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Legal Hotline do's and don'ts

By: Goldsmith, James on in

The PAR Legal Hotline is 20 years old. Thousands of calls later, we’re still in business. Some of you we know by voice: your calls make us laugh, cry, wince and sympathize. We have forged friendships over the Hotline and have come to learn and share in your trials and tribulations.  We are always gratified to hear your heartfelt thanks at the conclusion of most calls. 77006514

Let me reiterate some of the rules for Hotline use:

  • Please call us between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. weekdays. Calls placed outside of Hotline hours cannot be returned. Calls placed within these hours are returned the same day, though we can’t promise to make multiple calls when we’re unable to locate you on the first call. Leave us a cell-phone number that will alert you to our call.  
  • When leaving a message on the Hotline, speak slowly and clearly. Leave your full name and spell your last name. Be sure to include the area code with your phone number. (You would be surprised by the number of messages that do not include this important information!)
  • When leaving a message, please do not state your question.  Sometimes names and numbers are retrieved by support staff who cannot adequately convey all the details of your message to the Hotline attorney. We have so many calls each day that retrieving Hotline messages with lengthy messages becomes burdensome. Your name – spelled clearly — and telephone number are sufficient.
  • With rare exception, we provide voice responses only.  We can’t put our answers in writing since it would tax the limited resources that are available to answer the thousands of calls we take annually.

Remember — the Hotline is not a substitute for obtaining your own legal counsel. Its purpose is to provide non-adversarial legal information. Our answer is always based on the facts provided; even a slight variation of the facts may lead to a different answer. Our advice is not to be quoted and is not intended as guidance for your clients or customers. You are urged to obtain legal counsel and to encourage your buyers, sellers, lessees and lessors to do the same.

That said, we look forward to the next 20 years of serving you.

Legal Hotline Hints

On the hotline, we really appreciate everyone working to keep it moving efficiently. Not only is the market insanely busy for all of our members, it makes the hotline that much more busy.

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Comments (10)


  • Melanie McLane   February 11, 2010 at 7:48 am

    Jim–We are so lucky to have this member service AND to have you and your staff, who are SO knowledgable manning the phones. There is many a time when I’m asked a question–in or out of class when I reply by saying: “That’s a legal hotline question.” Also, in my travels, I have found that some states have NO legal hotline for members, and some states limit the calls to brokers only, which puts the agent who thinks the broker is doing something wrong in a tough spot. Congratultions on a job so well down!

    Reply to Melanie McLane
  • Linda Moon   February 11, 2010 at 7:58 am


    I agree with Melanie. It’s is very comforting to know we have someone to call when questions and problems arise. Keep up the good work.

    Reply to Linda Moon
  • Jim Goldsmith   February 11, 2010 at 9:05 am

    Thanks so much Melanie. We do our best! We get a lot of nice responses (mostly); very nice to hear from an educator like you. Jim

    Reply to Jim Goldsmith
  • Bill Festa   February 11, 2010 at 9:52 am

    I’m betting I fall into the “winced” category 🙂 I hesitate to name the number one membership benefit because there could be multiple correct answers, but the PAR Hot-line is certainly one of those answers. Thank you and keep up the good work!

    Reply to Bill Festa
  • Allen Sowers   February 11, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    To all the Attorneys that help all the Realtors with answers for free.

    I appreciate your time and patience when I call. I have never called the HOT LINE that I did not have a good answer to the question or where to get the answer.

    How lucky, we as Realtors are to have this service.

    Thanks again.

    Allen Sowers

    Reply to Allen Sowers
  • Jack Malloy   February 15, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    The PAR Hotline is a priceless resource to our members. Kudos to Jim and his staff for being there for us all of these years and into the future.

    Reply to Jack Malloy
  • Brian Luce   February 22, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    As always… A+++++++++++ for the Legal Hotline. Jim, Brett, the entire staff are second to none. As noted above, many states don’t have this fantastic resource.

    Reply to Brian Luce
  • Sharon   August 11, 2014 at 7:33 pm

    Love you guys! My guess is that my VOICE is how you recognize me. They even kid me at my office about all my calls to you all. Seriously though….. I want to thank you for being there for us……from the bottom of my heart. AWESOME job!!

    Reply to Sharon
  • Edward Novack   July 21, 2018 at 7:04 am

    Sir/Madam Legal Hotline,

    It’s a service which is unsurpassed.

    I do have a question for James. James I spoke with you this past week and I believe you told me that
    you recently wrote about walk through inspections. I have failed to find it. Please tell me where it is.

    Or was it another article?


    Reply to Edward Novack

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