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You Gotta Carry That Weight

A colleague wrote to me about new coverage being offered by title companies, wondering if I thought he should recommend it to a client.

I don’t believe that attorneys should be adventurous. We’re paid to give reasoned counsel (that clients are free to embrace or disregard), so we need to always consider the worse case scenarios. In addition, we carry a heavy set of ethical and liability blocks on our backs.

Therefore, the appearance of a new product that may protect even a small minority of residential purchasers means practitioners have the responsibility to acquaint our clients with the cost and coverage.


I responded to my colleague, As far as the insurance, since it is available, I'd consider it an error not to explain it to your client, in writing, and advocate for its consideration. If the buyer doesn't want it, fine. But just like [another optional title insurance product], have a release ready to say it was offered and the client declined. You probably cannot get in trouble for explaining and offering, but it's likely that you can for neglecting.

My clients receive full and fair counseling from me, but to avoid advice coming back to bite me in the butt, I’m always taking bricks out of my backpack and tucking them in the back of my pants.

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