Favorable Law That We’ve Made for Title Insurance Companies
SAMPLE TITLE INSURANCE CASES
Abstracting Versus Title Coverage
HSBC Bank, N.A. v. Lee, 2012 Ohio 648, appeal not accepted for review; HSBC Bank, N.A. v. Lee, 130 Ohio St.3d 1495 (2011).
A title insurance company is bound only to the terms of the title insurance policy that it issued, and does not generally have the duties of an abstractor of title.
Kovacs v. First Union Home Equity Bank (In re Huffman), 408 F.3d 290 (6th Cir. 2005); In re Stewart, 96 Ohio St.3d 67, 2002-Ohio-3526; Sayer v. Epler, 93 Ohio St.3d 1496 (2001).
We believe we have filed more Amicus Briefs on behalf of the Ohio Land Title Association than any other attorney in Ohio. See Argent Mtge. Co., LLC v. Drown (In re Bunn), 578 F.3d 487 (6th Cir. 2009).
Drown v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., et al. (In re Scott), 424 B.R. 315 (Bankr. S.D.Ohio 2010), aff’d. Drown v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., et al. (In re Scott), 2011 WL 1188434 (S.D.Ohio 2011).
Bankruptcy trustees may not attack mortgages based upon alleged defects in the execution of vesting deeds granted to mortgagors.
Bona Fide Purchaser/Mortgagee
ABN AMRO Mtge. Group, Inc. v. Roush, 2005-Ohio-1763 & FirstMerit v. Beers, 2007-Ohio-4253
Established precedent that extended bona fide purchaser law to bona fide mortgagees. Solidified, clarified, and reinforced bona fide mortgagee law.
Spellman Outdoor Advertising Services, L.L.C. v. Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Comm., 2016-Ohio-7152; Ohio Turnpike Comm. v. Spellman, 2010-Ohio-1705.
Instruments in a separate chain of title do not afford constructive notice so as to affect subsequent purchasers.
Descriptions in Instruments
Williams v. Schneider, 2017-Ohio-9152.
Sufficiency of a description necessary for a mortgage to encumber real property.
In re Barnhart, 447 B.R. 551 (Bankr.S.D.Ohio 2011).
Established correct (and lowest) calculation of the present value of a dower interest under Ohio law.
Anderson v. Preferred Title & Guaranty Agency, Inc., 2014-Ohio-518.
The errors of a title and closing agent should not be imputed to the title insurance company merely based upon the existence of an agency agreement. Anderson v. Preferred Title & Guaranty Agency, Inc., 2014-Ohio-518.
In re First Ohio Title Svc., S.D. Ohio No. 01-01222 (June 17, 2002); See also, In re First Ohio Title Svc., S.D. Ohio No. 02-00540 (October 8, 2002).
Escrow funds should not be characterized as property of the bankruptcy estate.
Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. v. Korb, 2011-Ohio-2094; ABN AMRO Mtge. Group v. Kangah, 180 Ohio App. 3d 689, 2009-Ohio-359, 906 N.E. 2d 1195; Fed. Natl. Mtge. Assoc. v. Webb, 5th Dist., 2006-Ohio-3574.
Obtained more favorable Ohio Appellate Court decisions on equitable subrogation than any other law firm in Ohio.
Miller v. Romanauski, 2014Ohio1517.
Mere references to streets in instruments in the chain of title may give rise to express easement rights, even if those streets are not ultimately dedicated.
S.V. Inc. v. Casey, 2013-Ohio-1882.
Clarified and refined the elements required to prove an implied easement by necessity for the owner of a landlocked parcel.
Weatherseal Home Improvements v. Sable, 2014 Mich. App. Lexis 1938.
Judgment liens do not have priority over prior, unrecorded conveyances, and bona fide purchasers for value receive their interests free and clear of judgment liens.
Jurisdiction to Decide Real Estate Issues
Spellman Outdoor Advertising Servs., L.L.C. v. Ohio Dept. of Transp., 2017-Ohio-950; appeal not accepted for review, 2017-Ohio-8371.
Substantive real property issues should be decided by Ohio courts, not Ohio administrative agencies.
Argent Mtge. Co., LLC v. Drown (In re Bunn), 578 F.3d 487 (6th Cir. 2009).
One of the Amicus Briefs that we prepared resulted in a favorable determination on constructive notice against bankruptcy trustees with respect to an insured mortgage that did not include a legal description.
Williams v. Phillips, 5th Dist. No. 98CA00072, 1999 WL 436813 (June 3, 1999).
A prescriptive easement requires proof by clear and convincing evidence of adverse use for 21 consecutive years.
Cleveland Constr., Inc. v. Schneider, 2012-Ohio-5707.
A construction mortgage is entitled to super-priority over competing mechanic’s liens when it contains the statutory covenants, the correct name and address of the mortgagee, and the loan proceeds are used to satisfy a prior lien or to fund improvements.
Purchase Money Mortgage
Nationstar Mortgage LLC v. Dimasi, 2016-Ohio-3057.
A trial court need not determine whether a spouse’s signature on a mortgage was forged when the mortgage is a purchase money mortgage, and thus is entitled to priority over that spouse’s interest regardless.
Reformation of a Deed
Starman, Inc. v. Jaftak Realty Invest., Ltd., 2006-Ohio-779.
The standard for reformation of an instrument affecting real property is clear and convincing evidence of mutual mistake.
Reformation of Mortgages
Cent. Mortg. Co. v. Seye, 2017-Ohio-8713.
A technical defect in an acknowledgment clause of a mortgagee may be reformed when the challenge is brought by the mortgagors.
CitiMortgage v. Kermeen, 2012-Ohio-1655.
A mortgage may be reformed when it omits a title holder’s name from the granting clause and acknowledgment clause and the signers do not respond to requests for admissions.
Stephens v. Nat’l City Corp., 6th Cir. No. 20-3746, 2021 U.S. App. LEXIS 17799, 2021 WL 3027864 (June 14, 2021).
Judgments rendered in Ohio real property cases by Ohio state courts may not be appealed or relitigated in the federal court system when the same parties are involved in both cases.
Turner v. Fox, 2005-Ohio-677
Dedication, even if imperfectly done, may be sufficient to create an easement for roadway purposes.
Opaczewski v. Port Lawrence Title & Trust Co., 2011-Ohio-360.
The protections of a title guaranty are inferior to those afforded by a policy of title insurance.
Title Insurance Coverage
Castin, L.L.C. v. First Am. Title Ins. Co., 2014-Ohio-476.
Title insurance companies do not generally have an affirmative obligation to take steps to address a title issue, unless title is challenged by a third party.
SAMPLE COMMERCIAL BROKERAGE MATTERS
Sikora Law helped Dalad Realty restructure its brokerage with the Division of Real Estate, improved its brokerage forms and company policies, and consulted on a dispute situation to help resolve it.
NAI Ohio Equities
Sikora Law updated and improved various brokerage and property management forms for NAI Ohio Equities and has counseled it through several situations in which parties to real estate transactions disagreed on certain issues.
Sikora Law helped CRESCO Cushman & Wakefield litigate and resolve a commission dispute situation involving Columbus Community Hospital, prepared a full line-up of brokerage forms for it, and helped structure and set-up its property management division with the Ohio Division of Real Estate.
NAI Ohio Equity – Columbus
NAI Ohio Equities – Sikora Law updated and improved brokerage forms and property management forms for NAI Ohio Equities and counseled it through several situations in which parties to real estate transactions disagreed on certain issues.
Our Cleveland-based commercial brokerage Client contacted us after the owner of the IMG Building in Downtown Cleveland did not paid the brokerage a commission earned on a large lease transaction, and we were able to help our brokerage Client obtain payment in full after a broker’s lien was filed, through negotiations to achieve a very favorable and swift resolution.
Sikora Law has helped CBRE with civil litigation administration proceedings and advisory services throughout Ohio.
SAMPLE DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS
Opportunity Zone Counsel for the largest and most transformational mixed-use development project underway in Columbus
Transactional Counsel for development of an 8-story, 240,000 square feet office building that is part of the $500M redevelopment of the Scioto Peninsula, which is immediately west of Downtown Columbus, overlooking the Scioto River.
Sikora Law represented one of the most active multi-family developers in Ohio and served as Opportunity Zone counsel to structure the transaction to maximize Ohio Opportunity Zone benefits and ensure compliance with OZ law. This Project provided beautiful market-rate apartments in one of Cleveland’s most sought after neighborhoods-- Little Italy.
Football Hall of Fame
Opportunity Zone Counsel for the largest Opportunity Zone Development in Ohio for one of the largest developers in the country.
Sikora Law served as Opportunity Zone counsel and TMUD counsel to the Bridgeworks Development Team.
Grand River Walk
Sikora Law served as development counsel and economic development incentives for Marous Development’s Transformational Mixed-use Development overlooking the Grand River in Painesville.