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The 3 Duties of a Real Estate Transaction Lawyer

As law students, we are trained to identify the legal risks of a given scenario and then advise our clients of those risks. That is the essence of lawyering.

As a transaction lawyer, because we can recognize the potential for misconduct within a transaction, we have a fiduciary duty to protect our client’s interests in the transaction by structuring it in a way to optimally minimize such risks. Our three duties, then, are to:

  1. Identify
  2. Reduce
  3. Deflect

Identify the nature and scope of any perceived risks that can disrupt the transaction.

Reduce the probability of loss (i.e., transaction costs, opportunity costs, out-of-pocket costs, or sunk costs) from those identifiable risks.

Deflect, to the extent most possible, the costs of inalienable risks.

Put another way, our goals are to protect our client’s interest (identify, reduce, deflect) & facilitate the completion of their desired transactional interest.

Source: Rick Daley, Real Estate Development Law, West Publishing (2011)

Author:

John W. Tanner became a published author in 1994 with a poem titled “Above the Sea.” In 2012, he wrote and self-published a modern fiction novella entitled “Faithfully” and has since published four other fiction and nonfiction works on Amazon's CreateSpace and Kindle Direct Publishing, including his recent publication titled “Entrefluential Networking in Real Estate” (available at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B086VFV4SN), a self-help textbook on advanced real estate marketing and brand development strategies. John holds a Juris Doctor degree from Florida Coastal School of Law, a Master of Science from Florida International University, a Bachelor of Science, with concentrations in literature and computer science, from Excelsior College, an Associate in Arts from Miami Dade College and has extensive experience in the fields of real estate appraisal, mortgage finance, and sales. He is the Broker-Owner of Coleman Tanner Realty in Florida, as well as the Executive Director and Chief Legal Officer of REX Cinema Productions.

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