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The Case for the Transactional Attorney
Prepared by Cameron Lythberg, Lythberg Law, LLC
Let’s admit it, you’ve seen it before, the dreaded twenty paragraph attorney modification letter. It could be an attorney on the other side of a deal, or one your client brought with them, but you’ve seen this letter, and dozens if not hundreds like them in the past. The letter is rambling, nonsensical and, in your increasingly experienced opinion, superfluous. Yet we have to endure it because attorneys have their requisite words, usually some obscure Latin phrase, and that magic Latin phrase will protect your clients. Yet, after seeing a few dozen attorney modification letters, I think it crosses everyone’s mind to just find a way to send out a similarly worded letter themselves with all the magic words needed and skip the attorney (and their fee) altogether. Concerns about the unauthorized practice of law notwithstanding, most attorneys know the idea is tempting. Legalzoom, Formulaw, and countless other similar products have made an entire industry out of a similar sentiment and they wouldn’t be in business if many people didn’t believe this. I don’t blame them because the sad truth is quite a few inexperienced attorneys believe this too.
I began my career as a trial lawyer and it still encompasses a large portion of my practice today. It’s because of this foregoing sentence that I don’t resent these beliefs but rather embrace them, and I’m not the only member of the trial bar to feel this way. Most litigators grin ear to ear when they have a potential client sit down and start the meeting with a discussion of self-representation in a transactional matter. My first trial ever was over the interpretation of a Legalzoom document, full of all the legal sounding, and even Latin, you could ever hope for. Unfortunately, the manner and circumstances in which the parties tried to implement it caused a catastrophe. Situations like this still keep my litigation practice busy today. I tell all of my clients that the law is a public work. It and all of its definitions can be seen online for free. Attorneys could not gatekeep it even if we wanted to (and we don’t). I say this because boiler plate attorney review letters and Latin phrases are not the value a skilled real estate attorney provides to your transaction but rather a knowledge of the intersections and intricacies of a vast web of laws, regulations, and yes Latin phrases, and how those apply or don’t to a client’s real estate transaction. A good real estate attorney is an advocate, negotiator, troubleshooter, experienced guide, and a big brother/sister looking over your clients’ shoulder making sure that they’re protected throughout a deal. A seasoned attorney, much like an experienced real estate agent can see problems arising even when it’s not readily apparent and prevent it from becoming a bigger issue than it needs to be.
A Message from 2021-22 Affiliate Committee Chair Lisa Raucci
As the brisk bite of fall sets in, officers and committee chairs at Three Rivers Association of REALTORS© are changing like the autumn leaves. I will be serving as the new Affiliate Committee chair and am excited about our plans to enhance the value we bring to your TRAR membership.
First, a little bit about myself. I am Lisa Marie Raucci of the Law Office of Lisa Marie Raucci, a Shorewood-based real estate firm. As winner of the Herald News Readers’ Choice 2019 One of the Best Lawyers in Will County, 2020 Best Lawyer in Will County, Board member of the Illinois Rock & Roll Museum on Route 66, RPAC Major Investor, Women’s Council of REALTORS© National Affiliate Member, and member of TRAR’s RPAC, Affiliate, YPN, Governmental Affairs and 100 Year Task Force Committees, I pride myself on being involved in my local and real estate communities. I bring professional service with personal attention to both my clients and my volunteer work.
Fall Fest is just a few weeks away. It will be held on October 21 from 5:30 to 7:30 at Bronkberry Farm in Plainfield. Delicious barbeque, along with hayrides, fall festivities, pumpkins and raffles mark our celebration of the TRAR membership. The event is BYOB. We will be passing out personal soft-sided lunchbox coolers of ice to keep your drinks cold. Make sure you RSVP with Amanda at 815-744-4520. There is no charge for members to attend. Guests and non-sponsor affiliates are $20. After such a long and difficult time over the past 18 months, we can’t wait to see you at this last outdoor event of 2021.
This year, we are making some changes within the Affiliate Committee one of which involves updating our former “Learning Lunch” format. We are proud to announce “Food for Thought: 2021-2022 Three Rivers Association of REALTORS© Real Estate Enrichment Series”. On the second Thursday of each month from 9am to 10:30am at the association office, we will be bringing you topics with meaningful content designed to enhance your business. The content of those topics will be suggested by TRAR’s REALTOR© membership and Leadership. Breakfast will be provided along with the opportunity to network with the Series affiliate sponsors. If you have suggestions for topics or any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
As a RPAC Major Investor, I understand the value of REALTORS® Political Action Committee to our real estate community, and I encourage everyone to contribute, at the very least, your Fair Share of $20. That’s all it takes to support the work of the entity that kept us all working throughout this pandemic. The value of this investment cannot be emphasized enough.
Looking forward to working with all of you for the betterment of our TRAR community.
Lisa Marie Raucci
Law Office of Lisa Marie Raucci