February Message From The President

William S. Calli, Jr., Esq.

I was recently contacted by the Chair of the Mohawk Valley Association of Realtors’ Risk and Legal Committee since they are in the process of reviewing their standard Contract to Purchase and are hoping that this may be a good time to seek co-sponsorship of the Contract from the Oneida County Bar Association.  It should be noted that the Contract update has been an on again-off again process for MVAR over the last several years, and I would like to thank Jeff Reale for his considerable efforts to improve the form and move it through MVAR’s last attempted rollout.

One important area that has not gone unnoticed by OCBA is that the language of the existing MVAR Contract form frequently requires one of the parties’ attorneys to send out Approval Letters in order to modify certain language in the form.  For example, the existing form contains language that indicates the Buyer will close subject to an existing tenancies.  In reality, in most closings, Buyers want to close free of existing tenancies.  Under the proposed form, MVAR plans to allow a Buyer to check a box and choose between the two.  While other areas of frequent modification are also being addressed, those who would like to submit your list (which may vary between being Buyer’s Attorney and Seller’s Attorney) are welcome to email me at wscjr@callilaw.com.

While co-sponsorship is not required and no individual real estate agent nor attorney can be forced to use a particular form, even if one is sponsored by their respective membership organization, I believe that co-sponsorship is, at minimum, a symbolic recognition of the two organizations wanting to work together to improve the residential real estate closing process.  As best we can tell, our counterparts in Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Albany all have co-sponsored Contract forms with their local Realtor groups, and I hope that it’s about time we can join the list.

MVAR’s Risk and Legal Committee will be meeting again in April and I will once again be attending the virtual meet.  Therefore, please contact me with any questions, concerns or ideas that you may think is relevant for their Contract update process.  Our Real Property Committee has, in past attempts, weighed in on most, if not all, of the proposed changes.  Nevertheless, once MVAR releases a final proposed version for review, it will be forwarded to the Real Property Committee members for comment and then to the Board for co-sponsorship discussion.

On a separate note, we’ve had five great CLE webinars so far this year, with five more scheduled in the Spring for April and May.  My thanks to Diane, Mark Wolber, the CLE Committee and all our speakers for all their hard work to keep our CLE Program as strong as ever.

In an effort to bring back some of our live events, such as the End of Summer Golf Outing, Attorneys Practicing Over 50 Years Event and the Holiday Party, we would welcome comments from any members on how comfortable they would be with attending such events.  Those who wish to provide us with their outlooks can email Diane at diane@oneidacountybar.org.  Your outlooks may change as time goes on so please keep us up-to-date so that the Board can make decisions as we get closer to those events.  Your shared comfort levels will help us determine what events can and cannot take place, and could even help us work towards live (or perhaps hybrid) CLE’s.

William S. Calli, Jr., Esq.

Calli Calli & Cully