Real Property Groups and Committees

The Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law (RPTE) has eight (8) Real Property Groups  with Real Property Committees that focus on property use, ownership, development, transfer, regulation, financing, taxation and disposal.

Real Property Division Substantive Committees

Continue to o learn more about each Real Property Group and their Committees

Commercial Real Estate Transactions Group

This group analyzes the transactional and ownership issues which confront commercial real estate attorneys when dealing with land transfers, construction, servitudes, title insurance, property and liability insurance, and ownership of commercial real estate. Each committee within the group focuses on one of these topics.

Design and Construction

This committee's work focuses primarily on the contract documents that establish and document the risk allocation and respective contractual obligations of the various parties involved in designing and constructing improvements upon real property. The concerns of owners, insurers, lenders, designers, contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and construction managers are all addressed. This committee maintains a liaison with the ABA's Forum on the Construction Industry, American Institute of Architects and other similar industry groups.

Easements, Restrictions and Covenants

This committee focuses on the use of easement agreements, covenants, and servitudes in both commercial and residential projects. This committee aims to analyze use concerns from a wide range of perspectives including those of land owners, homeowners, developers, and easement holders. The committee strives to provide opportunities for CLE to the members of the bar and collaborates with other committees to provide programs of interest and value to its members.

Green and Sustainable Transactions

Almost all real estate transactions include concepts related to green development. With more than seventy attorney members nationwide, this committee is dedicated to enhancing legal education on green development and transactions.

Property, Casualty and Other Non‐Title Insurance

This committee focuses on all aspects of property and liability insurance for the ownership of and transactions involving real property.

Purchase and Sale

This committee analyzes current and developing issues in land transfers, practices and customs, with a particular focus on discussing and analyzing specific provisions in commercial purchase and sale agreements.

Title Insurance and Surveys

This committee provides education on title insurance matters as well as current information and scholarship on new developments in title insurance, title insurance forms, endorsements and closing practice. The committee also addresses legal issues and standards relative to real estate surveys. The committee serves as liaison between the providers and consumers of title insurance and related services. The Committee Title Insurance and Surveys. This committee provides education on title insurance matters as well as current information and scholarship on new developments in title insurance, title insurance forms, endorsements and closing practice. This committee also addresses legal issues and standards relative to real estate surveys. The committee serves as liaison between the providers and consumers of title insurance and related services. This Committee maintains a working relationship with the Title Insurance Committees of the American College of Real Estate Attorneys, the American College of Mortgage Attorneys, the Title Insurance Litigation Committee of the ABA Tort & Insurance Practice Section, and the American Land Title Association.

Hospitality, Timesharing, and Common Interests Development Group

The Hospitality Group focuses on the varied and numerous issues involving the development, structuring, management and operation of resorts, hotels, and common interest communities such as condominiums, timeshares, and planned communities. There are three committees within the Group, each of which specifically addresses its designated subject matter (although the reis often a significant amount of overlap between the committees). Each committee pursues the unique issues presented in the irrespective areas of practice, including such issues as the acquisition, financing, development, operation, management and disposition of these special types of development.

Common Interest Ownership Development

This committee's work focuses primarily on development and financing issues related to community association projects. The committee regularly reviews statutory, regulatory and case law that affects developers of community associations, as well as the documentation related thereto. Subcommittees explore issues related to mixed‐use condominiums, FNMA, FHLMC, VA and FHA requirements, Fair Housing Act implications, senior condominiums and other current issues relating to the committee's subject matter.

Hotels, Resorts and Tourism

This committee considers matters relevant to the acquisition, development, financing, operation and disposition of hotels and resorts, and related developments and amenities.

Join A Committee

RPTE members can join a Group or Committee (or several) online. For questions regarding membership, contact the Section at (312) 988-5651 or e-mail rpte@americanbar.org.

Land Use and Environmental Group

The committee monitors judicial and legislative developments in eminent domain law, including statutory condemnation and inverse condemnation matters, nationwide. The committee consists of a diverse group of eminent domain practitioners representing condemnors and landowners alike to provide insight on all types of takings, like highways/roadways, pipelines, powerlines, and other unique takings. The committee's programing addresses valuation, right‐to‐take, and related issues specifically for eminent domain practitioners in addition to current events and media/news coverage of takings that are of interest to all real estate practitioners.

Condemnation

The committee monitors judicial and legislative developments in eminent domain law, and provides programming on publications on condemnation issues.

Environmental

This committee focuses on a wide range of environmental issues impacting the ownership, operation, use, management, and financing of real estate, including evolving environmental issues stemming from climate change, and monitors trends and recent developments in environmental law at the federal, state, and local levels.

Governmental Incentives

This committee's focus is to keep abreast of developments in governmental incentives being offered at the federal, state and local levels in the real estate context, as well as incentives that can be provided through real estate developments involving joint efforts with public entities and private developers. This committee also focuses on the process by which a governmental entity initiates or stimulates private development of public property, "privatization," and public assistance in real estate financing.

Land Use and Zoning

This committee focuses on governmental regulation (both judicially and legislatively initiated) of the use of real property, including substantive and procedural subjects.

Property Tax

This committee develops materials and provides information regarding issues and new developments of general interest concerning the state and local taxation of real estate. This committee also comments on relevant case law and legislation related to real property taxation.

Leasing Group

The Leasing Group produces programs, roundtables and educational materials to assist lawyers in improving their lease negotiation and drafting skills on behalf of both landlords and tenants in all settings—retail, office, industrial and special. Also, the group suggests practical responses to significant judicial, legislative and regulatory actions that impact the drafting, assignment and mortgaging of leases and lease enforcement.

Assignment and Subletting

In an environment where space available for sublease exceeds space available for direct lease in some markets, once strong companies have faded away into bankruptcy court, and tenants require increased leasing flexibility, assignment and subleasing issues have assumed greater importance. This committee reviews the drafting techniques, landlord and tenant strategies, and legal interpretations that affect assignments and subleases and provides practical advice on changing trends.

Emerging Issues and Specialty Leases

The focus of this committee changes from time to time as the law and practice in commercial leasing develops. The committee monitors types of leases and clauses that are becoming popular as well as novel issues and theories arising in commercial leases that are contrary to the then "conventional wisdom". The committee provides real estate practitioners with an exposure to, and a working knowledge of, commercial leases that involve property and/or leasehold interests not usually encountered in general real estate practice.

Ground Leasing

The committee explores legal issues related to ground leases from the perspectives of lessors, lessees, and their respective lenders. This focus means that the committee's work delves not only into traditional leasing issues but also the financing issues that are a key differentiator of ground leases from other types of leases. The committee's papers and programs seek to engage real estate and finance practitioners by presenting diverse viewpoints that reflect the ever‐evolving nature of ground leasing in markets across the United States.

Industrial Leasing

The committee explores the respective obligations of landlord and tenant in industrial and warehouse leases and seeks to identify those issues that are unique to industrial and warehouse leasing and to explore current reasonable alternatives addressing those issues from both the landlord and tenant perspectives. These issues may include dealing with use of hazardous materials, including explosives and radioactive materials and cranes, restoration obligations, insurance issues and the impact of any disruption on business operations.

Office Leasing

The committee explores topical legal issues related to the leasing of office space from the viewpoint of landlord, tenant, lender and building manager. Although the prime emphasis is on leases in office towers and suburban office parks, the committee studies problems unique to smaller buildings and transactions, including under so‐called "standard form" leases. The thrust of the committee's work is to develop papers and programs presenting balanced views of issues of interest and benefit to practitioners on all sides of a leasing. transaction.

Retail Leasing

This committee reviews and discusses issues unique to shopping centers and retail leases, from regional malls to power centers to local strip centers to single tenant space. The committee works with other committees on matters of common interest to all attorneys who do lease work.

Guide to Committees

Read an in-depth guide to the various Groups and Committees associated with the RPTE Section. Download the Guide to Committees now.

Real Estate Financing Group

The Real Estate Financing Group is devoted to assisting attorneys in financing techniques involving real estate as collateral. To this end, this group presents educational programs and produces written materials to educate lawyers in all aspects of real estate finance. Separate committees within this group are dedicated to mortgage lending, construction lending, securitizations and legal opinions issued in connection with these financings, as well as legal issues and developments in real estate workouts, foreclosures and bankruptcies.

Real Property Division Litigation and Ethics Group

The Litigation and Ethics Group provides resources for (1) the resolution of real estate disputes through litigation, arbitration, mediation or otherwise, and (2) the recognition and understanding of the ethical and professionalism issues that confront real estate practitioners in the course of both the transactional and litigation sides of the practice. We keep our members abreast of developments in case law and sponsor informal presentations and formal CLE offerings on issues relevant to litigation, alternative dispute resolution, and ethics and professionalism.

Ethics and Professionalism

This committee promotes the ethical and professional responsibility of the legal profession in real estate transactions. The committee produces programs and publications designed to work directly with Section members to achieve this goal.

Real Property Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution

This committee evaluates issues relating to real property litigation. The committee focuses on new developments in the law as it relates to real estate development, investment, leasing and land use and provides guidance to legal and real estate professionals on how they can avoid litigation and/or avail themselves of various methods of alternative dispute resolution (including mediation and arbitration).

Time Committment

Your level of involvement in a group or committee is entirely up to you. You can become very involved, or you can stay on the sidelines and still have access to the latest information and developments in your group or committee's area of expertise.

Residential, Multi‐Family and Special Use Group

Although a diverse group, this group's committees share the common thread of dealing with residential properties and issues that pertain to all types of residential properties. The committees include single and multi‐family housing, senior housing and assisted living facilities, as well as affordable housing. These committees, with the exception of single family, also have a special emphasis on tax and zoning issues that pertain to multi‐family/multi‐generational residential housing.

Affordable Housing

This committee focuses on all aspects of the development, acquisition, financing and ownership of affordable housing, and the governmental programs and policies that support it, including the Community Reinvestment Act. Many of the committee members are involved with HUD programs, and the committee provides a forum to provide commentary for the development and administration of these programs, as well as to simplify the process involving these governmental programs. The committee publishes the Affordable Dirt newsletter.

Multi‐Family Residential

This committee deals with all aspects of the development, sale, financing and ownership of multi‐ family residential property, including the impact of FHA, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and HUD programs. This committee focuses on the legal issues faced by landlords, property managers and tenants of rental housing and apartments.

Senior Housing and Assisted Living

This committee addresses the unique problems of providing housing and related services to seniors. The committee encompasses the continuing care retirement community, congregate care assisted living facilities and residential aspects of nursing care, including subsidies and other government programs.

Single Family Residential

This committee focuses on all aspects of the development, sale, financing and ownership of single‐family residential property, including the impact of FHA, FNMA, FHLMC, VA and HUD programs.

Special Investors and Investment Structure Group

This group addresses specialized investors and investment structures. This group includes the division''s committees that address specialized investments in real estate, including insurance company investments and foreign investment in U.S. real estate, and/or specialized structures for investment and financing, including limited liability companies, partnerships, REITs, and land trusts and also includes a committee with members whose focus is to provide real estate practitioners with information and content on federal tax issues affecting their transactions.

Federal Taxation of Real Estate

The purpose of this committee is to acquaint real estate practitioners with tax issues affecting their transactions, to provide practitioners with current information regarding new cases, laws and regulations, and to monitor proposed legislation and regulations with a view toward providing input in the process.

International Investments in Real Estate

This committee focuses on foreign investment in U.S. real estate and U.S. real estate investment and development in foreign countries. The committee monitors law and practice developments affecting foreign investment in U.S. real estate. The committee focuses on law and practice issues relating to U.S. involvement in foreign real estate investment and development activities. The committee encourages publication of articles authored by committee members on topics of interest in these areas. The committee regularly arranges and co‐sponsors programs on structuring and implementing inbound and outbound foreign real estate transactions. Membership is encouraged from U.S. and foreign practitioners, in‐house counsel, governmental and quasi‐governmental agency employees, academics and other interested persons.

Land Trusts

This committee is engaged in the study of the land trust law procedures and techniques. Its goal is to provide practical and useful advice, guidance, forms and updates on matters involving land trusts to real estate practitioners. Its activities include the assembling of materials on this subject, the drafting of proposed uniform laws, the dissemination of information to members of the Section through articles on the use of land trusts, seminars concerning land trust practice and the publication of books and pamphlets on land trusts together with land trust forms.

Life Insurance Company Investments

This committee focuses on identifying and discussing the regulation of and various issues arising out of life insurance companies acquiring, holding and selling real estate interests either through direct ownership, joint ventures, mortgage lending, mortgage backed securities or other vehicles. The committee also serves as a forum for an exchange of ideas among in‐house life insurance company lawyers, those who represent life insurers as outside counsel and those who represent parties on the other side of the table in life insurance company real estate transactions.

Partnerships and Limited Liability Companies

This committee explores various special legal and practical issues in the use of partnerships, limited liability companies and other business entities in real estate transactions, with the goal of disseminating useful forms and information through sponsoring continuing legal education programs and publications. Specific topics addressed by this committee have included management structures, partner defaults, special purpose entities in lending, tax treatment issues and title insurance considerations.

Real Estate Investment Trusts

This committee focuses on the real estate, tax and securities issues related to REITs including equity REITs, mortgage REITs and hybrid REITs, and provides Section members with programming and publications to understand effectively the intricacies related to the use of REITs and doing business with REITs. This committee also examines the utilization of REITs in private equity funds, foreign investment in U.S. real estate, and capital raising efforts.

Free Conference Calls

Another benefit to RPTE membership is the option to listen free of charge to a Group/Committee conference call!

Join or Start a Discussion Topic in RPTE Connect

RPTE Connect is a community made up of our Group and Committee members to share resources with others through discussion threads and a shared library. Our Group community has such features like a Group community blog, member created events for recurring conference calls, document sharing, impromptu meet-ups and much more. All within a member-only community.

RPTE Connect - Join the Discussion

Join A Committee

RPTE members can join a Group or Committee (or several) online. For questions regarding membership, contact the Section at (312) 988-5651 or e-mail rpte@americanbar.org.

Guide to Committees

Read an in-depth guide to the various Groups and Committees associated with the RPTE Section. Download the Guide to Committees now.

Time Committment

Your level of involvement in a group or committee is entirely up to you. You can become very involved, or you can stay on the sidelines and still have access to the latest information and developments in your group or committee's area of expertise.

Free Conference Calls

Another benefit to RPTE membership is the option to listen free of charge to a Group/Committee conference call!