The Latest from "Ronnie"

Upcoming RON Webinar, New Commercial Training, Law Symposiums and more! Now Available in an Audio Version!

Dear Members,

Lots to share with you this week. So much of what I have been talking to folks about recently has to do with the new notary law and remote online notarization…..I have decided to change my name to "Ronnie!" 

Anyway, read on……

MORE RON EDUCATION. The need to update notarial certificates has really focused everyone’s attention on Florida’s new remote online notarization laws. Some of us are still trying to wrap our heads around the idea of deeds and affidavits being signed, witnessed and notarized electronically. The notary is in Florida but the signer is in Atlanta? And the witnesses are in New York?  It is a brave new world. To get you up to speed on the RON laws, the Legal Education Department is presenting, Digital Closings and Remote Online Notarization, a fully accredited 50-minute live webinar on Tuesday, Feb. 4 at noon. This webinar focuses on the key components of the RON statutes. For loads of information on the subject please visit the Information Center on The Fund’s website or simply register here.

INTRODUCING FUND COMMERCIAL TRAINING.  In response to Fund Members seeking education on how to handle commercial transactions, The Fund is rolling-out Fund Commercial Training, a 2.5-day accredited training session March 23-25, 2020, here at Fund Headquarters in Orlando. The program is presented by the Fund’s Legal Education Department with support from Fund commercial underwriters. Classes are geared to Fund Members new to commercial transactions or wishing to expand their residential practices but are hesitant to take on commercial closings. We test-piloted the program last year and received great feedback. Courses are basic-to-intermediate and include sessions on constructing and negotiating the commercial contract, due diligence issues, leasing, attorney opinion letters, commercial survey reads and objections, and so much more. Class size is limited so apply now.
Any questions? Michael Rothman at has answers!

Florida Realtors. The Fund engages in numerous efforts that that bring together Fund Members and real estate agents but today I would like to focus on the five Law Symposiums planned for 2020.  Law Symposiums are day-long seminars presented to real estate agents by Fund Members in partnership with the Attorneys’ Real Estate Councils of Florida and the local Real Estate Councils.  Upcoming events will be held:

  • March 6: Miami Association of Realtors®
  • August 6: Realtors Association of Palm Beach + Greater Ft. Lauderdale Realtors - Broward 
  • August 13: RAPB+GFLR - Palm Beach
  • September 9: RAPB+GFLR - Treasure Coast
  • TBD: Orlando Regional Realtor® Association 

Programs presented are created by Fund Members and The Fund’s Legal Education Department and cover a wide range of topics from Cyber Fraud to Vacation Rentals to International Tax Issues.  Each of these Law Symposiums attracts 100-200 agents so if you are interested in networking with real estate agents, we encourage you take advantage of these opportunities by presenting a program or attending and interacting with attendees.  Some of the Law Symposiums will offer Florida Bar credit as well as continuing education credit for agents. Email Rene Rutan if you are interested in attending any of these event:

Florida Legislative Session Underway.  It's my favorite time of year - the Legislature is in session!  Several bills of interest are moving (or not) through the system so we are keeping an eye on them.  Nothing of major, major concern yet……Here is a truncated list of items of interest:

  • Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act HB 349 and CS/SB 580
  • Construction liens - contains several issues but has provisions re: priority of liens that is of concern - CS/HB 283 and SB 868
  • Leases - no witnesses required HB 469 and SB 1224
  • Errors in legal descriptions - HB 567 and SB 886
  • MRTA - HB 733 and CS/SB 802
  • Residential Swimming Pools - HB 229 and SB 244
  • Uniform Commercial Real Estate Receivership Act - HB 783 and SB 660
  • Construction liens - no liens for those not in privity?  HB 897 and SB 1422

Data call - I recently had included information in a blog posting about changes to the Data Call worksheet that would apply to the required reporting of a title agency's 2019 data. LAW FIRMS: THIS DOES NOT APPLY TO YOU. THIS ONLY APPLIES TO LICENSED TITLE AGENCIES.

That's all.

Let me know how we can help you.

Melissa Jay Murphy

Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer,
General Counsel and Secretary