P R O B A T E   &   P R O P E R T Y
September/October 2005
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Articles from other issues of Probate and Property



Welcome to Our New Fellows!

The Section of Real Property, Probate and Trust Law welcomes our new class of young lawyer fellows. They are Anta Cisse-Green of New York, New York, Elizabeth Lindsey-Ochoa of Aurora, Colorado, Julie Panero of Wilmington, Delaware, and Christopher Walker of Jackson, Mississippi. Each appointment is for a period of two years. The Section has designed the program to encourage minority participation in the Section by designating two of the fellowships for minorities. Funds have been allocated by the Section to cover expenses for the fellows to attend meetings of the Section during their fellowships.

Each fellow has been assigned to Section committees and will have a mentor to work with during the years as a fellow. Section leaders are charged with involving fellows in the substantive work of the committees, and the mentors will work to maximize the opportunities for participation and professional development on the part of their fellows. Each fellow will also work with his or her mentor to produce a significant written work for the Section magazine or journal.

Four fellows are selected each year. To be considered for selection, a candidate should have practiced in the probate or real property area for at least one year and be an active member of the YLD with demonstrated leadership initiative. Candidates may also be active members of the division who have aged out within the last three years.

For more information about the fellows program or nominations for next year’s fellows class, please contact Steve Gorin at (314) 552–6151 or sgorin@thompsoncoburn.com or contact the Assistant Director for Technology, Marketing and Communications, Rob King, at (312) 988-5540 or kingr@staff.abanet.org. Or visit the Section web site at www.abanet.org/rppt.



Preventing the Loss of Property


The Property Preservation Task Force (PPTF) has been actively involved the last several years to identify the character, scope, and possible solutions to the loss of tenancy-in-common property throughout the United States including, without limitation, the southeastern United States. The PPTF has teleconferenced four times since November 2004, has met with Undersecretary Dorr of the USDA, and has communicated with the Joint Editorial Board of the National Council of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws. The general focus of the PPTF has been to identify the character, scope, and possible solutions to the loss of tenancy-in-common property. The key elements of the PPTF’s focus at this time are

• to develop a coherent analysis of the nature of the problem to propose solutions for submission to the Joint Editorial Board of the NCCUSL,

• to prepare a symposium at the Fall Leadership Conference in early November 2005 in Colorado Springs,

• to become involved with the USDA to develop a method to allow a co-tenant to purchase with Rural Development loan proceeds, the remaining co-tenants’ interests, and

• to coordinate with local bar associations for education of and delivery to members of the public who are vulnerable to tenancy-in-common land loss.

USA PATRIOT Act and Gatekeeper Initiative

Concerns have arisen that legislation or regulations intended to curtail money laundering or the financing of terrorism may, among other things, impinge on important ethical rules governing our practices, such as the attorney-client privilege and duty of client confidentiality.

RPTE Section Chair Kevin Shepherd and RPPT Bulletin Editor Mark Mehlman are heading a task force appointed by the Executive Committee to attempt to communicate to the U.S. Department of Treasury the strongly held views of the Section and, if possible, to engage in an ongoing dialogue with Treasury regarding the potential impact on lawyers of any proposed legislation or regulations. Task Force members also include Section members Michael Goler, Neil Kessler, Timothy Powers, Shannon Skinner, and Susan Talley.

Kevin and Mark have met several times with senior Treasury staff members in Washington, D.C., to address issues of concern relating to the USA PATRIOT Act and the Gatekeeper Initiative.

Kevin reports that the meetings and discussions have been extremely productive, that Treasury appears sensitive to the concerns raised by the Section and other groups in attendance, and that Treasury seems favorably inclined to work with the Section and these groups in an effort to develop an approach to the issues that will not undermine any of the essential ethical underpinnings of our practices.