Skip to main content

Day 1 | The Past, Present and Future of Real Estate Practice (2021 Real Property Fundamentals Program)

8:55        Welcome and Introductions

9:00        Mobile Home Title Basics

Sarah E. Bowman, Worley & Peltz PLLC, Asheville

Mobile homes can be the source of a great deal of anxiety for any real estate attorney. Learn how to resolve typical manufactured-home issues, like canceling a certificate of title to real estate, and receive a refresher on DMV forms and processes related to mobile home titles.

10:00      Break

10:10      Title Searching: Processes and Tips for a Thorough Search

Teresa L. "Teri" Bowling, Manning Fulton, Raleigh

Searching title to real property in North Carolina requires not only knowledge of real property law, but also a consistent methodology and attention to detail. Gain insight into the processes, forms and tips included in this session for a standard full title search, and hear best practices for a thorough and accurate search.

11:10      Break

11:20      Trust Account Management*^

Leanor B. Hodge, North Carolina State Bar, Raleigh

This session provides a refresher on the requirements of Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 1.15 and includes a review of recent ethics opinions interpreting the trust account management rule. Attendees also receive information about protecting client funds against fraud and theft.

12:20      Lunch Break

12:50      Zoning and Land Use Basics

T.C. Morphis Jr., The Brough Law Firm PLLC, Chapel Hill

This session introduces attorneys to the basics of zoning and land use law in North Carolina. Topics include an overview of legislative and quasi-judicial zoning decisions, the new N.C.G.S. § 160D, and what questions an attorney should ask as part of due diligence prior to closing. Then examine other possible land use permitting issues which could affect a real estate closing.

1:50        Break

2:00        Cyber-Securing Your Practice and Staying Safe in an Online World

C. Patrick F. Brown, Lawyers Mutual Liability Insurance Company of North Carolina, Cary

Today's cyber age creates many opportunities for attorneys to build and grow a practice. Unfortunately, bad actors leverage those to their advantage as well. Explore common threats facing law firms today, especially those targeting real estate practices, including wire fraud, fake checks and data breaches. Then learn some quick and easy tips and tools to help foil the scammers and keep you and your practice safe.

3:00        Break

3:10        Title Insurance for Newbies: The What, Why and When

Elizabeth R. Harrison, Fidelity National Title Group North Carolina, Raleigh

Review title insurance and the what, why and when everyone should understand — what it is, why clients should have it and when a title policy can help. Consider claim avoidance and hear practical tips for working with title insurance companies.

4:10        Adjourn for the day

* Indicates portion providing Ethics/Professional Responsibility credit
‡ Indicates portion providing Technology Training credit
^ Indicates portion providing Trust Account Management

Thank you

Thank you for joining us today for day one of The Past, Present and Future of Real Estate Practice (2021 Real Property Fundamentals Program). We'll see you tomorrow.


  • Teresa L. "Teri" Bowling

    Teresa L. "Teri" Bowling is a paralegal with Manning Fulton & Skinner PA in Raleigh where she assists attorneys in commercial real estate transactions. Teri graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1985 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics and earned her Paralegal Certificate, specializing in Real Estate, from the Meredith College Paralegal Program in 1989. She is an adjunct faculty member of the Meredith College Paralegal Program, where she has co-taught the Real Estate Specialty course since 1993 and the Real Estate Title Searches short course since 1992. Teri received her North Carolina State Bar Certified Paralegal (NCCP) certification in 2005 and earned both the Certified Paralegal (CP) designation and Advanced Certified Paralegal (ACP) credential in Real Estate from the National Association of Legal Assistants, Inc. in 1999. Teri is a frequent CLE/CPE presenter on topics related to real property title searches in North Carolina.

    A member of the NCBA Paralegal Division and the NCBA Real Property Section, Teri has served the Paralegal Division in numerous capacities. She is currently serving a three-year term as a member of the North Carolina State Bar Board of Paralegal Certification.

    Click here for more information about Teri.

  • Sarah E. Bowman

    Sarah E. Bowman is with Worley & Peltz PLLC in Asheville. Sarah has been a licensed attorney since 2014, focusing her practice primarily on real estate transactions. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and obtained her J.D. from Campbell University School of Law. An Asheville native, Sarah returned home to work in a community that is important to her.

    Sarah is an active member of the Real Estate Lawyers Association of North Carolina, where she currently sits on the Board of Directors, and is also a member of the 40th Judicial District Bar, the North Carolina State Bar, and the North Carolina Bar Association.

    Click here for more information about Sarah.

  • Felicia Branch

    Felicia Branch is with Branch Tax Law in Durham. Felicia received her Juris Doctor with High Honors from the University of Arkansas. She received her Master of Laws in Taxation from the University of Florida College of Law. In 1996, she passed the bar and waited to be sworn in until after she completed her Master of Laws in Taxation in 1997. She has 20 years of experience solving tax cases. She has worked directly for the IRS and taught tax law at North Carolina Central University for nearly 8 years. She has worked on nearly every type of tax issue that exists and has the skills to explain tax issues in a way that you can understand.

    Click here for more information about Felicia.

  • C. Patrick F. Brown

    C. Patrick F. Brown is the Vice President of Enterprise and Operational Risk Management at Lawyers Mutual as well as filling the roles of Corporate Secretary and Director of Information Security. He is a North Carolina State Bar board certified specialist in Privacy & Information Security Law and has been designated a Fellow of Information Privacy and a Privacy Law Specialist by the IAPP. Additionally, he holds certifications from the IAPP and ISACA including Certified Information Privacy Professional for US private sector and Europe (CIPP/US & E), Certified Information Privacy Manager (CIPM), Certified Information Privacy Technologist (CIPT), Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC), and Certified Data Privacy Solutions Engineer (CDPSE).

    Prior to joining Lawyers Mutual in 2011 he practiced in the areas of real estate, foreclosure, creditor's rights, and insurance subrogation - actively practicing in North Carolina and Virginia.

    Patrick is licensed in North Carolina, Virginia, the District of Columbia, and the US Patent & Trademark Office. He serves on several local and state bar association committees, including the North Carolina State Bar's Cybersecurity/PMBR Committee and the North Carolina Bar Association's Privacy and Data Security Section.

    Patrick received his J.D. from Campbell University School of Law and a B.S. in Biology from UNC-Chapel Hill.

    Click here for more information about Patrick.

  • Michele A. Callaway

    Michele A. Callaway is a partner at Adams Howell Sizemore & Adams PA in Raleigh where her main focus is residential real estate closings. Joining the firm in 2017, Michele comes to us with a wealth of residential real estate closing experience as well as experience in the areas of foreclosure and collections.

    Michele was born in California, but spent the majority of her childhood in Greensboro. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her husband Jay and children, Elizabeth and Wade, and cheering on the Wolfpack.

    Click here for more information about Michele.

  • Samantha L. Cockerell

    Samantha L. Cockerell resumed working for the Judicial Branch in 2021 after becoming licensed to practice law in North Carolina, with a JD from North Carolina Central University School of Law. Prior to law school, Samantha received her Bachelor of Arts degree at William Peace University, and then went on to serve as an Ex-Officio Judge of Probate and later as a Trial Court Coordinator and Judicial Assistant in the 10 th Judicial District. Samantha worked in private practice during and after law school focusing on Real Estate Law, as well as Homeowner Association, Planned Community, and Condominium Association Law. Samantha has worked and practiced in both Wilmington and Raleigh North Carolina but is lucky to call the small town of Mount Airy, North Carolina home.

    Samantha currently serves as an Assistant Clerk, Legal Officer, and the Supervisor of Special Proceedings Division of the Wake County Clerk of Superior Court’s Office. In her capacity as a legal officer, Samantha conducts hearings involving real property matters such as foreclosures, partitions, boundary disputes and earnest money disputes. Samantha is also serving on the pilot county team as a Subject-Matter expert for the implementation of eCourts.

    Click here for more information about Samantha.

  • Michael J. Geiseman

    Michael J. Geiseman works as an assistant clerk for the Wake County Clerk of Court’s office in the role of Legal Officer, adjudicating matters where the Clerk of Court has original and concurrent jurisdiction. Geiseman graduated Summa Cum Laude from Pensacola Christian College in 2004 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Pre-Law and went on to receive his Juris Doctorate from Regent University School of Law in 2007, where he graduated Cum Laude. From 2008- 2018, Geiseman worked for large and small law firms that specialized in creditor’s rights, largely focused on power of sale foreclosures. Through that decade of work, Geiseman travelled to Clerk of Court’s offices in over 65 counties, attending thousands of foreclosure hearings and sales and performing thousands of title searches in-county and online. Geiseman accepted his current role in September of 2018, and, since that time, has presided over hundreds of matters involving real property, including foreclosures, partitions, condemnations, escrow disputes, surplus funds, and petitions to sell a decedent’s, incompetent’s, or minor’s interest in land. Geiseman also currently serves as a Subject-Matter Expert and advisor for the Administrative Office of the Court’s eCourts initiative.

    Geiseman and his wife, Melissa, have been married for over nine years and were blessed to adopt a beautiful child, Mazie Grace, in 2019. Geiseman’s mission is to serve his God, his family, his employer, and his community to the best of his ability in whatever role he is placed.

    Click here for more information about Geiseman.

  • Elizabeth R. Harrison

    Elizabeth R. Harrison joined Fidelity National Title as the Raleigh Branch Manager/Title Counsel in January 2017 following twenty-one years of private practice in commercial and residential real estate. After many active years on the NCBA Real Property Section Council, Elizabeth chaired the NCBA Real Property Section in 2014-2015. Elizabeth has acted as a tri-chair of the North Carolina Closing Attorney Best Practices Task Force since September of 2013-2021 with the initial focus on lawyer education of CFPB/TRlD changes and now eRecording and eClosings. She is currently a member of the Board of the Real Estate Lawyers Association of North Carolina (RELANC), a member of the NCBA Legislative Advisory Committee, a member of the legislative committee of the North Carolina Land Title Association (NCLTA) and a member of the Nmih Carolina Secretary of State’s Electronic Mortgage Advisory Committee. She is also an active participant in the Land Records Task Force. As a sole practitioner she was voted by peers into Business North Carolina’s Legal Elite for 2017, 2016, 2014, 2013, and 2008.

    Elizabeth graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. in Political Science and earned her Juris Doctor from Campbell University School of Law. Originally from Wilson, N.C., she has resided in Raleigh since 1997. Elizabeth, also known as “Biz”, enjoys traveling with her family, especially to World Cup Matches around the globe. During COVID, she enjoyed launching Fidelity’s Practical Podcast for Dirt Lawyers.

    Click here for more information about Elizabeth.

  • Randy H. Herman

    Randy H. Herman practices in the areas of land use and commercial real estate transactions at the law firm of Bratcher Adams Folk PLLC in Raleigh. His goal is to guide clients through the entire real estate acquisition and development process, including contract drafting, title review, zoning/permitting, lender negotiation and closing. He regularly represents developers and property owners throughout the state in rezoning matters, variances, and appeals of zoning violations.

    Randy is active in advocating for the interests of property owners as a member of the Board of Directors of the Triangle Community Coalition and a member of the Raleigh-Durham Chapter of NAIOP, where he sits on the Governmental Affairs Committee. He is also a member of the North Carolina Bar Association's Real Property Section and Land Use Section and a member of the Board of Directors of the Real Estate Lawyers Association of North Carolina (RELANC). He is the only practicing attorney sitting on the North Carolina Land Records Advisory Board. He also served the public as a former member of the Hillsborough and Orange County Boards of Adjustment.

    Click here for more information about Randy.

  • Leanor Bailey Hodge

    Leanor Bailey Hodge is a Deputy Counsel with the North Carolina State Bar in Raleigh. She counsels the NCSB's Grievance Committee and prosecuting lawyers for ethics violations before the Disciplinary Hearing Commission.

    Prior to joining the NCSB in 2008, Leanor was a litigation partner at the law firm of Manning Fulton & Skinner PA in Raleigh, and a prosecutor in Philadelphia and Chicago. Leanor frequently lectures for the Mecklenburg County Bar on ethical and professional topics.

    Leanor received her B.B.A. degree from Howard University in 1993 and her J.D. degree from Temple University in 1996.

  • T.C. Morphis Jr.

    T.C. Morphis Jr. grew up in Hickory, North Carolina. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and History from UNC-Chapel Hill and his Law Degree and a Master’s Degree in City and Regional Planning from UNC-Chapel Hill.

    Mr. Morphis’ primary practice areas include local government and land use law. He provides general legal counsel for the Cities of Creedmoor and Hamlet; the Towns of Aberdeen, Carthage, Pinebluff, Robbins and Vass; and the Village of Whispering Pines. He also serves as outside counsel to the Chatham County Boards of Adjustment, and regularly represents citizen groups and other private clients in land-use litigation throughout North Carolina. Mr. Morphis has experience at all stages of litigation, from quasi-judicial hearings before local boards to trial court work and appellate advocacy before the North Carolina Court of Appeals and North Carolina Supreme Court. Mr. Morphis also regularly advises local government clients on code enforcement and board governance issues.

    Click here for more information about Mr. Morphis.

  • David D. Needham

    David D. Needham is an attorney with the NC-Eminent Domain Law Firm and primarily practices in the area of Real Property Rights and Eminent Domain. He represents property owners across the State of North Carolina who are affected by government takings for roads, bridges, utilities and other projects. David regularly speaks at property owner meetings and other public forums to educate the public about a specific project and Constitutionally-guaranteed property rights. He began his career in 2005 representing large lending institutions, and during that time also built a successful real estate and REO practice.

    David is originally from Durham, and following undergraduate school at Indiana University and graduate school at Texas A&M University School of Law, David returned to the area, and resides in Raleigh with his wife and three children.

    Click here for more information about David.

  • Charles E. "Chuck" Nichols Jr.

    Charles E. "Chuck" Nichols Jr. is with Weatherspoon Voltz LLP in Raleigh. Chuck joined the firm in January 2020. A native of Greensboro, Chuck has lived in Raleigh since 1982. Before joining the firm, Chuck practiced for 12 years in a solo practice, and practiced for 25 years prior to that with another Raleigh law firm.

    Chuck is admitted to practice law in the State of North Carolina, and in the Supreme Court of the United States, the United States Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, the United States Court of Federal Claims, and the United States District Courts for the Eastern, Middle, and Western Districts of North Carolina.

    Chuck earned his BA, magna cum laude, in Economics and History from Duke University in 1978 and his J.D., with honors, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law in 1982. He also earned his MBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1982.

    Click here for more information about Chuck.

  • Kelly S. Walker

    Kelly S. Walker is an attorney with Ivey & Eggleston, Attorneys at Law PLLC, Greensboro & Asheboro NC. She focuses on residentials closings in in the Triad. She graduated from Elon Law in 2017. While waiting for her bar results to come in, she worked as a paralegal for a firm in Greensboro. During her time as a paralegal, she was responsible for the title searches done for one lawyer in the firm. She also learned all the other skills of a closing paralegal as she focused on handling every aspect of a closing, including tasks often delegated to a paralegal. Kelly is currently responsible for training all new staff or attorneys in the real estate department of the firm’s practice. When she is not practicing law, Kelly enjoys spending her time with her husband and their fur babies.

    Click here for more information about Kelly.

  • F. Blair Williams

    F. Blair Williams began working for the Judicial Branch in November 2007 and has been the Wake County Clerk of Superior Court since December 2018. Blair has served in roles of Chief Assistant Clerk of Court as well as Special Proceedings and Estates Division Procedural Supervisor in the Clerk’s Office. Prior to working with the Clerk’s Office, Blair has over fifteen years’ experience in private practice focused on Real Property Matters. Blair is licensed to practice law in North Carolina, with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from UNC and a JD from Campbell University School of Law. Born and raised in Chapel Hill, arriving in Wake County in 1985, currently residing in Cary with their two daughters and his wife, who maintains an HOA practice.

    Blair is a current and active member of both the 10 th Judicial District and the Wake County Bar Association, serving on both the bench bar and memorials committee. He also serves on the Clerks of Superior Court Technology, Resource, and Legislative Committees. Blair’s continued dedication to the North Carolina Judicial system includes presentations such as this one today.

    Click here for more information about Blair.

October 7, 2021
Thu 8:55 AM EDT

Duration 7H 15M

This live web event has ended.

For Technical Support
(888) 705-6002
+1 (858) 201-4136*
*for callers residing outside of the United States