Virginia State Bar

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Real Property

A Section of the Virginia State Bar.

Meeting Minutes - April 2, 2004

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

Williamsburg, Virginia

The Spring Meeting of the Board of Governors of the Real Property Section of the Virginia State Bar was held prior to the Advanced Real Estate Seminar on Friday, April 2, 2004, at the Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, Virginia.

The following persons were in attendance: Paula S. Caplinger, Lawrence M. Schonberger, Steve Wood, Steve Romine, Dianne E. Boyle, Nancy Kern, Harry Purkey, J. B. Lonergan, Michael Barney, Howard Gordon, Lee Hickok, Christina Meier, Larry McElwain, Douglass W. Dewing, David Helscher, Rick Richmond and Eric Zimmerman. Douglass W. Dewing, Secretary of the organization, arrived late, and took over keeping the minutes from Mr. Schonberger.

Ms. Caplinger called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. (See official Agenda below).

Ms. Caplinger introduced Steve Romine, who presented the third substantive law program for this year's meetings, on the topic of the Uniform Environmental Covenants Act.

The minutes of the meeting for January 16, 2004, were presented. Upon motion duly made and seconded, those who attended the January 16 meeting unanimously approved the minutes. Those not in attendance at the January 16 meeting abstained.

The financial report showed the Section incurred $6,836.13 in January and $3,590.33 in February. The bulk of these expenses related to the last issue of the Fee Simple: $5,606.23 in printing, $1,255.12 in mail permit and $1,467.77 to Marshall Wythe School of Law Foundation. The balance remaining in the Section's account at the State Bar is $17,931.57.

Ms. Caplinger introduced Nancy Kern of Virginia CLE. She announced pre-registration figures for the Advanced Real Estate Seminar indicated 63 attendees, better than last year, but not comparable to the advanced seminars presented by some of the other sections. Upon motion duly made and seconded, Ms. Kern was appointed to chair a committee investigating methods to improve the attendance at the Advanced Seminar. Michael Barney and Howard Gordon volunteered to serve on the committee.

Doug Dewing noted that the materials had been delivered to the State Bar for the Annual Meeting CLE presentation, "Contractors are from Mars, Architects are from Venus, What is an Owner to do?" The presentation is scheduled for Friday, June 18, beginning at 11 a.m., immediately before the Board's next meeting.

Ms. Caplinger circulated the Board membership list to verify address, telephone, fax and e-mail information, and noted that her office information had changed.

Mr. Schonberger presented a draft set of rules for the Legal Writing Contest and asked for comments regarding the parameters of the competition: items such as length (minimum or maximum); subject matter (real estate related, but open, or keyed to a particular topic); distribution to notices, size of prize, number of articles to be printed in the Fee Simple, and any other comments. Given the financial needs of law students, the size of the prizes and a source of funding were discussed. The topic of a dues increase was raised, but deferred to the June meeting.

Mr. Howard (on behalf of the Membership Committee) had reported to Ms. Caplinger that he was still looking for ideas to increase the judicial membership of the section. Any ideas or nominations would be appreciated.

Mr. Waugaman had reported to Ms. Caplinger that he could use assistance at the First Day of Practice seminar. This has been a valuable recruiting tool for new members of the section. Mr. Richmond noted that the Real Property Section is one of the few, if not the only, section which participates.

Mr. Zimmerman (on behalf of the Ad Hoc Subcommittee) reported that he was reviewing and had discussed with Bar Council the process for amending the mission statement. He noted that Mr. Traver had some surveys, but needed more to draw any significant conclusions. (Surveys can be found in the November 2003 Fee Simple and on the website.) There was discussion regarding whether direct mailing would assist in the process. One major benefit of serving as an Area Representative and Board Member (to the members present) is the ready access to other members and their knowledge. Expanding that access to all members of the section might be a draw for new members of the section and the Board. Various options, including a list-serve/discussion e-mail list, chat room/discussion site, bulletin board/guest forum/blog, and "flash alert" e-mail list were mentioned. Mr. Dewing, as webmaster, was asked to inquire if the State Bar had any policy in place.

Moving to New Business, Ms. Caplinger introduced Dianne Boyle, who serves with Chicago Title in Northern Virginia as a commercial transactions counsel. Upon motion duly made and seconded, Ms. Boyle was appointed as an Area Representative.

Nominations for the 18th Annual Tradition of Excellence were requested. The award recognizes attorneys who have devoted significant time; effort or funds in activities that benefit their community and help enhance the image and esteem of general practice attorneys in the Commonwealth. Deadline for nominations was April 23.

The Annual Meeting will be held in Virginia Beach June 17-20. The Board Meeting will be on Friday, June 18, at 12:30 p.m. The Annual Meeting Dinner will be at Steinhilbers, beginning at 6 p.m.

Membership and Program subcommittee reports were omitted. Mr. Dewing presented the Technology Committee report.

Articles for the Fee Simple are due April 21. A topic discussed involved the issues facing attorneys in the face of delays in the Clerk's Offices - some of which were identified by the members present as 1) adequacy of notice issues in land use; 2) negligent preferences in the creditors rights and bankruptcy fields; and 3) perfection issues under Article 9.

Mr. Wood noted new legislation requiring a substitution of trustee be recorded prior to the trustee's ability to act passed the General Assembly without being noticed until after it was approved. There was some hope the Governor would veto the bill, but given the budget concerns during the session, he didn't think it would happen. He asked that the VBA add the topic to its legislative agenda for next year.

Ms. Caplinger announced that Ms. Davis was expecting a child and would be resigning from the section and her position on the Ethics subcommittee. Ms. Pesner will remain as chair of the Ethics subcommittee.

There was no report from the Environmental subcommittee.

Mr. Barney noted that ALTA has a new loan policy form under consideration in its forms committee. Ms. Caplinger noted the new ALTA endorsements were a featured portion of the Advanced Seminar being held later today.

Ms. Meier (on behalf of the Residential Transactions subcommittee) asked if other practitioners had run into funding issues with lenders, including the use of "bank checks" instead of certified funds or wire transfers, onerous conditions to funding, and whether or not there were Wet Settlement Act liabilities to closing under these conditions.

Ms. Caplinger requested the nominating committee meet following the general meeting.

There being no further business, upon motion duly made, seconded and unanimously passed the meeting was adjourned at 11:34 a.m.

Respectfully Submitted,

Douglass W. Dewing




10:00 a.m. April 2, 2004

1. Welcome/Introductions-Caplinger

2. Presentation (10:05 a.m. -10:20 a.m.): Uniform Environmental Covenants Act- Steve Romine

3. Approval of Minutes from January 16, 2004 meeting-Caplinger

4. Financial Report-Dewing

5. Annual CLE Seminars

A. Report on 8th Annual Advanced Real Estate Seminar-Kern
B. 22nd Annual Real Estate Practice Seminar-Kern
C. Annual Summer CLE (June 18, 2004)-Dewing

6. Old Business

A. Updated and Revised list of Officers, Board Members and Area Representatives-Caplinger
B. Fee Simple newsletter/article contest-Schonberger
C. Recommendations on how to increase judicial membership in Section-Howard
D. New Bar Members (Discount card/VA CLE discount on forms?)-Waugaman
E. Ad Hoc Subcommittee Report (Mission Statement, goals, increasing membership, meeting the needs of our members)-Zimmerman
F. Membership Survey-Traver

7. New Business

A. New Area Representative-Dianne Boyle-Caplinger
B. 18th Annual Tradition of Excellence Award Nominations-Caplinger
C. Mark your calendars for next meeting and dinner Meeting June 18, 2004 (Holiday Inn-Sunspree, Virginia Beach, VA) Dinner June 18, 2004 (Steinhilbers, 6:00 PM Cocktails, 7:00 PM Dinner)

8. Subcommittee Reports

A. Membership*-Howard
B. Programs*-See Item 5 Above
C. Technology*- Dewing
D. Fee Simple*-Butler and Traver-Spring Submission Deadline: April 21, 2004 -Ideas for Articles
E. Commercial**-McMullan and Williamson
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 2005 Fee Simple)
(**= Responsible for a substantive article for the Spring 2004 Fee Simple)

9. Liaison Reports

A. Bar Counsel-King
B. Old Dominion Bar Association-Holmes

10. Adjourn