Fall-Winter 2019

Volume 46, Nos. 3-4


Potential Legislative Solutions to Issues with the Marketable Record Title Act After Public Act 572


By Jason P. Seaver & Christopher R. Martella

The enactment of Public Act 572 of 2018 brought significant changes to the Marketable Record Title Act (“MRTA”), but more than anything, it has called attention to a relatively undiscussed area of Michigan law. The MRTA was enacted in 1945, yet relatively few reported appellate cases have interpreted its provisions. The recent revisions have encouraged a number of individuals to review the MRTA and identify issues caused by the changes, or by the MRTA as originally drafted. This article seeks to highlight a number of the larger issues with the MRTA and proposes legislation to prevent the current theoretical arguments from developing into real estate litigation.

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Seller and Agent Liability for Property Defects


By Scott Timmer

In 2018, over 125,000 residential homes were sold by REALTORS® in Michigan at an average price of $175,000 and a total value of over $22 billion. Commercial sales added many additional billions. In some small yet significant percentage of all real property transactions, the buyers did not get what they expected—the roof leaked, the basement flooded, mold was found, the well or septic system did not work. Lawyers are consulted, demand letters are written, settlements are often reached, suits are sometimes filed.

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Lease Issues for Marijuana Businesses

LeaseIssuesMarijuana.jpgBy Frank J. Ellias

The emerging marijuana industry in Michigan creates challenges for both landlords and tenants. This article considers several major issues that must be considered and addressed in leases for marijuana businesses.

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Michigan Steps Into the Future with the Creation of the E-Notary


By Erin A. Johnson

Advances in technology often result in increased efficiencies for real estate transactions. As real estate practitioners are keenly aware, thanks to e-mail and PDF programs many transactions close without the need for parties to gather in person at a closing table. Michigan recently took another leap forward when it joined a growing number of states that allow electronic and remote notarization of documents. The passage of Public Acts 360, 361, 362, 363, 364, and 330, all of 2018 (the “Acts”), which amend the Michigan Law on Notarial Acts, expanded dramatically the ability of notaries to authenticate documents by permitting electronic and remote notarization methods. The Acts have created in Michigan a new legal position—that of the “e-notary.”

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Continuing Legal Education

By Jason Long, chair of CLE Committee and Karen Schwartz, administrator

Just when you thought you missed out . . . On-Demand Webcasts are now available.

Summer Conference 2019 On-Demand Webcast

For those of you who were unable to attend Summer Conference 2019, an on-demand webcast is now available.

The webcast includes the following:
Two-Hour panel presentation—“Building Michigan: Anatomy of a Public Private Partnership”
Melissa N. Collar, Warner Norcross & Judd, Craig W. Hammond, Dickinson Wright,
Thomas M. Keranen, Clark Hill, Christian E. Meyer, Warner Norcross & Judd, and Reshma Sambre, Miller Canfield

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Chair's Report

By Catharine B. LaMont

As I look back at the Chair’s Report in this Review over the past few years, I continue to be impressed by the accomplishments of this Section and how fortunate we have been to stand on the shoulders of such impressive leadership. It has been my experience that the Council, Committees, and Officers of this Section have all taken on the tasks of service to its members with honor, integrity, immense talent, and humility. It is truly an honor to be a member of this team.

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Legislation Affecting Real Property

By Gregory J. Gamalski

The Section is active in the legislative process in a variety of ways, such as appearing before House and Senate committees, lobbying for and against bills, and monitoring legislation of interest to real estate lawyers. Before taking a formal public position for or against a bill, the Section follows procedures specified in its bylaws, and members with an interest in particular legislation should bring their comments and concerns to the attention of members of the Section Council or the chairs of the Special Committees listed on the Section’s website.

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Judicial Decisions Affecting Real Property

By Gregory J. Gamalski

The Section is active in the judicial process in a variety of ways, such as preparing amicus curiae briefs and monitoring cases of interest to real estate lawyers. This Article provides a periodic report designed to inform Section members about the Section’s efforts to maintain the integrity of the law and to advise Section members about published decisions that may affect real estate practice.

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Real Property Winter Conference 2024

Dates: March 7–9, 2024
The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa, Scottsdale, AZ

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Save the Date—Summer Conference 2024

Date: July 17–20, 2024
Location: Grand Traverse Resort, Traverse City, Michigan

More Information & Registration Coming Soon

Save the Date—Real Property Law Academy I

Date: September 17-18, 2024
Location: L.V. Eberhard Center, Grand Rapids

More Information & Registration Coming Soon

Get Involved!

Take the opportunity to get involved by writing for one of our publications, presenting at a conference or seminar, or joining one of the committees that cover virtually every area in real estate law. See our committees and how you can join.

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