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Curative Documents and Tools

Angela L. Franklin, David B. Hatch, Nuts and Bolts of Mineral Title Examination

This paper addresses common types of title defects encountered in title examinations and opinions and how to cure such defects. Title defects are usually identified in a title opinion rendered by a title attorney for a company and its landman; however, title defects are also often identified by the landman at earlier stages. Title curative is most frequently a joint effort of the attorney and the company or field landman. The attorney is responsible for identifying the defect and drafting and/or approving the curative document. The landman is also relied upon by the company to identify the defect and draft the curative document. Additionally, a company landman typically has a more complete knowledge of the company's holdings and future operations while the title attorney's knowledge may be limited to the lands and leases being examined. If the defect covers lands and leases outside of the coverage of the opinion, the landman (and title attorney if possible) should be cognizant of the need to include the additional [16-2] lands and leases in the curative document and, most importantly, the impact the curative may have on the company's interest in the additional lands and leases. In the world of title curative, “one size does not fit all.” It is important to understand at the outset that each title defect must be analyzed on its own legal and factual basis and within the contex