Virginia State Bar

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Real Property

A Section of the Virginia State Bar.

Meeting Minutes - November 29, 2011

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

Conference Call

Pursuant to due notice, a conference call meeting of the Virginia State Bar Real Property Section Board of Governors convened at 10:00 a.m., November 29, 2011. Section Chair Paul Melnick presided and Secretary/Treasurer Bill Nusbaum recorded the minutes. Also present were Lewis Biggs, Ken Dickinson, Barbara Goshorn, Randy Howard, and Larry McElwain; subsequently, but prior to the vote taken at the end of the second agenda item, Paul Bellegarde, Christina Meier and Cooper Youell joined the call. Phil Hart and Susan Walker were absent.

The Chair thanked everyone for taking the time to participate in the call.

I. Traver Scholar Award. The Chair mentioned that the Traver Scholar Award is announced and presented at the dinner during the Advanced Real Estate Seminar. The award is sponsored by the Virginia Bar Association Real Estate Council, with the winner selected through consultations among the VBA Real Estate Council and former Traver Scholar Award winners. A name was discussed and Mr. McElwain offered to place that name in nomination.

II. Area Representatives. The Chair recognized Mr. McElwain, in his capacity as Membership Committee Co-Chair, who reported that he had mailed letters to 85 Area Representatives, seeking confirmation of their interest in continuing to serve in that position, and had received 51 responses to date. Only three respondents opted to resign as Area Representatives. Many of those who have not responded are active contributors to the Section, so Mr. McElwain will follow up with the non-responders immediately, and try to submit a report by the end of December.

Mr. Melnick then asked whether Area Representative status should be permanent for Board of Governors members, past Section Chairs and/or Traver Scholars, and whether they should be exempted from meeting attendance and/or committee service obligations. This led to a led a wide-ranging discussion about the relationship between service as an Area Representative and service on the Board of Governors. In light of the consensus which began to form, Mr. Nusbaum suggested, and then restated as a motion, that (1) the Section adopt a policy (to be published in the Section Handbook) creating a new Area Representative status of "Honorary Area Representative," (2) Honorary Area Representative status would be accorded to all past Chairs of the Section and Traver Scholar Award winners, and (3) Honorary Area Representatives shall be exempt from the meeting attendance and Committee participation standards imposed with respect to Area Representatives, although they will be exhorted to continue to be active and contribute. (This would not affect requirements imposed with respect to Board of Governors members.) The motion was seconded by Ms. Goshorn, and unanimously adopted.

III. Future Seminars.

A. Advanced Seminar (March 2-3, 2012). Mr. McElwain, as Co-Chair of the Programs Committee, indicated that he believed the program was finished.

B. Annual Seminar. Mr. McElwain added that he also believes the program for the Annual Seminar is also "locked down," although he wasn't as certain about that as he was for the Advanced Seminar.

C. Annual Meeting CLE Program. Mr. Nusbaum updated the Board on the joint venture with the Taxation Section and the topic that had been selected, addiJ1g that both the Vista del Mar room and Steinhilbers were also confirmed.

IV. Report of Law School Liaison Ad Hoc Committee. The Chair asked Mr. Bellegarde for a report on the progress by the new Law School Liaison Committee. Mr. Bellegarde discussed the Committee's well-recei.ved pilot program at UVA Law School - an hour-long panel discussion on real estate law practice for second year and some third year law students'. The panel was hosted by Real Property Professor Alex Johnson and was comprised of Messrs. McElwain, Bellegarde and Chip Royer. Mr. Bellegarde noted that the panel could easily have lasted another 30 minutes. The next targets for the program will be the law schools at George Mason University and The College of William & Mary, with an effort to schedule the latter around our Winter or Spring meeting of the Board of Governors in Williamsburg. A program at the University of Richmond would follow. Cooper Youell volunteered to organize programs at Appalachian School of Law in Grundy and Liberty University Law School in Lynchburg. Mr. Bellegarde concluded by observing that as a state entity, the Section needed to offer the program to all the law schools in the Commonwealth.

V. Web Portal Update. Mr. Bellegarde advised that he was told in October by our liaison to VSB Communications Committee, Rod Coggins, that he might be able to secure a meeting with key members of the Communications Committee between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and if not, then in January.

VI. Next Meeting. The Chair advised that the Virginia Bar Association had a blanket reservation on the entire Williamsburg Inn for the day of our next meeting (January 20, 2012), and so he had been negotiating with the VBA to get it to release the Rockefeller Room for our' early afternoon meeting. Mr. McElwain also offered to lobby the VBA on our behalf. The Chair vowed, however, that in keeping with the tradition established by his predecessor, a "sumptuous repast" of sandwiches, fruit and sweets would be provided for lunch.

VII. Adjournment. There being no,other business, the Chair adjourned the meeting at 11:15 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

William L. Nusbaum

Paul Melnick, Chair

Meeting Minutes (.pdf) - November 29, 2011