Virginia State Bar

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Real Property

A Section of the Virginia State Bar.

Meeting Minutes - January 20, 2006

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 in attendance and participating at the meeting, was held at the William and Mary School of Law, in Williamsburg, Virginia, on Friday, January 20, 2006, commencing at 1: 15 p.m.

The following persons (based on execution of the roll sheet or otherwise known to be present) were in attendance: Douglass Dewing, Grice McMullan, Jean Mumm, Steve Romine, Lucy Davis, Eric Zimmerman, Randy Howard, Paula Caplinger, Lawrence Daughtrey, Barbara Goshorn, Cynthia Nahorney, Christina Meier, Rick Richmond, Rick Chess, Paul Beelegarde, Larry McElwain, Harry Purkey, Albert Thweatt, Howard Gordon, Courtland Traver, Nancy Kern, David Helscher, Ed Waugaman, Susan Pesner, Susan Siegfried, Manus Holmes, Lynda Butler and Chuck Lollar.

Doug Dewing called the meeting to order at 1:15 p.m, made welcoming remarks and asked all attendees to sign the attendance sheet.

The minutes of the fall meeting held at the Virginia CLE Office in Charlottesville on September 16, 2005, were unanimously approved at the meeting, subject to correction of the spelling of Grice McMullan's name, typographical errors and substitution of David Helscher's name for David Mercer's name.

A discussion of the Section's finances then took place. Doug Dewing announced that next year's budget needs to be submitted to the State Bar in February. Members are to let Doug know if there are any new expense items to be added to the budget.

Albert Thweatt from Richmond was nominated by Randy Howard to be a new area representative and his nomination was unanimously approved by those in attendance.

The legal writing contest was then discussed. Doug Dewing provided an update, including the fact that it has been determined that we do not need the approval of the State Bar for the contest. We do, however, need people to judge the articles. Some discussion was had on who should serve as judges. Further discussion was deferred until the February meeting.

Nancy Kern provided an update on Seminars. The Advanced Seminar will be limited to 90 participants and be held at KingsMill on February 24-25. Those in attendance who were planning to attend the Advanced Seminar were urged to make their room reservations as soon as possible as the hotel room block was ending on January 24, 2006. The Annual seminar will be held in May, at four locations. This Seminar will include a review of the recent case law and the legislative update. The committee met prior to the meeting to discuss other topics and speakers. Nancy also reminded everyone that there was a condominium and condominium conversation seminar planned for June 7, location unknown, and a video replay of the 1031 seminar in February. Finally, Nancy was considering doing a telephone seminar on the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act and was looking for feedback from the group on this idea.

David Helscher reminded everyone that nominations for the VBA/VA CLE award in honor of Courtland Traver were due by mid-February so the recipient could be notified prior to the Advanced Real Estate Seminar. The recipient of the award will be provided with a scholarship to the Advanced Real Estate Seminar that covers the cost of the seminar, accommodations and meals.

Doug Dewing reported that the minutes from past meetings reflect that there is a standing resolution authorizing the engagement of NLRG to provide the information for the case law update for the Annual Seminar. The cost is $3000-$5000. Notwithstanding the standing resolution, a motion was made to approve the expenditure for this year's seminar and the motion was unanimously approved by those in attendance.

The Annual Meeting CLE was then discussed. Doug Dewing advised that he had received an email stating that the joint Real Estate, Environmental and Local Government sections seminar on traditional neighborhoods was not selected as the showcase presentation. The seminar will be at the Holiday Inn Sunspree. Jean Mumm gave an update on this seminar.

The meeting then moved to the Old Business items on the agenda. Doug Dewing circulated among those in attendance a list of the names, addresses, telephone and fax numbers and email addresses for the Board members and Area Representatives and asked that information be updated as needed.

Subcommittee chairmanship vacancies were then discussed. It was suggested that Judge Delk from Suffolk be approached to fill the vacancy as the Judicial Liaison.

A draft of the Section's Mission Statement was circulated and discussed. It was determined after some discussion that proposed changes were to be submitted to Doug Dewing by February 15, 2006. Further discussion is to take place on this issue at the February meeting.

Doug Dewing received and disseminated information from Pia Trigiani on proposed legislation. Several of the proposed bills were briefly reviewed with some discussion. Comments are to be provided to Pia or David Helscher.

The meeting then moved to discussion of the New Business items on the agenda.
Recruiting was the first item on the agenda. Randy Howard prepared a roster of the section's membership, sorted by zip codes and color coded by regions of the state. Those in attendance were encouraged to take a copy of the roster and contact those people who they feel might be interested in participating in the Section. It was noted that the roster is 2-3 years old, but the most up to date version available.

Interaction with the VLTA was then discussed. Doug Dewing reported that he spoke to several people with the VLTA about this matter and never got a response. Ed Waugaman stated that he thought that the VLTA would be open to working with the Section on projects of mutual interest. Ed's committee will look into this further.

On the issue of forming an ad hoc committee to disseminate recent cases of interest, Doug Dewing stated that he spoke with the State Bar about attaching an on-line discussion board to the Section's State Bar website. Doug said he was told that the State Bar is still looking into this issue. Discussion was then had of alternative ways to accomplish what the Section is hoping to achieve.

The meeting then moved on to Subcommittee Reports. The Technology Subcommittee Report was included in the packet of materials provided with the meeting's agenda. Those in attendance were reminded that their firm websites were subject to State Bar rules and the rules should be reviewed to determine what can and cannot be put on a firm website.

A report on the Fee Simple was given by Lynda Butler. The deadline for new articles is April 21, 2006. The legislative summaries and recent case law summaries will be included in the next issue. Possible other articles were discussed - Lynda Butler was to contact the Williamsburg attorney involved in a recent homeowner's case involving parking reported in the VA Lawyer's Weekly, Doug Dewing was to look at the recently reported mechanic's lien opinion and Patrick Pettit will be contacted about writing a Landlord/Tenant article.

It was reported that at the First Day of Practice Seminar, there was quite a bit of interest in real estate, which resulted in 30-40 new Section members.

The Membership Subcommittee reported that we have 2093 members, which makes the Section #2 in total membership, tied with the Criminal Law Section.

With regard to Ethics, Susan Pesner reported that the State Bar is increasing investigations into affiliated business relationships.

It was reported that Mark Williamson is looking for a co-chair for the Commercial Subcommittee.

The Creditors' Rights and Bankruptcy Subcommittee is in need of a new chairman. Discussion was had as to whether this subcommittee is needed.

Steve Romine volunteered to be the new chairman of the Land Use and Environmental Subcommittee, taking over for Steve Blaine.

Eric Zimmerman and Barbara Goshorn are to discuss chairing the Residential Subcommittee.

Liaison reports were then given. The Bar Counsel's report reminded everyone that COLD has a task force looking at trust account rules and enforcement of these rules. We are to expect a new set of rules from the Bar to address trust account violations. In addition, it was reported that the Chief Justice has an initiative to improve the practice of law in rural areas and solo practices, with an emphasis on criminal law and trust account procedures.

Manus Holmes gave the Old Dominion Bar Association Liaison Report. Manus advised that most members of the ODBA do not practice real estate. In light of this, he is going to channel his energies to assist with the First Day of Practice Seminar.

Doug Dewing advised that there was information in the package handed out with the agenda regarding the proposed modifications to certain Rules of Professional Conduct and the means for providing comments.

Those in attendance were encouraged to join the VBA.

There being no further business, upon motion duly made, seconded, and unanimously passed, the meeting was adjourned at 3:10 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted,

Jean D. Mumm

10:00 a.m.-12:00 noon
January 20, 2006
Marshall Wythe School of Law, Room 127
Williamsburg, Virginia

1. Welcome/Introductions - Dewing

2. Approval of minutes from September 19, 2005 meeting - Mumm

3. Financial Report - Dewing

4. 2005-2006 Budget - Dewing

5. New Area Representatives - Dewing

Albert W. Theatt (Howard)

6. Legal Writing Contest

LSchonberger distributed to all the law schools, rules are on the website,
Nominations for distinguished panel of judges?

7. Seminars - Kern

A. Advanced Real Estate Seminar (Kingsmill, Williamsburg, VA) (Feb. 24/25, 2006)
B. Annual Real Estate Practice Seminar(Fairfax, Norfolk, Roanoke and Richmond) (May 2006)
C. Annual Meeting CLE (June 2006)
Jean Mumm and Howard Gordon are working with the Environmental and Local Government Attorneys sections to produce a program on building neighborhoods
D. In furtherance of continuing resolution from June 2000 meeting; request approval to again retain NLRG to provide legal research in connection with the Current Case Law portion of the Annual RE Seminar . . . guestimated expense - $3000-3500

8. Meeting dates for balance of year

Spring - February 24, 2006
Summer - June 16, 2006

9. Old Business

A. Updated and revised list of Officers and Board members - Dewing

Nominations for Subcommittee chairs -
Bankruptcy/Creditor Rights - Technology - Residential - Judicial Liaison

B. Mission Statement subcommittee, report on planned draft Section mission statement, goals, investigate the needs of our members and how we can best respond to those needs and plan Section retreat - Zimmerman

C. Converting interest in establishing an ad hoc subcommittee to work with VBA to monitor new legislation, comment on proposed bills, into process and people - preferably before the General Assembly session begins? Volunteers? Start with UECA? - McMullan? Helscher?
Other topics mentioned to me recently include: felon's incompetence - 8.01-2; update notary savings statutes from '95, perhaps by setting a 3-5 year period in which to object, rather than updating every four or five years; clarify intent of 17.1-223 and 55-106.2 . . . what did legislature mean by validly recorded? . . . is that sufficient to quit updating notary savings statutes and the like . . . other ideas? Uniform electronic recording act?

10. New Business

A. Recruiting - Dewing/Howard - Board Members and Area Reps to identify members of the section in their area - recruit members onto board; recruit non-members into Section - one on one, as opportunity arises in day to day practice

B. Interest in establishing an ad hoc subcommittee to work with VBA/VLTA to develop title examination standards? Volunteers? (this was new business last year - dead news?) I believe the VLTA is working on standards for abstractors and this might be an area where bar input is needed . . . Gregory? Waugaman?

C. Ad hoc committee to disseminate recent cases of interest - e-mail; chat room; discussion board - clearinghouse

11. Subcommittee Reports (Please include the status of Fee Simple articles)

Possible realignment of members within committees . . . Steve Wood is all alone in Creditor's Rights . . . any other committee so big people are getting lost, or so small they are getting buried?

A. Membership*-Howard, Cochran and McElwain (see also 9A above)
B. Programs*-Dewing
C. Technology*-Dewing
D. Fee Simple*-Butler and Traver -Deadlines for Spring submissions. - Ideas for articles.
Prior article ideas floating around: prepayment penalties; installment sales; time of the essence; 1031; other ideas - new Bankruptcy Act - opinion letter -- Simmons v. On Faith LLC (Staunton Cir Ct) VLW 005-8-262 (If someone knows either Christopher J. Smith or Paul M. Black (they were the named attys in this case), whichever was the prevailing party of course - should be encouraged to write an article for the Fee Simple on this case.)
E. Commercial** Williamson and ____________
F. Creditors' Rights and Bankruptcy**-Wood
G. Ethics**-Davis
H. Land Use and Environmental**-Blaine
I. Title Insurance**-Gregory and Waugaman
J. Residential*-Meier

(*= Responsible for a substantive article for the Fall Fee Simple)
(**= Responsible for a substantive article for the Spring Fee Simple)

11. Liaison Reports

A. Bar Counsel - King
B. Old Dominion Bar Association - Holmes
C. Judicial - Rousch

12. Adjourn

(If previously scheduled with subcommittee members, optional subcommittee meetings may follow Board meeting.)

David Helscher may have a meeting of the VBA legislative committee after our Board meeting to discuss legislative matters. Any members interested in watching sausage get made, or spearheading the liaison efforts should attend.

Nancy Kern may wish to meet with program committee after the Board meeting to discuss CLE programs