VSB DOCKET NO. 02-052-0197


THIS MATTER came on to be heard on March 28, 2003, before a panel of the Disciplinary Board consisting of Roscoe B. Stephenson, III, Esquire, First Vice Chair, Larry B. Kirksey, Esquire, Chester J. Cahoon, Lay member, Joseph R. Lassiter, Jr., Esquire, and H. Taylor Williams, IV, Esquire. The State Bar was represented by Noel D. Sengel, Senior Assistant Bar Counsel. The respondent, Jeffrey Bourke Rice, appeared in person and represented himself. The Chair polled the members of the Board Panel as to whether any of them was conscious of any personal or financial interest or bias which would preclude any of them from fairly hearing this matter and serving on the panel, to which inquiry each member responded in the negative. Comiller T. Boyd, court reporter, 105 St. Claire Lane, Richmond, Virginia, (804)644-2581, after being duly sworn, reported the hearing and transcribed the proceedings.

The matter came before the Board on the District Committee Determination for Certification by the Fifth District Committee Section II.


VSB Exhibits 1 through 11 were admitted without objection. The Bar and Respondent entered into a stipulation of fact admitted as VSB Exhibit # 12 without objection. The Board makes the following findings of fact on the basis of clear and convincing evidence:


The Certification charged violations of the following provisions of the Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct:

RULE 1.3 Diligence

RULE 1.4 Communication

RULE 8.1 Bar Admission and Disciplinary Matters

An applicant for admission to the Bar, or a lawyer in connection with a bar admission application, in connection with any certification required to be filed as a condition of maintaining or renewing a license to practice law, or in connection with a disciplinary matter, shall not:


Upon review of the foregoing findings of fact, upon review of exhibits presented by Bar Counsel on behalf of the VSB as Exhibits 1 through 11, and the stipulation of facts admitted as VSB Exhibit 12, upon evidence from witnesses presented on behalf of the Bar and upon evidence presented by respondent in the form of his own testimony, and at the conclusion of the evidence regarding misconduct, the Board recessed to deliberate. After due deliberation the Board reconvened and stated its findings as follows:

Thereafter, the Board received further evidence of aggravation and mitigation from the Bar and respondent, including respondent's prior disciplinary record. The Board recessed to deliberate what sanction to impose upon its findings of misconduct by respondent. After due deliberation the Board reconvened to announce the sanction imposed. The Chair announced the sanction as a one-year suspension of respondent's license to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia. In announcing the sanction the Chair informed respondent that the Board placed great emphasis on respondent's lengthy prior disciplinary record, with references to similar types of misconduct and took notice of the effort exerted by the Bar to have notice of the District Committee hearing served upon respondent only to have respondent forget the hearing date and fail to appear at the hearing.

Accordingly, it is ORDERED that the license to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia of respondent, Jeffrey Bourke Rice, shall be suspended for one (1) year effective March 28, 2003.

It is further ORDERED that the Clerk of the Disciplinary System shall mail an attested copy of this order to respondent at his address of record with the Virginia State Bar, being 10521 Judicial Drive, Fairfax, Virginia 22030, by certified mail, return receipt requested, and by regular mail to Noel D. Sengel, Senior Assistant Bar Counsel, Virginia State Bar, Suite 310, 100 North Pitt Street, Alexandria, Virginia, 22314-3133.

It is further ORDERED that pursuant to Part Six, §IV, ¶13.B.8.c. of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia, the Clerk of the Disciplinary System shall assess all costs against the respondent.

It is further ORDERED that, as directed in the Board's March 28, 2003, Summary Order in this matter, Respondent must comply with the requirements of Part Six, §IV, ¶13(M) of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia. All issues concerning the adequacy of the notice and arrangements required by the Summary Order shall be determined by the Board, which may impose a sanction of revocation or suspension for failure to comply with the requirements of this subparagraph.

ENTERED this ___________day of May, 2003.


Roscoe B. Stephenson, III, First Vice Chair

Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board