Areas of Practice
All personal injury cases (e.g. traffic accident injuries, slip-and-falls, assaults, etc.) are handled on a contingency basis. We only get paid if the client makes a recovery. Do not deal with insurance companies directly, do not make statements, and sign nothing until it is reviewed by legal counsel.
Both attorneys in our office have years of experience in real estate closings. Mr. Campbell is also licensed to issue title insurance and title insurance binders concerning real estate. Mr. Campbell is known locally as the go-to attorney for real estate problems. Most first time home owners think of real estate closings (settlements) as a time when the money is counted, documents signed, and ownership of the land exchanged. That is true. However, the most important part of a real estate settlement from a buyers’ point of view, and a lender’s point of view, is the quality of title. Unlike personal property, actual possession of real property has little value in a dispute. Ownership of real property is instead gauged by the quality of title. Every parcel of land in Delaware has its roots in William Penn and theoretically, every piece of real estate can be traced back to William Penn. Although modern title searches do not typically go back that far, title searches and title attorneys review title going back many years to ensure that no other persons, other than the seller, have any claims to the property and that no mortgages or liens have attached to the property being sold. Experience in this area counts and can save you countless headaches and dollars when a cloud on title is later discovered.
Problems involving land can occur in many forms. This area of litigation usually involves establishing or protecting rights in land or correcting problems or discrepancies in a parcel’s chain-of-title. Many things can cause "clouds" on property title or disputes over land rights. Delaware’s real property law dates back to 1400 English common law and some archaic rules which establish legal rights are still in practice today. Work in this area of law should not be undertaken by a novice or someone not familiar with real estate property law.
Landlord-tenant law can either be residential or commercial. If commercial, Delaware common law controls the case. But if the relationship is for residential property, the Delaware Landlord-Tenant Code applies. The Delaware Landlord-Tenant Code is filled with traps for the uninformed. The Code, for example, requires the landlord to give the tenant a copy (a summary is acceptable) of the Code. If it is not given to the tenant, the tenant can plead ignorance of the law. This is one of the only times that a person can claim ignorance of the law and prevail.
Title to real property can often be contested or in question. Unlike possession of personal property, you cannot see possession of real property. Disputes over legal, or equitable, ownership of real property frequently occur because of mistakes in transfer of property, a lender failing to satisfy a mortgage, or, probably the most common, a "cloud on title" brought about because somebody died and no estate was opened. Title problems can sometimes be easy to fix (e.g. open an estate) or more complicated. These problems need to be resolved by someone familiar with real property law.
Simple planning can save family heartache. I’ll never forget the young lady who came to my office for a consultation. She was raised by her step-father from a very young age after her mother died unexpectedly. Her step-dad was the only father she ever knew. To her, this man was her father. Unfortunately he died without a will and the only beneficiary was his son who had been estranged for over thirty years. She inherited nothing. This heartache could have been prevented with a very simple will. Estate planning for a simple estate is very inexpensive but priceless.