Member Highlight – Honorary: Don Ogden
One of the first Honorary Members of LTAMS, Don Ogden has been a driver in the Mississippi title industry for years. After he graduated law school at Ole Miss, Don began his career in private practice. Fate placed him in an excellent venue for learning the law of land titles—Natchez, a city that borders the Mississippi River. In Adams County, there is no sectional index, very few regular sections, rich history of land transfers dating back to the 1700s, and substantial oil and gas exploration. Don’s new firm wanted to hand over its title searches to their new associate attorney, and Don ran with the opportunity.
Don always enjoyed the practice of law, even though it had its ups and downs. As others in the oil and gas industry can relate, Don recalls the difficulties of downward swings in the market, “When the oil business faltered in 1985 it was difficult. Within two weeks there was no work.” Though business in the private practice could fluctuate, Don’s joy for helping others solve problems and plan for contingencies remained constant. His desire to solve problems translated well when Don became Mississippi State Counsel for First American in 2002.
While at First American, Don remained very active in the title industry—a member of the Mississippi Bar, Tri-County Real Estate Attorneys’ Association, and the Southeastern Land Title Association. A frequent speaker at seminars and inter-company training events, Don was a teacher. He led multiple training initiatives at First American, from holding weekly title schools for employees in First American’s state office to leading First American’s national Excellence in Underwriting program held at its corporate headquarters in Santa Ana, California.
Over his time at First American, Don climbed the ranks from State Counsel to Gulf Coast Regional Counsel to National Underwriting Counsel. Don credits working in-house with First American with some of the most satisfying accomplishments in his career, “I had the opportunity to lead teams, teach and underwrite land title transactions both locally and nationally. As a local attorney, these opportunities did not exist.” When Don retired in 2019, he was responsible for directing the underwriting of multi-million-dollar commercial transactions throughout the southeast.
Since his retirement, he has spent much time fishing, reading, building things, traveling, fishing some more, hiking segments of the Appalachian Trail, and playing with his grandchildren. Don is the quintessential Southern gentleman and a first-class title professional.
To learn more about Don Ogden, view his member profile.