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ACREL News & Notes - August 2020

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Welcome to the ACREL News & Notes!  It is published six times 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


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

The Very First ACREL Virtual Meeting Coming in October, 2020

As you can see from other articles in this newsletter, plans for The Very First ACREL Virtual Meeting are progressing, thanks to efforts of the Programs Committee, led by Sheila Nolan Gartland, the Meetings Committee, led by James Candler and Robert Lane, the ACREL Executive Staff, Executive Committee and Board of Governors. In addition to presenting the CLE programs that are the hallmark of ACREL, we are planning for a virtual business meeting open to all Fellows, including presentation of the Lane Award to Fellow Mike Rubin. Registration and detailed information was sent last week and is available on the ACREL website. I hope that many of you will be able to participate.


The ACREL Office has moved

The current lease on the ACREL office expires on August 31. Due to the costs of that office, as well as a long commute for Julie and Caitlin, we decided to move to less expensive space in Frederick, Maryland. Not only do we save on the cost, but we can offer this benefit to our staff by cutting out that long drive. The new address is 220 N Market Street, Suite 100, Frederick, Maryland 21701. Phone and email contacts remain the same. 


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

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Marianne Ajemian, chair of Nutter’s Real Estate Department, has been named a 2020 “Top Women of Law” honoree by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly. Each year, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly honors women attorneys who have made tremendous professional strides and demonstrated great accomplishments in the legal field, including in pro bono, social justice, advocacy, and business. The “Top Women of Law” event celebrates the achievements of exceptional women lawyers who are pioneers, educators, trailblazers, and role models. Marianne and the other honorees will be recognized at an awards ceremony on November 17.


Reid Wilson, chair and founder of Wilson Cribbs + Goren, has been elected as the chair of the Real Estate, Probate and Trust Law(REPTL) Section of the State Bar of Texas for 2020–2021. Wilson previously served as treasurer and chair-elect/secretary,each for a one-year term.


Congratulations to Bill Locke, who received the REPTL Distinguished Real Estate Attorney Lifetime Achievement Award! This award was presented during the State Bar Advanced Real Estate Course and recognizes Texas real estate attorneys who have made significant and sustained contributions to the Texas real estate law bar during their careers.  



Two ACREL Fellows received awards from the Texas State Bar Advanced Real Estate Law Course. Roland Love and New Fellow, Marc Markel, were co-recipients of the Steven C. Haley Award for Best Speaker; Roland also received the Jerry Charles Saegert Award for Best CLE Paper. Both awards are named for former ACREL Fellows.

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

Share with us today on the ACREL LinkedIn group!

Fall Meeting Registration is Open

The Very First Virtual ACREL Meeting will be held Tuesday, October 6, through Friday, October 9, with virtual committee meetings from September 30 through October 28.  On Tuesday, October 6, we begin at 1 pm (all times are Eastern time zone) with the annual business meeting, election of Governors, and presentation of the Lane Award to Mike Rubin. We follow up with a Public Policy presentation Are Buildings the Key to Unlocking Climate Change? We will cap off the day with a Virtual Welcome Reception. While all events on Tuesday are complimentary to Fellows and Spouses and Guests, you must register to access the rest of the educational program and to receive CLE credits.


Report of the ACREL Nominating Committee for 2020 Board of Governors & Officers 

We are pleased to release the report of the 2020 Nominating Committee, thanks to the hard work and diligent efforts of this year's committee, led by Steve Waters. 

It's Time to Start Nominations for the Class of 2021

Well friends, my countdown to the kickoff of College Football has been delayed due the Coronavirus, but the countdown to the kickoff of “ACREL Nomination Season” is still on schedule! So, get your nomination packages in shape and ready to go starting September 8, 2020! Remember that every state has someone from the Member Development Committee ready to coach you through the process and provide all the support you need (and if you don’t know who that person is, contact me, Thank you!

Gail Mills

Uniform Law Commission Studies Tenancy in Common

James Charles Smith, University of Georgia School of Law, Athens, GA

The Uniform Law Commission (ULC) has appointed a study committee to consider possible reforms to state laws governing the tenancy-in-common ownership of real property. The Tenancy in Common Ownership Default Rules Study Committee began its work with a Zoom meeting in May 2020 and held a second Zoom meeting in June. The study committee Chair is Prof. Juliet M. Moringiello and the Reporter is Prof. Sally Brown Richardson. For more details, see the study committee’s website. The project is motivated by three concerns identified by a report of the Joint Editorial Board for Uniform Real Property Acts, which recommended that the ULC appoint a study committee. 

Autonomous Vehicles and Real Estate: Revisiting Zoning and Parking Issues as a Result of COVID-19

Frederick D. Strober, Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP, Philadelphia, PA

In the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, real estate market watchers are observing a number of disruptions which could change the face of real estate. After a decade of unprecedented growth and demand, the fallout from the coronavirus has highlighted several issues: (1) American consumers may grow (even) more accustomed to e-commerce, (2) congregate work settings may lose popularity following revelations that telework works for a greater number of white collar workers, and (3) trust in public transit reliability and/or safety has decreased due to similar fears of congregation. At the confluence of these three issues—and their impact on the real estate market— is the continued development of autonomous vehicles.

Refactoring Our Documents: How Software Code Can Inform Legal Prose

Justin Lischak Earley, First American Title Insurance Company, Santa Ana, CA

Both lawyers and software developers typically receive general direction from their clients, translating it into defined rules.  For example, a software developer may be told to create a new video game. The clients probably have a general sense of what goes into the game: the high-level rules, the plotline, what constitutes winning or losing, etc. But the developer cannot code a mere general sense, and it is unlikely that the clients have contemplated all the situations that might arise during gameplay. The developer must therefore think through the entire range of possibilities, and must make decisions about how to handle each scenario.

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 Georgia Purchase and Sale Agreements

Josh Kamin, King & Spalding LLP, Atlanta, GA

Contracts for the purchase and sale of commercial real estate typically include a term stipulating that the seller will retain the purchaser’s earnest money deposit as liquidated damages in the event of a breach by the purchaser.  Often, the parties intend liquidated damages to be the sole remedy in the event of a breach by the purchaser. Recently, however, the Colorado Supreme Court considered the issue of whether liquidated damages clauses in Colorado purchase and sale agreements that give the non-breaching party the option to choose between liquidated damages and actual damages are enforceable.

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


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Did you know that every Monday ACREL sends a weekly round-up, which highlights committee meetings and other events of the week?  This is a great way to stay in touch while we are not able to meet in person.  You can also access recordings of past meetings here.






220 N Market St, Suite 100, Frederick, MD 21701
: (301) 816-9811

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