Professional Guidelines

An agency of the Supreme Court of Virginia

The Virginia State Bar

Professional Guidelines

13-19 Board Proceedings Upon Appeal

  1. Docketing An Appeal. Upon receipt of notice from the Clerk of the Disciplinary System that a Respondent has filed an appeal from a District Committee Determination the Board shall place such matter on its docket for review.
  2. Notice to the Appellant. The Clerk of the Disciplinary System shall notify the appellant when the entire record of the Proceeding before the District Committee has been received or when the time for appeal has expired.
  3. Record on Appeal. The record shall consist of the Charge of Misconduct, the complete transcript of the Proceeding, any exhibits received or refused by the District Committee, the District Committee Determination, and all briefs, memoranda or other papers filed with the District Committee by the Respondent or the Bar. Upon petition of the Respondent, for good cause shown, the Board may permit the record to be supplemented to prevent injustice, such supplement to be in such form as the Board may deem appropriate.
  4. Briefing. Thereafter, briefs shall be filed in the office of the Clerk of the Disciplinary System, as follows:
    1. The appellant shall file an opening brief within 40 days after the mailing of the notice to the appellant regarding the record by the Clerk of the Disciplinary System. Failure of the appellant to file an opening brief within the time specified herein shall result in the Dismissal of the appeal and affirmance of the decision by the District Committee.
    2. The appellee shall file its brief within 25 days after filing of the opening brief.
    3. The appellant may file a reply brief within 14 days after filing of the appellee’s brief.
  5. Standard of Review. In reviewing a District Committee Determination, the Board shall ascertain whether there is substantial evidence in the record upon which the District Committee could reasonably have found as it did.
  6. Oral Argument. Oral argument shall be granted, unless waived by the appellant.
  7. Imposition of Sanctions. Upon review of the record in its entirety, the Board may:
    1. Dismiss the Charge of Misconduct upon a finding that the District Committee Determination is contrary to the law or is not supported by substantial evidence;
    2. Affirm the District Committee Determination, in which instance the Board may impose the same or any lesser sanction as that imposed by the District Committee. In no case shall it increase the severity of the sanction imposed by the District Committee; or
    3. Reverse the decision of the District Committee and remand the Charge of Misconduct to the District Committee for further proceedings.

Updated: April 4, 2014