Syd Smithers Chosen as Editor-in-Chief of Prestigious Conveyancing Treatise

F. Sydney Smithers was recently appointed editor-in-chief of the leading reference book for title and real estate lawyers, Crocker’s Notes on Common Forms.  First published in 1883 by Uriel H. Crocker, Crocker’s Notes on Common Forms has served as the essential reference for Massachusetts title attorneys and conveyancers for over 100 years.

As editor-in-chief, Syd will be responsible for many aspects of the production.  He will help to identify new contributors, review updates to chapters as they come in from authors, and serve as advisor when determining the best choice of case law for the various chapters.  Prior to accepting editorial duties, Syd contributed two chapters to earlier editions of the treatise.

Since acquiring the copyright in 1995, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education (or MCLE) has published two editions of Crocker’s Notes.  The most recent edition, the ninth, was published in 2006, with supplements published in 2008 and 2010.  The 2012 edition will be the tenth in the publication’s history, and the first edited by Syd.  Syd takes over editorial duties from prominent real estate lawyer Henry H. Thayer, Esq. of Rackemann, Sawyer & Brewster, who served as editor for both the eighth and ninth editions.  Look for the newest edition in early November.

Syd is Chair of the Real Estate Department at Cain Hibbard & Myers.  He is also President of the Abstract Club, past President of The Real Estate Bar Association for Massachusetts and a Fellow of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers, one of only 34 in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.


About Crocker’s Notes

Uriel Haskell Crocker (1832 – 1902) was the son of successful Boston business man and publisher Uriel Crocker, head of the Crocker and Brewster Publishing House. He practiced law in Boston with his brother George G. Crocker, and over his lifetime published many other financial and legal texts in addition to Crocker’s Notes on Common Forms.  Some of his other published titles included:  Excessive Saving A Cause Of Commercial Distress: Being A Series Of Assaults Upon Accepted Principles Of Political Economy, Over-production and Commercial Distress, The Depression in Trade and the Wages of Labor, The Cause of Hard Times, and The History of A Title: A Conveyancer’s Romance.

The copyright on Crocker’s Notes on Common Forms was passed from Uriel H. Crocker to his son George C. Crocker and eventually to three Trustees of a Declaration of Trust, who protected the copyright and produced regular updates until 1995 when the copyright was acquired by MCLE.


About MCLE

Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc. is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) educational institution whose mission is to provide comprehensive and practical continuing legal education to the broadest possible audience through their programs and published reference materials.  Each year, more than 15,000 lawyers, judges, and law professionals attend MCLE’s programs focusing on the practical application of the law in Massachusetts as well as other New England states.  Their publishing program features more than 150 titles, many of which are supplemented regularly and available both in print and online.  They feature helpful commentary, sample forms, practice tips, case highlights, and resource listings.  You can learn more about MCLE at their website:


To view F. Sydney Smithers’ profile, click here.