolan PLC

Matthew J. Ellis, is a member of Batson Nolan PLC and practices in the firm’s Clarksville office. Mr. Ellis’ practice is concentrated in conducting residential and commercial real estate closings and in protecting creditor’s rights in all manner of secured transactions, including bankruptcy and enforcement of remedies. Mr. Ellis is a member of the Montgomery County and Tennessee Bar Associations. He was born in Clarksville and raised in nearby Cedar Hill, Tennessee. After graduating high school, he joined the United States Navy. After his service, he returned home to attend Austin Peay State University. He graduated in 2000 and went on to attend law school at The Vermont Law School. Upon graduation in 2004, Mr. Ellis began his practice with Batson Nolan. Outside of work, he enjoys being involved in the Clarksville community. In 2010, he was appointed to the Clarksville-Montgomery County Public Library Board of Trustees. He is a 2010 Graduate of Leadership Clarksville and remains involved by organizing and hosting the annual Law, Crime & Justice Day.

Pete EzellKenneth P. (Pete) Ezell, Jr.
Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC

Kenneth P. (Pete) Ezell, with Baker, Donelson, Bearman & Caldwell in Nashville, represents clients including REITs, investment banking firms, developers, financial institutions, non-profit organizations and governmental units. He assists his clients in structuring, negotiating and completing complex commercial real estate transactions, including developments, sales and acquisitions, land assemblages, financings and leasing. He has significant expertise with payment in-lieu-of tax transactions (PILOTs) and other economic development transactions. He also serves as bond counsel in conduit tax-exempt bond financings, including small issue bonds, qualified 501(c)(3) bonds and low and moderate income housing bonds. Mr. Ezell has been a frequent lecturer at legal seminars and workshops. He is a Fellow in the American College of Real Estate Lawyers. He is on the Board of Directors and Vice President – Working Group on Legal Opinions Foundation. Mr. Ezell has been listed in Best Lawyers in America® since 2007 in the areas of Real Estate Law, Public Finance Law, Land Use & Zoning Law, Commercial Finance and Commercial Transactions/UCC Law. He was named Nashville “Lawyer of the Year” in 2016 by Best Lawyers in America® in the area of Commercial Transactions/UCC Law and was named Nashville “Lawyer of the Year” in 2014 in the area of Commercial Finance Law. He has also been listed in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Business Lawyers in real estate since 2006. He has been listed in Mid-South Super Lawyers® since 2006 and named among top 100 attorneys in Tennessee and top 50 Nashville attorneys. He was named “Best of the Bar” by the Nashville Business Journal, 2004 – 2007, 2011 – 2013, and 2015. He is past chair of the “Committee on Legal Opinions in Real Estate Transactions” in the Real Property, Probate and Trust Section of the American Bar Association. He is chair of the Joint Committee on Legal Opinions, Tennessee Bar Association.

David Wilson LongDavid Wilson Long
Long, Ragsdale & Waters, PC

David Wilson Long, with Long, Ragsdale & Waters, PC, in Knoxville, concentrates his practice in the areas of commercial transactions, real estate development, loan transactions, business entity matters and general business law. Mr. Long is active in the emerging areas of resort law and conservation easements, representing several land trusts, as well as landowners and their banks. He represents a company’s general business needs, including drafting and reviewing contracts and organizational and related company documents. He handles company finance, traditional loans, TIF loans, bond financing and private equity investments/financing for a variety of entrepreneurs and established businesses. Long’s expertise extends to projects using conservation easements. He also examines certain securities-related issues. His clients include numerous national, regional and community banks and real estate developers of shopping centers, residential properties, resorts, office buildings and apartments. He represents homeowner associations and parties involved in real estate disputes. He is also active in the arenas of health care organizations, restaurant chains, oil and gas transactions, and related mergers and acquisitions. He is often asked to be an expert witness in civil litigation in the subject areas of real estate, real estate finance and legal ethical considerations in transactional matters. He was chairman of the Real Estate Law Section of the Tennessee Bar Association from 1992 to 1993, and he serves on the “Mortgages and Other Debt Financing Committee” of the American Bar Association Real Property, Trust and Estate Section. Mr. Long has been chosen for more than 15 years to be listed in Best Lawyers in America® and was named the Best Lawyers’ Knoxville “Real Estate Lawyer of the Year” in 2013. He is also listed in Mid-South Super Lawyers® for Real Estate Law. Knoxville Cityview Magazine has also selected him for its Best Lawyers List.


R. Kirkland MoserR. Kirkland Moser
Old Republic National Title Insurance Company

R. Kirkland Moser is Assistant Vice President and Tennessee State Counsel for Old Republic National Title Insurance Company in Nashville. He received both his BA and MBA degrees from Middle Tennessee State University. He received his JD degree from the Nashville School of Law. Mr. Moser is a frequent speaker at CLE/CE seminars on various real estate and title insurance topics. He is a member and former director of the Tennessee Land Title Association.

G. Scott ThomasG. Scott Thomas
Bass, Berry & Sims

G. Scott Thomas, with Bass, Berry & Sims in Nashville, is a member of the firm’s Environmental and Intellectual Property & Technology Practice Groups. He joined Bass, Berry & Sims in 1982 and is listed in Best Lawyers in America® and Chambers USA. Mr. Thomas has practiced environmental law for more than 25 years and is an editor of the Tennessee Environmental Law Letter. He has served on the board of directors for the Environmental Section of the Tennessee Bar Association and has been active on various environmental committees/subcommittees of the Nashville Bar Association and the Tennessee Association of Business. He routinely lectures extensively on a broad range of environmental law issues.  Over the last 20 years, Mr. Thomas has developed his IP/Technology transactional practice, which includes broad experience in a wide range of practice areas including commercial, corporate, healthcare, information technology and e-commerce. He has represented numerous clients in the negotiation of a broad range of contracts related to the use of software products and technology. He has assisted numerous clients with all aspects of software, technology, Internet business and transactions.

Wes TurnerWesley D. Turner
Gullett Sanford Robinson & Martin PLLC

Wesley D. Turner is a partner at Gullett Sanford Robinson & Martin PLLC in Nashville and dedicates his practice to helping individuals, lending institutions, non-profits, and businesses with legal needs pertaining to real estate. His practice includes sale and loan closings, residential and commercial development, title insurance, shopping centers, offices, warehouses and other income producing properties, leasing and restructuring and foreclosure.

Mr. Turner serves as an instructor at the Nashville School of Law in the area of mortgage law. He is listed in The Best Lawyers in America® for Land Use and Zoning Law and Real Estate Law and is listed in Mid-South Super Lawyers® for Real Estate Law. He is past President of the Tennessee Land Title Association.

Full Agenda - October 14, 2016

8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.
Ethical Challenges in Real Estate Law
David Wilson Long
Long, Ragsdale & Waters, PC

  • Current “hot topics,” including the scope of engagement in a business transaction involving real estate
  • Tennessee Rules of Professional Conduct
  • Legal fees, including retainers and non-refundable fees
  • Limitation on scope of representation
  • Knowledge to handle client representation
  • Communications with clients and timely performance
  • Confidentiality
  • Conflicts of interest and multiple client representation

9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
Real Estate Law Update: Recent Cases and New Statutes
Wes Turner
Gullett Sanford Robinson & Martin PLLC

This session is designed to educate practitioners about the most recent developments and trends in Tennessee real estate law, with a focus on recent Tennessee appellate court decisions and Tennessee statutes enacted during the 2016 legislative session.

10:00 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.

10:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.
Special Considerations for Commercial and Investment Transactions
T. Kevin Bruce
Hagler Bruce & Turner PLLC

Let Mr. Bruce walk you through some often overlooked elements when dealing with commercial or investment transactions, including:

  • Entity formation issues (including special purpose entities)
  • Letter of intent
  • CAP rate
  • Hazardous materials and zoning concerns
  • Advising your client how to appropriately take title
  • 1031 exchanges – issues and tracking

11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
Opinion Letters in Real Estate Transactions
Pete Ezell
Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC

If you represent lenders or borrower in a real estate finance transaction, you may either be requesting or issuing opinion letters. The purpose of opinion letters are often misunderstood. Let Mr. Ezell walk you through the process of preparing opinion letters and understanding customary opinion practice.

  • What are legal opinions?
  • Relevant opinion reports, including the Real Estate Finance Opinion Report of 2012 
  • Typical opinions given in a real estate finance transactions
  • The role of assumptions
  • Limitations and qualifications
  • Reliance by others


12:15 p.m. to 1:15 p.m.
LUNCH (included with registration)

1:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.
Title Risks and Title Insurance Coverage
Kirk Moser
Old Republic National Title Insurance Company 

Mr. Moser will discuss issues arising with title insurance in real estate transactions:

  • Limitations of the warranties in a mortgage or deed
  • The difference between marketable and insurable title
  • Risks that title insurance covers
  • Recognizing title search and abstract problems
  • Title endorsements
  • ALTA owner’s and lender’s title insurance policies
  • Title insurer's grounds for denying coverage on issued policies
  • Recognizing and curing title defects

2:15 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Bankruptcy and its Effect on Commercial and Residential Real Estate
Griffin Dunham
Dunham Hildebrand, PLLC 

Some real estate issues can be researched, but non-bankruptcy lawyers often struggle with the interplay between state law and the Bankruptcy Code. Mr. Dunham will explain how bankruptcy changes the landscape for a real estate practitioner. 

  • Bankruptcy basics affecting real estate
  • The automatic stay and bankruptcy’s effect on foreclosures and civil actions
  • Post-foreclosure sale bankruptcy filings
  • Protecting the creditor’s position
  • Trustee avoidance powers
  • Trustee sales of real property in bankruptcy
  • Abandonment by the trustee
  • Post-petition transfers
  • Curing mortgage defaults

3:00 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.

3:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.
TILA-RESPA: Necessary Information and New Requirements
Matthew Ellis
Batson Nolan PLC 

  • 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

4:15 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Environmental Issues in Real Estate Transactions
Scott Thomas
Bass, Berry & Sims 

  • Local, state, and federal jurisdictional issues
  • Potential environmental liability – Superfund liability
  • Environmental audits
  • Environmental liens
  • Third party and common law causes of action
  • Due diligence
  • How to buy/sell remediate property
  • Indoor air quality and mold litigation
  • Recent trends in environmental law
  • Proactive practices to minimize liability


Hear what your colleagues have  to say about last year's Tennessee Real Estate Law Conference...

“Outstanding panel of speakers imparting very useful, practical information. Love the notebook of materials to take back to my office.” 

“I attend this seminar annually and always receive information that is very pertinent to my everyday practice.”

“Very good seminar, knowledgeable instructors, and helpful materials.”

“The location and classroom were great. Very informational seminar.”

“Great speakers. Great seminar!

Our guarantee

Your 100% satisfaction is guaranteed. If for any reason you are not completely satisfied, simply let us know within 90 days, and we will issue you a complete refund.

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