Chris Smart tries real estate, title insurance, and consumer finance cases. His clients are national title insurance companies, mortgage lenders, and real estate owners, developers, and investors.
For the last 16 years Chris has handled high-profile litigation involving title insurance coverage, closing protection letter claims, title agent defalcations, and insurance bad faith claims. He has tried lender liability, consumer protection, loan servicing, and mortgage foreclosure cases and defended real property developers.
His trials have involved litigation over the sale of real property, the authority of a limited liability company to sell real property, a buyer’s status as a bona fide purchaser for value, condominium developments, restrictive covenants, easements, and Florida’s Marketable Record Title Act. In one recent example, Chris led a team in a seven-day jury trial on the plaintiffs’ claims seeking to rescind our real estate developer clients’ purchase of valuable beachfront property, which resulted in a directed verdict confirming our clients’ purchase and decisively defeating the claims of a disgruntled member of the seller.
As a complement to his substantial trial experience, Chris also has a comprehensive understanding of the real estate industry and title to real property, and has served as an expert on Florida real property law. Throughout his career, he has been a leader on the issues that matter to his clients and the real estate industry in Florida. He is the longtime chair of the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section of The Florida Bar’s Title Issues and Standards Committee. This Committee reviews, revises, maintains, and promotes Florida’s Uniform Title Standards, an essential guide for real estate practitioners navigating difficult questions about marketability of title. In this role, he also works with the Committee and the Section to promote legislation necessary for or helpful to Florida’s real estate industry. Chris is a regular presenter at the biannual American Land Title Association’s Title Counsel Committee meetings, contributes articles to ALTA’s TitleNews, and has, for the last decade, presented the annual case law update to the Florida Land Title Association’s Claims Prevention, Avoidance and Education Committee’s Annual Round Table.
Articles in the National Law Review database by Christopher Smart