While serving as in-house claims counsel for 22 years, I successfully resolved hundreds of multi-state disputes involving real estate, title insurance, Insurance coverage and closing/escrow issues through various means including: direct settlement negotiations, mediation and/or litigation: For a list of the types of disputes resolved, please see List of Disputes.
*Below is a partial list of the type of work undertaken as part of the claims resolution process:
- Negotiated settlement of title and escrow disputes between the company and its insureds, between insureds and adverse parties and between customers and title agents.
- Represented title insurers at mediation, evaluating and authorizing settlement alternatives based on an analysis of the company’s and/or insured’s legal positions.
- Managed multi-state real estate litigation filed in state and federal district courts and bankruptcy court, collaborating with defense counsel about settlement alternatives, discovery, experts, mediation strategies, and trial strategy and preparation.
- Drafted documents including: settlement and indemnity agreements, conveyance documents and curative documents such as releases and affidavits.
- Analyzed hundreds of chains of title to determine property ownership, outstanding encumbrances and other matters affecting title to real property located in states including: Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arkansas and Missouri.
- Reviewed hundreds of real estate closing files to evaluate contractual obligations of parties, analyze status of title and determine escrow liability.
- Determined policy coverages and drafted written coverage determinations.
- Prepared written statements of the company’s positions on non-coverage matters.
- Evaluated risk(s) of known and potential title defects.
- Retained surveyors to evaluate legal and/or physical access, easements, encroachments, record overlaps of title, boundary disputes, overlaps of improvements and other matters shown by an accurate survey.
- Retained appraisers to determine matters affecting property values.
From 1992 to 2014, I served as in-house claims counsel for national title insurers including: Chicago Title Insurance Company and its affiliated companies, Lawyers Title Insurance Corporation and its affiliated companies, Fidelity National Title Insurance Company and First American Title Insurance Company. *A partial summary of my experience as claims counsel appears above. In addition, between 1989 and 1991, I served Lawyers Title Insurance Corporation as Assistant Corporate Counsel. Other legal experience includes: commercial loan transactions, family law (divorce), probate and appellate briefing. Prior to attending law school, I served on the faculties of Baylor University and Hill Junior College, teaching political science.
Education, Training and Professional Associations
Baylor University: J.D. (1984).
Baylor University: B.A. (1975) and M.A. (1978) (Political science).
Member: State Bar of Texas (Licensed 1985) and Dallas Bar Association
Texas Association of Mediators and Texas Land Title Association.
ADR Education: Completed over 90 hours of mediation education, including basic training at
A.A. White Dispute Resolution Center, University of Houston (2010).