Real Property Law Section

  • Businessman and Contractor Hand Shake
    Join the Real Property Law Section to Help Build Your Practice and Enhance Your Career!
  • Upcoming Events
    • July 16-19, 2015 Summer Meeting at Basin Harbor Club & Resort

      Real Property Law Section
      Summer Meeting
      July 16 – 19, 2015
      Basin Harbor Club & Resort on Lake Champlain Vermont

      Come to Vermont this summer with your family to enjoy this beautiful venue located on Lake Champlain and earn some MCLE credit.  This is a family & pet friendly resort.  Check out the save the date flyer to see all the fun things that you can do with your family at this resort.  

      EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION is available along with SPECIAL PRICING for first time RPLS summer attendees and attorneys admitted less than 10 years:  take advantage of the 75% discount for registration fees and hotel accommodations (see details on page 6 of the flyer).  You can make your reservations today by calling 800.622.4000 or 802.475.231.  (Accommodations will be assigned on a first come basis)

      Early Bird Discount Extended to March 31st 

       For questions about this event contact Lori Nicoll at or 518.487.5563

    • March 21: RPLS Co-Sponsors Erie Bar Real Estate Conference

      The NYSBA Real Property Law Section’s 8th Judicial District is co-sponsoring the following program; Please join us and benefit from the special NYSBA rate:

      Erie Institute of Law 25th Annual Real Estate Conference
      Saturday, March 21, 2015 | 9:00 a.m. – 1:10 p.m.
      (Registration begins at 8:30 am, program begins at 9)

      Ramada Hotel and Conference Center

      2402 North Forest Road, Getzville, NY
      4.5 CLE credits: 1.0 Ethics, 3.0 Areas of Professional Practice, 0.5 Skills
      Pricing: BAEC and NYSBA members, $80.00

      Register Now with BAEC, or view program agenda/brochure.

      Questions? Contact your RPLS 8th Judicial District Representative

      David C. Mineo, Esq.
      Chicago Title Insurance Company
      (716) 639-0058 or e-mail:

    • March 25: Committee on Commercial Leasing CLE Meeting


      A meeting of the RPLS Committee on Commercial Leasing will be held:

      Date:   Wednesday, March 25, 2015

      Time:   12:00 noon – 2 p.m. (lunch will be provided)         
      Place:  Jones Day (New York Room 315 A & B)
      222 East 41st Street, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10017

      Title: “Selected Federal Income Tax Issues for Commercial Leasing Lawyers”

      Speaker: Elliot Pisem, Esq. (Roberts and Holland LLP) NYC

      CLE Credits: This program provides 2.0 credit hours in professional practice.

      If you have any special dietary requirements or food requests, please advise by the RSVP deadline below. To allow for proper security entrance and quantities for catering and materials, please RSVP by Wednesday, March 18, 2015 to Amy Jasiewicz at:


      To attend, you must be a member of the NYSBA's RPLS Committee on Commercial Leasing. The meeting is free to Committee members. You must be a member of the Real Property Law Section to join the Committee. There is no additional charge to join the Committee. Once you join the Section, please email Amy Jasiewicz at to join the Committee and RSVP for the meeting.

      We look forward to seeing you at the meeting.

      David Zinberg, Esq. and Robert Shansky, Esq., Committee and Program Co-Chairs

    • April 6: RPLS Online Community Launch!


      Dear Real Property Law Section Members:

                  We are happy to introduce you to the NYSBA’s online professional communities and the upcoming launch of three new RPLS Communities tailored to our membership.  These Communities will be a resource for our members to facilitate enhanced communications and networking between members. The RPLS will be able to capture communications between members and build a repository of real property law topics.

                  This announcement provides a general introduction to the NYSBA communities, provides basic instructions for their use and information as to how you establish or enhance your profile.  It also includes an explanation for developing Communities dedicated to  the RPLS membership and the transfer from the current Listserves to the RPLS Communities.

                  On January 5, 2015, we began a soft launch to allow some of our members to test the waters and communicate via the RPLS Communities.  This both gave us an opportunity to incorporate suggestions to engineer a smooth launch and allowed us to establish content in the form of initial discussions submitted by these members.  

                  After seeing that a number of the prior Listserve accounts had no activity within the past year and some had very few messages posted, a decision was made to proceed with three Communities formed from the membership of the most active Listserves.  Beginning on April 6, 2015, you will no longer be able to post new messages on eight (8) of the eleven (11) existing Listserves however an archive of the prior posts will remain available for several months.  

      Launching the RPLS Communities

      Effective April 6, 2015, the hard launch will take place and three new RPLS Communities will be activated:

      • 1)The Real-Property Forum Community; and
      • 2)The Real-Condos Community; and
      • 3)The Real-Executive Community. 

                  The prior members of the like-named Listserves will have their memberships transferred over to the new Communities.  All current RPLS members will become members of the Real-Property Forum Community.  The current members of the Committee on Condominiums and Cooperatives will become members of the Real-Condos Community.  New members will be able to select their preferences upon joining.  And the membership of the Real-Executive Community will be limited to members of the Executive Committee.  As of April 24, 2015, no further postings may be made on the above-noted Listserves.

      General Community Information

                  Community messages will have a different appearance and you may need to adjust your email filtering rules to allow the Community addresses into your In boxes.  Specific instructions for Outlook and Gmail users will be provided on the RPLS portion of the NYSBA website as we move forward.

                  In addition to offering an online discussion feature, the new Communities provide a new tool called the Resource Library.  This is an unlimited repository of information.  Any member may add information to the Resource Library and any member may access information in the Resource Library.  We envision this could be used to share a case, a form or newly issued memoranda.  You will be able to post an item in the Resource Library simply by attaching a file to a discussion post just like you attach a document to an email message.  The Resource Library can accept all types of files (PDFs, documents, spreadsheets, presentations, audio files, videos and links).  

                  The Communities also offer an online searchable directory.  Each user has a profile based on information provided to the  NYSBA upon becoming a member.  In addition, members will be able to adjust this information as you wish.  Users can also update their profiles with additional information or add a photo.  Our members will be able to import their LinkedIn profiles by clicking one button.  

                  Community member profiles make up the member directory for a given Community and provide members of a common Community group with the opportunity to contact one another outside of formal discussion threads.  Click here to view a short video outlining the basic aspects of Communities.

                  The NYSBA has focused on your internet privacy concerns in designing the Communities.  NYSBA’s Communities allow users to control their personal privacy settings at all times and on every portion of their profiles.  No commercial search engines are allowed to index information from NYSBA Communities and internal search results are only available to those logged in as members of that specific Community.

                  As mentioned above, current members of three RPLS Listserves will be automatically subscribed to the like new Community using existing subscription preferences.  

      Communities offer several options for access on your computer or with an App:

      • Real Time:  Members with Real Time subscription settings will receive messages from their group as they are posted.  These are formatted HTML messages.  Real Time subscribers may interact with their Community entirely through email.  Real Time subscribers can reply to the discussion through their email or they may reply to either the sender or the discussion using the embedded links on the right side of every message.  These right-hand links also make it easy to load content onto the Resource Library.  Log in instructions are available below.


      • Daily Digest: Members who choose to subscribe to the Daily Digest format will receive one email per day from their Community after messages on a certain topic have been posted.  The Daily Digest compiles numerous messages into a string by topic and users can respond to various threads using the embedded links in the Digest.  You can click on a specific thread or scroll to the bottom of your Daily Digest email for specific messages.  At the top of each message are two options:  Reply All Online (log-in required) or Reply All Email (operates like the current Listserves).


      • Legacy: Subscribers who prefer a plain text display (the classic Listserve format with mime code) may select the Legacy format.  Legacy subscribers will receive messages as they are posted and may participate through email only. 


      • Mobile App: A Communities mobile app is available to NYSBA members from the App Store or the Google Play Store but not via a Blackberry.  Using the App is fast and easy.  Search NYSBA in either store and download the app.  Then, search under RPLS.  You do not need to create a separate email account or log in. Community entries will come in one at a time but they can be searched by member name, by date or by a subject or term which was part of the entry. 

                  Instructions to get started with NYSBA Communities online:

      • 1.Go to and click LOGIN on the top banner.  Login with your NYSBA username and password.  If you want to have the system remember your username and password, check the box below the LOGIN.  (If you require assistance you may call the NYSBA Service Center at 800-582-2452.)
      • 2.Once you have logged in, click Communities on the upper right or go directly to
      • 3.On your first visit to the Communities portion of the website, you will be asked to accept the Terms and Conditions.  Review the document and click on “I agree.” at the bottom to continue.
      • 4.Next click on your Profile in the upper right corner.  Initially you will have a basic profile from the membership database which can be edited as you wish.  This is the information that will be posted when you make an entry. You can also add a photo, enter additional information or load an existing LinkedIn profile. Here you can also manage your privacy settings from the “Privacy” tab on your Profile.
      • 5.After you finish editing your profile, you can begin entering and using the RPLS Communities.  In order to view the RPLS Communities to which you are automatically a member, click the Communities link on your profile (upper right corner of every page) or click on the Groups tab on the navigation bar and choose MyGroups from the dropdown menu.
      • 6.Users can change their subscription settings to match their needs.  You can manage your subscriptions from the MyProfile navigation link and the MySubscriptions sub-menu.  Current members of the RPLS will not need to select a subscription type as you will automatically be subscribed to your existing preferences.  New members of the RPLS or those who have not previously used one of the three prior Listserves whose members will be transferred to one of the new Communities will need to set up subscription preferences when entering their first discussion post. 
      • 7.Members who require additional assistance may email or with your questions or requests for assistance.


      We look forward to joining you in the Communities!


      Susan Scharbach

      Michael Stevens 

      Andrew Posil

    • April 16: Not-for-Profit Committee meeting

      RPLS Members: 

      The next meeting of the Committee will be on April 16, 2015, at 6:30 pm, in the New York City offices of Venable LLP, 1270 Avenue of the Americas.

      At the meeting, Anne Reynolds Copps will present a CLE program on ethical issues in representing non-profits. This CLE program is available only to Committee members. There is no charge to attend.

      Please feel free to alert colleagues who may be interested in joining the Committee. We welcome new members. To join the Committee, an attorney must be a member of the Real Property Law Section. There is no additional charge to join the Committee – just email one of us with name and contact information. To register or join the Committee, contact Amy Jasiewicz at

      As in the past, we welcome your participation and your suggestions as to possible topics and speakers for our Committee meetings and CLE programs. We are currently planning a CLE program on “not in my backyard” issues (addressing controversies in siting of certain non-profit facilities) for our October meeting.

      We hope to see you in April.

      Anne Reynolds Copps and Susan Golden

  • Legislation
  • N.Y. Real Property Law Journal


    The N.Y. Real Property Law Journal  features substantive articles relating to the practice of real property law on various topics including property transactions, leases, zoning, disclosure, and cooperatives and condominiums. Also included are a regular column entitled, "Bergman on Mortgage Foreclosures" as well as updates on Section news, programs and events. The N.Y. Real Property Law Journal is published by the Real Property Law Section and distributed to Section Members free of charge.
    Read Now>

  • Awards and Scholarships

    Real Property Law Section Awards and Scholarships

    Real Property Law Section Lorraine Power Tharp Scholarship

    Through a gift from the Real Property Law Section, The New York Bar Foundation established the Real Property Law Section Lorraine Power Tharp Scholarship in 2008. The $1,500 scholarship is awarded to a second- or third-year law school student who best exemplifies the core values important to Lorraine: academic excellence, a demonstrated interest in public service, high integrity and, if possible, an interest in real property law.

    The Scholarship was created to honor the memory of Lorraine Power Tharp, who served as President of the NYSBA and Chair of the Real Property Law Section.

    Efforts will be made to honor Lorraine's commitment to gender equity and diversity in the profession. To ensure geographic diversity, the Foundation will strive to select students attending New York State law schools in different counties each year, so that over time students from all areas of the state will be able to benefit from the scholarship. A preference will be given to students who demonstrate financial  need.

    The Real Property Law Section Lorraine Power Tharp Scholarship application form has details on eligibility, requirements and the deadline.

    Past Recipients of the Real Property Law Section Lorraine Power Tharp Scholarship

    2008 – Rufus Williams

    2009 – n/a

    2010 – Christopher R. Copeland

    2011 – Milana Khlebina

    2012 – Alissa Fortuna

    2013 – Leanne Monique Welds

    2014 - no scholarship awarded

    Real Property Law Section Melvyn Mitzner Scholarship

    Through a gift from the Real Property Law Section and Rosalyn Mitzner, The New York Bar Foundation established the Real Property Law Section Melvyn Mitzner Scholarship in 2013. The $1,500 scholarship is awarded to a full- or part-time student enrolled in a New York State law school. 

    The scholarship was created to honor the memory of Melvyn Mitzner, a legend in the New York real estate legal community. Mitzner is a former chair of the Real Property Law Section, and was an active and valued member of the Section for many years. 

    Efforts will be made to honor Mitzner’s commitment to professional achievement and to diversity in the profession.  To ensure geographic diversity, the Foundation will strive to select students attending New York State law schools in different counties each year, so that over time students from all areas of the State will be able to benefit from the scholarship. A preference will be given to students who demonstrate financial need.

    The Real Property Law Section Melvyn Mitzner Scholarship application form has details on eligibility, requirements and the deadline.

    Past Recipients of the Real Property Law Section Melvyn Mitzner Scholarship

    2013 - Edward Hyde Clarke 

    2014 - no scholarship awarded


    Each year, the Real Property Law Section presents its Professionalism Award during the NYSBA Annual Meeting in January.

    Some of the criteria used to identify a recipient include: 

    * The nominee possesses in her or his practice a continuing civility and appreciation for others.
    * The nominee possess an outstanding level of competence—legal ability—and achievement.
    * The nominee has in her or his practice made a strong contribution to the development of the practice of law, the improvement of the practice of law, particularly in the field of education—with frequent lectures in CLE programs, writings or publications. 
    * The nominee over the years has engaged in mentoring of younger attorneys.
    * The nominee has involved herself or himself in Bar activities, both on the local level and the State level, holding positions as an officer or chairing committees, etc.
    * The nominee has been a voice on legal issues. 
    * The nominee has throughout his or her career maintained the highest ethical standards.

    Please  note: The 2015 Award recipient has been selected, but the Committee is accepting nominations for next year's award.
    There is no nomination form. Please send a letter of recommendation to:

    Peter Coffey, Award Committee Chair

    Past Recipients of the Real Property Law Section Professionalism Award

    2000 – Eugene Morris

    2001 – James M. Pedowitz

    2003 – Bernard Rifkin

    2004 – John E. Blyth

    2005 – Harold A. Lubell

    2006 – John Hall

    2007 – Prof. Robert Zinman

    2008 – Mel Mitzner

    2009 – Lorraine Power Tharp (posthumus

    2010 -  Bill Colavito

    2011 – Joshua Stein

    2012 – Karl Holtzschue

    2013 – no award presented

    2014 – Michael J. Berey

    2015 - Peter V. Coffey