Sad News, Study Highlights, Stories Request & Snake Roundup

Hello Members,

I blinked, and it's the middle of June! Governor DeSantis is making his way through the bills being submitted to him by the legislature. Once the session laws have been finalized, I will do an overall legislative summary for you with links to the new laws. Promise.

Loss of a good friend. I am deeply saddened to share that Fund Member Jeffrey Zane passed away earlier this month. He was a Palm Beach County Fund Member for over 30 years and was committed to educating Realtors® and helping them understand why they should partner with real estate attorneys. Jeff was the founding President of the Attorneys’ Real Estate Council of Palm Beach County and a founding Director of the Attorneys’ Real Estate Councils of Florida, the statewide REC that was founded in 2013, eventually serving as its President. With his passion for educating Realtors®, Jeff began working with what was then the Realtors® Association of Palm Beach County (RAPB) to develop New Realtor® Orientations, Law Symposiums, and even an online TV channel! RAPB has since grown into the Realtors® of Broward, Palm Beach & St. Lucie (RWorld) and serves over 43,000 members. Jeff’s legacy of education and collaboration continues today. The Broward Attorneys’ Real Estate Council and Jeff’s own Palm Beach REC still partner today with RWorld, hosting approximately 60 New Realtor® Orientations a year, along with Law Symposiums, Roundtables, and a weekly Ask the Attorney Q&A over Zoom.  He believed the Real Estate Councils could play a key role in building a bridge between the attorney and Realtor® communities, and we will be forever grateful for his contributions. Our condolences to his family and colleagues. He will be missed.

ALTA study re: title industry. ALTA recently commissioned a study of historical claims data that is not a bad read at all. Some of the highpoints include a nice summary/comparison of title insurance versus property and casualty insurance; fraud and forgery represented 20% of the claims made, but the average cost of a fraud/forgery claim is 5 times that of other claims, and an observation that the increasing threat/risk of cybercrime will continue to impact the claims experience of our industry. To read the full report, here's a link.

"I beat the fraudster!" stories, please. Over the past several years, many of you have sent emails describing how you and your staff uncovered an attempted fraudulent closing by paying attention to the red flags we have been sharing with you. Unfortunately, I read the emails, responded to them, but did not save them. But we have the opportunity to share those stories with our legislators in order to demonstrate how the best defense to fraud is the education and training the industry has undertaken.  I really want to tell your stories and show off how important your role is in combating this type of fraud. So I am asking you to re-send those emails — and new ones, please! I need as many of them as you are willing to send. Please send it directly to me at Thanks.

Last but not least, I don't know how many of you saw this announcement of the annual python roundup sponsored by the State of Florida. A stress reliever? A fun way to spend a day off?  It's a uniquely Florida thing, so if you do participate, please, please send photos! (That's the closest I would want to get to a python…….)

That's all for this week. Let me know how we can help you.

Melissa Jay Murphy

Melissa Jay Murphy
Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer,
and General Counsel