Title Nerds hosts Michael R. O’Donnell and Bethany A. Abele welcome title insurance industry professional Sam Shiel to the podcast for Episode 6. Sam Shiel of Madison Title Agency has a conversation with Mike about his early interest in title insurance and how he got started in the industry, and what is required of a title agent. Sam explains what it really means to be an independent nationwide title agent, as well as differences in markets, and then talks about the services beyond title searches and issuances of policies that may be provided by some title agents. The conversation also moves into how good title agents safeguard against wire fraud, the evolution of the title industry and what may be coming in the future. Of great interest to our listeners is that it was determined during the episode that a prescriptive easement was at the heart of the feud between the Capulets and Montagues in the Romeo and Juliet tragedy!
Taking that theme, Bethany then speaks with Riker Danzig attorney Desiree McDonald about a recent prescriptive easement case decided by the Colorado Supreme Court. In Lo Viento Blanco, LLC v. Woodbridge Condo. Ass’n, Inc., 489 P.3d 735 (Colo. 2021), L.R. Foy Construction ("Foy Construction") conveyed a large parcel of land with condominiums to the Woodbridge Condominium Association, but did not convey a smaller parcel of land that sat between the conveyed parcel and a gravel road. Woodbridge then used this smaller parcel of land over a period of decades for different purposes and maintained it, and, in 1991, offered Foy Construction $10,000 for the smaller parcel. Without replying to Woodbridge, Foy Construction subsequently sold the disputed parcel in 2010 to Lo Viento Blanco LLC, who presented Woodbridge with a plan to build on the disputed parcel. Woodbridge objected and filed suit to establish that it owned the disputed parcel or, in the alternative, that it had acquired a prescriptive easement over it. The Colorado Supreme Court agreed with the Court of Appeals, noting that a prescriptive easement claimant that shows that it has possessed the easement for more than the statutory period is entitled to a presumption of adverse use.
Riker Danzig’s Title Insurance Group also produces a “Banking, Title Insurance and Real Estate Litigation Blog,” available here.