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Legal Department

Situated at our corporate office in Auburn, CA, our legal department is the heartbeat of our company. We are extremely proud of their diverse talents and tremendous amount of experience.

Patricia Laffin-Miko

Executive Vice President, Secretary & General Counsel

Patricia Laffin-Miko has served as General Counsel for Placer Title Company since 1993. She is responsible for all legal services of the company, its parent company, Mother Lode and its affiliates.

Ms. Laffin-Miko has more than 25 years of experience in all areas of real estate law including title insurance and escrow, construction, lending, real estate brokerage, acquisitions, leasing and commercial litigation. Prior to joining the Mother Lode family, Ms. Laffin-Miko was the lead attorney for a large residential and commercial real estate brokerage firm in Southern California. She previously served as Claims Counsel and Underwriting Counsel within the title industry. Ms. Laffin-Miko also has held a California real estate broker's license and was a broker for a small Marin County real estate firm.

She holds a B.A. from University of California and a J.D. from McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific.

Jerry Chalmers

Assistant General Counsel

Jerry is in charge of the legal review of all rate filings and all things related to California Senate Bill 133. He has a wealth of title and escrow knowledge and as a result is a valuable resource to all of our title and escrow staff. Jerry is also Westcor Land Title's authorized local underwriter. Westcor Land Title is a widely used underwriter of ours and having Jerry in our legal department gives us the ability to make quick decisions and expedite the closing process.

David Westcott

Executive Vice President, General Counsel

David Westcott joined National Closing Solutions in 2007 as Executive Vice President, General Counsel. Westcott attended Boalt Hall School of Law and has been an attorney since 1977. He was a partner in a private firm practicing real estate and title insurance litigation prior to beginning work solely in the title and escrow industry in 1983. He was Regional Counsel for First American Title handling claims and underwriting until 2000. He then joined First American of Marin as an Owner, President and Counsel. In 2003, Westcott became the Owner and Counsel for Napa Land Title Company, which ultimately became a wholly owned subsidiary of LandAmerica Title Company.

Westcott has taught courses and written materials on title insurance and escrow for the California Land Title Association, the California Continuing Education of the Bar, Professional Education Systems, Inc., Practicing Law Institute, and the Real Property section of the State Bar of California. Westcott is one of the authors of California Title Insurance Practice (2d Ed, 1994) for CEB. He has been a member of the Legislative, Claims Awareness and Education Committees of the California Land Title Association and is presently a member of the Forms and Practices Committee.

Westcott was Chairman of the Real Property Section of the Napa County Bar Association from 2003 to 2006. He served as Chairman of the Real Property Section of the Bar Association of San Francisco in 1989 and Chairman of the San Francisco Real Estate Roundtable in 1991. For the year 1998, he was the President of the Sacramento County Bar Association Real Property Section. He has been a member (1999-2001) and Vice Chair (2001-2002) of the Executive Committee of the Real Property Section of the California State Bar.

Westcott's Martindale-Hubbell rating is A-V.
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