For 30 years, we have represented title insurance companies in coverage and other disputes throughout the Pacific Northwest. We have successfully litigated numerous coverage, abstractor’s liability and bad faith claims.
For example, we have obtained, for title company clients: (a) summary judgment in Federal District Court declaring that title companies had no duty to defend or indemnify numerous insured landowners against tribal treaty claims (Buehler v. Security Union, Federal District Court, Western District of Washington, Nos. 97-1986 and 98-1445 (1998)); (b) a Washington State Supreme Court opinion affirming dismissal of claims under a title policy and clarifying the distinction between title and non-title defects (Lombardo v. Pierson, 121 Wn.2d 577, 852 P.2d 308 (1993)); (c) summary judgments in State Superior Courts dismissing claims on grounds that there is no liability under the commitment for title insurance (or otherwise) to disclose title defects to buyers or sellers; and (d) dismissal of claims in a consumer class action.
We have also obtained, for insured lenders: (a) summary judgments under equitable principles, including equitable subrogation; (b) a trial judgment (reversed on appeal) imposing an equitable lien upon failure of deeds of trust due to forgery; and (c) a Court of Appeals decision confirming the priority of a deed of trust lien against a mechanic’s lien claimant. That decision turned on an issue of first impression under Washington’s Mechanic’s Lien Act.
We represent title insurance companies and their agents when they are sued for escrow malpractice. The value of these claims ranges from in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, to well into the millions of dollars. These claims involve everything from simple clerical error, to issues as to authority to convey or encumber, to allegations of double-dealing, breach of fiduciary duty and failure to detect or prevent fraud, including mortgage rescue scams.