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Massachusetts Agencies

Message from the State Manager

Articles from The Massachusetts Focus

Newsletter of Stewart Title Guaranty Company, Massachusetts Offices
Fall 2006, Volume 5, Number 4

Letter from the State Manager
by Craig J. Celli, State Manager

Stewart Title Supports Attorneys in Massachusetts

As many of you may know, I was a former real estate closing attorney for the past eight years. I know of your many successes and struggles. I have been involved in our good markets and our bad markets. I have considered and pondered many of the same thoughts about this business that you presently think about each day.

However, as I travel the state and speak to many of you, the number one issue that seems to be on everyone’s mind is TAVMA BILL 904 and the issue of the unauthorized practice of law. I think it is important that the Stewart agents and all attorneys know where I stand on this very important and sometimes volatile issue. So let me be clear:

I, CRAIG J. CELLI, AS STATE MANAGER FOR STEWART TITLE GUARANTY COMPANY 100% SUPPORT THAT ONLY ATTORNEYS SHOULD CONDUCT REAL ESTATE CLOSINGS AND ISSUE TITLE INSURANCE POLICIES FROM THOSE CLOSINGS IN THE STATE OF MASSACHUSETTS.

To me, this stance on this issue is a very easy decision for me to take. First, it goes against every fabric of my past employment and career to have anyone other than attorneys complete these tasks.

From my days as an associate at two terrific law firms, I learned the value of the attorney’s role in the closing process. The care, the knowledge, the understanding of liability and the importance of title all were the backbone to developing a strong opinion on this issue.

As I moved on to a partnership and then to owning my own office, I learned that only attorneys have the dedication to the work that is necessary to avoid long term title problems that invariably would pop up if non-attorneys conducted real estate closings.

So now, as the state manager for Stewart Title, I continue my support for attorneys. Not because you are my brothers and sisters of the bar. Not because you are agents of Stewart Title and support our company. I support attorneys on this very pivotal issue because it is right and will ultimately keep our business moving in the direction of care, honesty and integrity.