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Officers, Directors and Trustees - Part 2

• The Virginia Supreme Court was called upon to determine whether the term of office of a church's trustees was one year or life. For nearly 70 years, the trustees of an Episcopal church's endowment fund served life terms. A dispute then arose, and the church's vestry sought a court ruling on the trustees' term of office. The court concluded that the trustees' term of office was one year on the basis of a provision in the Virginia nonprofit corporation law specifying that "in the absence of a provision in the articles of incorporation fixing a term of office, the term of office for a director shall be one year." Since the court found no provision in the articles of incorporation (i.e., the corporate charter) "fixing a term of office," it concluded that state law mandated a one-year term. In support of its conclusion, the court observed that "had the organizers intended to take the unusual ...

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  • November 1, 1989