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Worksheets, Chaining, and Preparation of Fee, State, Federal and Security Title Opinions

Douglas L. Lunsford, Mineral Title Examination II (1982)

The papers presented just prior to this paper at this Institute have discussed in detail the source materials (including abstracts and other submitted or examined materials pertinent to the title of the land under examination) upon which an attorney must rely in order to prepare a complete title opinion which is satisfactory for the client's purposes. The purpose of this paper is not to restate the matters discussed in the previous papers, but to provide a practical and consistent approach to preparation of title opinions covering fee, state and federal lands, including lease acquisition, drilling, division order and security title opinions, based upon the examination of the source materials described by the prior papers. To properly illustrate the steps taken by an examining attorney in the preparation of the particular type of title opinion required by his client, I have necessarily shown the attorney's notes on pertinent matters contained in the examined source materials (“worksheets”), the chart based upon the worksheets which reflects all pertinent ownership transfers affecting the land under examination (“chaining” or “ownership chart”), and the outline based upon the worksheets and ownership chart from which the opinion will be prepared by the attorney (“Review Sheet”). These are attached as appendices to this paper. To the extent possible, this paper will not discuss th