Legal Opinion Practice in Real Estate Transactions

Following the recommendation of the Committee, the Executive Committee of the Real Estate and Land Use Section of the Oregon State Bar (“Executive Committee”) formally adopted the updated 2022 Oregon Model Opinion Report and the accompanying 2022 Oregon Model Opinion for use in Oregon secured real estate transactions on September 16, 2022.

Bryan Powell and Dustin Klinger served as Co-Chairs of the 2022 Committee that worked on this project. The following lawyers actively participated in the preparation of these materials: Dina Alexander, Thomas Bahrman, Jesse Calm, Don G. Carter, Brian DiFonzo, Jonathon L. Goodling, Susan Glen, David Green, Dave Hepler, Scott Howard, Dustin R. Klinger, Co-Chair & Editor, Mark A. Manulik, Bryan E. Powell, Co-Chair & Editor, and David P. Weiner, Chair-Editor Emeritus.

It was the goal of the Committee that the 2022 Oregon Model Opinion Report remain convenient and practical for use by both opinion givers and recipients, and also to ensure that it conforms to national opinion letter practice in real estate finance transactions. To help further the Committee’s goal, OSB Legal Publications has posted the 2022 Report as chapter 26 of Oregon Real Estate Deskbook on the BarBooks™ online library, replacing the outdated 2004 Report. We are also making a print version (to supplement the 2015 edition) and an eBook (PDF) version available for a small fee.

For those practitioners who want to see the evolution of the Oregon model opinion reports over time, you can find prior iterations by following these links: the 2004 Oregon Opinion Report; the 1996 Oregon Opinion Report; and the 1992 Oregon Opinion Report.

As noted in the 2022 Oregon Model Opinion Report, there is a considerable volume of information already available to practitioners about legal opinions in real estate financing and secured lending. The Committee generally supports the principles set forth in the ABA-ACREL Joint Committee’s “Real Estate Opinion Letter Guidelines” issued in 2003, as updated and modified by the “Statement of Opinion Practices” published in 2018 by the Joint Committee of the Working Group on Legal Opinions Foundation and the American Bar Association’s Legal Opinions Committee as being appropriate for consideration of Oregon opinion letter practice. The 2018 Statement of Opinion Practices includes a Statement of Opinion Practices and Core Opinion Principals worthy of consideration by any opinion giver and recipient.

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