Virginia State Bar

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Real Property

A Section of the Virginia State Bar.

Meeting Minutes - January 21, 2011

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

Williamsburg, Virginia

The Winter Meeting of the Board of Governors and Area Representatives of the Real Property Section of the Virginia State Bar was held on Friday, January 21,2011, at the Williamsburg Inn in Williamsburg, Virginia, beginning at 2:25 p.m.

Present in person were Paul Bellegarde (Chair), Philip Hart, Ken Dickinson, Courtland Traver, Stephen Wood, Brian Dolan, Harry Purkey, Howard Gordon, David Helscher, Rick Richmond, Larry McElwain, Whitney Levin, Ray W. King, Jean Mumm, Chuck Lollar, Bill Nusbaum, Susan Pesner, Mark Graybeal and Page Williams, and one guest, Dianne Bellegarde. Present by telephone were Eric Zimmerman, Lisa Murphy, Randy Howard, Paul Melnick, Doug Dewing, Neil Kessler, Cooper Youell, Lawrence Daughtrey, Lisa Graziano and Linda Butler.

Paul Bellegarde called the meeting to order and welcomed those present.

Upon motion duly made (noting one typographical error, which was corrected) and seconded, the minutes from the Fall 2010 Meeting of the Board of Governors and Area Representatives were approved.

Paul Bellegarde then presented a financial report, a copy of which had been distributed prior to the meeting (and is also attached to these minutes). He noted that the FY 2011 YTD expenditures were $8,115.48 and that the balance remaining for FY 2011 is $37,734.52. Paul also noted that significant savings are anticipated from changing the primary distribution method of the Fee Simple from hard copy-mailing to electronic distribution. He also encouraged Board of Governors members and Area Representatives to submit for reimbursement of travel expenses related to attending the quarterly and annual meetings.

Paul Bellegarde then took up the topic of the Section's seminars for 2010-2011. He said that the Advanced Real Estate Seminar will be on March 4 and 5 at Kingsmill. The seminar will be preceded by the Board of Governors meeting at 10 a.m. Paul Melnick then described plans for the Annual Real Estate Seminar, which will be offered in four locations - Norfolk on May 17, Richmond on May 18, Roanoke on May 24 and Waterford/Fair Oaks (in NOVA) on May 25. Paul said he had been working with Nancy Kern to decide on topics. On the list for further consideration are mechanics lien update, "anatomy of a deed", federal foreclosure issues/programs, check-clearance and related fraud issues, how to read a survey, an ethics topic about affiliated practices and other topics. Philip Hart then described plans for the seminar to be presented at the Virginia State Bar Annual Meeting in Virginia Beach. Philip said the seminar will be a joint CLE program with the Bankruptcy Section and will be a survey of some of the meaningful cases with real estate implications decided by bankruptcy courts during and following the recent financial crisis in the US. Philip confirmed that the seminar will take place in the Skytop Room at the Holiday Inn at 11a.m. on Friday of the VSB's Annual Meeting weekend in June.

Paul Bellegarde then took up the topic of Unfinished Business.

Larry McElwain, Chair of the Membership Subcommittee, said he would be working with the Subcommittee to update the Board and Area Representative Handbook, with a goal of having it updated by the time of the Advanced Real Estate Seminar or the Annual Meeting.

Paul Bellegarde then reported that the Bylaws revisions approved by the Section at the Summer 2010 meeting had been approved by the VSB Council at its October 2010 meeting.

Chuck Lollar then reported on the status of the eminent domain pamphlet. He said the pamphlet is finished, has been approved by the Publications Committee of the VSB and is ready for printing and distribution. He said he will submit a formal proposal at the Board of Governors' Spring Meeting.

Paul Bellegarde then took up the topic of the Fee Simple. He said that after the Fall 2010 issue, the Fee Simple will be distributed primarily by email and through the Section's website. Notice has been given to Section members of the change and all have been given the option to continue to receive the Fee Simple in hard copy. To date, approximately 240 members - 12% of the Section's members - have said they want to continue to receive hard copies. Paul said this change will save considerable money for the Section and will be a "greener" approach.

Paul Bellegarde then took up the topic of the Section's website. He started by recognizing and thanking Doug Dewing for his many years of serving as the webmaster of the website. He said that going forward, and with Doug's endorsement, the website's webmaster will be a person to whom the VSB is outsourcing such duties for other sections' websites. The Board of Governors collectively expressed its thanks to Doug for his service as webmaster. Continuing on the topic of the Section's website, Paul Bellegarde took up the topic of a shared member portal, to be accessed through the website. Paul then introduced his wife, Dianne Bellegarde, who works with setting up and administering such portals in a professional capacity. Dianne then made a Power Point presentation that demonstrated the potential features of the shared portal, which will be a closed on-line environment in which Section members can collaborate and exchange information. The maintenance cost of the shared portal will be approximately $2500 per year after initial set up. After a number of questions, and upon a motion duly made and seconded, the Board of Governors approved the expenditure of up to $5000 for the current fiscal year to set up, populate and maintain the shared portal. The Board of Governors collectively expressed its thanks to Diane Bellegarde for her work on the shared portal.

Paul Bellegarde then called upon Larry McElwain to report on legislative matters pending in the Virginia General Assembly, in Larry's capacity as the in-coming chair of the Virginia Bar Association's Real Estate Section. Larry delivered a brief report summarizing a number of the bills that the VBA is monitoring.

Paul Bellegarde then took up the topic of New Business, starting with a discussion of the Fee Simple. He said the deadline for topic submission for articles is February 15, and the due date for article submission in April 14 [Note: the article submission due date was later determined to be April 8]. Susan Pesner said that the Ethics Subcommittee would be submitting an ethics column to the Fee Simple going forward.

Paul Bellegarde then asked for reports from the Standing Subcommittees. There were no reports from the Membership or Technology Subcommittees. Paul observed that previous discussion had reported on the activities of the Fee Simple and Programming Subcommittees. Paul Bellegarde then asked for reports from the Substantive Subcommittees.

Bill Nusbaum, Chair of the Commercial Real Estate Subcommittee, said he would convene a meeting and then provide ideas about seminar topics and Fee Simple articles. Chuck Lollar, Chair of the Eminent Domain Subcommittee, reported that the Subcommittee had met and would submit an article to the Fee Simple. Philip Hart reported on behalf of the Creditors Rights and Bankruptcy Subcommittee and said the subcommittee was working on the joint CLE program for the Annual Meeting and would be discussing Fee Simple article ideas as well. Rick Richmond reported on behalf of the Residential Subcommittee and said he had met recently with representatives of the Virginia Association of Realtors and asked them to collect examples of recent problems involving fraudulent cashier's checks and real estate settlements. There were no other Substantive Subcommittee reports.

Paul Bellegarde concluded the meeting with thank:s to those in attendance and with the reminder that the next meeting of the Board of Governors and Area Representatives will be the Spring Meeting at Kingsmill on March 4, 2011.

Upon motion duly made and seconded, the meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully Submitted,

Philip Hart

Attachment: Financial Report 3 (.pdf)

Meeting Minutes (.pdf) - January 21, 2011