Professional Guidelines

An agency of the Supreme Court of Virginia

The Virginia State Bar

Professional Guidelines

13-14 Disqualification of District Committee Member or Board Member

  1. Personal or Financial Interest. A member or former member of a District Committee or the Board shall be disqualified from adjudicating any matter with respect to which the member has any personal or financial interest that might affect or reasonably be perceived to affect the member’s ability to be impartial. The Chair shall rule on the issue of disqualification, subject to being overruled by a majority of the Panel or Subcommittee.
  2. Complaint Against a Member. Upon the referral of any Complaint against a member or former member of a District Committee or the Board to a District Committee for Investigation, the member shall be recused from any service on the District Committee or the Board until the Dismissal of the Complaint without the imposition of any form of discipline.
  3. Imposition of Discipline. Upon the final imposition of a Private Reprimand, a Public Reprimand, an Admonition, a Suspension or a Revocation against a member or former member of a District Committee or the Board, the member shall automatically be terminated from membership or further service on the District Committee or Board. Upon the final imposition of any other form of Attorney discipline, COLD shall have sole discretion to determine whether the member shall be terminated from membership or further service on the District Committee or the Board.
  4. Interpretation. Unless otherwise stated, all questions of interpretation under this subparagraph 13-14 shall be decided by the tribunal before which the proceeding is pending, except that COLD shall determine discretionary termination of membership or further service.
  5. Ineligibility. Any member or former member of a District Committee or the Board shall be ineligible to serve in a Disciplinary Proceeding in which:
    1. The District Committee or Board member or any member of his or her firm is involved in any significant way with the matter on which the District Committee or Board would act;
    2. The Board member or any member of the Board member’s firm was serving on the District Committee that certified the matter to the Board or has otherwise acted on the matter;
    3. A Judge would be required to withdraw from consideration of, or presiding over, the matter under the Canons of Judicial Conduct adopted by this Court;
    4. The District Committee or Board member previously represented the Respondent; or
    5. The District Committee or Board member, upon reasonable notice to the Clerk of the Disciplinary System or to the Chair presiding over a matter, disqualifies himself or herself from participation in the matter, because such member believes that he or she is unable to participate objectively in consideration of the matter or for any other reason.

Updated: April 4, 2014