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A May 11, 2010 article in Legal Intelligencer summarized a recent discussion at the ABA Real Property, Trust and Estate Law spring symposium in Philadelphia and included a quote by Venable Bankruptcy Practice Group chair Greg Cross.

In his remarks, Cross likened the commercial real estate market to a coal mine.

"If you see any light out there, it's just the light on the miner's helmet looking for the exit," said Cross.

Cross shared figures that underlined his message, pointing out that more than a trillion dollars in commercial real estate loans will come to their maturity date by 2014 and while defaults doubled in 2009, they aren't expected to peak until 2011.

And while the real estate market is not out of the weeds, Legal Intelligencer reported that law firms are gearing up for other kinds of work, such as commercial mortgage-backed securities defaults.