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Advanced Mineral Conveyancing and Title Issues - Part 1

Sheryl L. Howe, Scott L. Turner, Advanced Mineral Title Examination – Oil, Gas, and Mining

. Overview on How to Report Complicated Title Issues

The first step in addressing tricky title issues is to recognize any complex or advanced issues in the chain of title. Often, these arise from documents where you read the document and wonder “what were they trying to do here?” or “how can they do that, they don't have that much mineral interest left?” Then, assuming that these issues are not resolved in the later chain of title, you need to analyze the issue, decide your interpretation for purposes of scheduling the ownership and then make a comment and requirement.

The keys to drafting comments and requirements are to make them clear and concise. Those two words sometimes are at odds; in a complex issue, the facts and discussion are necessarily going to be longer than they would be for a simple issue. Nevertheless, it is important to continue to work to keep the comment and requirement clear and concise. This is not new advice. A 1977 paper states “[t]he discussion on title exceptions should be concise and to the point. The requirement should be specific. The title opinion is not the appropriate place for the attorney to expound his ‘learning’. A long legal dissertation relative to the problem or problems encountered in the chain of title may be beneficial to the attorney in reaching his conclusion, but the proper place for it is in the title opinion file