Friday, May 28, 2021

REBA News President’s Message

Neil D. Golden

In the last 15 months, we have collectively confronted a once-in-a-lifetime event, a worldwide pandemic affecting everyone. 

Depending on your age, we have experienced many tragic events in our lifetimes, but none personally have touched us as COVID-19, which brought out the best in us.  We lost friends and relatives, and saw so many others afflicted. Our lives were turned upside down.  We could not see loved ones; we worked in isolation from home; and we were denied the many normal life activities we took for granted. 

But we were so resilient!

I am proud of our work at REBA helping our members overcome the myriad of challenges that COVID has presented.  The REBA leadership, together with the staff, immediately mobilized to ensure that the Association’s mission continued unabated.  We like to say we are nimble, acting swiftly when circumstances dictate.

Within days, we had a COVID resource page on our web site.  We met remotely as a leadership group and sub-groups, confronting unprecedented challenges.  From guidance on lawyers as essential workers, to leadership on virtual notarizations, to purchase and sale and lease provisions addressing COVID-related issues, to updates from the registries of deeds and on Land Court orders…  REBA led the way.  Many of you had record-breaking months, as real estate lawyers and its many disciplines flourished, while many other professions and businesses faltered.

REBA’s webinars exceeded our expectations, both in content and record-breaking attendance.  We did not miss a single board meeting or meeting of our Standards and Forms Committee.  Led by Jutta Deeney, we adopted standards, forms and our new residential purchase and sales form rider. 

We are also fighting new battles as out-of-state businesses work to undo the REBA v. NREIS decision, by forcing on us a remote notarization law benefiting no one, except those companies promoting it.

Looking ahead, what will the new normal be? 

No one knows, but we are optimistically planning a traditional, day-long, in-person Annual Meeting and Conference in November and a Sesquicentennial Year in 2022.  But whatever challenges lie ahead, I know that we will continue to be the preeminent specialty bar association in Massachusetts.

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