List of available subjects - Kristopher M. Kline, P.L.S.
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- Courtroom Preparation and Testimony. Courtroom testimony is one of the most difficult responsibilities that a professional surveyor can assume. The student will follow the entire process from the initial client contact to the courtroom. Methods of collecting, preserving, and presenting evidence will be discussed, along with depositions and preparation for testimony. Courtroom demeanor and presentation skills will be addressed, along with tips for enhancing your professional appearance and danger signs to watch for in cross-examination. Aspects of concise communications with your client and attorney, opposing attorneys, and with the judge and jury will be discussed. this course may also include case studies from the jurisdiction where the class is held. (half day)
- Courtroom Preparation - Keeping the Cooley Spirit Alive. This class is a full-day expanded version of the Courtroom Preparation class described above, interspersed with discussion of many significant rulings drafted by Justice Thomas Cooley. (full day)
- Ethics, Professionalism and the Courts. This ethics course focuses on professional behavior from the perspective of court decisions. The class includes real-life examples where the surveyor's behavior has been analyzed and critiqued by judges across the country. It also includes relevant segments from local standards of practice and codes of ethics
- Statute of Frauds (and) Why People Ignore it. Surveyors deal with many types of written documents in the course of their practice. Part One: of this course begins with an overview of the history, scope, and intent of the Statute of Frauds. Common law standards for legitimate conveyances, the rationale behind recording statutes, and court rules for the interpretation of documents will be discussed along with their significance to the surveyor's practice. Admissibility of parol evidence and other surrounding circumstances when interpreting deeds is considered. This class looks at the unintended consequences that may arise due to the writings produced by the surveyor, including the recent rise in "slander of title" charges against Land Surveyors. the effect of tax maps on title and mechanisms that stretch the limits of the statute finish out the morning session. Part Two: looks at the many mechanisms the may operate outside the statute of frauds., including the Common Scheme Doctrine, implied dedication and acceptance of easements, and the Doctrine of Presumed Grant. A discussion of parol agreement, part performance, aquiescence, estoppel and adverse possession is included, along with the related issue of color of title and the legal significance of recorded and unrecorded surveys. The afternoon session finishes with the Doctrine of Merger and itts effect on easements or unwritten rights.
- Three More Ways to Find Trouble. This half-day course considers two unusual methods of title transfer; the Common Scheme Doctrine and the concept of Part Performance of an Oral Contract. Additional discussion includes the effect of tax maps on property titles.
- Know When to Hold 'em and other Procedural Pitfalls. At the core of our profession is the boundary monument, and most of our boundary retracement decisions revolve around the choice to hold an existing monument, set a new monument, or choose between multiple existing monuments. Part one of this seminar is an in-depth discussion of principles that form the basis of the critical decision that we make every day, including the rules of construction, sufficiency of research, and tips for the analysis for each type of property corner. (Note: part 1 may be presented as a half day seminar). Part two of this seminar will concentrate on easements, quasi easements and adverse possession (state specific), along with the characteristics of each. Knowledge of these topics will help the surveyor to improve his research and location techniques (both office and field) so as to better serve the client in cases where disputes may arise. State specific case law will be cited where appropriate. (8 hours).
- What Did You REALLY Mean?? The concept of the Intent of the Parties is central to many of our boundary retracement decisions. Not only is this concept prominent in easement law and deed interpretation, but it also occurs when dealing with Wills, Color of Title issues, quasi-easements and Adverse Possession. This seminar includes: Intent of the Parties and the significance of surrounding circumstances, Intent as it affects deed interpretation, Common Law Dedication and Acceptance of Easements, Color of Title, and Intent as it related to Adverse Possession. (8 hours)
- How to Fix a Boundary Line (And how NOT To). This course examines various legal mechanisms which courts apply in order to fix the location of a disputed or uncertain boundary line or easement. Topics include: Adverse Possession, Boundary by Estoppel, Conditional and Consentable Boundary Lines, Practical Location, and Parol vs. written agreements. This course is now ready for the 2013 season. (full day)
- Property Rights on the "Z" Axis. The first portion of this course considers the interaction of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing with property boundaries, and includes discussion of easements associated with mining interests and other horizontal estates in land. *** A discussion of Railroad easements and rights of way includes hands-on problems for the student and demonstrates how the courts determine ownership of the railroad corridor. *** Several cases will consider the vertical extent of property ownership and associated easements. *** Additional topics include problems associated with surface flow of water and the effect of the common enemy doctrine, civil law rule, and the reasonable use doctrine on property rights. (full day)
- Colonial State Exam Review: Boundary Retracement Principles. This class is designed to review basic principles of boundary retracement including: Rules of Construction, Junior-Senior title, Sufficiency of research, proportioning, Simultaneous vs. Sequential Conveyance, and creation, scope, and reversion of Easements. Also included are basics of Adverse possession (not state specific) (minimum 4 hours - maximum 8 hours)
- Whatever Floats your Boat. Waterways represent one of the oldest transportation corridors in our country. This class focuses on the evolution of the definition of "Navigable Waterways" in colonial states with relevant State specific case law. This class also includes discussion of accretion and erosion, and considers U.S.A.C.E. definitions and relevant U.S. Supreme Court Rulings ( full day) Note: this class must be completely rebuilt for each jurisdiction. As a result, the cost for this class is 2000.00 for all contracts.
- Adverse Possession Like You've Never Seen It. Advanced discussion of Adverse Possession and Prescriptive Easements, with relevant state-specific case law. Topics include; neighborly accommodation; Doctrine of the presumed grant; Claims against the state; Effects of Ordinances on prescriptive claims; Effects of a survey; Adverse claims of submerged lands. ( half day)
- Prescriptive Easements Like You've Never Seen Them. While the basic concepts of Prescriptive Easements are widely recognized, many developments in this area of law are fairly recent. This course begins with the Lost Grant Theory and its relationship to prescriptive easements. The various elements required for the creation of a prescriptive easement are discussed in detail. Tacking, and claims by (or against) the state are considered, along with the scope and location of the resulting easement. This class also includes court rulings on prescriptive easements associated with: Parking Areas; Subterranean vs. Visible Utilities; Light & Air; Easements and Shrubbery. (half day)
- Wars Between the States. This class focuses on U.S. Supreme Court decisions dealing with boundary disputes between states - and what we can learn from them. Specific topics include adequate research, principles of retracement, riparian boundary lines and application of acquiescence to state and municipal boundary disputes. (half day)
- Three New (or not so new) Ways to Get into Trouble: This class focuses on three major topics: (1) Lands protected by the Public Trust Doctrine; (2) In-depth discussion of the Doctrine of Merger and its effect on existing easements; (3) Slander of Title. These issues have recently become of greater interest (and concern) to surveyors. (half day)
Fee and Travel Expense Schedule: (Note: subject to change)
$ 2000.00 - single day of instruction (two 4-hour courses or one 8-hour course) (plus all travel, meal, hotel expenses and registration fees)
$ 1,600.00 per day - 2 or more full day seminars scheduled at a single conference. (plus all travel, meal, hotel expense and registration fees)
$ 1000 - half day seminar - total time 3 to 4 hours. (plus all travel, meal, hotel expenses and registration fees) Note: half-day seminar rates apply only where half-day classes are part of a larger teaching contract for multiple classes.
Travel expenses by the following criteria:
By Car: current car rental rates, gas, tolls, parking, meals, lodging and incidental expenses
Plane fare: current round-trip economy travel rate, meals, lodging, taxi or rental car to hotel and incidental expenses. (note: taxi or rental car expense can be waived if local transport is arranged by host organization)