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Posts from the ‘Professional Liability’ Category

Court of Appeals Rules that Title Companies Owe Duty of Care in Tort when Conducting Title Searches

In the case of 100 Investment Limited Partnership v. Columbia Town Center Title Co., the Maryland Court of Appeals was asked to determine whether a title company owed a tort duty of reasonable care to its customer, the purchaser of real property, when conducting a title search, notwithstanding any contractual obligation that may also exist. The Court ruled that, despite the fact that the title company – customer relationship derives from contract, an “intimate nexus” exists between the parties because of the foreseeability that the customer’s purpose for retaining the title company is to rely on its professional judgment. This intimate nexus justifies the imposition of a tort duty to exercise reasonable care in carrying out one’s professional services. In this regard, the Court of Appeals has decided that title companies should be treated similarly to lawyers, accountants, architects, and other professionals that have been found to owe their customers tort duties, in addition to those assumed by contract.
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New York at Christmas – Rockefeller Center, the Nutcracker, Rockettes…and a Large Group of Lawyers!

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend the Defense Research Institute’s (DRI) Professional Liability Conference in New York City.  The Conference ran concurrently with the Insurance Coverage Symposium, which two of my colleagues were able to attend.  Although this seminar did not “reinvent the genre” of the legal education conference, DRI once again put on a first-rate seminar, with knowledgeable speakers presenting on a wide array of topical issues.  Some of my favorite sessions touched on avoiding and defending elder abuse claims against professionals, and how the drafting of good (or bad) engagement and disengagement letters to clients can impact claims against attorneys and other professionals.  I have been a member of DRI for many years, and its seminars are always highly substantive and informative. Read more