The Real Property Section Living Library Project

Whether you are an experienced practitioner looking to brush up on other areas of real estate law or a recent law school graduate looking to find out more about real property law, the Virginia State Bar Real Property Section Membership Committee has a presentation for you!

We have put together video productions from highly esteemed members of the Real Property Section to share our knowledge and advice. The membership committee has plans to release more than six presentations a year from “dirt” lawyers who have seen it all.

Visit the Living Library below — no library card is needed!

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Title Insurance

Video 1: Kay Creasman on Residential Property Law

Kay Creasman discusses what it’s like to work as a lawyer in the title insurance industry, including helping clients get a title policy, title searches, and title commitments.

Video 2: Kevin Pogoda on Residential Property Law

Kevin Pogoda discusses the genesis of title insurance and the four basic protections of owner’s title insurance: ownership, liens, access, and marketability.

Video 3: Creasman-Pogoda Joint Session

Creasman and Pogoda discuss how title insurance is different from settlement services and how attorneys structure their practice in the industry to fit their goals and financial interests. The information covered includes different attorney roles and the Virginia statute, Real Estate Settlements Agents (RESA).

Real Property Litigation

Video 1: John Altmiller on Real Property Litigation

John Altmiller provides a brief overview of common real property litigation issues including establishing titles, modifying titles, quiet title actions, partition suits, and adverse possession. Throughout his talk, Altmiller emphasizes the value of collaboration and collegiality.

Video 2: Michael Derdeyn on Real Property Litigation

Michael Derdeyn dives deeper into adverse possession and quiet title actions. He pays special attention to the burden of truth in Virginia. Specifically, the necessity of the counsel’s ability to establish legal title, trace the title, and establish boundaries, among other factors.

Video 3: Altmiller–Derdeyn Joint Session

Altmiller and Derdeyn discuss some of the practical issues facing lawyers in real estate litigation. A key to success is realizing that clients may not always have the facts about the property. Lawyers must recognize it is essential to do a thorough discovery to trace each title. Secondly, the goal may be simply coming to a resolution on some level. The value of the case for clients may not always be in winning, but rather in having finality.


Video 1: Paula Caplinger on Easements

Paula Caplinger of Chicago Title Insurance in Newport News discusses easements, including definitions, rights of the easements, types of easements, attributes of easements, and how they are terminated.

Video 2: Jim Windsor on Easements

Jim Windsor of Kaufman & Canoles in Virginia Beach discusses creating easements by prescription, easements by estoppel, the location and scope of easements, and how easements may be terminated. Relevant cases cited.

Video 3: Windsor and Caplinger Joint Session on Easements

Paula Caplinger and Jim Windsor discuss easements from a title insurance and title policy point of view, and easement litigation. Discussed are federal lands, islands, railroad tracks, public roads, abandoned roads, and easements as they pertain particularly to commercial title policies. Jim discusses advanced litigation issues, including how to defend an easement by prescription suit and abandonment of an easement (mere non-use is NOT abandonment!). Does tortious interference with an easement exist? Cases cited.


Video 1: Vanessa Carter on Foreclosures

Vanessa Steltenpohl Carter of Woods Rogers Vandeventer Black, PLC provides a quick overview of residential real estate foreclosures in Virginia and discusses the intersection of contract law, federal regulations and statutory requirements for foreclosures.

Video 2: Ray King on Foreclosures

Ray W. King of Woods Rogers Vandeventer Black PLC discusses commercial real estate foreclosures, including a discussion of the various roles an attorney can serve. Ray talks about the benefits of additional advertisement sources for unique commercial properties and touches commercial foreclosure roadblocks.

Video 3: Carter and King Joint Session on Foreclosures

Vanessa Steltenpohl Carter and Ray W. King team up to present tips and potential minefields for practitioners of residential and commercial real estate foreclosures in Virginia, including a discussion of superpriority liens, title issues, and the bidding and sale process.