Gerard G. Antetomaso
Partner, Evans Fox LLP
Years in current role: 5
What do you enjoy most about practicing real estate law?
I enjoy the people, the challenge, the variety of intellectual topics and the history of the area of practice. It amazes me how often concepts you learned in law school, even though that was 35 years ago, come into play when analyzing legal issues that affect real property.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve dealt with over the past year?
As with most people, COVID. It has changed the practice and how we approach lawyering. In some ways it has improved efficiencies. In many ways it has limited our personal interactions which have always been among the aspects of practicing I enjoy most.
What do you see as the biggest changes in real estate law in the next 3-5 years?
I think a secure and workable system of remote, electronic execution and recording is a necessary next step. We have made some strides with remote notarization and with electronic execution of some documents, but we still need wet signatures on anything we submit for recording (even if that document is submitted electronically). I see the integration of the entire process as the next dramatic change. I also think blockchain technology will eventually replace the archaic system we currently have for real property records. Five years, though, may be too short a window to meet that challenge.
What community organizations do you support as a volunteer and why?
Currently, I spend most of my volunteer time working with the NYS Bar Association and a club I belong to where I serve as an officer. In the past, I have chaired the finance committee of my church and have served as a board member of charities and community organizations. I think service is important but spreading oneself too thin is in no one’s interest. It is important to be fully engaged in whatever role you decide to undertake. As past Chair of the Real Property Section of the NYSBA during the initial stages of the pandemic, I found out first hand how important it was to be able to devote the time and effort needed to properly serve the members of the organization.
What is one personal goal you have for the next year?
To become a single digit handicap! Then again, that’s been a goal for a long time. On a more serious level, though, I am fortunate enough to work with a great group of people. Evans Fox is a team of very talented, highly ethical and extremely caring individuals. I am a believer that people and process are the foundation of what makes a great firm. While I do have specific measurables which may not be appropriate to share here, I can state that my primary goal is to keep building and educating our team while honing our processes so that together we may better serve our clients. That may sound trite or cliché but if you ask anyone on our team, you’ll find they are all about helping each other and our clients.