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What Does the Real Estate Law Section Do for Me?

The purpose of the Real Estate Law Section (the “RESC”) of the Colorado Bar Association  (the “CBA”) is, “to (i) provide leadership in the practice of real estate law; (ii) improve the education of lawyers and related professionals in real estate law; (iii) promote the economic and professional interests and concerns of its members; (iv) serve the public good; and (v) participate actively in the drafting, review, recommendation and promotion of legislation and other laws, rules or regulations that affect real property, title and the practice of real estate law.”  Bylaws of the Real Estate Law Section of the Colorado Bar Association (as amended and restated effective May 20, 2003).  This mission is carried out by the executive officers and members of the RESC through the following activities:

• Legislation. 

Each legislative session of the Colorado General Assembly, members of the RESC review, and in some cases recommend sponsoring, proposing changes to, supporting or opposing proposed legislation affecting real property.  Any such actions by the RESC require the approval of the Legislative Policy Committee of the CBA and, in some instances, of either the Board of Governors of the CBA or the Executive Council of the CBA.  Legislative Policy Committee Operations, Guidelines and Procedures, Department of Legislative Relations page of the CBA website (retrieved December 3, 2008).  The RESC welcomes assistance in reviewing and monitoring bills, and in some cases helping to draft comments or proposed amendments to bills.  If interested, please contact the Section liaison, Dana Collier Smith, at dcolliersmith@cobar.org.

• Amicus Briefs. 

In certain limited circumstances, the RESC will participate as amicus in matters pending before the federal and state courts in Colorado which matters are of special significance to the real estate bar.  In order for the RESC to file an amicus brief, application for approval must first be submitted to the Legislative Policy Committee of the CBA and, upon the recommendation of the Committee, the request is submitted to the Executive Council of the CBA for approval or disapproval.  In some cases the Executive Council may elect to submit a request to the Board of Governors for final decision.  CBA Guidelines for Submitting an Amicus Brief, Amicus Brief Guidelines page of the CBA website (retrieved December 3, 2008).

• Title Standards. 

The Title Standards Committee of the Real Estate Law Section of the CBA is appointed by the RESC and the RESC is represented by a liaison to the Committee.  “The charge of the committee is to consider current title problems and draft and propose title standards or legislation for their solution.”  Real Estate Title Standards (revised and effective July 1, 2008).  The resulting Colorado Real Estate Title Standards address, “the impact of certain specified title issues on the marketability of title” and provide instructions, “as to the duties of an examining attorney and scope of a title search.”  Id.  The Colorado Real Estate Title Standards are available on the RESC page of the CBA website under “Resources”  (retrieved December 3, 2008).

• Real Estate Commission Forms. 

The RESC is represented by a liaison to the Real Estate Commission Forms Committee which recommends changes to the forms adopted by the Real Estate Commission “in response to new laws, changes in practice and consideration of public protection.”  Division of Real Estate website  (retrieved December 3, 2008).  Input of the Council is frequently sought for revisions to forms before they are finalized and approved by the Real Estate Commission.

• Interprofessional and Housing Council. 

Council members represent the RESC and the Bar on committees comprised of members of other professions related to the real estate industry including:

o The Colorado Housing Council, whose purpose is to see to it that the public is better served in its housing needs through the advancement of communication among industry members, delivery of programs and information to the public, cooperation with legislative and regulatory bodies, and coordination with major employers and federal, state and local agencies.  Colorado Housing Council Operating Guidelines (as amended December 12, 2007).  The members of the Colorado Housing Council also include Housing Colorado!, Colorado Apartment Association, Colorado Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, Colorado Association of Mortgage Brokers, Colorado Association of REALTORS, Colorado Bankers Association, Rocky Mountain Home Association, Colorado Mortgage Lenders Association, Community Associations Institute—Rocky Mountain Chapter, and the Independent Bankers of Colorado.

o The Interprofessional Committee, whose purpose is to promote a better understanding among real estate professionals and whose members also (besides the CBA, represented by the Real Estate Section) include the Colorado Division of Real Estate, Colorado Association of REALTORS, the Land Title Association of Colorado and the Colorado Division of Insurance. Interprofessional Committee page of the CBA website (retrieved December 3, 2008).

• Education. 

The members of the RESC plan and present continuing legal education programs for practitioners in order to address existing or developing areas of real estate and title law in Colorado.  Such programs include the annual Colorado Real Estate Symposium, live full and half day programs, video replay programs, teleseminars and monthly topical lunches (held on an alternating basis at the Maggiano’s Denver Pavillions and Maggiano’s Denver Tech Center).  To register on-line or find out more about these programs, simply visit the CBA-CLE web site.

• Publications.

The RESC keeps its members informed through quarterly real estate newsletters and periodic key bulletins (distributed to members of the Real Estate Section through e-blast and available on the RESC website), special columns in The Colorado Lawyer and through its page on the CBA website located at http://www.cobar.org/index.cfm/ID/20155/REALS/Real-Estate/.

• Community Service. 

The RESC engages in or supports appropriate charitable projects for the Real Estate Section.  

• Liaisons. 

The RESC is represented by a liaison to the Trust and Estate Section of the CBA and by liaisons to other committees, both within and outside of the CBA, including:

o The Civil Rules Committee appointed by the Colorado Supreme Court, which Committee, “is charged with the responsibility of periodic review, correcting, updating and improvement of all of the State Court Civil Rules except Appellate Rules [now handled by the Appellate Rules Committee] and the Colorado Rules of Evidence [now handled by the Evidence Rules Committee].” Colorado State Judicial Branch website (retrieved December 3, 2008).

o The Ethics Committee of the CBA which committee is charged with giving its opinion on questions of legal ethics presented to it by CBA members and compiling and publishing such opinions as may be of general interest. Bylaws of The Colorado Bar Association (as adopted as of November 12, 2005). 

If you have questions about the RESC or its activities or if you are interested in volunteering for the RESC or any of its projects or programs please visit its page at the RESC page of the CBA website or e-mail Dana Collier Smith at dcolliersmith@cobar.org.