Sections & Committees

Real Property Law Section

Save the Dates!

Real Property Law Section Summer Meeting
July 9 – 11, 2020
Montréal Marriott Château Champlain | Montréal Quebec, Canada

Join us for a taste of Europe in this diverse and vibrant city that blends the cosmopolitan with old world charm.

Stroll the promenade to view the old port of Montréal, explore the cobbled-stoned streets, quaint boutiques and cafés. Visitors delight in the countless museums, cathedrals, parks and other attractions through the city.

The Real Property Law Section will also be offering great CLEs, special receptions and dinner events, and many optional activities to help you enjoy the city!

Mark your calendar and plan to join us to experience Summertime in Montréal!

Check back for updates on the program in the coming months.

Please visit the US Department of State web site for travel advisories and important information regarding entering Canada, re-entry into the United States, identification requirements and traveling with children:


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1.            On what date will I no longer be able to post a message on a RPLS Listserve?

As of Friday, April 24, 2015, the Listserves will no longer be available but after logging in just once to the general RPLS Community you will be able to receive and post via email just as you did on the Listserves.  It is a one-time setup process and will take less than 5 minutes.

2.            How do I log in for the first time?

  • Go to In the top right corner, you will see a button that says Sign In (have your NYSBA username and password ready). The Community link is also accessible at the top of
  • Once signed in, you will see a drop down menu in the top right corner. Click Profile and go to My Account. Under My Account, choose Email Preferences. Scroll to Community Emails and hit Configure Your Subscriptions.
  • Here, you can choose your email settings of Real Time, Daily Digest, Plain Text or No Email (further explained in Question 5).

3.            How do I set up a separate Inbox in Outlook or other standard email formats?

In Outlook, right-click on your Inbox and hit New Folder. You can create a rule that automatically moves all Community emails to this new folder.

4.            Will I need to set up a signature block or enter my name and other information each time I post a message?

No, your contact information as it appears on your NYSBA privacy setting will automatically appear.  You may also modify this information or pull in a LinkedIn profile.  In order to modify your contact information or supply your LinkedIn profile, please see the longer announcement which appears on the RPLS portion of the NYSBA website.

5.            What are my choices for how I receive or view messages?

  • Real Time: you will receive messages live as you would from the Listserve.
  • Daily Digest: one clean email mailed with a list of the discussion threads from each day; it is mailed after 12:00 a.m.
  • Plain Text: if you prefer the original Listserve text.
  • No email:  if you use the App, you can receive notifications in place of email.

6.            Can I also access the Community from my smart phone?

Yes, simply go to the App or Google Play Store, search for NYSBA Communities, load the App and then search for the RPLS Communities and select your Community.  (Entries will appear on your phone in order of posting rather than as a thread.) The App is highly recommended as the set up is quick and you can access your messages wherever you go.

7.            Is there an email address for the Community?

Yes, it is [email protected]. You can respond to any discussion thread directly from your email, either to the section or directly to the sender. 

You can also use these emails to post to the Community: 
Real Property Law Section: [email protected]

Real Property Law Section Committee on Condominiums and Coops: [email protected]

Real Property Law Section Committee on Construction: [email protected]

Dear Real Property Law Section Members:

            We are happy to introduce you to the NYSBA’s online professional communities and the upcoming launch of three new RPLS Communities tailored to our membership.  These Communities will be a resource for our members to facilitate enhanced communications and networking between members. The RPLS will be able to capture communications between members and build a repository of real property law topics.

            This announcement provides a general introduction to the NYSBA communities, provides basic instructions for their use and information as to how you establish or enhance your profile.  It also includes an explanation for developing Communities dedicated to  the RPLS membership and the transfer from the current Listserves to the RPLS Communities.

            On January 5, 2015, we began a soft launch to allow some of our members to test the waters and communicate via the RPLS Communities.  This both gave us an opportunity to incorporate suggestions to engineer a smooth launch and allowed us to establish content in the form of initial discussions submitted by these members. 

            After seeing that a number of the prior Listserve accounts had no activity within the past year and some had very few messages posted, a decision was made to proceed with three Communities formed from the membership of the most active Listserves.  Beginning on April 6, 2015, you will no longer be able to post new messages on eight (8) of the eleven (11) existing Listserves however an archive of the prior posts will remain available for several months. 

Launching the RPLS Communities

Effective April 6, 2015, the hard launch will take place and three new RPLS Communities will be activated:

  • 1)The Real-Property Forum Community; and
  • 2)The Real-Condos Community; and
  • 3)The Real-Executive Community. 

            The prior members of the like-named Listserves will have their memberships transferred over to the new Communities.  All current RPLS members will become members of the Real-Property Forum Community.  The current members of the Committee on Condominiums and Cooperatives will become members of the Real-Condos Community.  New members will be able to select their preferences upon joining.  And the membership of the Real-Executive Community will be limited to members of the Executive Committee.  As of April 24, 2015, no further postings may be made on the above-noted Listserves.

General Community Information

            Community messages will have a different appearance and you may need to adjust your email filtering rules to allow the Community addresses into your In boxes.  Specific instructions for Outlook and Gmail users will be provided on the RPLS portion of the NYSBA website as we move forward.

            In addition to offering an online discussion feature, the new Communities provide a new tool called the Resource Library.  This is an unlimited repository of information.  Any member may add information to the Resource Library and any member may access information in the Resource Library.  We envision this could be used to share a case, a form or newly issued memoranda.  You will be able to post an item in the Resource Library simply by attaching a file to a discussion post just like you attach a document to an email message.  The Resource Library can accept all types of files (PDFs, documents, spreadsheets, presentations, audio files, videos and links). 

            The Communities also offer an online searchable directory.  Each user has a profile based on information provided to the  NYSBA upon becoming a member.  In addition, members will be able to adjust this information as you wish.  Users can also update their profiles with additional information or add a photo.  Our members will be able to import their LinkedIn profiles by clicking one button. 

            Community member profiles make up the member directory for a given Community and provide members of a common Community group with the opportunity to contact one another outside of formal discussion threads.  Click here to view a short video outlining the basic aspects of Communities.

            The NYSBA has focused on your internet privacy concerns in designing the Communities.  NYSBA’s Communities allow users to control their personal privacy settings at all times and on every portion of their profiles.  No commercial search engines are allowed to index information from NYSBA Communities and internal search results are only available to those logged in as members of that specific Community.

            As mentioned above, current members of three RPLS Listserves will be automatically subscribed to the like new Community using existing subscription preferences. 

Communities offer several options for access on your computer or with an App:

  • Real Time:  Members with Real Time subscription settings will receive messages from their group as they are posted.  These are formatted HTML messagesReal Time subscribers may interact with their Community entirely through email.  Real Time subscribers can reply to the discussion through their email or they may reply to either the sender or the discussion using the embedded links on the right side of every message.  These right-hand links also make it easy to load content onto the Resource Library.  Log in instructions are available below.
  • Daily Digest: Members who choose to subscribe to the Daily Digest format will receive one email per day from their Community after messages on a certain topic have been posted.  The Daily Digest compiles numerous messages into a string by topic and users can respond to various threads using the embedded links in the Digest.  You can click on a specific thread or scroll to the bottom of your Daily Digest email for specific messages.  At the top of each message are two options:  Reply All Online (log-in required) or Reply All Email (operates like the current Listserves).
  • Legacy: Subscribers who prefer a plain text display (the classic Listserve format with mime code) may select the Legacy format.  Legacy subscribers will receive messages as they are posted and may participate through email only. 
  • Mobile App: A Communities mobile app is available to NYSBA members from the App Store or the Google Play Store but not via a Blackberry.  Using the App is fast and easy.  Search NYSBA in either store and download the app.  Then, search under RPLS.  You do not need to create a separate email account or log in. Community entries will come in one at a time but they can be searched by member name, by date or by a subject or term which was part of the entry. 

            Instructions to get started with NYSBA Communities online:

  • 1.Go to and click LOGIN on the top banner.  Login with your NYSBA username and password.  If you want to have the system remember your username and password, check the box below the LOGIN.  (If you require assistance you may call the NYSBA Service Center at 800-582-2452.)
  • 2.Once you have logged in, click Communities on the upper right or go directly to
  • 3.On your first visit to the Communities portion of the website, you will be asked to accept the Terms and Conditions.  Review the document and click on “I agree.” at the bottom to continue.
  • 4.Next click on your Profile in the upper right corner.  Initially you will have a basic profile from the membership database which can be edited as you wish.  This is the information that will be posted when you make an entry. You can also add a photo, enter additional information or load an existing LinkedIn profile. Here you can also manage your privacy settings from the “Privacy” tab on your Profile.
  • 5.After you finish editing your profile, you can begin entering and using the RPLS Communities.  In order to view the RPLS Communities to which you are automatically a member, click the Communities link on your profile (upper right corner of every page) or click on the Groups tab on the navigation bar and choose MyGroups from the dropdown menu.
  • 6.Users can change their subscription settings to match their needs.  You can manage your subscriptions from the MyProfile navigation link and the MyAccount sub-menu (Email Preferences). You may change your email signature under My Account and the Discussion Signature. Current members of the RPLS will not need to select a subscription type as you will automatically be subscribed to your existing preferences.  New members of the RPLS or those who have not previously used one of the three prior Listserves whose members will be transferred to one of the new Communities will need to set up subscription preferences when entering their first discussion post. 
  • 7.Members who require additional assistance may email [email protected] or [email protected] with your questions or requests for assistance.

We look forward to joining you in the Communities!


Susan Scharbach

Michael Stevens

Andrew Posil


Each year, the Real Property Law Section has honored an outstanding individual real estate practitioner with its Professionalism Award. The Section’s Award Committee is seeking nominations for the 2020 award, to be presented at the Section’s Annual Meeting luncheon on January 30, 2020.

Some of the criteria which are used to identify an individual are as follows: 

1.  The nominee possesses in her/his practice a continuing civility and appreciation for others.

2.  The individual possess an outstanding level of competence ­legal ability ­and achievement.

3.  The nominee has in her/his practice made a strong contribution to the development of the practice of law, the improvement of the practice of law, particularly in the field of education­frequent lectures in CLE programs­writings­publications. 

4.  The nominee over the years has engaged in mentoring of younger attorneys.

5.  The nominee has involved herself/himself in Bar activities, both on the local level and the State level, holding positions as an officer or chairing committees, etc.

6.  The nominee has been a voice on legal issues. 

7.  The nominee has throughout his/her career maintained the highest ethical standards.

Complete and submit the nomination form. Multiple nominations for the same individual are welcome, as are endorsements by local county bar associations.

Nomination deadline: October 18, 2019

Completed nomination form and supporting materials should be sent to:

Peter Coffey, Esq.
Professionalism Award Chair
224 State Street 
Schenectady, New York 12305
e-mail: [email protected]


2000 – Eugene Morris
– James M. Pedowitz
– Bernard Rifkin
– John E. Blyth
– Harold A. Lubell
– John Hall
– Prof. Robert Zinman
– Mel Mitzner
– Lorraine Power Tharp (posthumous
-  Bill Colavito
– Joshua Stein
– Karl Holtzschue
 – no award presented
– Michael J. Berey
2015 - Peter V. Coffey

Andy Herz Rotating Slider
2016 - Andrew L. Herz

Real Property Law Section Professionalism Award 1
- Anne Reynolds Copps

2018 - Richard S. Fries

AM19 Awards Slider
2019 - Francis X. Carroll

The Real Property Law Section is now accepting applications for its two law student scholarships in the amount of $5,000 each. The scholarships will be awarded in January, 2020 at the NYSBA Annual Meeting.


Through a gift from the Real Property Law Section, The New York Bar Foundation established the Real Property Law Section Lorraine Power Tharp Scholarship in 2008. The $ 5,000 scholarship is awarded to a second- or third-year law school student who best exemplifies the core values important to Lorraine: academic excellence, a demonstrated interest in public service, high integrity and, if possible, an interest in real property law.

The Scholarship was created to honor the memory of Lorraine Power Tharp, who served as President of the NYSBA and Chair of the Real Property Law Section. 

Efforts will be made to honor Lorraine's commitment to gender equity and diversity in the profession. To ensure geographic diversity, the Foundation will strive to select students attending New York State law schools in different counties each year, so that over time students from all areas of the state will be able to benefit from the scholarship. A preference will be given to students who demonstrate financial  need.

The Real Property Law Section Lorraine Power Tharp Scholarship application form.

Application deadline: Friday, November 22, 2019


2008 – Rufus Williams - SUNY Buffalo
– no scholarship awarded
– Christopher R. Copeland - CUNY
– Milana Khlebina - St. John's
– Alissa Fortuna - SUNY Buffalo
– Leanne Monique Welds - Brooklyn Law School
 - no scholarship awarded
2015 - no scholarship awarded
Dave Ullman Rotating Slider
- David Ullman - Columbia Law School

2017 Tharp Recipient
2017 - Megan McGuiggan - University at Buffalo

Real Property Scholarship Winner 2018

2018 - Lauren Richardson - New York University School of Law

- Nicholaus Mills - Cornell Law School
2020 - Jessie G. Sennett, Columbia Law School


Through a gift from the Real Property Law Section and Rosalyn Mitzner, The New York Bar Foundation established the Real Property Law Section Melvyn Mitzner Scholarship in 2013. The $ 5,000 scholarship is awarded to a full- or part-time student enrolled in a New York State law school. 

The scholarship was created to honor the memory of Melvyn Mitzner, a legend in the New York real estate legal community. Mitzner is a former chair of the Real Property Law Section, and was an active and valued member of the Section for many years. 

Efforts will be made to honor Mitzner’s commitment to professional achievement and to diversity in the profession.  To ensure geographic diversity, the Foundation will strive to select students attending New York State law schools in different counties each year, so that over time students from all areas of the State will be able to benefit from the scholarship. A preference will be given to students who demonstrate financial need.

The Real Property Law Section Melvyn Mitzner Scholarship application form

Application deadline: TBA


2013 - Edward Hyde Clarke - Albany Law School
 - no scholarship awarded
2015 - no scholarship awarded

Zapp Rotating Slider
- Nicholas Zapp - Albany Law School 

Real Property Law Section Professionalism Award 2
- Joanna Sedlak - Fordham University School of Law

- Marissa MacAneney - St. John's University School of Law

- Adebare Ogunleye - Albany Law School
2020 - Steve Cecere, St. John's Law School