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Rebecca F. Schiller
Rebecca F. Schiller

The POWER 30: Rebecca Schiller

Bernick Lifson, P.A.

Rebecca Schiller has practiced real estate law for a while in a number of different roles and in a number of places.

Now she is very happy at the St. Louis Park firm Bernick Lifson, where her practice is 75% to 80% litigation. “I’m not on a partnership track and I don’t need that,” she says. Her experience ranges from complex title issues to boundary disputes to challenging and defending foreclosures.

With the pandemic shutdown and the foreclosure crisis, the courts are experiencing an increase in pro se litigation, including housing court. Schiller is frustrated with some of the frivolous litigation that is allowed to pro se litigants.

One case started as a foreclosure/eviction that has resulted in three appeals to district court, and a separate action. The problem is that the rules don’t require the pro se litigant to use e-service, which effectively cuts Schiller’s time to respond. But some time pro se parties use e-file and don’t allow themselves to be e-served. She has also seen a slander of title case, involving a pro se litigant who used various filings by proxies to hold up a commercial closing for three years, using proxies filing new cases.

Schiller is watching a pending piece of litigation, HF 685, that would prohibit a corporate entity, real estate developer or residential building contractor from directly or indirectly purchasing, owning, building, acquiring or otherwise obtaining any interest in property classified as class 1a under section 273.13, subdivision 22 (residential homestead); and then converting the property into a nonhomstead residential real estate containing one rental unit. The purpose of the statute is to protect and encourage single family homes, it states.