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William Pattison 's Blog

Violations of Professional Codes
by William Pattison | 2015/02/16 |

   Some recent discussion regarding the role of title abstractors and their ability to offer legal advice has been a topic of note.  Most of the discussion is  about how we can convey an understanding of our legal constraints to our clients;  what words are most effective in helping those who seek our assistance to get the most out of our services without stepping over an invisible line marking the boundary of our jobs and the start of someone elses.

William Pattison 's Blog ::

   In this way, the discussion is one in which the abstracting community must not only address the legal profession, but many others that run parallel to or in similar fields to our own.

   One such profession is that of licensed private investigators.  In the US most States have chosen to require private detectives to operate with a State issued license..  Inquiring about personal matters like credit or character or family for profit are prohibited except to licensed members of this profession. 

  As the laws vary by jurisdiction, it is best to directly consult the wording of the State civil codes before over-promising you services. 

  ALSO, to be clear, every single jurisdiction regulates each profession in some manner.  What I mean by this is that you should not assume that for the lack of a specific "Business and Professions Code Governing Daffodil Jugglers" that you can trot out and charge to toss someone's flowers.  A history of legal rulings set the context for liability should you drop a flower vase on an audience member.  Other legal codes govern your ability to perform in the street at 3 am on a Monday night.  Yet others may be professional codes that, in the meta, impose. regulation directly as by virtue of  regulating entertainers and performers like in Vegas. 

   The point of all of this is that, so long as we, as professional researchers consistently limit ourselves to the topical matters of our field and act with a duty of care and meticulous diligence, we can generally limit our culpability and liability in most instances.  When we "go outside" the scope of our efforts and incorporate records outside the land indices, we run a risk of inadvertently overstepping our roles in title research.  Both clients and your insurance agent may ask questions like:  Why did you even consider reviewing the vital records index, and why do you feel yourself to be exceptionally qualified to review such matters, and what does the business index have to do with real property claims and liens?  Proper questions that are uncomfortable due soley to the fact that it was the abstractor himself who inspired them.


606 words | 6079 views | 3 comments | log in or register to post a comment

Thank you for the discussion
Fantastic posting as usual. 
by Michael Madden | 2015/02/18 | log in or register to post a reply

I agree 100% percent with this. I my offer may advise, but the end result is always the same "you need to contact an attorney". 
by R A | 2015/03/01 | log in or register to post a reply

Great article Mr. Pattison
Great article Mr. Pattison, very well put. 
by Daniel Silverburg | 2015/03/06 | log in or register to post a reply
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