Tag Archives: title insurance

Season 3, Episode 1

Co-hosts Mike O’Donnell and Bethany Abele kicked off the third season of Title Nerds by welcoming special guest Bushnell Nielsen, author of the well-regarded treatise Title and Escrow Claims Guide, which Mike and Bethany noted they and every title insurance attorney in the country regularly refer to. Bush provided tips on finding and working with expert consultants for title insurance cases, from hiring to trial.

He gives his insight on when you should find the expert, asking specific questions to discern if the expert knows what you need the expert to know, how to work with an expert on his report and testimony and addressing the other side’s expert, and other procedural tips.

Mike then interviewed Kevin Hakansson, an associate in our Title Insurance practice, about Pillai v. Scalia, 103 Mass. App. Ct. 1122 (2024), a case at the intersection of family law, real estate and joint tenancy. Title to the property at the center of the case originated in joint tenancy between three parties, but questions arose after a divorce, a death, a resale and a refinancing, at which point a possible title defect was uncovered. Kevin explains the facts of the case that resulted in the Appeals Court determining that the surrounding circumstances demonstrated that joint tenancy was what parties’ intent dictated.

Season 1, Episode 2

Title Nerds hosts Mike O’Donnell and Bethany Abele welcome fellow Riker Danzig attorneys Ron Ahrens and Mike Crowley to the podcast.  In the first segment, Mike O’Donnell and Ron Ahrens talk about coverage investigations in the context of title insurance, drawing on some of their experiences in uncovering fraud and collusion, as well as issues in more routine fact-based investigations. They cover the analysis of covered claims, including what issues are probed, the Eight Corners Doctrine and beyond, privilege issues when a challenge to title is being litigated at the same time a coverage investigation is ongoing, and common exclusions and exceptions.   Next, Bethany Abele interviews Mike Crowley about the 11th Circuit’s In re Lindsey case (2021 WL 140661 11th Cir.), which raises two issues of interest to title insurers.  First, the case addresses whether a Bankruptcy Court can retain jurisdiction over an adversary complaint seeking quiet title after the debtor dismisses the bankruptcy action.  Second, it analyzes the Court’s decision to reform a deed to include the debtors’ 50% interest even though the seller failed to sign individually and later claims he never intended to do so, as the evidence all points to the intention to convey his interest through the bankruptcy.  Mike O’Donnell, Bethany Abele, Ron Ahrens and Mike Crowley are all members of Riker Danzig’s Title Insurance and Commercial Litigation Practices.

Season 1, Episode 1

Title Nerds hosts Mike O’Donnell and Bethany Abele are joined by fellow Riker Danzig attorneys Mary Kay Roberts and Mike Crowley.  In this inaugural episode, Mike O’Donnell talks to Mike Crowley about the Fifth Circuit’s Hall v. Old Republic case (990 F.3d 933, 5th Cir. Mar. 10, 2021) concerning coverage for mechanic’s liens, and then turns to changes in ALTA’s Owner and Lender Policies.  Bethany Abele and Mary Kay Roberts discuss New Jersey’s new “Daniel’s Law” (A1649 P.L.2020 c.125)/S3453 P.L. 2021, c.24) protecting the disclosure of certain personal information of judges, prosecutors and some others, as well as the impact of the Planned Real Estate Development Full Disclosure Act /Homeowner’s Association Fees Corrective Bill (S908 P.L. 2020, c.100), and a bill encouraging the Timely Recording of Residential Deeds (A3396/S1319).  Mike O’Donnell, Bethany Abele and Mike Crowley are all members of Riker Danzig’s Title Insurance and Commercial Litigation Practices, while Mary Kay Roberts is a lobbyist and Governmental Affairs partner, heading Riker Danzig’s Trenton office.