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October 21, 2019

ABA publishes updated edition of treatise on legal opinions in business transactions

CHICAGO, Oct. 21, 2019 — The American Bar Association Business Law Section has updated its respected opinion letter treatise, "Legal Opinions in Business Transactions, Fourth Edition,” that for 30 years has provided guidance to attorneys who prepare and receive third-party opinion letters. This three-volume, fourth edition by authors Arthur Norman Field and Jeffrey M. Smith is a complete opinion letter library, which includes familiar and more specialized opinion forms, risk analyses and national bar reports. It belongs on the bookshelf of all who are interested in opinion letter practice.

The treatise continues its traditional role as a clear and accessible working tool for transactional attorneys. It is updated to reflect recent cases and changes in opinion practice, new bar opinion reports, and insurance and risk management trends. In each area, aids are provided that were specifically designed to facilitate finding answers to opinion questions quickly. Highlights include:

Volume 1 - Opinion Letters in Practice
The 13 chapters include: an opinion letter vocabulary; all the familiar opinion forms and the diligence required to give them; a discussion of the opinion negotiation process; handling factual material; multijurisdictional problems; and the remedies opinion.

Volume 2 - Opinion Letters in Regulated and Special Situations
Nine authors with experience in giving specialized opinions provide detailed guidance on opinions relating to bankruptcy; business acquisitions; Delaware entities; corporate trust; municipal bonds; real estate financing; securities law; UCC Art. 9; and tax.

Volume 3 - Risk Management and Opinion Resources
This volume includes materials on insurance coverage, an insurance vocabulary and a description of the stages of a typical opinion letter claim that is litigated. In addition to key reports on specialized opinions (for example real estate and municipal bonds), this volume contains hard copies of all the national opinion reports including the reports of TriBar, the ABA BLS Opinion Committee and the Multi-Bar Statements.

About the authors:

  • Field is a retired Shearman & Sterling partner who chaired that firm’s bank financing practice and Opinions Committee. He was a founding member of both the TriBar Opinion Committee and the Working Group on Legal Opinions and has chaired both those groups as well as the ABA Business Law Section’s Committee on Legal Opinions.
  • Smith is a principal shareholder at Greenberg Traurig. He is primarily a business law litigator but has extensive entertainment law transactional experience. For 30 years, he co-authored the five-volume treatise, “Mallen & Smith, Legal Malpractice.” He is a member of the TriBar Opinion Committee and has served as chair of the ABA Standing Committee on Lawyer’s Professional Liability.  

Title:                      Legal Opinions in Business Transactions, Fourth EditionPublisher:              Business Law Section
Pages:                   1,872, 3 volumes
Product Code:
ISBN:                     978-1-63425-866-1
Size:                      7x10
Binding:                Paperback
Price:                     $389.95
Orders:                  800-285-2221 or

Editor’s note: Author interviews and review copies of this book are available by emailing Katrina Krause at [email protected]. If you publish a review of this book, please send tear sheets or a copy for our files to Katrina Krause, ABA Business Law Section, 321 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60654.

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