Edward J. Levin, Member

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  • Clients say he is ‘fantastic: he is the lawyer of lawyers, and is always there to answer a question.’

    -Chambers USA 2017

    Ed was named to Best Lawyers 2019 for Real Estate Law.

Contact

elevin@gfrlaw.com
410-576-1900
410-576-4182 (fax)

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As an experienced and respected real estate lawyer, Ed has learned how to help clients meet their business goals quickly and efficiently. Ed is effective because he thoroughly understands each deal, including the specific legal requirements and each party’s issues in every transaction. He tailors his services to negotiate every matter skillfully to get to closing smoothly. Equally important, clients value his experience, skills and sense of humor, which make each project as enjoyable as possible. Ed considers the success of his clients his greatest professional achievement.

Ed is a member of the firm's Real Estate Practice. He focuses on helping clients with real estate matters involving financing, leasing, purchase and sale, workouts, foreclosure, and rendering third-party opinion letters in real estate financing transaction. In transactions involving Maryland real property, Ed frequently serves as local counsel, working with out-of-state lawyers. Ed has vast experience in dealing with Maryland’s high recordation and transfer taxes, which are imposed at the state and local levels, and he has been able to structure financing and purchase transactions in ways that eliminate or substantially reduce these taxes

Ed has also served as an expert witness on cases relating to real estate and professional liability matters.

In addition to his work for specific client matters, Ed has been honored for successfully helping to pass legislation that restructured how recordation tax applies to indemnity deeds of trust (IDOTs) and other security instruments in Maryland, as well as legislation that changed the Rule Against Perpetuities as it applies to commercial transactions in Maryland. On March 8, 2017, Ed testified before the House Economic Matters Committee on the Maryland Commercial Receivership Act, House Bill 1180.

Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business has recognized Ed as a “first-rate lawyer” and “national leader” among real estate attorneys in Maryland. Ed has been instrumental in developing and writing numerous bar and professional association reports and publications regarding third-party opinion letters, and he co-authored a book on real estate leasing forms. He regularly writes and lectures on opinion letters as well as leasing and financing issues. Ed has been honored by numerous legal, banking and professional organizations for his contributions to his profession and to the community.

Honors

Recipient, F. Patrick Hughes Legislative Award, NAIOP Maryland, April 24, 2014

Named Baltimore's "Lawyer of the Year" in Real Estate by Best Lawyers in America®, 2012

Recipient, Leadership in Law Award, The Daily Record, 2007

Named "Distinguished Maryland Real Property Practitioner" by the MSBA Section of Real Property, Planning and Zoning, 2006-2007

Named "Mortgage Associate of the Year" by the Maryland Mortgage Bankers Association, 2004

Named to The Best Lawyers in America® for Real Estate Law since 1989

Named to Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business top tier of real estate attorneys in Maryland since 2008

Named to International Who's Who of Real Estate Lawyers since 2008

Selected to Maryland Super Lawyers® list for Real Estate since 2007

Selected to Maryland Super Lawyers® Top 50 list, 2007 and 2008

AV Preeminent rating in Martindale-Hubbell®

News

Professional and Civic Involvement

Member, American Bar Association (ABA)

Member, ABA Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law; Chair, Legal Opinions in Real Estate Transactions Committee, 2009-2013

Group Chair, ABA Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law, Real Estate Financing Group, September 2014-August 2016

Member, Maryland State Bar Association (MSBA)

Chair, MSBA Section of Real Property, Planning and Zoning, 1988-1990

Member, MSBA Section of Real Property, Planning and Zoning, Legislative Liaison Committee, 1983-present; Chair, 1983-1985

Co-Chair, Special Joint Committee on Lawyers' Opinions in Commercial Transactions of the MSBA and the Bar Association of Baltimore City, 1987-1989

Member, Special Joint Committee on Lawyers' Opinions in Business Transactions of the MSBA Section of Business Law and Section of Real Property, Planning and Zoning, 2004-2009; Chair, 2009-2010

Member, American College of Real Estate Lawyers (ACREL); Chair, ACREL's Attorneys' Opinions Committee, 1993-1999

Member, Joint Drafting Committee of the ABA, ACREL, ACMA collaborative that prepared the Real Estate Finance Opinion Report of 2012, 47 Real Prop. Tr. & Est. L. J. 213 (2012)

Co-Editor, Local Counsel Supplement to the Real Estate Finance Opinion Report of 2012, 51 Real Prop. Tr. & Est. L. J. 167 (2016)

Legal Counsel, Maryland Mortgage Bankers Association, Inc., 1995-present

Member, Baltimore Metropolitan Area Advisory Board, Chicago Title Insurance Company, 1997-2013

Fellow, ABA Foundation

Life Fellow, Maryland Bar Foundation

President, Baltimore Board of Jewish Education (now known as the Louise D. and Morton J. Macks Center for Jewish Education), 1989-1991

Publications and Lectures

Lectures and Presentations

“Recent Maryland Cases Regarding Real Estate,” Maryland State Bar Association’s Section of Real Property Law Commercial Real Estate Discussion Group Lunch, April 13, 2021.

Co-Panelist, “Opinion Letters: Nuts and Bolts,” Advanced Business Law Institute webinar, Maryland State Bar Association Legal Excellence Week, November 10, 2020

Co-Presenter, “Electronic Signatures and Remote Notarizations in Maryland,” James Macgill American Inns of Court webinar, October 14, 2020

Co-Panelist, “Navigating UCC Issues in Real Estate Finance Opinions: The ABA/ACMA/ACREL/ACCFL UCC Opinion Report," Strafford webinar, September 3, 2020

Co-Presenter, “Recent Cases Regarding Real Estate,” Maryland State Bar Association’s Section of Real Property Law Commercial Real Estate Discussion Group Lunch, May 12, 2020

Co-Panelist, “Drafting Real Estate Opinion Letters: It’s All about the Details,” American Law Institute Continuing Legal Education webinar, May 27, 2020

Co-Presenter, “Recent Cases Regarding Real Estate,” Maryland Bar Association’s Section of Real Property Law Commercial Real Estate Discussion Group Lunch, May 12, 2020

Testified on Senate Bill 154 (enacted as Chapter 423) before the Maryland Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee and on House Bill 1084 (enacted as Chapter 424) before the Maryland House Environment and Transportation Committee, “Real Property - Recordation of Deeds - Assignments of Rents and Assignments of Leases for Security Purposes,” February 2020

Testified on Senate Bill 152 (enacted as Chapter 51) before the Maryland Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee and on House Bill 94 (enacted as Chapter 50) before the Maryland House Judiciary Committee, “Estates and Trusts - Rule Against Perpetuities,” February 2020

Co-Panelist, “Navigating UCC Issues in Real Estate Finance Opinions: The New ABA/ACMA/ACREL/ACCFL UCC Opinion Report,” Stafford webinar, September 5, 2019

Co-Panelist, “Focusing on the Opinions in Real Estate Transaction Opinion Letters,” American Law Institute Continuing Legal Education webinar, May 17, 2019

Presenter, “Recent Cases Regarding Real Estate,” Maryland State Bar Association’s Section of Real Property Law Commercial Real Estate Discussion Group Lunch, May 16, 2019

Testified on Senate Bill 980 (2019), “Real Property - Recordation of Deeds - Assignments of Rents and Assignments of Leases for Security Purposes" before the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, March 13, 2019

Co-Panelist, “Real Estate Opinion Letters: Best Practices, Liabilities, and Strategies," American Law Institute Continuing Legal Education webinar, January 31, 2019

Panel Organizer, “Uniform Commercial Code Opinions in Real Estate Finance Transactions,” 29th Annual Advanced Real Property Institute, October 2018

Co-Panelist, “Legal Opinions — How They Help Make the Deal Happen,” American Bar Association’s Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law webinar, May 16, 2018

Co-Panelist, “Subordination, Nondisturbance and Attornment Agreements: The Lender vs. The Tenant,” American College of Real Estate Lawyers webinar, May 15, 2018

Panelist, “Recent Cases Regarding Real Estate,” Maryland State Bar Association’s Section of Real Property Law Commercial Real Estate Discussion Group Lunch, May 8, 2018.

Co-Panelist, “Subordination, Non-Disturbance and Attornment Agreements in Commercial Leasing and Real Estate Finance,” Strafford webinar, December 19, 2017, November 10, 2016, November 3, 2015, November 13, 2014, and December 11, 2013

Co-Panelist, “Local Counsel Opinions in Real Estate Finance Transactions,” webinar sponsored by American Bar Association’s Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law, American College of Real Estate Lawyers and American College of Mortgage Attorneys, July 19, 2017

Presenter, “Maryland State Appellate Real Property Cases — May 1, 2016 to April 30, 2017,” Maryland State Bar Association’s Section of Real Property Law Commercial Real Estate Discussion Group Lunch, May 11, 2017

Co-Panelist, “Legal Opinions in Real Estate Transactions: What You Need to Know,” American Law Institute webinar, March 21, 2017

Co-Panelist, “The Proposed Maryland Commercial Receivership Act: Providing Certainty and Uniformity to Receivership Practice in Maryland,” Maryland State Bar Association’s Section of Real Property Law Commercial Real Estate Discussion Group Lunch, February 14, 2017; “Maryland Commercial Receivership Act: Civilizing the Wild Wild West of State Court Insolvency and Receivership Practice,” Maryland State Bar Association’s Section of Business Law and Section of Real Property Law, December 20, 2016

Panelist, “LOCO for Local Counsel Opinion Letters; A Discussion of the Supplement to the Real Estate Finance Opinion Report of 2012,” 27th Annual Advanced Real Property Institute, September 2016; Co-Panelist, “Local Counsel Opinion Letters: A Revolutionary Supplement to the Real Estate Finance Opinion Report of 2012,” American Bar Association’s Section of Real Property, Estate and Trust Law Spring Symposia, May 12, 2016; Co-Panelist, “LOCO for Local Counsel Opinion: An Introduction To ‘Local Counsel Opinion Letters in Real Estate Finance Transactions — A Supplement to the Real Estate Finance Opinion Report Of 2012,” American College of Real Estate Lawyers, March 18, 2016

Co-Panelist, “LLC Legal Opinions; Changing Opinions — Opinion Practice for Limited Liability Companies,” webinar sponsored by the American Bar Association’s Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law and Section of Business Law, May 20, 2015

Speaker, “2015 Maryland Real Property Legislation and Recent Appellate Court Decisions including Falls Garden Condominium Association, Inc. v. Falls Homeowners Association, Inc.,” Maryland State Bar Association’s Section of Real Property, Planning and Zoning Commercial Real Estate Attorneys Discussion Group, May 12, 2015

Co-Panelist, “Risky Business: Who Gets Sued over Opinion Letters and How to Reduce Your Chances of Being Next,” American Bar Association’s Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Spring Symposia, May 1, 2015

Panelist, “SNDAs — Who Needs Them and What Should They Say? (Subordination Non-Disturbance and Attornment Agreements),” 25th Annual Advanced Real Property Institute, October 2014

Organizer and Co-Panelist, “An Introduction to Third Party Opinion Letter Policy and Some Practice Pointers for Transactional Attorneys,” American Bar Association’s Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law webinar, 2014 Fundamentals of Commercial Real Estate program, March 19, 2014

Co-Panelist, “Enforceability Opinions and Their Qualifications,” American Bar Association’s American Bar Association’s Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law’s Real Estate Finance group call, January 15, 2014

Panelist, “IDOT and Related Entities Panel,” NAIOP Maryland’s Legislative and Regulatory Policy Conference, October 7, 2013; “IDOTs Are Not Yet Past Tense — Refinancings After July 1, 2013,” 24th Annual Advanced Real Property Institute, October 2013

Speaker, “The Everchanging IDOT Issue,” Myles Title Advisory Council Breakfast Seminar, May 16, 2013

Moderator and Panelist, “You Want WHAT Opinions from Us? A Look at the Real Estate Finance Opinion Report of 2012,” Spring Symposia of the American Bar Association’s Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law, May 2, 2013; American Bar Association’s Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Continuing Legal Education webnar, June 19, 2013

Testified on Senate Bill 436 before Maryland Senate Budget and Taxation Committee and House Bill 1209 before the Maryland House Ways and Means Committee, “Recordation Taxes – Exemptions,” March 5 and 7, 2013

Presenter to the American College of Real Estate Lawyers’ Attorneys’ Opinions Committee, On choice of law issues addressed in IRB-Brasil Resseguros, S.A. v. Inepar Investments, S.A., 20 N.Y.3d 310 (2012), 982 N.E.2d 609, 958 N.Y.S.2d 689, 2012 N.Y. Slip Op. 086692012 WL 6571286 (NY Ct. App., December 17, 2012); Panelist, “What’s in Your Opinion? The Real Estate Finance Opinion Report of 2012”; and Co‑leader of workshops on the same topic, American College of Real Estate Lawyers Mid-Year Meeting, March 2013

Presenter, “Recordation Taxes — Exemptions” on Maryland state’s Senate Bill 436 and House Bill 1209, Maryland State Bar Association’s Section of Real Property, Planning and Zoning Commercial Real Estate Discussion Group, March 12, 2013

Presenter, “The Real Estate Finance Opinion Report of 2012 [née the Annotated Real Estate Finance Opinion] and on Governmental Agency Opinions,” American Bar Association’s Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Fall Leadership Meeting, November 9, 2012; American College of Real Estate Lawyers Annual Meeting, October 19-20, 2012

Panelist, “You Want What Opinions from Us? A Look at the ABA/ACREL/ACMA and the Maryland Opinion Report,” 23nd Annual Advanced Real Property Institute, October 2012

Speaker, “Maryland IDOTs, Past, Present and Future,” Myles Title Advisory Council Breakfast Seminar, September 13, 2012

Presenter, “2012 Legislation, Including Issues Surviving the Demise of the IDOT,” Maryland State Bar Association’s Section of Real Property, Planning and Zoning Commercial Real Estate Discussion Group, September 11, 2012

Panelist, “Issues Confronted by Local Counsel Opinions,” American Bar Association’s Business Law Section Annual Meeting, August 5, 2012

Moderator, “Baltimore County Real Estate Summit,” sponsored by Bisnow, February 29, 2012

Presenter, “Howard County, Maryland Changes the Rules Regarding Recordation Taxes on Indemnity Deeds of Trust,” Maryland State Bar Association’s Section of Real Property, Planning and Zoning Commercial Real Estate Discussion Group, November 15, 2011

Presenter, “Governmental Opinions,” American Bar Association’s Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Fall Leadership Meeting, November 5, 2011

Panelist, “Claims by Howard County, Maryland for Recordation Taxes on Indemnity Deeds of Trust,” 22nd Annual Advanced Real Property Institute, October 2011

Panelist, “Issues and Trends in Legal Opinion Practice,” Montgomery County State Bar Association's Real Estate Section Meeting, September 13, 2011

Organizer and Panel Moderator, “The Annotated Real Estate Finance Opinion Project: Gambol, Guide, Goal, or Gift,” American Bar Association’s Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Spring Symposia, April 28, 2011; Presenter, “The Annotated Real Estate Finance Opinion Project,” American Bar Association’s Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Fall Leadership Meeting, November 13, 2010

Moderator and Panelist, “Seeking a Mutual Understanding — Customary Practice in Rendering Legal Opinions in Maryland,” 21st Annual Advanced Real Property Institute, October 2010

Speaker, “IDOTs in 2010: Under Attack, But Still Standing,” Myles Title Advisory Council Breakfast Seminar, May 13, 2010

Panel Moderator, “HUD, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Mortgage Loan Opinions: Do I Really Have to Give That Opinion?” American Bar Asociation’s Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Spring Symposia, May 7, 2010

Panelist, “What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You: Lawyers’ Opinions in Business Transactions,” Milton Talkin Lecture Series of the Bar Association of Baltimore City, November 5, 2008

Presenter to Commercial Real Estate Discussion Group of the Maryland State Bar Association's Section of Real Property, Planning and Zoning regarding House Bill 188 in the Maryland General Assembly (Chapter 381 of the Laws of Maryland of 2007) that codified and amended the Rule Against Perpetuities as it relates to commercial transactions in Maryland, May 15, 2007; Presenter on the same subject, Montgomery County Bar Association's Real Estate Section, September 11, 2007

Panelist, “Using and Drafting Opinion Letters and the New 2006 Draft Report,” Maryland Institute for Continuing Professional Education of Lawyers, November 30, 2006

Lecturer, “Land Banking: Options and Infrastructure for Residential Development” and Panelist, “New Maryland Form of Legal Opinion in Business and Real Estate Transactions,” 17th Annual Advanced Real Property Institute, September 2006

Faculty Member, “Opinion Letter Update: 1. Whom Should Local Counsel Represent? and 2. Does the Lender Need an Enforceability Opinion?,” 15th Annual Advanced Real Property Institute, September 2004

Panelist, "Local Counsel Opinions in Multi-State Transactions," American Bar Association's Section of Real Property, Planning and Zoning 15th Annual Symposium, May 14, 2004

Faculty Member, “Real Estate Opinion Letter Guidelines: Do I Have to Give an Enforceability Opinion?,” 14th Annual Advanced Real Property Institute, October 2003

Panelist, "Real Estate Opinion Guidelines: An Update," American Bar Association's Section of Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Annual Meeting CLE Program, April 2003

Panelist, "The Ethical Playing Field: Have the Old Rules Been Sent to the Shredder?" and Workshop Co-Leader, "Did I Bless the Deal or Close the Deal?," American College of Real Estate Lawyers Annual Meeting, October 12, 2002; revised and updated paper originally written by William B. Dunn, Ethical Conduct and Liability to Third Persons in Legal Opinion Practice, American College of Real Estate Lawyers, The ACREL Papers, 385 (ALI-ABA Fall 2002)

Faculty Member, “An Update on the Proposed New ABA and ACREL Guidelines for Attorneys’ Opinion Letters in Real Estate Secured Transactions,” 13th Annual Advanced Real Property Institute, June 2002

Panelist, “Local Counsel Opinions in Multi-State Transactions,” American Bar Association’s Section of Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Annual Meeting CLE Program, July 2000

Lecturer, "Substantive Issues of Due Diligence for Legal Opinions" and Workshop Co-Leader, "Attorneys’ Opinions," American College of Real Estate Lawyers Mid-Year Meeting, March 31-April 1, 2000; paper published, American College of Real Estate Lawyers, The ACREL Papers, 315 (ALI‑ABA Spring 2000)

 

Publications

Drafted Senate Bill 152 and House Bill 94, “Estates and Trusts - Rule Against Perpetuities,” and Senate Bill 154 and House Bill 1084, “Real Property - Recordation of Deeds - Assignments of Rents and Assignments of Leases for Security Purposes,” 2020

“Up the Ladder and Other Thoughts on Authorization Opinions” Opinions Matters, newsletter of the American Bar Association’s Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law, Legal Opinions in Real Estate Transactions Committee, Fall 2019

Drafted Senate Bill 980, “Real Property - Recordation of Deeds - Assignments of Rents and Assignments of Leases for Security Purposes," and House Bill 1360, “Estates and Trusts - Rule Against Perpetuities - Exception for Tenant's Option to Purchase,” 2019

“FIRRMA Affects Cross-Border Opinions,” Opinions Matters, newsletter of the American Bar Association’s Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law, Legal Opinions in Real Estate Transactions Committee, Fall 2018

Co-Author, “The ‘Charming Head’ of the Rule Against Perpetuities,” Probate & Property, July/August 2018

“The UCC Opinions Report is Heading Your Way,” Opinions Matters, newsletter of the American Bar Association’s Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law, Legal Opinions in Real Estate Transactions Committee, Spring 2018

Reviewer and Co-Editor, “Legal Opinions in Real Estate Transactions: What You Need To Know, New Guidance for Local Counsel Opinion Givers: Local Counsel Opinion Letters in Real Estate Financing Transactions — A Supplement to the Real Estate Finance Opinion Report of 2012,” by Kenneth P. Ezell, Jr. and Kenneth M. Jacobson, ACREL News, American College of Real Estate Lawyer, May 2017

Co-Author, “Rethinking the Need to Bring in a Receiver,” The Daily Record, Baltimore, MD, July 8, 2014

“IDOTs Are Still Alive, Use Them for Deposit Mortgages,” Mid-Atlantic Builder, July/August 2013

"Change in the Amount of IDOT the Triggers Tax and Exemption from Recordation Tax for Refinance of IDOTs and More,” Ground Rules, Maryland State Bar Association's Section of Real Property, Planning and Zoning, June 7, 2013

The Real Estate Finance Opinion Report of 2012: History and Summary,” Probate & Property, January/February 2013

Committees Release the Real Estate Finance Opinion Report of 2012” and “Government Agency Opinions,” RPTE eReport, American Bar Association’s Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law, December 2012

“New York Court Dismisses Lawsuit Against Law Firm That Rendered Opinion Letter in Fraudulent Transaction,” RPTE eReport, American Bar Association’s Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law, February 2012; ACREL News, American College of Real Estate Lawyers, April 2012

“Committee Revises 2007 Maryland Opinion Report,” Ground Rules, Maryland State Bar Association's Section of Real Property, Planning and Zoning, Fall 2009; revised version, RPTE eReport, American Bar Association’s Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law, February 2010

“What’s in a Name? or, The Importance of Naming an Individual as Trustee under a Maryland Deed of Trust,” The Daily Record, Baltimore, MD, September 28, 2009; Ground Rules, Maryland State Bar Association's Section of Real Property, Planning and Zoning, Fall 2009

Liable — Not Just Primarily Liable, or — Fixing an Attorney General’s Opinion on IDOTS 20 Years Later,” Ground Rules, Maryland State Bar Association's Section of Real Property, Planning and Zoning, Fall 2009

“Prescription for a Good Night’s Sleep — the Rule Against Perpetuities No Longer Applies to Commercial Transactions,” Ground Rules, Maryland State Bar Association's Section of Real Property, Planning and Zoning, Fall 2007; revised and reprinted, ACREL News, American College of Real Estate Lawyers, February 2008

Due Diligence, Legal Opinions and the Inclusive Opinion Report,” Probate & Property, September/October 2000

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Contact

elevin@gfrlaw.com
410-576-1900
410-576-4182 (fax)

Links

LinkedIn

Teams

Real Estate

Education

J.D., University of Virginia, 1976
B.A., Johns Hopkins University, 1973

Court Admissions

Maryland Court of Appeals
U.S. Supreme Court

Bar Admissions

Maryland, 1976