An approved attorney is a lawyer who, based on knowledge and expertise in the field of real estate law, familiarity with title insurance practices, and professional integrity, has been authorized to examine titles to real estate (from the abstracts or public records), to issue opinions of title for the use of the Company and its agents.
The approved attorney is not an agent of the Company, and in its sole capacity of approved attorney is not authorized to issue commitments or title insurance policies.
In general, an approved attorney is concerned with the legal aspects of title examination, and the Company or its agents are responsible for the underwriting.
Agents can request that the Company approve certain attorneys in their county to examine title for the agent. Such requests are routed through the Agent's District Manager and the Texas Agency Manager.
Agents fully assume the payment of the approved attorney's fees.
Attorneys who receive a portion of a title insurance premium must complete a schedule of services showing the services and the charges normally imposed by the attorney for those services. The schedule must be provided at least 30 days prior to the first payment being made.
The attorney must present a Schedule T-00 showing the fees in each file for which payment is sought. The payment must not be for a referral of business and the attorney must stand behind his professional opinion.Please note: In other states, attorneys may be approved for settlement and closing the transaction. That is not the case in Texas where attorneys who operate as escrow officers and in the name of the title company are called Fee Attorneys. Other attorneys operate independently of the title company and are paid a portion of the premium under P-22 Neither of these attorneys are Approved Attorneys in Texas.
See Procedural Rule P-22 for details