2020 REBA Annual Meeting & Conference

This all-virtual program will be broadcast on Monday, November 2, 2020.



At REBA's virtual 2020 Annual Meeting & Conference, all 10 of the hour-long, RIMCLE-accredited breakout presentations, which are listed below, will be available online to AMC20 registrants for 30 days, beginning on Monday, November 2nd.  

This online resource will include two, one-hour sessions of Phil Lapatin's popular Recent Developments in Massachusetts Case Law, covering an entire year of case law, as well as downloadable syllabus material for each breakout session. 



The Good, Bad and Ugly: What's Brewing on Beacon Hill?
Francis J. Nolan; Edward J. Smith

Unlike in years past, fewer lawyers serve in elective office, particularly the Massachusetts legislature. Even so, bills that would affect the practice of conveyancing, landlord/tenant, zoning and land use law are integral to debate on important public policy issues on Beacon Hill. The panelists will discuss the prospects for zoning reform, deed transfer taxes, resumption of rent control and other measures intended to create more affordable housing.  National and local well-funded efforts to expand emerging technologies in closings, including remote on-line notarization, challenge REBA to remain vigilant in opposing legislation that would marginalize conveyancing practice by lawyers. The panel will discuss how REBA will face these and other challenges.

  Got Tenancy? At-Will or At-Sufferance
Hon. MaryLou Muirhead; Ted S. Papadopoulos 

As most of us already know, a tenancy is an exclusive possessory interest in real property for a period of time. However, to determine what rights are bestowed upon a tenant and landlord, we must take a closer look.  This program will cover various types of residential and commercial tenancies, with an emphasis on the distinctions between tenancies at-will and tenancies at-sufferance. Hopefully, following your participation, we will help you answer whether you have "Got Tenancy."
  Pervasive Title Pitfalls: The Greatest Hits (and Misses)
Tucker Dulong; Daniel J. Vieira
It is often remarked that history repeats itself, and the same is true when speaking of certain real estate title issues. Join our panelists for a lively discussion as they review a range of topics including probate, trusts, homestead, acknowledgments, and others, highlighting recurring problems, common misconceptions, and appropriate remedial measures. This program will provide valuable insights for the experienced practitioner and title newcomer alike.
  Tales from the REBA Ethics Hotline: Questions for Conveyancers
Rodney S. Dowell; Kathleen M. O'Donnell
Rodney Dowell, Counsel to the Board of Bar Overseers, and Kathleen O’Donnell, Co-chair of REBA’s Ethics Section, present REBA’s biannual update of current ethical dilemmas faced by conveyancing attorneys, including a discussion of the new rule on clients’ files.
  Do's and Don'ts of Deeds of Distribution
Christina T. Geaney; Tracie M. Kester
Join Massachusetts Land Court Chief Title Examiner Christina Geaney and Stewart Title Underwriting Counsel Tracie Kester for a discussion of deeds of distribution under the MUPC, and when (if ever) they can be used when the property is registered land.  Geaney will review the recent Memorandum regarding Land Court Guideline 14, Death: The Effect of Death upon Registered Land Titles, as well as the new Complaint for Certificate After Death form, which replaced the prior LCP-2 form.  Kester will review statutes and case law relating to deeds of distribution and their effect on real estate titles.


Working with Life Estates: Creation, Changes & Conveyances Practical Skills
Leo J. Cushing; Lisa J. Delaney

Life estates are considered an effective estate planning tool, although the details can have unintended tax and non-tax consequences, including high capital gains taxes for the remaindermen if the real estate is sold before the life-tenant dies. These untoward consequences are exacerbated by the new MassHealth guidelines, which use different life estate tables than the traditional IRS tables to allocate sales proceeds between the life tenant and to the remaindermen. This session will review recent cases on the remainder’s rights to a homestead estate, and the right (if any) of the life tenant to change the remainder interests. It will also provide a chart that can be appended to closing disclosures to ensure proper settlement.
  Navigation the 2006 Mortgage Discharge Law ~ Practical Skills
Ward P. Graham; Kurt F. Stuckel
In 2006, as a REBA legislative initiative, MGL ch. 183, §§ 54-55 were substantially amended to assist homeowners and conveyancers with the vexing issues of missing and improper mortgage discharges. As we all know, problems with discharges persist. These amendments are commonly referred to as “The Mortgage Discharge Law.” Since these amendments were enacted, the Discharge Law has been somewhat well-utilized by some lawyers and title insurance claims departments.  However, many remain mystified by the variety of curative options provided in the Discharge Law and how they can be used to resolve any given discharge problem. This session will review The Mortgage Discharge Law and how it works, and provide examples of solutions that this statute offers.


Don't Fight Authority - Authority Always Wins ~ Practical Skills
Matthew J. Carbone; Margaret M. Fortuna
Ever wonder what your underwriter means when asking if the signer of your closing documents is an authorized signatory? Are there any exceptions to signatory authority? Whether you are handling a residential or commercial transaction, improper authority documents can delay, and sometimes undermine, your transaction. Foreclosure documents, trusts, LLCs, corporations, and more, we will discuss what documentation you must review in determining whether the person executing the document possesses authority to do so, and what authority documentation you must record to satisfactorily establish that authority.
  Massachusetts Lead Paint Laws ~ Practical Skills
Vincent N. DePalo; Dominic H. Poncia III
Lawyers, property owners, and landlords all must be aware of the risks associated with lead and lead poisoning, before and after closings. Both hidden and obvious pitfalls exist for those who own properties that may contain lead paint. Lawyers must understand the relevant statutes, regulations, and cases that govern lead litigation and affect transactions throughout Massachusetts. This program will provide a practical discussion of lead paint legal issues through real-life examples from attorneys who have tackled these problems in transactions and in litigation.
  Recent Development in Massachusetts Case Law
Philip S. Lapatin
Now in his forty-second year as case commentator at REBA’s twice-yearly conferences, Phil Lapatin continues to draw a full house with this breakout session, Recent Developments in Massachusetts Case Law. Attending his twice-yearly presentations are a must for any practicing real estate lawyer. Phil is the 2008 recipient of the Association’s highest honor, the Richard B. Johnson Award.
Register for the AMC20 Online
Conference Brochure (pdf)
Registration Form (pdf)