WSBA Business Law

Ad Hoc Committee on Third-Party Legal Opinions

The Ad Hoc Committee on Third-Party Legal Opinion Practice was formed in 1998 to monitor developments regarding opinions delivered by lawyers on behalf of clients and addressed to third parties, such as an opinion of a borrower delivered to the lender making a loan to the borrower.

At that time, the most significant development was the “Third-Party Legal Opinion Report, Including the Legal Opinion Accord, of the Section of Business Law, American Bar Association,” 47 Bus. Law 167 (1991) (the “Accord”). The Committee provided input to the drafters of the Accord prior to its publication and monitored opinion giving practices nationally and in the State of Washington following adoption of the Accord. In late 1998, the Committee issued its Report on Third-Party Legal Opinion Practice in the State of Washington.

In 2000, the Committee completed a supplement to its 1998 Report covering third-party legal opinions customarily given in secured lending transactions. Click here for the 2000 report.

Special Report on Legal Opinions Regarding Deeds of Trust - March 2013. Note: In August 2012, the Washington Supreme Court decided the case of Bain v. Metropolitan Mortgage Group, Inc. in which it held that MERS was not a lawful beneficiary under Washington’s Deed of Trust Act. The Bain decision has implications for any deed of trust in which the beneficiary is a person other than the actual holder of the note. In light of the Bain decision, the Legal Opinions Committee has issued a special report to provide guidance to opinion givers issuing legal opinions regarding deeds of trust in Washington. This special report supersedes and replaces the Committee’s previous interim guidance issued in July 2011.

Special Report on Legal Opinions Regarding Limited Liability Companies - March 2012  

The Committee is currently working on an update to the 1998 and 2000 reports to address developments in the law and opinion practice in the last decade.

Links to additional legal opinion resources can be found on the Resources page of this website.

Committee Chair:

Scott W. MacCormack
Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
1201 Third Ave Ste 2200
Seattle WA 98101-3045
Phone: (206) 757-8263
Fax: (206) 757-7263

Committee Members:

Joel N. Bodansky
Michael D. Currin
Paul M. Davis
Diane Dick
Michael A. Herbst
Troy J. Hickman
Brian D. Hulse
David B. Levant
Berrie J. Martinis
Dennis A. Ostgard
Virginia M. Pedreira
David H. Rockwell
Shannon J. Skinner
Keith A. Trefry
W. Scott Wert


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Updated: 3/25/13