Virginia State Bar

An agency of the Supreme Court of Virginia

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Real Property

A Section of the Virginia State Bar.

Meeting Minutes - January 19, 2007

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, with Area Representatives, section members and other attendees, was held at the College of William and Mary School of Law, Williamsburg, Virginia, of Friday January 19, 2007, commencing at 1:00 PM.

The following individuals (based upon execution of the signed roll sheet or otherwise recognized and known to be present) were in attendance: Grice McMullan [Chair], Randy Howard [Secretary/Treasurer], Courtland L. Traver, David C. Helscher, Barbara Goshorn, Paula S. Caplinger, Larry J. McElwain, Bill Nusbaum, Christina Meier, Ken Dickinson, Pia Trigiani, Howard Gordon, Susan Pesner, Harry Purkey, Edward R. Waugaman, Joe Cochran, Paul A. Bellegarde, Rick Richmond, Susan Walker, Doug Dewing, Mike Pace, Steve Romine, Linda Butler, Nancy Kern and Karen A. Gould [2006-2007 VSB President].

Chair Grice McMullan called the meeting to order at 1:00 PM, offered welcoming remarks, requested that all individuals sign the roll sheet as it circulated around the room, and had each person introduce herself/himself to the group.

As the first order of business at the meeting, the minutes of the Fall Meeting held at the Virginia CLE Office in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Friday, September 8, 2006, were offered and unanimously approved.

The financial report was offered by the Chair.

(1) As of June 30, 2006, $41,130 had been collected by the RPS for fiscal year 2006 -2007. The expenses for the immediate past year were $33,520.
(2) With this as a basis, the Chair initiated discussion of application of funds for research in conjunction with the up-coming annual seminars sponsored by the RPS. A motion was given by Susan Pesner to establish a budget of $3,000 - $5,000 to cover such research. The motion was seconded and unanimously approved.
(3) The Chair also noted that annual RPS dues will increase to $25 beginning with calendar year 2008.

Next on the agenda was a discussion of new Area Representatives. The Chair announced that Pam Sellers [Central Region] had resigned as an Area Representative. There were no nominations of individuals to serve as new Area Representatives.

The annual Legal Writing Contest was then discussed. In Larry Schonberger’s absence, the Chair advised that Larry has approached all Virginia based law schools to encourage student participation. Christina Meier noted that suggestions as to topics of interest might encourage participation and yield essays most relevant to the focus of RPS. Susan Pesner volunteered to present the contest to students at George Mason. The Chair noted that prizes will be awarded for the three top judged essays ($500 – 1st place; $300 – 2nd place; $200 – 3rd place).

An up-date as RPS sponsored seminars followed:

(1) The Advanced Real Estate Seminar is set for February 23 – 24, 2007, at the Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, Virginia. The seminar will have half-day sessions on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning with an optional group dinner for attendees and guests Friday evening at the Williamsburg Winery. A RPS business meeting will precede [10:15 AM – 11:30 AM the seminar on Friday.
(2) The 25th Annual Real Estate Practice Seminar will be held at four locations throughout the state on May 8, 9, 15 and 16, 2007.
(3) The Annual Summer Meeting of the VSB will provide a forum for a joint CLE program, for registered attendees, sponsored by RPS and the Bankruptcy Section. The topic is titled Fight the Trustee: Strategy and Tactics to Defeat a Bankruptcy Trustee’s Attempt to Take Your Client’s Property and will be presented by Bruce Davis, Esq., of Bean Kinnery & Korman of the Bankruptcy Section with J. Philip Hart, Esq. of Genworth Financial [Chair of RPS Creditors’ Rights & Bankruptcy Sub-committee] leading a participating panel discussion. The RPS business meeting will follow [12:30 PM – 1:30 PM] the program.
(4) Nancy Kern noted that Phyllis Rubenstein will speak at the Advanced Real Estate Seminar on the topic of Conservation Easements while noting that the topic would also be included in other future seminars as well as being offered as a separate 1-hour seminar.

Among the unfinished business items, the following items were discussed.

Steve Romine and Bill Nusbaum were appointed as Chairs for the Environmental and Commercial Real Estate Subcommittees, respectively.

The Chair restated his goal for all Subcommittees having active interaction throughout the year and not just at RPS business meetings. To that end, it is desired that each Subcommittee have at least semi-annual telephone conferences between its members. The Chair noted that issues relevant to each subcommittee should be directing to and coordinated through the subcommittee. The conferences are requested to review what is happening in the regions and focus on who might be good additions as Area Representatives so that the entire state is actively covered. The calls are to be arranged by coordinating through Dolly Shaffner at VSB.

New legislation under review at the current session of the Virginia General Assembly was discussed. Several topics were noted and input was voiced principally by Doug Dewing, Susan Pesner, Pia Trigiani and the Chair. Of particular focus was the on-going issue concerning the availability of private information on individuals and freedom of access to public records, and what levels of protection are available to individuals with respect to identity theft, etc. The Chair spoke as to securitization causing the real estate industry to move toward the use of “E-mortgages”, and the fact that, upon review, the Section supports the adoption of the Uniform Environmental Covenants Act. Pia Trigiani stated that the notary (electronic and regular) act is going through a major revision as is the Residential Disclosure/Disclaimer Act. Susan Pesner, Rick Richmond and Karen Gould commented on the existing Client Protection Fund statute and its possible amendment during this session of the General Assembly to increase the fund size and its individual case recovery limits.

Review of establishing an Eminent Domain Subcommittee was deferred due to the absence of Chuck Lollar who is heading this charge.

The possibility of a liaison with the Clerks’ Association was then raised by the Chair and a discussion ensued resulting in a determination not to approach the Clerks’ Association at this time due to the need to first focus on tasks of more immediate importance to the Section such as strengthening the Subcommittee and Area Representatives systems.

The Chair also noted the death of Bob Andrews, husband of Minerva Andrews a long-time contributor to RPS educational endeavors. A letter from Minerva was then read by the Chair to the Section’s meeting attendees thanking the Section for its expression of concern as to the death of her husband.

The Chair then directed the meeting to Subcommittee Reports:

Significant discussion focused on the printing of November 2006 issued of the FEE SIMPLE Volume XXVII, Number 1. Noted problems on the issue included page bleed-through, light ink, fold-over pages, and several omitted pages. Lynda Butler, as did others, noted that the production reflects on the RPS. Karen Gold advised that engagement of printer was subject to Commonwealth of Virginia procurement standards. The Chair, or his designee, will further review this situation directly with the printer and communicate the expectations associated with future printings. Doug Dewing agreed to post the entire issue on the RPS website.

Lynda Butler also addressed the next issue of the FEE SIMPLE. Possible article topics and contributors were discussed.

Membership: Joe Cochran reported the Section’s membership stands at 2,111 members as of January 2007 as compared to 2,093 one year prior. Ed Waugaman noted the significant positive impact that RPS representation at the annual First Day in Practice Seminar continues to have on RPS membership.

Technology: Doug Dewing delivered a written report (copy attached) which was shared with the attendees.

Creditors Rights and Bankruptcy: no report.

Ethics: Susan Pesner will furnish an article for the next edition of the FEE SIMPLE. Some discussion followed concerning HUD settlement statements and CBA relationships.

Residential Real Estate: The first Subcommittee telephone conference has been set.

Title Insurance: Paula Caplinger was appointed as Chair.

The Chair initiated discussion concerning the on-going relationship between the RPS and the Real Estate Section (RES) of the Virginia Bar Association. Ed Waugaman noted that membership in the RES hovered in the 500 member range as compared to the 2,100+ of the RPS; and urged members to support and join both organizations.

Steve Romine, Co-Chair of the ABA Strategic Planning Committee, spoke as to the ABA Real Property & Trust Section in terms of interaction and support of local bar associations in areas where state and national interests have common issues. Steve seeks input from section members.

Nancy Kern noted that nominations were still being accepted with respect to the Courtland L. Traver Award.

As a last item, the Chair noted that Courtland Traver had again volunteered his home and hospitality to all attendees for a cocktail and social gathering following the meeting.

There being no further business, upon motion duly made, seconded and unanimously passed, the meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,

Randy C. Howard




1:00 Pm to approximately 3:00 pm
Friday, January 19, 2007

R00M 124

1. Welcome/Introductions - McMullan

2. Approval of minutes from the September 8 , 2006 meeting -

3. Financial Report - McMullan/ Howard

4. New Area Representatives - McMullan

5. Legal Writing Contest for 2006/2007 - Schonberger

6. Seminars

A. Advanced Real Estate Seminar - (Kingsmill, Williamsburg, VA on February 23 and 24, 2007 - Kern
B. Annual Real Estate Practice Seminar ( Four locations on May 8, 9, 15, and 16, 2007) - Kern
C. Annual Meeting CLE Seminar (June 15, 2007) with the VSB Bankruptcy Section - Howard/McMullan
D. Conservation Easement Seminar plans - Kern

7. Meeting dates for balance of the fiscal year: - McMullan

Spring - February 23, 2007 at 10:15 am to 11:30am

Summer - June 15, 2007 at 12:30 to 1:30 pm (after the Annual Seminar presentation)

8. Unfinished Business

A. Nominations for Subcommittee chairs – we need an Environmental Subcommittee chair and a Commercial Real Estate Chair.
B. Report on assistance provided as to the new Acts.

VITA Redaction Work Group - D. Dewing
Notary Work Group- CGM -
Disclosure/Disclaimer Act- CGM

C. Handling Review of Legislation in the Future - CGM

9. Creation of Eminent Domain Subcommittee – Lollar

10. Liaison with Clerk’s Association – necessity, topics of common interest - McMullan

11. Minerva Taylor -CGM

12. New Business

A. Subcommittee Reports

Fee Simple- Butler or Traver
Membership - Cochrane
Technology- Dewing
Creditors Rights and Bankruptcy- Hart
Ethics- Pesner
Residential Real Estate - Zimmerman
Title Insurance - Waugaman

13. Liaison Reports:

A. Bar Counsel- King
B. Judicial- Judge Delk

14. Discussion of the Effectiveness of the Committee System

15. Discussion of the Area Representatives System and Area Membership