Florida real estate industry’s trending topics and most relevant information.

Thursday, May 9

8:00 AM – 7:30 PM Registration Desk Open
9:00 AM – 7:30 PM Expo Open
1:00 PM – 3:15 PM 
1:05 PM - 1:25 PMLearn More Learn More Welcoming Remarks
  • Speaker: Melissa Murphy, Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer, General Counsel and Secretary, The Fund
1:25 PM - 2:20 PMLearn More Learn More The Many Faces of the BFP – A Day in 'Claims Court'

A survey of a series of actual claims where the status of the insured as a bona fide purchaser for value aided in the resolution of otherwise significant title defects. Discussion includes bona fide purchaser status by virtue of the application of various statutes and as a matter of the common law.

  • Speaker: Carlos Lerman, Shareholder, Lerman & Whitebook, P.A.
  • Speaker: George Perez, Claims Manager, The Fund
  • Speaker: Michael Rothman, Legal Education Manager, The Fund
2:20 PM - 3:15 PMLearn More Learn More The Continuing Evolution of Wire Fraud Schemes: Prevention, Mitigation & Recovery

Beginning in 2013, business email compromise (BEC) fraud has continued to grow and evolve and target businesses of all sizes. Since January 2015 there has been a 1,300% increase in reported instances with combined actual losses of more than $3.1 billion. Title agents and the title insurance industry are among the most frequent targets of these scam artists because of the transaction amounts involved and the lack of sophisticated computer and internet protocols present in the industry. 

This presentation will provide an in-depth review of recent developments in the wire fraud schemes (BEC Fraud) that continue to plague the title insurance and real estate industry, including effective means of prevention, mitigation and recovery.

  • Speaker: Douglas Pollock, President and Founder, IDSnetwork, Inc.
3:15 PM – 3:45 PM Refreshment Break at the Expo
3:45 PM – 5:25 PM General Session
3:45 PM - 4:05 PMLearn More Learn More General Counsel's Perspective
  • Speaker: Melissa Murphy, Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer, General Counsel and Secretary, The Fund
4:05 PM - 5:25 PMLearn More Learn More Title Teasers

Fund Assembly attendees test their knowledge of title insurance and Florida real property law with a series of multiple choice questions. Led by The Fund's Underwriting Counsel, attendees are encouraged to participate in answering challenging questions. Model solutions and commentary are provided by a panel of experts composed of Fund Underwriting Counsel.

  • Moderator: John Benson, Associate Underwriting Manager and Senior Underwriting Counsel, The Fund
  • Panelist: Scott Jackson, Underwriting Counsel, The Fund
  • Panelist: Cynthia Raleigh, Underwriting Counsel, Commercial Services, The Fund
  • Panelist: Jennifer Barrow, Underwriting Counsel, The Fund
5:25 PM – 7:30 PM Networking Reception at the Expo

Friday, May 10

8:00 AM – 5:30 PM Registration Desk Open
8:00 AM – 4:30 PM Expo Open
8:30 AM – 11:45 PM (Includes Two Refreshment Breaks at the Expo)
Learn More Agathokakological* Nature of Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Loans *composed of both good and evil

Agathokakological, an adjective describing something composed of both good and evil, may be a word only an epistemophiliac* could like, but it aptly describes the Property Assessed Clean Energy loan program. On the one hand, it is a new source of financing for property owners; but on the other, it results in a lien difficult to discover and problematic to discharge. 

This program will examine the details of PACE loans and their good and evil composition. The benefits, as well as the ease in obtaining such loans for commercial and residential properties will be explained, as will the burden imposed upon title agents to secure their release.

 *a lover of knowledge

  • Speaker: Linda Monaco, Legal Education Attorney, The Fund
Learn More Bank Secrecy and Spotting Money Laundering

The Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) requires financial institutions to have anti-money laundering (AML) programs reasonably designed to identify and report suspicious activity for the benefit of law enforcement.  As financial institutions develop more robust monitoring systems, criminals intent on laundering their ill-gotten gains look for alternative mechanisms, such as real estate, to facilitate their illicit activity.  This compelling session will promote awareness for the warning signs of vulnerability and exploitation to money laundering through real estate.

  • Speaker: Dennis Lormel, Founder and President, DML Associates, LLC
Learn More Caught in The Dark Web – A Real Estate Attorney’s View

Join Ron Frechette and Chris Dix as they educate us on the inner-workings of The Dark Web and take us on a live tour into what is considered to be “The Underworld of the World Wide Web.”  What you will see will send chills up your spine. Ron and Chris will then share some real life case studies, the future threat landscape facing real estate attorneys, and how to implement basic cybersecurity practices to help mitigate the risks of being Caught in the Dark Web.

  • Speaker: Christopher Dix, Shareholder, Smith, Hulsey & Busey
  • Speaker: Ron Frechette, Founder and CEO, Goldsky Security
Learn More Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda: Avoiding Claims of Legal Malpractice in Real Estate Transactions

No one enjoys being sued.  It’s a bummer.  Besides the obvious protection afforded by professional liability insurance there are a number of other steps one can take to keep the process server away from your door. This presentation will review the elements of legal malpractice, provide case law examples, and recommend business practices which lessen the likelihood of being sued.

  • Speaker: Robert Rohan, Regulatory Compliance Counsel, The Fund
Learn More Easements & Access from Title Insurer's Perspective

Access is essential for the use and enjoyment of real property. A lack of access can adversely affect its value and marketability. This presentation will cover the creation of valid easement rights and the requirements to insure access to real property.

  • Speaker: David Miller, Shareholder, President and CEO, Peterson & Myers, P.A.
Learn More Insuring Leases: Valuation, Endorsements, and Other Considerations

Jacqueline Marzan and Mishele Schutz will present a comprehensive discussion as to insuring leasehold estates as well as the overall use of the ALTA 13 endorsement for both owner’s and lender’s leasehold policies. 
Topics will include the necessity for leasehold insurance, coverages and exclusions, procedures for ordering commitments, approaches to valuing the leasehold to establish the amount of coverage, and tips on how to close and issue the leasehold policy.

  • Speaker: Jacqueline Marzan, Associate Underwriting Manager, Commercial Services, The Fund
  • Speaker: Mishele Schutz, Senior Underwriting Counsel, Commercial Services, The Fund
Learn More Marketing & Ethics Panel Discussion

A panel of three attorney title agents from diverse parts of the state will discuss how they successfully market their services without violating the Rules Regulating the Florida Bar, and the Florida Department of Financial Services Rules regulating title agents.

  • Moderator: Peggy Williams, Senior Manager, Risk Analysis and Member Compliance, The Fund
  • Panelist: Gregory Oropeza, Managing Partner, Oropeza, Stones & Cardenas, PLLC
  • Panelist: Michael Tidwell, Attorney, Emerald Coast Title
  • Panelist: Sam Saad, III, Managing Attorney, Law Office of Sam J. Saad III/Paradise Coast Title & Escrow
11:45 PM – 1:15 PM Attendee Luncheon
1:15 PM  – 3:40 PM
1:20 PM - 2:15 PMLearn More Learn More To All the Economists I've Loved

This presentation supplies a detailed discussion regarding global, national, and regional economic performance using the most current data available.  Special attention is devoted to certain aspects of economic life, including the performance of financial, labor, real estate, and construction markets.

  • Speaker: Dr. Anirban Basu, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Sage Policy Group, Inc.
2:15 PM - 3:10 PMLearn More Learn More Mastering Florida’s Marketable Record Title Act

Florida’s Marketable Record Title Act has evolved over the years due to numerous legislative amendments and interpretation by various courts.  Recent amendments to portions of the Homeowner’s Association Act add to the complexity of applying MRTA.   This program reviews the intricacies of the law with discussion of recent cases and practical examples providing attendees the opportunity to master their understanding of MRTA.  

  • Speaker: Melissa Scaletta, Vice President and Chief Underwriting Counsel, The Fund
3:10 PM - 3:40 PMLearn More Learn More Legislative Update - 2019
A review of recent bills enrolled in the 2019 legislative session which may be of interest to Real Estate practitioners.
  • Speaker: Charles Nostra, Senior Underwriting Counsel, The Fund
3:40 PM – 4:10 PM Refreshment Break at the Expo
4:10 PM - 5:05 PMLearn More Learn More Digital Closings and Remote Online Notarization: The Latest and Greatest

Digital closings and remote online notarization continue to take center stage as the emerging technologies affecting Fund Members today and in the future.  This session will discuss the latest trends in digital closings, including what you can expect when you are asked to participate in your first digital closing.  We will also discuss the status of Florida’s pending remote online notarization bill and what it means for the future of closings when it becomes law – whether in 2019 or the future.

  • Speaker: Maggie Thumberg, Senior Manager, Continuing Legal Education, The Fund
5:05 PM - 6:00 PMLearn More Learn More Quiz on Recent Real Property Cases

Review of cases within the past year affecting real estate transactions and title insurance.

  • Speaker: Elizabeth Ramsay, Underwriting Counsel, The Fund
  • Speaker: Jay St. Lawrence, Legal Education Attorney, The Fund

Saturday, May 11

8:00 AM – 12:00 PM Registration Desk Open
8:00 AM – 9:00 AM 
8:45 AM – 11:55 AM 
8:50 AM - 9:45 AMLearn More Learn More Homestead - Conveyances, Mortgages and Disposition After the Death of the Titleholder

Homestead presents special title issues across a variety of transactions. This presentation will discuss what the issues are and how to handle them when you are handling conveyances, mortgages and disposition after the death of the titleholder where the property is homestead property. Specific emphasis will be given to Sec. 732.7025, F.S., “Waiver of Homestead Rights Through Deed,” Enhanced Life Estates and the use of Trusts.

  • Speaker: Ben Jepson, Senior Underwriting Counsel, The Fund
9:45 AM - 10:40 AMLearn More Learn More Representing Foreign Buyers – Choice of Entity and Compliance: What You Don’t Know May Hurt You

This session will provide information regarding assisting buyers with understanding US estate and income tax laws including choice of entity for taking title, an explanation of US estate tax laws and what constitutes US situs property, an explanation of FIRPTA law and implications of choice of entity and tax elections for FIRPTA on rental and eventual resale, and a discussion of US Patriot Act and FinCEN compliance.

  • Speaker: George Moraitis, Jr., Partner, Moraitis, Cofar, Karney, Moraitis & Quailey
10:40 AM - 11:00 AMLearn More Learn More Refreshment Break
11:00 AM - 11:55 AMLearn More Learn More Attorneys Are From Mars & Realtors® Are From Venus: Serving the Unique Legal Needs of Real Estate Agents

Real estate agents require unique support from real estate attorneys on a wide array of issues including contract and escrow disputes, in-home surveillance devices, preparation of contract addendums, lease options, and presenting continuing education seminars.  Panelists will discuss providing guidance on transactions involving various entities, trusts, foreign buyers and sellers, as well as divorced, separated or estranged couples.  Finally, the program will discuss building constructive relationships with real estate agents and address resources that attorneys can provide to agents that will enable them to navigate obstacles and provide the public with a more informed and professional experience.

  • Moderator: René Rutan, Affiliate & Real Estate Council Relations Manager, The Fund
  • Panelist: Andrew Fisher, Attorney, Fisher Law, P.A.
  • Panelist: Lew Oliver, Principal Attorney, Oliver Title Law
  • Panelist: Kerry Anne Schultz, Partner, Fountain, Schultz & Associates, P.L.
8:45 AM – 11:55 AM 
8:50 AM - 9:45 AMLearn More Learn More Commercial Workflows, Tips & Efficiencies Panel Discussion

A panel of three experienced commercial real estate practitioner/ Fund members will discuss managing commercial transactions,   workflows and efficiencies. They will discuss key considerations in a Commercial Real Estate Transaction such as negotiated contracts, due diligence, more complex title issues, lender issues, document preparation and closings, with practical suggestions and tips for successful closings.

  • Moderator: Robert D'Amore, Senior Underwriting Counsel, Commercial Services, The Fund
  • Panelist: Elise Batsel, Partner, Phelps Dunbar, LLP
  • Panelist: Tina Fischer, Attorney, Partner, Fletcher & Fischer, P.L.
  • Panelist: Joseph Probasco, Shareholder, Bush Ross, P.A.
9:45 AM - 10:40 AMLearn More Learn More Negotiating Commercial Real Estate Loan Documentation: Bridging the Gap Between Borrowers and Lenders

Borrowers and lenders share a common goal of a loan closing, but the parties differ in their expectations of reaching that goal. John Maxwell said that “disappointment is the gap that exists between expectation and reality” and the challenge facing borrower’s counsel is bridging that gap. Lenders start with their form documents and borrowers want to close based simply on their promise to repay. Somewhere in between is what gets the job done.

  • Speaker: Michael Workman, Shareholder, Clark, Campbell, Lancaster & Munson, P.A.
10:40 AM - 11:00 AMLearn More Learn More Refreshment Break
11:00 AM - 11:55 AMLearn More Learn More Title Insurance Aspects of Florida’s Construction Lien Law

Active construction to improve real property results in liens against the owner’s property.  This presentation will highlight the source of these lien rights, the types of threats they pose, how to weigh their significance in a given transaction and how to address each when issuing a title insurance policy.

  • Speaker: John Brown, Senior Underwriting Counsel, Commercial Services, The Fund