Title Insurance Escrow Expert Witness

Provides Opinion & Testimony In:

Title Insurance Management, Escrow, Attorney

Current Positions:

Attorney and Consultant / Expert Witness on title insurance management, escrow and related matters
– 2012-2021

Education:

Cecil C Humphries School of Law, University of Memphis, Memphis Tennessee, Juris Doctorate Degree, 1977; University of Tennessee, Knoxville Tennessee, Bachelor of Science, Personnel Management, 1973

Licenses:

Tennessee Bar, 1977; Tennessee Supreme Court, 1978; U. S. District Court Eastern District of Tennessee, 1979; Title Insurance Agent (State of Tennessee) 1979

Designations:

Awarded a National Title Professional (NTP) designation in June of 2016 by the American Land Title Association – This designation was awarded after completion of comprehensive courses covering all aspects of title insurance practice, providing proof of educational courses taught and attended, and documented experience in the industry for the last 30 years – less than 75 designations had been awarded nationwide as of January 2021.

Awarded a Certified Information Privacy Professional for the US (CIPP/US) designation by the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) in December 2016 – an ANSI/ISO accredited designation awarded after completion of a comprehensive study of US privacy and data security laws and passage of a comprehensive exam.

Awarded a Tennessee Land Title Professional (TNLTP) designation in January 2019 by the Tennessee Land Title Association. This designation was awarded based on successful completion of over 500 online test questions covering 50 substantive areas of Tennessee real property law/general title insurance topics, providing proof of educational courses taught and attended, and documented experience in the industry for the last ten years. This was the 1st award of this designation in the state of Tennessee.

Employment History:

Title Experts and Management Services, Partner, 2012 to present
Ongoing Consulting services – Tennessee Land Title Association – Pre-licensing and Post Licensing Education Chair, April 2012 to present
Belmont University, College of Law, Adjunct Instructor, Fall 2019
Pershing Yoakley and Associates, a national CPA Firm, Director of Title Industry Services, March 2015 – 2018 Southern Title Insurance Corporation, President, 2008-2012; Executive Vice President – Insurance
Operations, 2007-2008, Senior Vice President, Regional Executive, 2002-2007 Investors Southern Corporation, President 2008-2011
Glascow Enterprises Corporation, President 2008-2011
Southern Title Agency Services, President 2008-2011, Vice President 2004-2008 Westfield Bank, Director, 2008-2009
Fidelity National Title Insurance Company of New York, Regional President – Agency Operations, 1998-2002; Southern Title Insurance Company, President, 1986-1998; Executive Vice President, 1985-1986, Vice
President and Assistant General Counsel, 1983-1985 Jefferson County Title Plant, Inc., Director 1997-2000
Title Services, Inc., Chief Executive Officer 2000-2002, President, and General Counsel, 1984-2000; McCullough and Reed, Attorneys at Law, Founding Partner, 1977-1983

Associations:

Tennessee Bar Association:
Chairman, Executive Council, Real Estate Section, 2003-2004 Member, Real Estate and Probate Sections 2000-2021
American Bar Association
Member, Real Estate, Trust and Probates Section 1992-2021 Tennessee Land Title Association:
President, 2007-2008
Chairman, Pre-licensing Education Committee, 2008-2009, and 2012-21

Chairman, Legislative Committee, 2004-2007 Board Member, 2006-2009
Education Committee Member 2011-2021 Speaker at Regional Seminars, 1982-2021
Tennessee Land Title Professional (TNLTP) designation awarded January 2019 American Land Title Association:
Title Insurance Underwriter Executive Committee, Chairman, 1988 and 1992 Member 1984-2021
Tennessee Editor – ALTA Title Insurance Regulatory Survey – Tennessee, 2013, 2014, 2017 and 2020
National Title Professional (NTP) designation in June of 2016, renewed 2020 ALTA Best Practices Task Force Committee – 2015, 2016 and 2016-17 ALTA Education Committee – 2016-17

Industry Experience:

From an industry experience perspective, I have been actively involved in all phases of the title insurance industry from when I was an issuing title agent while engaged in private law practice from 1978 through 1983. During this period, I conducted title searches, drafted deeds and corrective title documents, prepared closing statements, handled escrows and escrow reconciliations, and issued final title policies. Subsequently, while President of Title Services, Inc., I was actively involved in the supervision of the handling of over 12,000 FHA, VA, and conventional loan closings. After that time, I have remained active in dealing with title agent and approved attorney issues in 20 states by responding to underwriting issues presented for underwriter approval and management of claims presented in the ordinary business course.

Executive Experience:

Since 1983, my primary responsibilities have been performing and managing a wide variety of underwriter and agent support functions. In the most recent position with Southern Title Insurance, I had the day-to-day responsibilities to manage all aspects of the company and four related entities. Southern Title operated through 8 branches covering 17 states, and I actively supervised an average of 600 active agents and 1,500
approved attorneys annually. During my tenure with Southern, these agents produced over 865,000 policies and $265 million in gross premiums. During this period, I accomplished the following:
Created and successfully implemented comprehensive title agency application forms, review procedures, and with written approval guidelines,
Created and implemented title agency and approved attorney termination procedures,
Revised and implemented ‘goal focused’ title agency manager compensation plans,
Developed and implemented a comprehensive escrow account and procedures audit program
Supervised and managed a $460K re-write of web-based underwriter/agency support software system which was successfully deployed in 2011
Created detailed operational profit center budget programs that rolled into the companywide budget
Conducted periodic budget reviews assessing the achievement of quarterly and annual budget goals
Supervised closure of offices, downsizing of staff, and implementation of expense control plans
Personally handled claims and managed claims departments
Personally worked defalcations, including
Conducting immediate onsite interviews,
Identification of recoverable assets,
Securing injunctions/ receiverships
Preparing victim impact testimony at post-conviction sentencing hearings
Drafted underwriting guidelines designed to minimize future claims
Personally handled Insurance Department market conduct exam responses
Developed and modified companywide procedures to ensure regulatory compliance.
Drafted state rate filings and developed programs to ensure agent compliance with filed rates

Industry related Projects I served as a Title Insurance Subject Matter Expert and Test Item Evaluator on the 2013 panel with representatives of the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance and Pearson VUE, the designated
third-party testing administrator for all Tennessee insurance licensing Exams. Participated in revising old and developing new substantive test questions for the exam that all title insurance license applicants are required to pass.

I worked directly with the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance to increase the competence of those first entering the title insurance profession and seeking a title insurance producer’s license. As a result of those efforts, substantial increases in the 2013-14 Pre-licensing Education course requirements were achieved.

I developed course material and integrated online testing process for a Pre-licensing Education Course that applicants for the Tennessee Title Insurance Producer’s License are required to complete before taking the statewide licensure examination. I published the “Pre-licensing Education Manual” in 2015, with a 2nd Edition with updated materials released n 2018. Each contains 380+ pages containing 40 substantive chapters about both general insurance and specific title insurance concepts. Coupled with the manual, I developed chapter quizzes, with over 400 total questions, which were hosted online with automated grading and test reporting.

I was in charge of the development of a 2018 Tennessee “Specialist” Designation for licensed title insurance agents awarded by The Tennessee Land Title Association upon successfully passing a comprehensive series of tests on real estate topics and meeting other industry experience requirements. This project involves the development of course curriculum and 675 test questions designed to measure each applicant’s competence in real estate principles and ability to handle a broad array of complex title issues. The award of the Title Insurance Specialist designation makes it easier for the public to ensure that they can secure the highest quality and experienced representation available in the marketplace. This project was completed and operation in April of 2018.

As Partner in Title Experts and Management Services (TEAMS), I was appointed as the “Information Technology Navigator” for a yearlong project to provide software design consulting services to the Title Guaranty Division (TGD) of the Iowa Finance Authority. Under the consulting agreement, I provided a needs assessment; provided guidance and technical expertise in the selection and implementation of improved software to support a statewide system of issuing title guarantees and other insurance products, including support for the overall management functions of the organization. The redesigned software was released in the winter of 2015.

I have provided consulting advice to attorneys and parties in pending litigation matters involving real estate and title insurance transactions in Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Nevada, Washington DC, California, Mississippi, Michigan, Florida, and Alabama. Areas of advice cover standards of care of parties providing professional services, breaches of fiduciary duty, interpretation of ALTA policy and closing protection letter coverages and exclusions, analysis of complex chains of title, and general title industry closing practices.

Software Related Expertise:

Over the past 30 years, I have been able to utilize my industry knowledge to aid in the practical design of title underwriter software and website applications designed to provide easy access to necessary services for agents and approved attorneys. While I am not a programmer, I understand software design and work closely with programmers to create agent friendly software solutions to increase underwriter efficiencies. The following is a sample of software solutions developed under my supervision and direction:

Commitment and policy preparation software
Web-based closing service protection letter systems
Automated system to cancel issued CPLs with integrated fax cancelation letter generation
Commitment and policy tracking software with integrated accounting reports
Standalone SDN (Terrorist search) system with certificates to document compliance
Detailed rate calculation software to include endorsement charges, non-standard rate rules, etc.
Online resource libraries seamlessly incorporating created and third-party developed resources
Underwriter back office policy processing software
Excel based internal budgeting programs for deployment to branches and automatic roll- up
Excel-based business opportunity projection tools for prospective employees
Hybrid Excel and web application tool to automate agency manager compensation calculations based on manager’s monthly performance towards preselected underwriter goals
Policy inventory accounting integrated with the policy processing system to limit inventory abuses
Agency management software

Current Member:

Round Table Group, (formerly Thompson Reuters Expert Witness Roundtable,) American Land Title Association, Tennessee Land Title Association, the State Bar of Tennessee, American Bar Association (Real Estate, Probate and Trust Sections), and International Association of Privacy Professionals.

 

 

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