Article Title

Real Property


Linda S. Finley

Publication Date


Document Type

Survey Article


The Author believes it appropriate to dedicate this Article to a man who has served as a mentor and expert for hundreds (perhaps thousands) of real estate lawyers in the State of Georgia. Affectionately known as "The Death Ray" by his students, who at one time or another admired or feared him, Professor James C. Rehberg had the knack for making a somewhat dry topic come alive (perhaps the exception being the Rule Against Perpetuities). Professor Rehberg was honored in early 2004 by students, faculty, and alumni at his official retirement. While the Author can do little to make this survey come alive as Professor Rehberg surely would have done, nonetheless, it is presented with our friend, mentor, and colleague, James C. Rehberg, in mind.

This Article discusses case law and other developments in Georgia real property law from June 1, 2003 through May 31, 2004. In the interest of space, however, much must be omitted. The decisions below were chosen for their significance to real property law and their significance to any attorney who either regularly, or from time to time, practices in the field of real property. Perhaps the most significant opinion in the area of real property law during the survey period was the Georgia Supreme Court's opinion that only attorneys licensed in the state, with a minor exception, may conduct real property closings in Georgia. Both advocates seeking non-attorney closings and attorneys seeking a mandate that only Georgia lawyers be allowed to preside over real estate closings, claimed they were protecting the consumer. The supreme court ultimately settled the issue as is discussed below.