Virginia State Bar

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Real Property

A Section of the Virginia State Bar.

Meeting Minutes - January 18, 2008

Minutes of the Virginia State Bar
Real Property Section
Board of Governors

Williamsburg, Virginia

The winter meeting of the Board of Governors of the Real Property Section of the Virginia State Bar, and Section Area Representatives, with section members and other attendees, was held at the College of William & Mary School of Law in Williamsburg, Virginia on Friday, January 18, 2008, commencing at 1:00 p.m.

Present at the meeting were:

Board of Governors:

Jean D. Mumm, Chair
Joseph M. Cochran, Secretary
Paul A. Bellegrade
Kenneth L. Dickinson
William L. Nusbaum
Eric V. Zimmerman
Lynda L. Butler, Ex Officio, Academic Liaison
Nancy Kern, Ex Officio, Virginia CLE Liaison
* C. Grice McMullan, Jr., Ex Officio, Immediate Past Chair
Edward R. Waugaman, Ex Officio, VBA Real Estate Council Chair

Area Representatives:

Central Region Tidewater Region
Richard B. “Rick” Chess Kathryn Byler
Craig C. Erdmann *Paula S. Caplinger
Barbara Wright Goshorn * Douglass W. Dewing
* Larry J. McElwain * Howard E. Gordon
* Joseph W. Richmond, Jr. Lisa M. Murphy
Albert W. Thweatt, II Cynthia A. Nahorney
Harry R. Purkey, Jr.
Northern Region Amanda A. Smith
* Susan M. Pesner Philip R. Trapani, Jr.
Lucia Anna Trigiani *Courtland L. Traver
Susan S. Walker
Southside Region
Western Region
David C. Helscher
* Denotes past section chairs

I. Welcome/Introductions. Chair Jean Mumm called the meeting to order at 1:00 p.m., offered welcoming remarks, requested that all individuals in attendance sign the roll sheet as it circulated around the room, and had each person introduce themselves to the group. She also stated that the focus of the meeting would be on two areas of discussion, current legislation proposed before the General Assembly and matters involving the Fee Simple.

II. Approval of Minutes from September 28, 2007 Meeting. The minutes for the September 28, 2007 fall meeting of the section were presented. Susan Pesner moved that they be approved and her motion was seconded by Grice McMullan and the minutes were approved.

III. Financial Report. Jean Mumm reported that to date, the income of the section is $51,665. The budget calls for expenditures totalling $41,560. To date the sum of $6,132 has been spent. She then recognized Doug Dewing who made a motion that the section approve the allocation and payment of $3,500 to the National Legal Research Group for their case update for the May CLE. His motion was seconded by Susan Pesner. During discussion, Ed Waugaman noted that the Real Property section should get due credit for paying for that research at the CLE and in the written materials. Hearing no further discussion, the motion was approved.

IV. Future Meeting Dates.

A. Spring Meeting. Jean Mumm announced that the Spring Meeting of the section will take place at 10:30 a.m. on February 22, 2008 at Kingsmill in Williamsburg.

B. Summer Meeting. Jean Mumm announced that the Summer Meeting of the section will take place at 12:30 p.m. on June 20, 2008 at the Holiday Inn SunSpree in Virginia Beach.


V. Susan Pesner made a motion that was seconded by Eric Zimmerman that Jordan M. Samuel be approved as an area representative from Northern Virginia. The motion was approved.

VI. Seminars.

A. Advanced Real Estate Seminar. Nancy Kern reminded the group that the Advanced Real Estate Seminar would take place at Kingsmill in Williamsburg on February 22 and 23. She reviewed the topics that will be presented.

B. Annual Real Estate Practice Seminar. Nancy Kern reminded the group that the Annual Real Estate Practice Seminar will be held in May at various locations around the state. She reviewed with the group the topics to be presented.

C. Annual Meeting CLE Seminar. Joe Cochran reminded the group that the Annual Meeting CLE Seminar would be on June 20, 2008 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Holiday Inn SunSpree in Virginia Beach. He announced the topic and the panelists that will be presenting.

VII. Discussion of Proposed Real Estate Related Legislation. Jean Mumm introduced Ed Waugaman who is an Ex Officio member of the section’s Board of Governors as the Virginia Bar Association Real Estate Council Chair. He presented several bills that will be considered by the General Assembly during this session which include the following:

1. A clerk’s bill that would, among other things, increase recording fees.
2. A bill that will protect clerks from liability for errors in cover sheets.
3. CRESPA bond increase bill that seeks to increase the current bond requirement of $100,000 to $200,000.
4. A notary statute amendment which seeks to make technical corrections to the statute that resulted from the 2007 amendment to the statute.
5. Repeal of the Virginia Code Section 55-37, the Doctrine of Necessity.
6. A notice of cemeteries on property, HB 540, which would require notice in a deed of conveyance that a cemetery exists on the property being conveyed.
7. Evidence of legal presence, HB 156, which requires a settlement agent to verify the legal presence of a person who is buying or selling property in the United States.
8. Property Owner’s Association Act amendments, HB 1076, which seeks to make several changes to the property owner’s association act and is proposed by the Virginia Association of Realtors.

In connection with the clerk’s bill, there was a lengthy discussion about the merits of the bill which led the group to discuss, again, whether or not the Virginia State Bar Real Property Section can comment on pending legislation and whether or not the section can by formal vote indicate its opinion concerning pending legislation. Jean Mumm reminded the group that because the Virginia State Bar is an arm of the Supreme Court, the Virginia State Bar nor any of its committees or law sections can lobby the General Assembly on legislative matters. She indicated that the Virginia Bar Association is the lobby group in the state and if any formal position is to be taken on any of the legislation that is pending, that it needs to be done through the Virginia Bar Association. She reminded the group that Ed’s report was for informational purposes and general discussion purposes but not intended to elicit endorsements on the legislation being proposed. Ed gave the group his email address which is edw@southerntitle.com and encouraged everyone to review the legislation that he highlighted as well as other bills and provide comments to him and he’d be glad to pass them on as appropriate in his capacity as Virginia Bar Association Real Estate Council Chair.

VIII. Fee Simple.

A. Method of Dissemination. Jean Mumm introduced Lynda Butler and told the group that Lynda and Doug Dewing had worked in the past couple of months to research the various ways the Fee Simple could be distributed to the section membership by electronic methods. Jean reported that the November 2006 issue of the Fee Simple cost $1,468 to mail, and that the November 2007 issue printing cost was $7,000 and that each time the section produces the Fee Simple, the section incurs a cost of $2,000 to reimburse Felicia Burton’s time with the William & Mary Law School. Lynda reported that the Virginia State Bar is beginning to consider a different printing company for this publication which could cost approximately $1,000 more.

Lynda reported that they considered two ways to provide the Fee Simple electronically. First, to post it on the section’s website and second, to send the document by PDF to members. A discussion ensued in which a number of questions were raised about providing the document in electronic form. Larry McElwain suggested that the section provide an option to members and if they choose to receive the Fee Simple in electronic form they would be charged more. Rick Richmond said he thought that it could be difficult to download the document from a computer in that it’s such a good product that it is worth printing and putting in paper form and sending to the members. It’s a very tangible benefit to membership of the section and the print form should be kept. He indicated that at some point in the future he imagines it would go to purely an electronic dissemination but for now it seemed to him that we should continue to print paper copies and send them to the membership. Others in the group indicated that they were concerned that an electronic copy will be sent but not as well read as a paper copy will be. Still others said they saw no reason not to try to send the document electronically. Lynda and Doug could not report on the extra cost that would be incurred or savings that could be realized by sending the Fee Simple in electronic form. Jean asked Doug and Lynda to research the matter further and determine cost estimates, logistics benefits and burdens, etc. so that the section could make a more informed decision at a future meeting. Rick Richmond suggested that we survey the membership in the next Fee Simple.

B. Committee Reports. Lynda Butler indicated that she believed that the current committee reports that appear in the Fee Simple do not serve the readership well. She encouraged committees to submit reports along the lines of the technology report that Doug Dewing submits on a regular basis.

C. Articles for May Issue. Jean Mumm announced that articles are due April 21, 2008. She and Lynda encouraged the group to be on the lookout for Circuit Court opinions as they are very helpful to the readership because they are opinions that are not widely disseminated.

D. Forms. Jean Mumm indicated that the deed forms and other forms that have been published by the section in the Fee Simple need to be updated. She encouraged the section to form a joint task force with the Virginia Bar Association to update the forms. She asked that Joe Cochran and Barbara Goshorn head up that committee and Larry McElwain volunteered to serve on the committee.

Court Traver indicated that the section owes a great debt of gratitude to Lynda Butler and Felicia Burton for all of their hard work that goes into producing the Fee Simple. He indicated that every issue requires quite a bit of work on their part and they do a superb job and they should be commended. The group recognized them with a hearty round of applause.

IX. New York Ethics Opinion Regarding “Growth Stop” Sales Contracts. Jean Mumm asked the group to table discussion on this matter given the lateness of the hour. There was no objection.

X. Other Matters. Paula Caplinger indicated that the American Land Title Association has issued new forms as of January 7, 2008. They are not currently being used in Virginia but will be used soon and we should be on the lookout for them.

Paula also announced that HB 413 concerning a continuing education requirement for title insurers prior to licensure was being considered. She urged the group to read the bill and to comment to their legislators.

It was announced that the Virginia Bar Association is always looking for more members. The current Virginia Bar Association Real Estate Section membership is 500. Folks are encouraged to join the VBA membership if they are not already members.

Paula Caplinger made a motion to adjourn which was seconded by Grice McMullan and the meeting was adjourned at 3:10 p.m.

Please see attachments which are a copy of the agenda and a copy of Ed Waugaman’s listing of real estate related legislative matters being considered by the General Assembly.

Respectfully Submitted,

Joseph M. Cochran, Secretary
 

AGENDA

WINTER MEETING OF THE BOARD OF GOVERNORS AND AREA REPRESENTATIVES OF
THE REAL PROPERTY SECTION OF
THE VIRGINIA STATE BAR

1:00 Pm to approximately 3:00 pm
Friday, January 18, 2008

WILLIAM AND MARY SCHOOL OF LAW
WILLIAMSBURG, VIRGINIA
R00M 127

AGENDA WINTER MEETING OF THE BOARD OF GOVERNORS OF THE REAL PROPERTY SECTION OF THE VIRGINIA STATE BAR 1:00 p.m. Friday, January 18, 2008 William & Mary School of Law Room 127

I. Welcome/Introductions – (Mumm)

II. Approval of Minutes from September 28, 2007 meeting (Mumm)

III. Financial Report (Mumm)

IV. Future Meeting Dates (Mumm)

A. Spring Meeting February 22, 2008 – 10:00 a.m. (Kingsmill – morning of Advanced Real Estate Seminar)
B. Summer Meeting June 20, 2008 – 12:30 p.m. (Holiday Inn SunSpree)

V. New Area Representatives

A. Jordan M. Samuel (Pesner)

VI. Seminars (Kern/Cochran)

A. Advanced Real Estate Seminar February 22/23 in Williamsburg
B. Annual Real Estate Practice Seminar May, 2008
C. Annual Meeting CLE Seminar June 20, 2008 – 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (Holiday Inn SunSpree)

VII. Discussion of Proposed Real Estate Related Legislation (Waugaman)

VIII. Fee Simple (Mumm/Butler/Dewing)

A. Method of Dissemination
B. Committee Reports
C. Articles for May Issue
D. Forms

IX. Discussion of New York Ethics Opinion regarding “Grossed Up” Sales Contracts (Helscher)