You Can’t Get An ALTA/ACSM Land Title Survey Anymore

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Today, we write about surveys, but in a pretty narrow way. We assume readers know enough about surveys for our posting to make sense and be useful – useful as in “it’s time to update our lease, mortgage, and other forms.” If you are still calling for an “ALTA/ACSM Land Title Survey,” start calling for an “ATLA/NSPS Land Survey.” In 2012, the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping (ACSM) merged into the National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS). Earlier this year, in February to be more specific, the survey standards were changed to reflect that change. So, if any reader wants to be “hip,” start practicing “ALTA/NSPS.”

That wasn’t the only change to the 2011 survey standards; they became the 2016 standards. Thus, we’ll all want to refer to the “2016 ATLA/NSPS” ones.

What are the other changes, trivial and a little less trivial? Here are some highlights. [Read more…]

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So, Wise Guy, What Replaced “All Risk” Insurance?

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Ruminations looked to see how many times it had written that there hasn’t, since 1983, been something called “All Risk” insurance, the year the insurance industry “deep-sixed” that policy form (and name). Well, to put it bluntly, it was a lot. Yet, an overwhelming number of agreements coming across our desk “asking” for insurance still call for this long-dead (33 years dead) policy form. What our searching revealed, however, was that we never ever completely described its replacement. Today, we will do so, though “completely” would be an overstatement.

First, let’s get some background out of the way. As in the past, we are writing based, in large part, on the terminology and forms used and promulgated by Insurance Services Office, Inc. (“ISO”), a company that creates those things for most insurance companies. Its forms probably account for 95% of the ones you’ll ever see. Yes, there are other “forms” and insurers will add or substitute their own, but with ISO dominating the field, time spent on the subject is best spent focusing on the ISO forms. [Read more…]

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Exclusive Use Clauses – Writing Them Wrong

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An “evergreen” (or timeless) discussion topic at law conferences, such as the recently concluded ICSC Law Conference in Phoenix (a highly, highly recommended annual event) is the “exclusive use clause.” We’ve written about exclusive use restrictions, too many, many times, too many to furnish only a link or two. [If you want to see one or more of those postings, use “exclusive use” in the search box.] Today, we’ll talk a “little” law and we’ll throw in a bonus at the end.

Basically, Ruminations will look at the difference between writing “Landlord will not …” and “No part of the Property may be used … .” [Read more…]

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Don’t Fight For the Right To Terminate (And A Stray Thought About Friends)

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This will be the 237th Ruminations blog posting and the first time we’ve done a potpourri. As readers can imagine, at any one time, there are dozens of thoughts running through the Ruminator’s mind, some useful, most not. Among those that are worth expressing, there are some that wouldn’t qualify under the Ruminations stylebook because they wouldn’t result in the killing of the requisite minimum number of trees (electrons?). So, today, we’ll toss out one such substantive thought and add one adjective thought just to fill the space. We’d say, “All the news that fits, we print,” but we don’t want to be chased by The Grey Lady. [Read more…]

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I’m Sure That The Word Meant What I Said It Meant, So Why Did I Lose The Case?

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Ruminations doesn’t think it’s going out on a limb by writing that we’re all guilty of succumbing to “Confirmation Bias” illness. We’d express that as: “We all interpret things in a way that supports our pre-conceived notions.” Psychologists would express it more artfully.

From time to time, but far less often than one might suppose, an argument will arise over “What does that contract provision mean?” Yes, believe it or not, active minds (and, in our experience, more often, inactive minds) will differ as to what a lease or other agreement provision really says or, more accurately, was meant to say. Even perfectly written text can be read to say something other than what was intended, and that’s what Confirmation Bias is all about. People see only what you want to see, and even the College of Cardinals won’t convince them otherwise. [Read more…]

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