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Fund Assembly 2023 Sessions

Learn MoreFund Assembly - General Session
Learn More Back to the Future: Reviewing, Renewing & Refreshing Best Practices

This program will take a fresh look at some everyday practices and bring them back to the future. The session will commence with an analysis of estoppels and how to scrutinize them for correctness. This will be followed by discussion of fraud avoidance techniques. The session will continue with a review of ALTA’s Best Practices. First introduced in 2014 and revised several times thereafter, these practices are still a relevant guide for many lenders. Updates to these standards are now ongoing and the most recent revisions will be reviewed. This session will also emphasize the importance of refreshing one’s Best Practice manual on an annual basis. Finally, the program will conclude with a detailed discussion on how to best prepare and submit policies and payment to The Fund, a crucial part of the closing process. In January 2014, The Fund introduced a shortcut that allowed for policies to be issued at the closing table. Members who have adopted this practice have reported substantial benefits in doing so and such benefits will be addressed.  In summary, office practices of the past need to be brought into the future, to conform to ALTA’s Best Practices and to best keep Members’ practices secure, efficient, and profitable.

  • Ensure that the review of estoppels received are correct and valid.
  • Learn about the latest updates to ALTA’s Best Practices and understand their relevance in today’s market.
  • Gain valuable tips on streamlining the post-closing and policy issuance process.


Linda Monaco
Legal Education Attorney, The Fund

Learn More Cybersecurity for the Modern Threat Landscape

This program focuses on the various types of computer security protections that Fund Members and their information technology managers should consider employing to protect against data breaches and cyber-attacks in an ever-changing threat landscape.  Modern threats such as drive-by downloads, ransomware, and spear-phishing along with vulnerabilities, outdated software, and ineffective patch management create risks for organizations and open the door for being compromised.  Having the ability to proactively detect and respond to threats in time to do something about them is a constant battle. Threat intelligence is of paramount importance in understanding the growing attack landscape. But threats also need to be acted upon.  Knowing what the threats are and being able to proactively protect against them is vital.  In addition to threat protection, organizations need to have protective measures to ensure data security in a world of multiple cloud systems, remote access and anywhere work, and an array of connected devices. 

  • Hear how malicious threat actors use modern threat tactics to steal your data.
  • Learn why it’s important to keep software updated and users educated on cyber threats.
  • Understand that you can protect yourself from data breaches and cyber-attacks and improve cyber threat responses.


Darrell Marsh
IS Security Manager, Information Services, The Fund

Learn More Fraud, Forgeries & Fake Notaries – A Triple Threat to Your Transactions

Claims Counsel shares current trends and strategies on fraud avoidance bringing back your favorite Boardroom of Evil.  

  • Listen to cautionary tales from the claims crypt and how to prevent being featured in our presentation. 
  • Watch as the title champions take down the Boardroom of Evil.
  • Get a real time update on the claims state of affairs and how not to become a statistic.


Elsa Camacho
Claims Counsel, The Fund


George Perez
Senior Manager, Claims, Risk Analysis & Member Compliance, The Fund


Megan Crandall Solomon
Senior Claims Counsel, The Fund

Learn More General Counsel's Perspective


Melissa Murphy
Executive Vice President, General Counsel & Chief Legal Officer, The Fund

Learn More Land Surveys Redux – Types, Timing, and Descriptions

Surveyors can be your best friend in a transaction, and knowing how to speak their language is key to successful collaboration and a mutually successful outcome. This session covers the threshold issue of determining which type of survey meets your client’s needs, the information the surveyor needs, common lender requests, and common legal description problems and cures.

  • Determine what kind of survey will suit your needs.
  • Streamline the survey order process – timing and what the surveyor needs.
  • When a lender enters the picture.
  • Understand legal descriptions – types, problems, and solutions


Andrew Snyder, P.S.M.
Founder, Landtec


Cynthia Raleigh
Underwriting Manager, Commercial Services, The Fund

Learn More Legislative Update 2023

Legislation is constantly changing and may impact your practice. This program highlights and provides an in-depth summary of some of the legislation enacted during the 2023 legislative session that is most relevant to the practice of real estate in Florida.

  • Keep abreast of the latest legislation and understand how the new legislation may change the way you work or the advice you provide to clients.
  •  Be able to inform clients of upcoming changes to the law that may impact their lives or business decisions and know if they need to take action before the legislation comes into effect.
  •  Understand trends in legislation to help inform future business opportunities.


Charles Nostra
Senior Underwriting Counsel, The Fund

Learn More MRTA – Better Than Ever

This presentation explores the 2022 amendment to the Marketable Record Title Act that provided clarification concerning two aspects of the Act that had suffered unfortunate judicial interpretation.  The amendment addressed the degree of specificity required to protect interests, easements, and use restrictions from extinguishment, and the operation of the Act to extinguish restrictive covenants recorded in compliance with a government-imposed condition land use. This presentation will incorporate practical examples of MRTA in action.

  • Learn about the required specificity to interests, easements use restrictions for extinguishment.
  • Understand when MRTA can be applied to extinguish restrictive covenants recorded in compliance with a government-imposed condition land use.
  • Review practical examples of MRTA applied unique scenarios.


Melissa Scaletta
Senior Vice President, Deputy General Counsel & Chief Legal Operations Officer, The Fund

Learn More Outside the Lines: Adverse Possession and When Color of Title May Not Actually Mean Color of Title

Is it really possible for a trespasser to acquire good title to property belonging to someone else simply by possession? If so, what does “possession” actually mean?

Adverse possession is an interesting, but commonly misunderstood, doctrine of real property law.  This presentation will take a look at the history of Florida’s adverse possession laws and how Florida courts have analyzed adverse possession claims throughout the past century. It will also include a discussion of why it is important for real estate lawyers to be familiar with the different requirements for an adverse possession claim under the past and current versions of Florida’s statutes and how prior versions of the statutes come into consideration even today.

  • Adverse possession issues routinely arise in real estate matters.  Real estate practitioners should be familiar with what is needed to establish a claim of adverse possession either with color of title or without color of title. 
  • A unique, but little known, line of Florida cases has held that an adverse possessor can establish a claim of adverse possession with color of title without actually having a document describing the real property.  Real estate lawyers should understand how and when this issue arises and how Florida courts have ruled on the issue. 
  • This presentation will also include a brief discussion of how adverse possession can arise in the title insurance context and what considerations should be made by the real estate lawyer. 


Brandon DeGel
Shareholder, Winderweedle, Haines, Ward & Woodman, P.A.

Learn More President's Welcome Remarks


Jeff Rogero
Chief Executive Officer & President, The Fund

Learn More Quiz on Recent Real Property Cases

A review of cases summarized in the Fund Concept presented in a True/False quiz format. The presentation will highlight cases of interest, and the materials will include all cases reviewed in the past year.

  • Case summaries, including citations, to provide current information on topics related to the practice of real property law in convenient course materials.
  • Interesting true/false quiz format with answers that explain the reasoning behind the court decision.
  • Highlight of key cases from the past year all real property attorneys need to know.


Brian Stringer
Underwriting Counsel, The Fund


Colleen Sachs
Senior Commercial Counsel, The Fund

Learn More Show Me the Money (Supply)

Soft landing?  Something harder?  Whither inflation?  This presentation will supply in-depth analysis of the major factors shaping economic outcomes, including central bank policymaking, worker attitudes, business confidence, and geopolitics.  It will then turn toward a forecast for the year to come, highlighting the major risks that economic stakeholders will likely encounter.

At the end of this presentation, audience members will be able to:

  • Identify the key challenges facing the U.S. and global economies.
  • Identify current and prospective impacts of public policy on the economy.
  • Detail sources of future economic risk.
  • Characterize the likely pace of economic growth in 2023 and implications for key segments such as real estate, construction, and retail.


Anirban Basu, MPP, MA, JD, Ph.D.
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Sage Policy Group, Inc.

Learn More Stay Fit – Tips to Keep Your Trust Account in Great Shape

This program will provide tips and reminders for keeping trust accounts problem free.  Topics will include performing trust account reconciliations timely, reviewing reconciliations to detect problems and potential problems, and taking steps to rectify matters before they become bigger problems.  The program will also include a discussion of matters regularly detected by trust account audits and how to prevent or correct them.

  • Learn about common flaws found during trust and escrow account audits and how to prevent or correct them. 
  • Learn steps to take to have pain free trust account audits. 
  • Learn how to keep your trust or escrow account records in great shape so you can sleep well at night.


Margaret A. “Peggy” Williams
Senior Manager, Risk Analysis & Member Compliance, The Fund

Learn More Submerged Land – Issue Spotting and Navigational Servitude

This program will highlight issues that may arise with ownership of property that is submerged, or that abuts a waterway, and will explain the affirmative coverage provided by a Navigational Servitude Endorsement.

  • To understand certain public rights doctrines that may impact the clients who own water-front property.
  • To recognize the appropriate water-related title exceptions.
  • To advise clients regarding significance of title exceptions.


Rebecca Wood
Senior Underwriting Counsel, The Fund

Learn More Title Teasers

Presentation of factual circumstances encountered by Fund Members and presented to Fund Underwriting Counsel in a Q&A format with discussion of resolution and insurability.

Questions which present unusual title problems which require research and analysis to resolve. The answers, provided by a panel of experts, will be supported by The Fund Title Notes, Florida case law and statutes. Moderated by a Fund Underwriting Counsel.

  • Licensed title insurance agents and others frequently encounter factual circumstances requiring a determination of insurability requirements.
  • The program will highlight various topics found in Florida’s statutory law, Florida case law and The Fund Title Notes.
  • The program will enhance an agent’s ability to perform title examinations and issue title insurance.


Caleb Hinton
Underwriting Counsel, The Fund


Chris Bracken
Underwriting Counsel, The Fund


Princy Valiathodathil
Underwriting Counsel, The Fund


Scott Jackson
Underwriting Counsel, The Fund

Learn More Unfamiliar Real Estate Matters in the Estate Administration Process

By identifying some of the real estate issues encountered in estate administration, estate planning attorneys are able to better collaborate with their real estate colleagues and come up with lifetime solutions to avoid testamentary issues. This presentation will highlight some of the lesser familiar real estate matters encountered in the estate administration process.

  • Homestead is not the only difficult real estate issue at death; find out what other real estate issues impact estate administration.
  • Learn how trust ownership of real estate at death can affect the estate administration process.
  • Beware of testamentary dispositions of real estate to charity; find out why.


Michael Sneeringer
Partner, Porter Wright Morris & Arthur L.L.P.

Learn More What Transactional Lawyers Need to Know About Property Insurance

We will discuss important issues to consider when drafting property insurance requirements in your contracts.  Topics will include how to properly draft language relating to waivers of claims/subrogation, the differing endorsements available in the marketplace, issues related to property insurance policies, and much more.  

  • Understand what property insurance covers and what it doesn’t cover;
  • Ensure you are drafting insurance requirements to provide maximum protection for your client; and 
  • Understand property insurance issues that should be discussed with your client and/or your client’s risk managers/insurance consultants.


Charles Comiskey
Consulting Risk and Insurance Manager, Brady Chapman Holland & Associates and RiskTech, Inc.


Scott Pence
Attorney, Carlton Fields

Learn MoreFund Assembly - Commercial Session
Learn More 1031 Exchanges – Some Current Issues and Alternatives

Section 1031 real estate rollovers have survived repeated threats of Congressional limitations, and 2020 tax regulations were favorable. Yet, as discussed in this presentation, many restrictions and pitfalls remain in Section 1031. Further, unrelated tax developments, such as those allowing reinvestment of real estate gains in tax-favored interests in opportunity zone real estate partnerships, influence whether or not to use Section 1031.

  • To be aware of what is tax-deferrable “real property,” including requirements for Tenancy-In-Common and Delaware Statutory Trust syndications.
  • To see some issues that can arise where not all partners want to roll over a partnership’s real estate gain.
  • To know some situations when Section 1031 transactions may not be the preferred tax strategy.


Alan Lederman
Shareholder, Gunster Yoakley & Stewart, P.A.

Learn More Addressing Environmental Concerns of the Commercial Practitioner

Moderated by Nicole Carolan, a land use attorney and currently General Counsel for a commercial real estate developer, and presented by Stephen Crotty, a professional geologist and currently a senior project manager with a national provider of technology, conformity assessment, and consulting services, this session focuses on environmental issues of concern to Florida commercial real estate attorneys. Together, Ms. Carolan and Mr. Crotty will explore the complexities of phase I and phase II environmental site assessments, including new regulations and standards. In addition, Ms. Carolan will lead Mr. Crotty through a discussion of other topics of importance, including indoor quality concerns, such as the presence of asbestos, mold, and radon. The discussion will include how these hazards are detected, what are the risks associated with them, and what are the costs of remediation? Moreover, clients and counsel are often hesitant about purchasing for redevelopment certain properties perceived to be riddled with environmental hazards, such as former gas stations. From his many years of experience, Mr. Crotty will attempt to assuage the audience that they and their clients need not fear general remediation for impacted properties.

  • Learn about the latest regulations and standards affecting phase I environmental site assessments.
  • Understand how indoor quality concerns such as mold and radon impact commercial projects and are addressed.
  • Overcome the fears of redeveloping formerly impacted properties, such as gas stations and dry cleaners.


Nicole Carolan
General Counsel, Equinox Development Properties, Inc.


Stephen Crotty, P.G.
Senior Project Manager, NV5

Learn More Free Standing Triple Net Leases and Related Franchise Provisions

A review of specific provisions in free standing triple net leases and of provisions required by franchises in triple net leases.

  • Identify important risk allocation points to review in triple net leases.
  • Understand important drafting points to review in triple net leases.
  • Analyze important points in franchise provisions of triple net leases.


Lloyd Granet
Attorney, Lloyd Granet, P.A. & Oliver Title Law

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