News and Information
May 27, 2015

Comments Sought on Proposed Legal Ethics Opinions 1882 and 1883

The Virginia State Bar’s Standing Committee on Legal Ethics is seeking public comment on proposed advisory Legal Ethics Opinion 1882, Concurrent conflict between criminal clients when one expresses the desire to testify against the other.

The Ethics Committee also is seeking public comment on proposed advisory Legal Ethics Opinion 1883, Ethical obligations of a lawyer for a “no-asset” Chapter 7 bankruptcy petitioner in handling fixed fees advanced by the client.

The deadline for comments on both proposals is July 2, 2015.

Updated: May 27, 2015
May 27, 2015

Virginia State Bar Honors Bar Association of the Year Award

The Virginia State Bar has named The Prince William County Bar Association as the recipient of its Bar Association of the Year Award.

The award, sponsored by the VSB Conference of Local Bar Associations, recognizes lasting and exemplary contributions to the legal community and the community at large in Virginia. The award also recognizes the dedication of local and statewide bar associations and emphasizes the importance of close cooperation between the Virginia State Bar and bar leaders.

The Prince William County Bar Association has been providing extensive services to its members and the community for decades. It has had a listserv since 2007 and has produced an annual directory since 2003. The association has published its monthly newsletter for sixteen years. In the area of education, the association hosted fifteen CLEs attended by 484 bar members last year alone. It also offers an extensive mentoring program.

The association sponsors numerous law-related community outreach activities including its “So You’re 18” program, which began in 1999. It also sponsors the “Character Counts! Essay Contest” for middle school students; the “Court Tours/Mock Trial” program; and supports the National Young Readers Day each fall. The association sponsors a Senior Citizen Project with the local Area Agency on Aging in celebration of Law Day and has started the Library Learning Series.

Charitable works include “Breakfasts at S.E.R.V.E.,” a non-profit organization that provides a number of services to at-risk families including temporary shelter and meals. It also provides books for residents in emergency shelters. The largest need-based activity it sponsors is the “Beat the Odds” program, which has been held since 2001. The program, based on the National Children’s Defense Fund model, offers youth who have come in contact with the juvenile justice system because of abuse, neglect, or truancy recognition for achieving academic and social progress as they strive to turn their lives around.

The Association of the Year Award will be presented on June 19 during the Virginia State Bar Annual Meeting in Virginia Beach.

Updated: May 28, 2015
May 26, 2015

Fairfax attorney to be sworn in as 77th VSB President

Edward L. Weiner will be sworn in as the 77th VSB president during the VSB Annual Meeting on Friday, June 19.

There’s still time to make hotel reservations, but rooms are going fast.

Online pre-registration will be accepted until Monday, June 15 at 5:00 p.m.

... or register on site in Virginia Beach.

The registration fee of $190 entitles you to attend all of the VSB CLE programs scheduled on Friday and Saturday, June 19 and 20, as well as many of the social events scheduled during the weekend. First Time Attendees — $135

The popular Annual Meeting Mobile App for Android, iPhone and iPad is also available to download.

#VSBAnnualMeeting

Updated: May 26, 2015
May 26, 2015

Ethics Committee Proposes Changes to Rules

The Standing Committee on Legal Ethics approved proposed changes to Rule 5.5 Comment [1a] and Rule 8.3(e) of the Rules of Professional Conduct on May 21, 2015. The changes are pending Council’s consideration at its upcoming meeting on June 18, 2015.

Read more

Updated: May 26, 2015
May 19, 2015

Virginia State Bar Announces 2015 Law in Society Contest Winners

Remy Oliver, a senior at Dominion High School in Sterling, has been awarded first place in the 2015 Law in Society Contest sponsored by the Virginia State Bar and its Litigation Section.

Oliver won for his essay “Law In Society: The Commencement Debate.” He will receive $2,300.

This year’s essay contest asked students to address a situation in fictional Rocktown, Virginia, where Angel Bradford, a Rocktown High School alumna and now CEO of a large dairy conglomerate, is invited by a public school principal to speak at commencement. Twelfth-grader Susan Statler, president of the school’s Animal Rights Club, begins an online petition to prevent Bradford from speaking, not only at RHS but also at a local private school, citing claims of animal abuse within the CEO’s company. Adding to the chaos, Bradford contemplates suing Susan and the Animal Rights Club for defamation. The schools’ principals and students appeal to a retired judge (the writer) to resolve the issue in a way that conforms with the law and calm the community. Oliver’s essay is available at http://www.vsb.org/site/public/2015_winning_essay.

The Law in Society award was developed to increase awareness of and appreciation for the US Constitution and legal system. Oliver’s essay was among dozens submitted by public, private, and homeschooled students in the equivalent of high school. Oliver will receive his award during a ceremony at Dominion High School on Wednesday, June 3.

Alissa Wang, a senior at Broad Run High School in Ashburn, and Nadia Zakula, a junior at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, placed second and third, respectively. Wang will receive $1,850 and Zakula $1,350.

Five honorable mentions will be awarded to: William Edmisten of Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, Molly Solomon of James Wood High School in Winchester, Celeste Morris of West Springfield High School in Springfield, Sarah Kinsey of East Rockingham High School in Elkton, and Brenna Bowman of Ocean Lakes High School in Virginia Beach.

 Each honorable mention will be awarded $250. All winners will receive plaques commemorating their win and the newest edition of Strunk and White’s Elements of Style.

Updated: May 19, 2015
May 15, 2015

Manuel A. Capsalis Is Recipient of Diversity Conference Achievement Award

Capsalis photo

Manuel A. Capsalis is the recipient of the 2015 Virginia State Bar Diversity Conference’s Clarence M. Dunnaville Jr. Achievement Award. Capsalis is being honored for fostering, encouraging, and facilitating diversity and inclusion in the bar, the judiciary, and the legal profession. 

Capsalis served as president of the Virginia State Bar in 2008-09. Before becoming president, Capsalis formed the bar’s Diversity Task Force, composed of lawyers and other community leaders, which led to creation of the Diversity Conference of the VSB. “Because of (Capsalis’s) foresight, his hard work, and his competent leadership as the president of the State Bar, the Diversity Conference was finally established in 2010 by recommendation of Bar Council … and final approval by the Virginia Supreme Court,” Conference Chair Eva N. Juncker wrote. “Manny’s leadership and his diligent efforts have made the Diversity Conference what it is today.” Capsalis was the Diversity Conference’s first chair.

Capsalis has been a member of the VSB Council and served on its Executive Committee. He is on the VSB Standing Committee on Professionalism. He has also served as a faculty member of the VSB Harry L. Carrico Professionalism Course and the Law School Professionalism Program. He is a past-chair of the VSB Conference of Local Bar Associations and served on its board of directors. He also is a member of the Chief Justice’s Indigent Defense Training Initiative. He is a past-member of the VSB Budget and Finance Committee. Capsalis also is a fellow of the Virginia Law Foundation, a member of its board of directors, and served as its president. He is a past-president of the Arlington County Bar Association, and is a former member of the board of directors of the Arlington County Bar Foundation. He is a past-president of Arlington County’s Walter T. McCarthy Law Library Board.

In February 2015, Capsalis was appointed by the Virginia General Assembly as a judge in the Nineteenth Judicial District and will begin his appointment to the Fairfax County General District Court on July 1, 2015. 

Capsalis received a B.A. from Duke University in 1981, an M.A. from George Mason University in 1984, and his law degree from the George Mason University School of Law in 1988.

The award will be presented June 19 during the Virginia State Bar Annual Meeting in Virginia Beach.

Updated: May 15, 2015
May 13, 2015

President Martingayle Releases Study Group Report on Online Elections

Includes recommendations and response from VSB staff

Following the first election held electronically by the Virginia State Bar in the fall of 2014, President Martingayle appointed a group of Council members to review that process, address concerns raised (including some by members of this group), and recommend changes and improvements going forward. The following report contains the findings and recommendations of the VSB Online Elections Study Group.

view the report (PDF file)

Updated: May 19, 2015
May 13, 2015

Council Member to Offer Bylaws Amendment to Eliminate Online Elections

Council member Thomas A. Edmonds has notified the executive director that he intends to propose the following amendment to the Bylaws of the Virginia State Bar and Council at the June 18, 2015, VSB Council Meeting:

In the bylaws of the Virginia State Bar, Article III Election of President-Elect, Sec. 4 (b), delete the language “. . . or made available by electronic means . . . .”

Updated: May 19, 2015
May 13, 2015

Magistrate Helen Chong Is Recipient of Young Lawyer of the Year Award

Helen Chong, a magistrate in Orange and Woodbridge, has been named the recipient of the Virginia State Bar Young Lawyers Conference 2015 R. Edwin Burnette Jr. Young Lawyer of the Year Award.

The award recognizes a young lawyer who demonstrates dedicated service to the conference, the legal profession, and the community. It is named in honor of Lynchburg Judge R. Edwin Burnette Jr., past president of the VSB (1993-1994) and the YLC (1985-1986). The award will be presented on June 18, 2015, at the Virginia State Bar Annual Meeting in Virginia Beach.

Chong is chair of the Children and the Law Commission, and co-chair of Community Law Week for the VSB Young Lawyers Conference. She graduated from the University of Virginia in 2006 and the George Mason University School of Law in 2011. In 2012, she began a state-wide anti-bullying program after she saw a need to help children and parents address the criminal and mental health impacts of cyberbullying. She held a presentation at Charlottesville High School in 2013 that received recognition from the American Bar Association, and later expanded the anti-bullying program with additional presentations in Virginia and created a cyberbullying pamphlet for parents. 

In nominating Chong, lawyers Jennifer Moccia and Paula Bowen wrote that: “(Chong) has provided exceptional dedication to the conference, the legal profession, and the community.  As the Children and the Law Commission chair since 2012 and the Community Law Week co-chair since 2014, she has made a tremendous impact through each of her initiatives…. Not only does Ms. Chong take the initiative to create and develop projects that are relevant and educational for Virginia’s citizens, but she also diligently ensures that each project is carried out to make the greatest impact possible. Helen has revived dormant programs and, once she ensures their success, she takes on a new project. We cannot think of anyone more deserving of the Young Lawyer of the Year Award.”      

Updated: May 28, 2015
May 11, 2015

Register for the Annual Meeting by May 15 and Save

Registration is open for the 77th Annual Meeting, June 18-21, in Virginia Beach. If you register by Friday, May 15, you will save $25.

Check out our showcase CLEshotel offeringsour new mobile appand more, and then register online or mail in your registration.

 
Updated: May 13, 2015
May 04, 2015

Council Members Announced

The following persons have been newly elected, reelected, or Court-appointed to three-year terms on the Virginia State Bar Council. The terms begin July 1, 2015.

Newly elected:

Gary A. Bryant of Norfolk, 4th Circuit

Marqueta N. Tyson of Hampton, 8th Circuit

Leah A. Darron of Richmond, 13th Circuit

Dabney J. Carr, IV of Richmond, 13th Circuit

Rhysa G. South of Henrico, 14th Circuit

R. Lee Livingston of Charlottesville, 16th Circuit

Rachelle E. Hill of Arlington, 17th Circuit

Timothy B. Beason of Arlington, 17th Circuit

Barbara S. Anderson of Alexandria, 18th Circuit

David L. Marks of Fairfax, 19th Circuit

Chidi I. James of Fairfax, 19th Circuit

William L. Schmidt of Fairfax, 19th Circuit

Eugene M. Elliott, Jr. of Roanoke, 23rd Circuit

William M. Moffet of Abingdon, 28th Circuit

Reelected:

Graham C. Daniels of Chester, 12th Circuit

Paula S. Beran of Richmond, 13th Circuit

George W. Marget, III of Richmond, 13th Circuit

Eric M. Page, of Richmond, 13th Circuit

Daniel L. Rosenthal of Richmond, 14th Circuit

Foster S. B. Friedman of Alexandria, 18th Circuit

Luis A. Perez-Pietri of Falls Church, 19th Circuit

William B. Porter of Fairfax, 19th Circuit

Melinda L. VanLowe of Fairfax, 19th Circuit

Joan Ziglar of Martinsville, 21st Circuit

William E. Bradshaw of Big Stone Gap, 30th Circuit

Newly appointed council members at-large:

Marni E. Byrum, Alexandria

Afshin Farashahi, Virginia Beach      

Reappointed council member at-large:

Lorrie A. Sinclair, Leesburg

 

The following persons will serve one-year terms on the council:

Conference representatives:

Jack W. Burtch, Jr. of Richmond, chair, Conference of Local Bar Associations

Providence E. Napoleon of Richmond, chair, Diversity Conference

Robert T. Vaughan, Jr. of Danville, chair, Senior Lawyers Conference

Nathan J. Olson of Fairfax, president, Young Lawyers Conference

Officers:

Edward L. Weiner of Fairfax — president

Michael W. Robinson of Tysons Corner – president-elect

Kevin E. Martingayle of Virginia Beach — immediate past-president

 

Originally Posted: May 04, 2015

Updated: May 11, 2015
May 04, 2015

Bar Council Election

The Bar Council election ended on Friday, May 1, 2015, at 11:59 p.m. It takes the vendor helping the VSB with the online election several days to tabulate the results. We hope to have them by Monday afternoon, May 4, 2015.

Updated: May 04, 2015
May 01, 2015

Virginia State Bar E-News, May 2015

The Committee on Lawyer Discipline is seeking public comment on proposed amendments to two rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia: Part Six, Section IV, Paragraph 13-11.B.3 regarding disclosure of exculpatory evidence; and Part Six, Section IV, Paragraph 13-25 regarding reinstatement proceedings.

The Supreme Court of Virginia is considering modifying Rule 5:21(a) concerning appeals of right from the State Corporation Commission and is requesting comments on the proposed changes.

The Supreme Court of Virginia has released for public comment The Report of the Special Committee on Criminal Discovery Rules to the Chief Justice and Justices of the Supreme Court of Virginia. Comments on the proposed rules must be received by June 30, 2015.

The Supreme Court of Virginia has amended, adopted, and deleted a number of rules. The rule changes are effective July 1, 2015.

Rule 5.8, regarding Procedures for Notification to Clients When a Lawyer Leaves a Law Firm or When a Law Firm Dissolves, is effective May 1, 2015

Fraudulent activity is reported that involves wired funds in real estate transactions.

Online registration is open for the 77th Annual Meeting, June 18-21, featuring Showcase CLE Programs and Special Events.

Registration is open for the June 11 “Appellate Advocacy in Virginia” seminar in Blacksburg featuring Supreme Court of Virginia Chief Justice Donald W. Lemons and Chief Judge Glen A. Huff of the Virginia Court of Appeals.

VSB awards:

  • Robin Wood has been named the 2015 recipient of the Tradition of Excellence Award by the General Practice Section.
  • Katherine Moss, a third-year student at the Washington and Lee University School of Law, has been named the 2015 recipient of the 2015 Oliver White Hill Pro Bono Award by the Special Committee on Access to Legal Services.
  • Jeremy P. White has been named the 2015 recipient of the Virginia Legal Aid Award by the Special Committee on Access to Legal Services.
Updated: May 01, 2015
April 30, 2015

Jeremy P. White Is Legal Aid Award Recipient

Jeremy P. White, managing attorney at the Lynchburg office of the Virginia Legal Aid Society (VLAS), is the recipient of the Virginia State Bar Legal Aid Award presented by the Special Committee on Access to Legal Services.

White was nominated by David Neumeyer, VLAS executive director, who praised him as “an innovative, creative and successful advocate, an experienced and excellent supervisor and office leader, and as a litigator and trainer who has impact far beyond the VLAS service area.” White graduated from MidAmerica Nazarene College in Olathe, Kansas, in 1998, and from the Washington and Lee University School of Law in 2002. He joined VLAS as a staff attorney in Emporia in August 2002 and became the managing attorney in Lynchburg in 2005.

Since 2006, White filed eleven affirmative federal court cases for violations of federal consumer law and achieved recoveries or satisfactory settlements for his client in every case that has been concluded. He served as co-counsel in Danville Circuit Court against a payday lender who violated state law by repeatedly flipping loan’s to keep the client in a long-term cycle of debt. In 2013, White filed suit in Campbell County Circuit Court that resulted in a settlement of $19,500 in recovery and fees against a pawn shop, the owner of the pawn shop, and the repo man for violating usury laws, the Uniform Commercial Code, the Virginia Consumer Protection Act, and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. White received an arbitration award in 2012 against a car title lender in a case he co-counseled. The client was awarded $25,000 in recovery for the usurious open-end loan that unlawfully imposed triple digit interest. White successfully appealed an adverse Virginia Employment decision, Williamson v. Virginia Employment Commission, in which the employer sought to shift liability to its employees for accidents or wrecks that occurred in company vehicles. Finally, during the 2014 General Assembly session, White’s work with the VLAS Consumer Practice Group assisted lawyers with the Virginia Poverty Law Center obtain a repeal of the Virginia Code section that permitted owners of rent-to-own furniture stores to criminally charge customers who fell behind on their payments.

Jay Speer, executive director of Virginia Poverty Law Center, noted that “Jeremy has always been very active on statewide consumer issues. He has been a leader in devising strategies to combat predatory lending such as payday and car title loans. He has never hesitated to litigate difficult consumer issues and take on tough cases and he has shown others how to work with private attorneys to get great results for clients. He is very good at spending a lot of time analyzing cutting edge consumer issues and then sharing his work with the rest of the legal aid community.”

The Legal Aid Award recognizes lawyers employed by legal aid societies licensed by the VSB. Recipients are chosen for their advocacy, quality of service, and impact beyond their service area. It will be presented June 19 at the Virginia State Bar Annual Meeting in Virginia Beach.

Updated: Apr 30, 2015
April 28, 2015

Washington and Lee Student Named Pro Bono Award Winner

Katherine Moss, a third-year student at Washington and Lee University School of Law, is the winner of the Virginia State Bar’s 2015 Oliver White Hill Law Student Pro Bono Award.

Beth Belmont, Clinical Professor of Law at Washington and Lee, nominated Moss noting that “[n]ot only has Katie thrown herself into voluntary pro bono work during each academic year of her law school career, she has also dedicated her summers and her future to undercompensated public interest legal work and volunteer work supporting that cause. Her dedication to the powerless in society is unparalleled.”

During her first year in law school, Moss worked as a law clerk for court-appointed attorneys representing an indigent client charged with capital murder. After the case ended, she continued to provide pro bono assistance on behalf of that client. In her second year, Moss logged more than 300 hours helping represent an indigent client in a murder trial. She drafted pre-trial motions, conducted legal research, and was an active participant in the five-day trial. Moss also volunteered with the Virginia Capital Representation Resource Center, an organization that represents indigent clients on death penalty appeals. She also interned for ten weeks at the Southern Center for Human Rights where she helped prepare and conduct an Alabama capital state habeas evidentiary hearing on behalf of an indigent client who has been on death row since 1998. As a third-year student, Moss continued to provide hundreds of hours of pro bono assistance to the Southern Center of Human Rights, drafting a portion of the post-hearing brief to the trial court, and then an appellate brief to the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals. In the fall, she taught a “street law” class to high school seniors in Roanoke through the Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Law Literacy Program.

Moss is in the top of her class academically. She is a Lead Articles Editor on the Washington and Lee Law Review, and recently published her Note in that journal. She was a semi-finalist in W&L Law’s Mock Trial Competition. She also serves as a member of the Dean’s Advisory Group and the Women’s Law Student organization.

In supporting Moss’s nomination, William Montross, senior attorney in the Capital Litigation Unit at the Southern Center for Human Rights, wrote: “Her devotion to clients who are grossly underserved is no passing phase. She will continue to serve as a public defender after law school, and I hope and pray, eventually become part of the death penalty community. There is no questioning her commitment to this calling. Everything she has done and continues to do is directed to representing poor people accused of crimes.”

The award, named for a late Virginia civil rights litigator, recognizes a law student’s commitment to uncompensated or minimally compensated pro bono work and other public service. It will be presented by the Virginia State Bar Special Committee on Access to Legal Services during the Virginia State Bar Annual Meeting in Virginia Beach on June 19.

Updated: Apr 30, 2015
April 27, 2015

Fraud Alert for Lawyers Closing Real Estate Transactions

Last week, the North Carolina State Bar received multiple reports of fraudulent activity relating to wired funds in real estate transactions, some of which resulted in losses as high as $200,000. We are reporting this alert as a precaution but have not heard of any activity in Virginia.  Here is what we understand to have occurred:

On a closing that took place on a Friday morning, before funds were disbursed, the firm received an email and a phone call from a woman purporting to be the out of state seller, requesting the firm to wire funds to her bank account. The following Monday, the firm learned that the seller’s email was compromised and bad actors had inserted themselves in her place. The firm attempted to retract the wire and later discovered that the bank did not retract the wire and will not communicate further without a subpoena.

This firm had two-level confirmation practices in place to protect against fraudulent wires, but the hackers emailed and called the firm to confirm the wiring instructions as was required. The hackers gained access to the email account of one of the parties to the transaction and learned the necessary information in order to assume the identity of one of the parties and initiate the fraudulent transaction. Another defrauded firm noticed after the fact that the email address of the hacker was different from the actual seller's email address by one letter.

One suggestion to protect against this fraud is for the lawyer to initiate the phone call to the actual client or party to confirm the party’s purported wiring instructions, calling only the phone number listed in the client file, even if a different number is provided via email. Please be vigilant when communicating with email and consider whether your firm's wiring procedures are strong enough to detect and prevent these fraud attempts. If your firm has been the subject of an attempted or successful fraud, or have any questions or concerns please contact the ethics hotline at ethicshotline@vsb.org.

Updated: Apr 27, 2015
April 24, 2015

Robin Wood Is Recipient of Tradition of Excellence Award

Robin C. Wood III, Esq.Robert “Robin” C. Wood III, who has been practicing law for more than fifty years, has been named the 2015 recipient of the Tradition of Excellence Award by the Virginia State Bar’s General Practice Section.

The award recognizes a lawyer who embodies the highest tradition of personal and professional excellence and who has benefitted the community and enhanced the esteem of general practice attorneys in Virginia. It will be presented on June 20 during the VSB annual meeting at Virginia Beach.

Wood, of Edmund & Williams in Lynchburg, is a graduate of Washington and Lee University and the University of Virginia School of Law.

Among his many other activities, Wood has been an adjunct professor of Virginia law and Procedure at Washington and Lee University School of Law. A former student, John C. Johnson of Roanoke, supported Wood’s nomination and wrote: “He was one of the toughest professors I ever had in law school. So tough that after two weeks I elected to take it ‘Pass/fail.’ The joke was on me because he made us work so hard that I thought I would actually fail. … I refer to his course book several times a year. He is a scholar and a solid lawyer.”

Ronald A. Page Jr., of Richmond, added, “[Wood’s] class was the most difficult, most interesting, and most useful class I took as part of my legal education.…Mr. Wood’s class was a crucible where raw iron was transformed into steel. Mr. Wood’s students were enlightened and given such a practical understanding of Virginia procedure that passing the bar became a near certainty. To this day, I still have all of my written materials from that class and look back at them at least a couple times each year.”

Wood is a fellow of the Virginia Law Foundation; author of Civil Procedure in Virginia, Virginia Law and Practice: a Handbook for Attorneys; a Member of Order of the Coif at Washington and Lee University School of Law; and an adjunct professor of Virginia Law and Procedure at Washington and Lee University School of Law. He is a former chair of the Boyd-Graves Conference, president of the Lynchburg Bar Association, chair of the Litigation Section of the Virginia State Bar and editor of its newsletter, and a member of the board of governors of the Virginia Bar Association. He was also an ACC football head referee from 1975 to 2001 and has served on many boards in the Lynchburg community, including the Chamber of Commerce, Lynchburg Fines Arts Center, Virginia Legal Aid Society, St. John’s Episcopal Church, Lynchburg Redevelopment and Housing Authority, and United Way.

Updated: Apr 30, 2015
April 23, 2015

Annual Meeting Features Showcase CLE Programs and Special Events

Additional Info

Register online now for the 2015 Annual Meeting

Registrations received prior to May 15 are at the discounted fee of $165.

First-Time Attendees pay only $135

VSB 77th Annual Meeting | June 18-21, 2015

Your Annual Meeting registration fee entitles you to attend the five showcase CLE programs on Friday and Saturday, and special events sponsored by the Virginia State Bar's conferences and sections.
 

FRIDAY, JUNE 19 / 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Budding Issues: What Virginia Lawyers Need to Know About the Changing Marijuana Landscape
2.0 credits, --- ethics
Sheraton Oceanfront, Ocean Grand Ballroom

Sponsors: Criminal Law/Bankruptcy Law/Corporate Counsel/Family Law/Health law Sections

Contracts Gone Bad: The Litigator’s Wish List for Transactional Lawyers
2.0 credits; ---ethics
Hilton Oceanfront, Peacock Ballroom B&C

Sponsors: Litigation / Business Law/Real Property Sections

 

FRIDAY, JUNE 19 / 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Blind Spot: Hidden Biases of Good People
3.0 credits, --- ethics                                      
Sheraton Oceanfront, Ocean Grand Ballroom

Sponsor: Virginia Diversity Foundation
Other partners: Millennium Diversity Foundation, Inc./ VSB Diversity Conference, Senior Lawyers Conference, Corporate Counsel Section, and Access to Legal Services Committee/VWAA/Asian Pacific American Bar,VA/ Burnett & Williams/ Zavos Juncker Law Group PLLC/McGuireWoods LLP/ and Venable LLP.

 

FRIDAY, JUNE 19 / 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

‘Caveat Emptor’: What You Need to Know About International Mergers & Acquisitions
2.0 credits; ---ethics
Hilton Oceanfront, Peacock Ballroom B&C

Sponsors: International Practice/Antitrust Law/Business Law/Corporate Counsel/Intellectual Property Sections

 

SATURDAY, JUNE 20 / 9:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

Judiciary Squares: Recent Developments in Virginia Law
2.0 credits; .5 ethics
Sheraton Oceanfront, Ocean Grand Ballroom

Sponsor: Young Lawyers Conference

See complete list of CLE programs and special events on the 2015 Annual Meeting website.

Updated: Apr 23, 2015
April 20, 2015

Supreme Court Seeks Public Comment on Proposed Modification of Rule Regarding SCC Appeals

The Supreme Court of Virginia is considering modifying Rule 5:21(a) concerning appeals of right from the State Corporation Commission and is requesting comments on the proposed changes. Comments must be received by June 15, 2015.

view Supreme Court of Virginia press release (PDF file)

Updated: Apr 20, 2015
April 10, 2015

Supreme Court of Virginia Adopts Multiple Rule Changes

The Supreme Court of Virginia has amended, adopted, and deleted a number of rules. The rule changes are effective July 1, 2015.

Updated: Apr 10, 2015
April 08, 2015

Comments Sought on Amendments to the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia

The Committee on Lawyer Discipline is seeking public comment on proposed amendments to two rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia: Part Six, Section IV, Paragraph 13-11.B.3 regarding disclosure of exculpatory evidence; and Part Six, Section IV, Paragraph 13-25 regarding reinstatement proceedings.

Comments should be submitted in writing to Karen A. Gould, Executive Director, Virginia State Bar, 1111 E. Main Street, Suite 700, Richmond, VA 23219-3565 or publiccomment@vsb.org, no later than the end of the business day on May 15, 2015.

Read more

Updated: Apr 08, 2015
April 07, 2015

Election for VSB Council Will Be Online

This year the election for the Virginia State Bar Council for circuits 4, 13, 17, 18, 19, 28 will be conducted online rather than with paper ballots. 

On or about April 10, 2015, any member in the specified circuits who was Active In Good Standing as of March 15, 2015, should receive an e-mail from "Virginia State Bar Election Coordinator <noreply@directvote.net>"  with a link for voting in the Virginia State Bar Council Election. The subject line will be “Virginia State Bar Council Election Login Information.”  To ensure e-mail with voting information arrives safely in your inbox, add the following e-mail address as a safe sender: noreply@directvote.net. These settings can be made in your e-mail account SPAM/Junk filters or by contacting your IT department. This process is often referred to as “whitelisting."

Voting is open until May 1 at 11:59 p.m. The process takes only a few seconds if you have already made up your mind, and links are present on the online ballot to learn more about each candidate if you have not. Please remember to vote.

If you have not received your login information by Monday, April 13, 2015, please go to https://www.directvote.net/VSB/sendID.aspx to have your voting instructions resent. You can also contact support@directvote.net or call 952-974-2339, and if you have any problems, please contact the Virginia State Bar at 804-775-0551 or elections@vsb.org.

Your voting instructions can only be sent to your Email of Record on file with the Virginia State Bar. To verify your e-mail address, please logon to the VSB Member Portal at https://member.vsb.org/vsbportal/ or contact the VSB Membership Department at 804-775-0530.

Updated: Apr 07, 2015
April 06, 2015

Annual Meeting Registration Is Open

Register now at a discounted fee of $165 until May 15. The fee covers all VSB-sponsored CLE programs on Friday, June 19, and Saturday, June 20. See the Virginia CLE website for separate registration for Recent Developments in the Law on Thursday, June 18.

After May 15, 2015, the registration fee increases to $190.

First Time attendees pay only $135.

Be sure to check out the Annual Meeting Mobile App for details on schedules, hotels, programs, speakers, sponsors, maps, and more.

Updated: Apr 06, 2015
April 01, 2015

Virginia State Bar E-News, April 2015

The Standing Committee on Legal Ethics is seeking public comments on proposed amendments to Rules 5.5 Comment [1a] and 8.3(e) of the Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct. 

The Ethics Committee also has issued LEO 1876 as final: “Ethical Obligations Of A Prosecutor Who Plea Bargains With An Unrepresented Defendant Whom The Prosecutor Has Been Informed Is A Noncitizen Subject To Deportation Under Immigration Law Upon Conviction Of The Offense Which Is The Subject Of The Plea Offer.”

The Supreme Court of Virginia has released for public comment The Report of the Special Committee on Criminal Discovery Rules to the Chief Justice and Justices of the Supreme Court of Virginia. Comments on the proposed rules must be received by June 30, 2015.

Online registration will be available soon for the 77th Annual Meeting, June 18-21, 2015, in Virginia Beach.

The Supreme Court of Virginia will honor the 30th anniversary of Virginia Lawyers Helping Lawyers with a ceremony at the Court on April 14.

Space is still available in the webcast locations for the 11th Annual Indigent Criminal Defense Seminar Advanced Skills for the Experienced Practitioner. You may register for the May 1 event for webcasts in Weyers Cave and Wytheville.

The 45th Annual Criminal Law Seminar, sponsored by the VSB Criminal Law Section and Virginia CLE, has a video replay scheduled for April 30 in several locations.

VSB awards:

The Conference of Local Bar Associations is accepting nominations for Awards of Merit, the Local Bar Leader of the Year Award, and the Bar Association of the Year Award. The nomination deadline is April 24, 2015.

Updated: Apr 01, 2015
March 29, 2015

From the Desk of the President—Midyear Legal Seminar

On Friday March 27th, we canceled the Virginia State Bar's planned Midyear Legal Seminar trip to Israel.  The decision was based primarily on a U.S. State Department advisory:  http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/country/israel.html, "Entry, Exit & Visa Requirements."  We were forced to conclude there were potential difficulties some of our VSB members might face in obtaining entry to Israel.  Additionally, we were well short of the required number of confirmed attendees necessary for the trip to proceed. 

President-elect Edward L. Weiner, chair of the Midyear Legal Seminar Committee, communicated with the Israeli Embassy.  An embassy official expressed a desire to facilitate the trip but acknowledged that security protocols are strict and could lead to exclusion or restriction of some VSB members. 

In the face of this information, we felt it necessary and appropriate to forego this trip.  This was not a political decision and is not a "boycott."  We are an inclusive organization and do not discriminate against any religion.

Unfortunately, some mischaracterized this decision as anti-Israel and anti-Semitic, even going so far as to mislabel it as a "boycott."  Although the message was sent over the president's signature, we jointly drafted and approved what was sent Friday night.  Apparently we could have done a better job of explaining the situation and decision. We are writing now to provide further clarity.

Our decision was not based on any political factors or influences.  We understand that Israel is in a difficult position when it comes to security.  We are not expressing opinions regarding Israel's border security measures.  We are merely recognizing the reality that our very large and diverse membership, consisting of well over 40,000 members, includes individuals who may encounter lengthy examination and possible rejection in attempting to navigate the immigration security procedures in Israel. 

You may recall that on March 25, 2015, we sent a message urging VSB members to sign up for both the Israel trip and the Annual Meeting in Virginia Beach.  We very much wanted the Israel trip to be a success and were trying to reach the required number of participants for it to be a go.  We deeply regret that a combination of circumstances led to the trip's cancellation, and we also regret that our good faith efforts and decisions may have been misinterpreted and misunderstood. 

We remain committed to the core objectives of the VSB:  public protection, access to justice and improvement of the legal profession.  Thank you for reading and thank you for allowing us the privilege of serving.

Kevin E. Martingayle, President                               

Edward L. Weiner, President-elect & Chair, Midyear Legal Seminar Committee      

Updated: Mar 29, 2015
March 26, 2015

Comments Sought on Proposed Amendments to Rules

Comments Sought on Proposed Amendments to Rules

The Standing Committee on Legal Ethics is seeking public comments on proposed amendments to Rules 5.5 Comment [1a] and 8.3(e) of the Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct.  Comments should be submitted in writing to Karen A. Gould, Executive Director, Virginia State Bar, 1111 E. Main Street, Suite 700, Richmond, VA 23219-3565 or publiccomment@vsb.org, no later than the end of the business day on May 4, 2015. 

Updated: Mar 26, 2015
March 23, 2015

Legal Ethics Opinion 1876 Now Final

The Standing Committee on Legal Ethics has issued LEO 1876 as final: “Ethical Obligations Of A Prosecutor Who Plea Bargains With An Unrepresented Defendant Whom The Prosecutor Has Been Informed Is A Noncitizen Subject To Deportation Under Immigration Law Upon Conviction Of The Offense Which Is The Subject Of The Plea Offer.”

view LEOs online

Updated: Mar 23, 2015
March 17, 2015

Betty Moore Sandler Honored for Lifetime Achievement in Family Law

Betty M. Sandler, a principal of Nichols Zauzig Sandler PC in Woodbridge, has been named the 2015 winner of the Betty A. Thompson Lifetime Achievement Award by the Virginia State Bar’s Family Law Section.

The award recognizes and honors an individual who has made a substantial contribution to the practice and administration of family law in the Commonwealth of Virginia. It will be presented at the Annual Family Law Seminar April 24 at The Jefferson Hotel in Richmond.

Sandler has practiced family law since 1986, primarily in Northern Virginia. She has been active in the Prince William County Bar Association, the Arlington Bar Association, and was instrumental to starting the Prince William Family Law Section. She also served as chair for the Prince William Bar Association Committee on Professionalism.

Sandler has been a board member and vice chair of the Family Law Section of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, and a board member and officer of the VSB Family Law Section. She also is past president of the Virginian chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.

She is a past president of the McLean Bar Association and was the founding president of the Prince William County Bar Foundation.  Sandler also serves as a substitute judge in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Courts of Virginia. She has authored many articles on family law matters for the Virginia State Bar and Virginia Trial Lawyers Association publications and she regularly participates as a panelist and moderator for Continuing Legal Education seminars on domestic relations and ethics.

In his letter nominating Sandler for the award, attorney Carl J. Witmeyer II said, “No one I know has been more active and involved in family law related matters than Betty Moore Sandler.”

Sandler is a graduate of the University of Kentucky and the University of Kentucky College of Law.

Updated: Mar 17, 2015
March 11, 2015

Colleen M. Quinn Receives Family Law Service Award

Colleen M. Quinn, partner in Locke & Quinn in Richmond, has been named the 2015 recipient of the Family Law Service Award presented by the Virginia State Bar’s Family Law Section.

The award recognizes people and organizations that have improved family, domestic relations, or juvenile law in Virginia. It is to be presented April 23 at the section’s Annual Advanced Family Law Seminar at the Jefferson Hotel in Richmond.

Quinn was nominated by Sherry A. Fox, awards chair of the Metropolitan Richmond Women’s Bar Association. “(Quinn) is an exceptional attorney who has dedicated herself to helping people build their families through her adoption and surrogacy practice,” Fox wrote. “It is her tireless work in this area that makes her the ideal recipient of this award. … What truly sets her apart is her passion for helping her clients and the personal investment she makes in each and every case she handles.”

Quinn founded the Adoption and Surrogacy Law Center as a resource for people navigating their options for creating a family. She is a fellow on the board of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys and the American Academy of Assisted Reproduction Technology Attorneys. She is also the co-author of the fifth edition of the Virginia CLE Adoption Procedures and Forms book.

She is a member of the American Association for Justice, the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, the Richmond Bar Association, the Metropolitan Richmond Women’s Bar Association, the Richmond Women’s Business Consortium, and the National Association of Women Business Owners.

She also is an active community volunteer and has provided domestic violence training and education to various organizations. Through internships at her firm, she mentors students at the law schools of William and Mary, the University of Virginia, the University of Richmond, and Howard University, and at the J. Sargeant Reynolds Paralegal Studies Program. She also volunteers at the YMCA and at her church.

Quinn is a graduate of the College of William and Mary and has her law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law.

Updated: Mar 11, 2015
March 10, 2015

James C. Roberts, 1932—2015

James C. “Jim” Roberts, former president of the Virginia State Bar, died Sunday, March 8, 2015. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, March 11, at Bliley’s-Central, 3801 Augusta Avenue, in Richmond. 

Mr. Roberts was born March 29, 1932, in Taylorsville, NC. He was a graduate of Hampden-Sydney College and the T.C. Williams School of Law at the University of Richmond.

Upon graduation, he joined Tucker, Mays, Moore & Reed. The firm later became Mays & Valentine and then Troutman Sanders, where he was managing partner.

Mr. Roberts was president of the Richmond Bar Association in 1977 and president of the Virginia State Bar in 1980-1981.

He was a recipient of the Harry L. Carrico Professionalism Award and the Tradition of Excellence Award from the bar, and the Richmond Bar Association’s Hunter W. Martin Professionalism Award and the Robert R. Merhige Jr. Outstanding Achievement Award.

According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Roberts was one of the founders of the Central Virginia Legal Aid Society and was a Legal Aid volunteer for many years. He also served on the University of Virginia School of Nursing Advisory Board, Medical College of Virginia Foundation, The University of Virginia Health Foundation, State Fair of Virginia Board, Virginia Military Institute Board, Commission on the Future of Virginia’s Judicial System, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Westminster Canterbury of Richmond Board, and Virginia Commonwealth University Health System.

“I think we can safely say that there will never be another lawyer quite like Jim Roberts,” said Irving M. Blank, former Virginia State Bar president. “He excelled at every level and in every aspect of the practice of law. Additionally, he seemed to have endless energy and time for the legal community, legal aid, new lawyers, old lawyers, students, and any needy cause.” 

The Times-Dispatch noted that he is survived by his wife of sixty years, Charlotte Korn Roberts; his three children, Jim Roberts, Cha Roberts and Tricia Roberts Humphreys; his four grandchildren, Christine Roberts, Taylor Roberts, Crawford Humphreys and Artie Humphreys; his sister, Betty Ann Wadsworth; his daughter-in-law and sons-in-law, Debby Krenek, Kelly Kinsey and Tom Humphreys; his sisters-in-law and brother-in-law and his countless beloved nieces, nephews and extended family. 

Updated: Apr 16, 2015
March 09, 2015

Retired Magistrate Judge B. Waugh Crigler Receives VSB Leadership in Education Award

Crigler photo

B. Waugh Crigler, retired US Magistrate Judge for the Western District of Virginia, has been named the recipient of the William R. Rakes Leadership in Education Award from the Virginia State Bar Section on the Education of Lawyers in Virginia.

The award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated exceptional leadership and vision in developing and implementing innovative concepts to improve and enhance the state of legal education, and in advancing relationships and professionalism among members of the academy, the bench, and the bar within the legal profession in Virginia.

In nominating Crigler, retired Judge J. Martin Bass, of the 15th Judicial Circuit of Virginia, wrote: “As much as anyone I have known in my years as a lawyer and a judge, (Crigler) has made and continues to make significant contributions not only to the education of Lawyers, but also to enhancing meaningful collaboration among the three constituencies of the legal profession in the commonwealth…. He has made our profession stronger and better suited to meet the needs of a changing society by being himself, a consummate professional.”

Attorney William E. Glover wrote that Judge Crigler’s “actions derive from deep and thoughtful rumination on what it means to be a Virginia lawyer, and how to communicate that to law students – many of whom are inclined to dismiss professionalism as etiquette training and nothing more. Judge Crigler’s emphatic insistence on the value of professionalism to our clients, the bar, the bench and to our communities resonates as heartfelt and fundamentally true. Any law student or young lawyer who hears him discuss it is fortunate.”

The award was established in 2012 to honor former Virginia State Bar president and founder of the Section on the Education of Lawyers, William R. Rakes, a senior partner with the Roanoke firm of Gentry Locke.

The award, which is underwritten by Gentry Locke, is to be presented June 18, 2015, at the Virginia State Bar’s annual meeting in Virginia Beach.

Crigler has a long and distinguished career as a lawyer, judge, and teacher. He has served as a faculty member for the VSB’s Harry L. Carrico Professionalism Course since 1995. In 1998, he was appointed to the bar’s Standing Committee on Professionalism, and later became its vice chair. He helped to develop a curriculum for a professionalism program that was instituted in all law schools in the commonwealth in 2000. He served as chair or co-chair of the Law School Professionalism program until 2003, and remains an active faculty member for the program.

Crigler has served on the board of governors of the State Bar’s Litigation Section since 2009. In 2006, he was elected to the board of governors of the State Bar’s Section on the Education of Lawyers in Virginia, and has served as vice chair since 2010. While serving on these boards, Judge Crigler has written numerous articles advancing trial skills and professional and ethical practice.

He received a B.A. in History from Washington & Lee University in 1970, and a law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1973. Following graduation from law school, Crigler served as a law clerk to the Hon. Robert L. Taylor in the Eastern District of Tennessee and later practiced in Culpeper. In October 1981, the Hon. James C. Turk appointed Crigler as United States Magistrate Judge for the Western District of Virginia. In 1991, Crigler was named by the chief justice of the United States as a member of the Criminal Rules Advisory Committee on which he served until 1997. In September 2013, after thirty-two years on the bench, Judge Crigler retired, and in January 2014, he joined The McCammon Group as a neutral.

Crigler and his wife Anne will celebrate forty-five years of marriage in June 2015. They have three children and five grandchildren. 

Updated: Mar 09, 2015
March 04, 2015

Supreme Court of Virginia Releases Report on Criminal Discovery Rules

The Report of the Special Committee on Criminal Discovery Rules to the Chief Justice and Justices of the Supreme Court of Virginia has been released for public comment. Comments on the proposed rules must be received by June 30, 2015.

Updated: Mar 04, 2015
March 03, 2015

Virginia State Bar E-News, March 2015

New Virginia State Bar ID Cards will be mailed to all active members beginning later this week.

Effective May 1, 2015, the Supreme Court of Virginia adopted Rule 5.8: Procedures for Notification to Clients When a Lawyer Leaves a Law Firm or When a Law Firm Dissolves.

After two amendments from the floor, the VSB Council approved and will present to the Supreme Court of Virginia for its approval proposals to amend Rules 1.1 (Competence) and 1.6 (Confidentiality) of the Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct. The amended rules are being drafted.

The Council approved and will present to the Supreme Court of Virginia for its approval the following amendments to the Court’s rules:

  • Paragraph 13.4: Standards for Minimum Malpractice Coverage When Disciplinary Charges Heard by a Three-Judge Panel Result in a Finding of Criminal Conduct Involving Loss of Client Property
  • Paragraph 13-4E: Establishment of District Committees

The following circuits will be holding elections for one or more seats on Council, the VSB's governing body:  4, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21, 23, 28, and 30.  If you are interested in serving on Council, e-mail a nominating petition to the executive director, Karen A. Gould, elections@vsb.org. Petition must be signed by not fewer than ten other members eligible to vote in the circuit, and shall be accompanied by a statement of qualifications not exceeding one hundred and fifty words. Nominations must be filed in the office of the executive director on or before April 1. sample petition (PDF file)

Volunteers are needed to fill vacancies on the VSB’s boards and committees. Please submit nominations, along with a brief resume, by March 27 to nominations@vsb.org.

Space is still available in the webcast locations for the 11th Annual Indigent Criminal Defense Seminar Advanced Skills for the Experienced Practitioner. You may register for the May 1 event for webcasts in Weyers Cave and Wytheville. 

The 45th Annual Criminal Law Seminar, sponsored by the VSB Criminal Law Section and Virginia CLE, has video replays scheduled for March 24, 25 & 31 in several locations.

Nominations are being sought for the following awards:

The 2015 Midyear Legal Seminar, which is paid for solely by the participants and not by bar dues, is headed to Jerusalem, Israel, November 8-15. Deadline for registration is April 1. See the VSB’s Midyear Seminar website for registration form and CLE details.

Virginia State Bar members who have been administratively suspended for failure to comply with the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia are posted online.

Posted: Mar 03, 2015

Updated: Mar 05, 2015
March 02, 2015

Highlights of the February 28, 2015, Virginia State Bar Council Meeting

At its meeting on February 28, 2015, in Richmond, the Virginia State Bar Council heard the following significant reports and took the following actions:

 

Adoption of Rule 5.8 by the Supreme Court of Virginia

The Council was informed of the adoption of Rule 5.8: Procedures for Lawyers Leaving Law Firms and Dissolution of Law Firm, effective May 1, 2015. The rule codifies a number of the suggestions from LEOs on departing lawyers’ obligations into more concrete steps to follow.

 

Approval of Amendments to the Rules

The Council unanimously approved amendments to the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia regarding Standards for Minimum Malpractice Coverage When Disciplinary Charges Heard by a Three-Judge Panel Result in a Finding of Criminal Conduct Involving Loss of Client Property, and Establishment of District Committees. The proposed rule changes will be presented to the Supreme Court of Virginia for its consideration.

Other proposed amendments regarding district committee members’ address of record, reciprocal discipline, reinstatement procedures, and disclosure of exculpatory evidence were either withdrawn by the Standing Committee on Lawyer Discipline or tabled for additional review.

 

Approval of Rules

The VSB Council amended and approved by a vote of 36–23 amendments to Rules 1.1 (Competence) and 1.6 (Confidentiality) of the Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct. The proposed rule changes will be presented to the Supreme Court of Virginia for its consideration.

 

Justice Kelsey Resolution

The Council unanimously approved the resolution honoring Justice Kelsey’s accession to the Supreme Court of Virginia.

Updated: Mar 02, 2015
March 02, 2015

Supreme Court of Virginia Adopts Rule

Effective May 1, 2015, the Supreme Court of Virginia has adopted Rule 5.8, Procedures for Lawyers Leaving Law Firms and Dissolution of Law Firm. The rule codifies a number of the suggestions from LEOs on departing lawyers’ obligations into more concrete steps to follow.

Updated: Mar 02, 2015
February 27, 2015

Registration Open for March Pro Bono Webinar

Federal Income Tax and the Affordable Care Act (ACA): Considerations for Survivors of Domestic Violence — March 24, 2015, 1:00 PM EDT

Domestic violence survivors face unique challenges in dealing with the effects of sharing tax responsibilities with abusive spouses, as well as navigating premium tax credits under the Affordable Care Act. Learn about those challenges and how they apply to survivors of domestic violence.

This free webinar has been approved for 1.5 hours of MCLE credit. As a condition of registration approval, attendees are asked to certify during registration that they will provide pro bono publico legal assistance to a survivor of domestic violence (or make a financial contribution to a nonprofit organization providing legal assistance to domestic violence survivors).

This webinar series is co-sponsored by the VSB Special Committee on Access to Legal Services, the Community Tax Law Project, and the Virginia Poverty Law Center.
 

Visit the Pro Bono page for more information

Recordings of previous VSB Pro Bono webinars are available online.

Updated: Feb 27, 2015
February 19, 2015

Jerrauld C. Jones Presented with the Carrico Professionalism Award

The Virginia State Bar Criminal Law Section has presented its 2015 Harry L. Carrico Professionalism Award to The Honorable Jerrauld C. Jones of the Circuit Court of the City of Norfolk.

Virginia State Bar President Kevin E. Martingayle presented the award Friday, February 13, 2015, during the section’s 45th Annual Criminal Law Seminar in Williamsburg. The award was named for the former Virginia Supreme Court chief justice who promoted the ideals of professionalism during his forty-two years on the state’s highest court.

In his letter nominating Jones, Martingayle wrote that, “I have seen Judge Jones function as a legislator, lawyer and member of the judiciary. He is consistently focused, prepared, kind, insightful, compassionate and intelligent. He has been one of the finest legislators, lawyers and judges I have had the pleasure of knowing, and he has touched the lives of many in a consistently positive way.”

Jones was appointed to the Norfolk Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court in 2005 by Governor Timothy M. Kaine. The governor appointed him to the circuit court in 2008 and the General Assembly elected him to a full eight-year term in 2009.

Jones was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates from the 89th District and was re-elected eight times. He was a member of the House Rules Committee.

Jones earned his bachelor’s degree from Princeton University in 1976 and his law degree from the Washington and Lee University School of Law in 1980. He served as the first African-American law clerk to the Supreme Court of Virginia. He later returned to Norfolk and served as an assistant commonwealth’s attorney before opening his private law practice. He stayed in private practice until 2002 when Governor Mark Warner appointed him state director of juvenile justice. He also served on the State Advisory Group on Juvenile Justice and the Governor’s Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice. 

Pictured above, The Honorable Jerrauld C. Jones (middle), his wife, Lynn Simons Jones (left), and their son, Jerrauld “Jay” Jones (right).

Updated: Feb 19, 2015
February 12, 2015

Council Elections

If you are interested in serving on Council, the Virginia State Bar's governing body, there will be an election conducted in the following circuits by electronic ballot. To be eligible to run, you must be an active member in good standing of the circuit as of March 15, 2015. You must file a nominating petition with the executive director at elections@vsb.org on or before April 1, 2015. The nominating petition shall be signed by not fewer than ten other members eligible to vote in the circuit, and shall be accompanied by a statement of qualifications not exceeding one hundred and fifty words and a digital photograph. 

sample petition (PDF file)

 

Circuit 4

1 seat (incumbent ineligible for 2nd term)

Circuit 12

1 seat (incumbent eligible for 2nd term)

Circuit 13

5 seats (3 incumbents eligible for 2nd term)

Circuit 14

2 seats (1 incumbent eligible for 2nd term)

Circuit 16

1 seat (incumbent ineligible for 2nd term)

Circuit 17

2 seats (2 incumbents ineligible for 2nd term)

Circuit 18

2 seats (1 incumbent eligible for 2nd term)

Circuit 19

6 seats (3 incumbents eligible for 2nd term)

Circuit 21

1 seat (incumbent eligible for 2nd term)

Circuit 23

1 seat (incumbent ineligible for 2nd term)

Circuit 28

1 seat (incumbent ineligible for 2nd term)

Circuit 30

1 seat (incumbent eligible for 2nd term)

 

An election by meeting will be conducted in the 8th circuit, which has 1 Council seat.  The incumbent is eligible for a 2nd term. The time and place of that election will be set by Chief Judge Wilford Taylor Jr., Circuit Court for the City of Hampton. Nominations may be made at the circuit meeting or by any member eligible to vote in the circuit. No supporting petition or second for such nomination will be required.

 

Posted: Feb 12, 2015

Updated: Mar 05, 2015
February 05, 2015

Senator Warner Announces Application Process for US Attorney for Eastern District of Virginia

US Senator Mark R. Warner’s office is accepting applications for the position of US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.  

“The US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia is one of the most important and high profile prosecutor positions in the country, handling a diverse and active caseload. This federal prosecutor typically handles terrorism and national security cases of enormous importance to our country’s safety and security,” Warner said. “I look forward to moving this process forward to recommend the most qualified candidate.”

Warner will evaluate and recommend qualified candidates to the White House, which will then nominate an individual to be considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The nomination is subject to confirmation by the full Senate.

Interested applicants can go to www.warner.senate.gov for application instructions. The application period will close March 6, 2015. If you have questions about the application, please contact Nicholas_Devereux@warner.senate.gov.

Updated: Feb 05, 2015
February 05, 2015

Law Over Lunch

Registration is open for the annual Law Over Lunch program, “Criminal Justice Debt Collection in Virginia: Going from Lose-Lose to Win-Win.” The program will be February 18 at the University of Richmond Downtown campus, 626 E. Broad St., Suite 100, Richmond.

more information and registration

Updated: Feb 05, 2015
February 02, 2015

Funeral Service Set for W. Scott Street III

1944-2015

W. Scott Street photo courtesy of Bob Brown/Richmond Times-Dispatch

W. Scott Street III, former president of the Virginia State Bar and longtime secretary-treasurer of the Virginia Board of Bar Examiners, died Sunday after a long battle with cancer. He was 70.

The funeral service for Mr. Street is scheduled for Friday, February 6, at 1:00 p.m. at River Road Baptist Church, 8000 River Road. 

Mr. Street was a lawyer in Virginia for forty-five years, with thirty-four at the Williams Mullen firm in Richmond. He was president of the VSB in 1999-2000, but is perhaps best known for his dedication to the Board of Bar Examiners, where he served for forty years.

He also was a member of the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association, a trustee of the National Conference of Bar Examiners, a member of the Richmond Bar Association, and past chair of the VSB Committee on Legal Education. He was a fellow of the American Bar Foundation and a fellow and past president of the Virginia Law Foundation.

Mr. Street was a graduate of Hampden-Sydney College and the University of Virginia School of Law.

He was also an accomplished banjo player and bluegrass musician. In a January 5, 2015, article in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, longtime friend and fellow musician Martha Adcock described Mr. Street as “‘a patron of the arts and a devoted musician’ with a ‘wide-ranging wit – urbane to hillbilly’ and an ‘unparalleled equanimity.’ She said the tall Street ‘stands above most others in terms of character, good humor, good will and good deeds.’”

“He was a fine gentleman of the old Southern school – unfailingly courteous and charming,” said former bar President Sharon D. Nelson.

Another former president, Edward Lowry, added that, “He was a model lawyer, bar volunteer and gentleman, in the very best sense of each term. He gave selflessly for the betterment of lawyers in Virginia for so many years. He will be sorely missed.”

 

photo courtesy of Bob Brown/Richmond Times-Dispatch

Updated: Feb 03, 2015
February 01, 2015

Virginia State Bar E-News, February 2015

The Standing Committee on Legal Ethics is seeking public comment on Legal Ethics Opinion 1880, “Obligations of a Court-Appointed Attorney to Advise His Indigent Client of the Right of Appeal Following Conviction Upon a Guilty Plea; Duty of Court-Appointed Attorney to Follow the Indigent Client’s Instruction to Appeal Following a Guilty Plea When the Attorney Believes the Appeal Would Be Frivolous.”

The Ethics Committee also issued LEO 1879, “Application of Rules 3.1 and 3.8 to an Administrative Prosecutor in a Non-Criminal Proceeding,” as final.

The following circuits will be holding elections for one or more seats on Council, the VSB's governing body:  4, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21, 23, 28, and 30.  If you are interested in serving on Council, e-mail a nominating petition to the executive director, Karen A. Gould, elections@vsb.org. Petitions must be signed by not fewer than ten other members eligible to vote in the circuit, and shall be accompanied by a statement of qualifications not exceeding one hundred and fifty words. Nominations must be filed in the office of the executive director on or before April 1.

Virginia State Bar President-elect Edward L. Weiner is requesting applications for VSB committees. The application deadline is February 27, and terms start July 1.

Volunteers are needed to fill vacancies on the VSB’s boards and committees. Please submit nominations, along with a brief resume, by March 27 tonominations@vsb.org.

The Standing Committee on Lawyer Discipline calls for nominations for district committee vacancies to be filled by Council in June. 

The 45th Annual Criminal Law Seminar, sponsored by the VSB Criminal Law Section and Virginia CLE, is scheduled for February 6, 2015, in Charlottesville and February 13, 2015, in Williamsburg.

Space is still available for the 11th Annual Indigent Criminal Defense Seminar Advanced Skills for the Experienced Practitioner. You may register for the May 1 event at the Greater Richmond Convention Center or webcasts in Weyers Cave and Wytheville. 

Nominations are being sought for the following awards:

Registration is open for the Virginia Academy of Elder Law Attorneys 8th annual UnProgram, February 20 – 21 at the Boar's Head Inn, Charlottesville.

Updated: Jan 30, 2015
January 29, 2015

Comments Sought on Proposed Legal Ethics Opinion 1880

The Virginia State Bar’s Standing Committee on Legal Ethics is seeking public comment on proposed advisory Legal Ethics Opinion 1880, Obligations of a Court-Appointed Attorney to Advise His Indigent Client of the Right of Appeal Following Conviction Upon a Guilty Plea; Duty of Court-Appointed Attorney to Follow the Indigent Client’s Instruction to Appeal Following a Guilty Plea When the Attorney Believes the Appeal Would Be Frivolous.

The deadline for comments on this proposal is March 3, 2015.

Updated: Jan 30, 2015
January 21, 2015

Judicial Elections

The Virginia General Assembly has elected Court of Appeals Judge D. Arthur Kelsey to the Supreme Court of Virginia, filling a seat vacated by Chief Justice Cynthia D. Kinser’s retirement.

Legislators also elected Judge Mary Grace O’Brien, Judge Richard Y. Atlee Jr., and lawyer Wesley G. Russell Jr. to the Virginia Court of Appeals. They will fill the positions created by the retirements of Chief Judge Walter S. Felton and Judge Robert P. Frank, and by Kelsey’s move to the Supreme Court.

Updated: Jan 21, 2015
January 20, 2015

Jazz 4 Justice Benefit, January 30

Date and Time:
Starts at 7 p.m. on January 30, 2015, with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and mingling. Concert begins at 8 p.m.

Address:
W.E. Singleton Center for the Performing Arts, 922 Park Avenue, Richmond.

Event Details:
A benefit supporting the Greater Richmond Bar Foundation programs that improve pro bono legal representation for the underserved in central Virginia and VCU Jazz Studies Program scholarships.

Featuring Virginia Commonwealth University Jazz Studies Program students and faculty under the direction of Tony Garcia, with a special appearance by a surprise, well-known guest conductor from the legal community.

Jam sessions immediately following the concert. Bring your instruments; musicians of all levels welcome.

Tickets are $15 for students and seniors; $30 general admission.

Updated: Jan 20, 2015
January 08, 2015

Western District of Virginia Attorney

Senators Mark R. Warner and Timothy M. Kaine are accepting applications for the position of United States Attorney for the Western District of Virginia. Applicants are required to complete the questionnaire and submit it with a cover letter, resume, and all requested application materials to wdattorney@warner.senate.gov. The application period will close February 6, 2015. Applicants with questions should contact Nicholas_Devereux@warner.senate.gov or Phil_Olaya@kaine.senate.gov.

Updated: Jan 08, 2015
January 01, 2015

Virginia State Bar E-News, January 2015

The Committee on Lawyer Discipline is seeking public comment on proposed amendments to Part Six, Section IV, Paragraph 13-24 of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia.

Virginia State Bar President-elect Edward L. Weiner is requesting applications for VSB committees. The application deadline is February 27, and terms start July 1.

Volunteers are needed to fill vacancies on the VSB’s boards and committees. Please submit nominations, along with a brief resume, by March 27 to nominations@vsb.org.

The Standing Committee on Lawyer Discipline calls for nominations for district committee vacancies to be filled by Council in June. 

The 45th Annual Criminal Law Seminar, sponsored by the VSB Criminal Law Section and Virginia CLE, is scheduled for February 6, 2015, in Charlottesville and February 13, 2015, in Williamsburg. Early registration deadline is January 23.

Tickets are available for the January 27, 2015, Young Lawyers Conference Annual Bench-Bar Dinner honoring women and minorities in the legal profession.

The Conference of Local Bar Associations is accepting nominations for Awards of Merit, the Local Bar Leader of the Year Award, and the Bar Association of the Year Award.

Updated: Dec 30, 2014
December 18, 2014

William T. Prince

1929-2014

William T. Prince

William T. Prince, former president of the Virginia State Bar, died on Monday, December 15, 2014.

Mr. Prince was born Oct. 3, 1929. He was a graduate of the College of William and Mary and in 1957 of the Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the college. He also received a Masters of Law and Taxation degree from the law school in 1959. He taught accounting at William & Mary and later taught at the law school in 1957-59. He was a member of the Norfolk and Portsmouth, Virginia, and American Bar Associations, the Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys, the Virginia Trial lawyers Association, and the National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel.

He was a member of the board of editors of the first edition of The Virginia Lawyer, published in 1966.

Judge Prince took office as president of the VSB at the 40th annual meeting in 1978 when the bar had 13,500 members. The Virginian-Pilot reports that he was a member of the firm Williams Kelly and Greer from 1963 to 1990. He was appointed a United States Magistrate Judge in 1990, serving until his retirement in October 2014.

The Pilot noted that he had many activities that he loved. He was a dedicated fan of the Norfolk Tides baseball club and season ticket holder from opening day at Met Park in 1969 to the 2014 season at Harbor Park, with the same seats located behind the first base dugout. He also loved his annual visits to Vermont, from the early family vacations in 1972 to his last trip in 2012. Later in his life, he announced that he would begin traveling the world by freighter ship as a solo traveler, eventually circumnavigating the globe at the age of 78.

He is survived by his wife, Anne Hannegan Prince; six children, Sarah P. Pishko and husband Bernard, of Norfolk, Emily T. Prince of Somerville, MA, William T. Prince Jr. and wife Amy, of Virginia Beach, John H. Prince and wife Carrie, of Norfolk, Anne P. Thompson and husband Scott, of Dorset, VT, Robert H. Prince and wife Cary, of McLean.

He is also survived by fifteen grandchildren: Brian Pishko of The Hague, The Netherlands, Laura Pishko of Richmond, and Anne Pishko of Norfolk; Charles Prince, Hannah Prince, Sydney Moreland, and Carson Moreland of Virginia Beach; William Prince and Matthew Prince of Norfolk; Ned Thompson, May Thompson, George Thompson, and Beatrice Thompson of Dorset, VT; and Holly Prince and Henry Prince of McLean.

A Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Saturday at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Norfolk by his great-nephew the Rev. Sean M. Prince. A Christian wake service will be held at Sacred Heart Friday at 7 p.m.

Photo of William T. Prince by Auffenger Studios, Norfolk, VA, 1978.

Updated: Dec 18, 2014
December 08, 2014

Comments Sought on Amendments to the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia

The Committee on Lawyer Discipline is seeking public comment on proposed amendments to Part Six, Section IV, Paragraph 13-24 of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia. The purpose of the amendments is to clarify what qualifies as another jurisdiction for reciprocal disciplinary purposes, and to clarify the Disciplinary Board’s authority to impose the same or less discipline as another jurisdiction and allow for leniency as appropriate. The amendments remove the strict default provisions of the existing rule that mandate imposition of the same discipline as another jurisdiction when a respondent fails to timely file a written response to a reciprocal disciplinary action.

Comments should be submitted in writing to Karen A. Gould, Executive Director, Virginia State Bar, 1111 E. Main Street, Suite 700, Richmond, VA 23219-3565 or publiccomment@vsb.org, no later than the end of the business day on January 15, 2015.

Read more

Updated: Dec 08, 2014
December 05, 2014

Nominations Sought for Committee Vacancies

Volunteers are needed to serve the Virginia State Bar’s boards and committees. The Nominating Committee will refer nominees to the VSB Council for consideration at its June meeting.
 
Vacancies in 2015 are listed below. All appointments will be for the terms specified, beginning on July 1, 2015, unless otherwise noted.
 
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE: 6 vacancies (4 current members who are not eligible for reappointment and 2 current members who are eligible for reappointment). Filled from ranks of the council for 1-year terms, by council appointment.   
 
CLIENTS’ PROTECTION FUND BOARD: 4 lawyer vacancies (2 current lawyer members from the 7th and 10th disciplinary districts who are eligible for reelection and 2 current lawyer members at-large who are eligible for reelection). May serve 2 consecutive 3-year terms. Appointment by council.
 
JUDICIAL CANDIDATE EVALUATION COMMITTEE: 3 lawyer vacancies (of which 1 vacancy is to be filled by a member from the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th or 8th judicial circuits; 1 vacancy is to be filled by a member from the 2nd or 4th judicial circuits and 1 vacancy is to be filled by a member from the 23rd or 25th judicial circuits). May serve 1 full 3-year term. Appointment by council.
 
VIRGINIA LAW FOUNDATION BOARD: 3 vacancies (of which 2 current lawyer members are eligible for reelection) and 1 lay member (who is not eligible for reelection). May serve 2 consecutive 3-year terms. Appointment by VLF Board on recommendation of council.
 
VIRGINIA CLE COMMITTEE: 6 lawyer vacancies (of which 6 lawyer members are eligible for reelection to 1-year terms). Appointment by VLF Board on recommendation of council.
 
AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION DELEGATES: 1 vacancy. May serve 3 consecutive 2-year terms. Appointment by council. Term commences September 1, 2015.

Nominations, along with a brief résumé, should be sent by March 27, 2015, to
VSB Nominating Committee, c/o Asha Holloman, Virginia State Bar,
1111 East Main Street, Suite 700, Richmond, VA  23219-3565.

Posted: Dec 05, 2014

Updated: March 03, 2015

Updated: Mar 04, 2015
December 03, 2014

Volunteers Sought for VSB Committees

Virginia State Bar President-elect Edward L. Weiner invites Virginia lawyers to volunteer for bar committees. Appointments generally will be for three-year terms that run from July 1, 2015, through June 30, 2018.

A list of committees and an application form is available online. To be considered for an appointment, mail or e-mail the form to Asha Holloman, holloman@vsb.org, by February 27, 2015. Questions should be addressed to Asha Holloman at (804) 775-0551 or holloman@vsb.org. Persons of diversity are encouraged to apply.

Updated: Dec 03, 2014
December 02, 2014

Robinson is Choice for President-elect


 
Michael W. Robinson, of Tysons Corner, has been elected president-elect of the Virginia State Bar and will assume that post after the annual meeting in June 2015.
 
Robinson was chosen by active bar members, during a month-long election that ended December 1, over Raymond B. Benzinger and Thomas A. Edmonds.
 
Robinson, a partner with Venable LLC, is a 19th District representative on the VSB Council and is chair of the Standing Committee on Legal Ethics. He previously served as chair of the Special Committee on Bench-Bar Relations and has been on the faculty of the Professionalism Course.
 
He also is a member of the Fairfax County Bar Association.
 
Robinson is a graduate of George Mason University, where he received a B.A. in philosophy. His law degree is also from George Mason University.
 
His practice focuses on commercial disputes, business torts, and the protection of intellectual property rights.
 
He is married to Courtney R. Robinson and has five children.

Updated: Dec 02, 2014
December 01, 2014

Virginia State Bar E-News, December 2014

Voting for president-elect of the Virginia State Bar will continue until midnight on December 1. Active members should have received instructions from noreply@directvote.net with the subject “Virginia State Bar 2014 President-elect election login information.”

The Standing Committee on Legal Ethics is seeking public comment on revised proposed amendments to Rules 1.1 (Competence) and 1.6 (Confidentiality) of the Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct.

The Standing Committee on Legal Ethics is seeking public comment on proposed advisory Legal Ethics Opinion 1879Application of Rules 3.1 and 3.8 to Administrative Prosecutor in a Non-Criminal Case.

The Ethics Committee also is seeking public comment on proposed advisory Legal Ethics Opinion 1876Ethical Obligations of a Prosecutor who Plea Bargains with an Unrepresented Defendant whom the Prosecutor Knows is a Noncitizen Subject to Deportation Under Immigration Law Upon Conviction of the Offense Which is the Subject of the Plea Offer.

Effective October 31, 2014, the Supreme Court of Virginia has amended Rule 1A:1Admission to Practice in This Commonwealth Without Examination.

Effective October 31, 2014, the Court has added Rule 9:1Judicial Performance Evaluation Program, Purpose and Operation; and Rule 9:2, Confidentiality.

MCLE Reporting Deadline is December 15 – Check your online record for accuracy and certify online or mail your Form 1, End of Year Report to be received no later than 4:45 p.m., December 15.

The 45th Annual Criminal Law Seminar, sponsored by the VSB Criminal Law Section and Virginia CLE, is scheduled for February 6, 2015, inCharlottesville and February 13, 2015, in Williamsburg. Early registration deadline is January 23.

The Standing Committee on Lawyer Discipline calls for nominations for district committee vacancies to be filled by the VSB Council in June.

Save the date for the YLC Celebration of Women and Minorities in the Legal Profession Bench Bar Dinner  on Tuesday, January 27, 2015, at the Jepson Alumni Center at the University of Richmond.

The VSB is seeking nominations for the following awards:

Updated: Dec 01, 2014
November 25, 2014

Comments Sought on Revised Proposed Amendments to Rules on Competence and Confidentiality

The Standing Committee on Legal Ethics is seeking public comments on revised proposed amendments to Rules 1.1 (Competence) and 1.6 (Confidentiality) of the Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct. Comments should be submitted in writing to Karen A. Gould, Executive Director, Virginia State Bar, 1111 E. Main Street, Suite 700, Richmond, VA 23219-3565 or publiccomment@vsb.org, no later than the end of the business day on January 5, 2015.

Read more

Updated: Nov 25, 2014
November 25, 2014

Comments Sought on Proposed Legal Ethics Opinions 1876 and 1879

The Virginia State Bar’s Standing Committee on Legal Ethics is seeking public comment on proposed advisory Legal Ethics Opinion 1879, Application of Rules 3.1 and 3.8 to Administrative Prosecutor in a Non-Criminal Case.

The Ethics Committee also is seeking public comment on proposed advisory Legal Ethics Opinion 1876, Ethical Obligations of a Prosecutor who Plea Bargains with an Unrepresented Defendant whom the Prosecutor Knows is a Noncitizen Subject to Deportation Under Immigration Law Upon Conviction of the Offense Which is the Subject of the Plea Offer.

The deadline for comments on both proposals is January 5, 2015.

Updated: Nov 25, 2014
November 18, 2014

Appellate Court Candidates Invited

Senators Thomas K. Norment Jr. and Mark D. Obenshain, co-chairs of the Virginia Senate Courts of Justice Committee, invite anyone who would like to be a candidate for the appellate courts and who has not yet been interviewed by the committee to appear before the committee in December. The date and time will be announced later.

Candidates should coordinate submission of the Courts of Justice Appellate Questionnaire, writing sample, Virginia State Bar record investigation, and criminal history record check with Mary Kate Felch, Division of Legislative Services, at mfelch@dls.virginia.gov; (804) 786-3591.

Updated: Nov 18, 2014
November 07, 2014

Supreme Court of Virginia Adopts Amendment and a New Rule

Effective October 31, 2014, the Supreme Court of Virginia has amended Rule 1A:1, Admission to Practice in This Commonwealth Without Examination.

Effective October 31, 2014, the Court has added Rule 9:1, Judicial Performance Evaluation Program, Purpose and Operation; and Rule 9:2, Confidentiality.

Updated: Nov 07, 2014
November 01, 2014

Virginia State Bar E-News, November 2014

Voting is open for the election of president-elect of the Virginia State Bar. Ballots are due by December 1.

Experienced judges and lawyers will provide practice tips at the First Day in Practice seminar. The December 2 seminar is sponsored by the VSB General Practice Section and the Young Lawyers Conference. Six CLE credits, two ethics (pending). Space is limited.

The Standing Committee on Lawyer Discipline calls for nominations for district committee vacancies to be filled by Council in June.

Save the date:

  • The Young Lawyers Conference has set the Celebration of Women and Minorities in the Legal Profession Bench Bar Dinner for Tuesday, January 27, 2015. The dinner will be at the Jepson Alumni Center at the University of Richmond.
  • The 45th Annual Criminal Law Seminar, sponsored by the VSB Criminal Law Section and Virginia CLE, is scheduled for February 6, 2015, in Charlottesville and February 13, 2015, in Williamsburg.

The VSB is seeking nominations for the following awards:

Harry L. Carrico Professionalism Award
Betty A. Thompson Lifetime Achievement Award
Family Law Service Award
William R. Rakes Leadership in Education Award

Updated: Nov 03, 2014
October 27, 2014

Highlights of the October 24, 2014, Virginia State Bar Council Meeting

At its meeting on October 24, 2014, in Alexandria, the Virginia State Bar Council heard the following significant reports and took the following actions:

Amendments to Clients' Protection Fund Rules

The Council approved, with one nay vote, amending the Clients' Protection Fund Rules to increase the maximum payment to any one petitioner to $75,000 for losses incurred on or after July 1, 2015. Maximum payments for losses incurred before that date will remain $50,000. The total amount of losses reimbursable for any one lawyer or association of lawyers will increase from 10 percent of the net worth of the fund to 15 percent.

Amendment to Council Bylaw Election Procedures

The Council approved 57 to 3 amending the bylaws in Council elections to change the instructions so that members can vote for fewer candidates than the number of vacancies to be filled.

Revisions to Fiscal Year 2014-2015 VSB Budget

The Council approved by unanimous vote the revisions to the FY2014-2015 budget, which reduced expenditures by $840,350.

President-elect Candidates Spoke and Answered Questions

Raymond B. Benzinger, Thomas A. Edmonds, and Michael W. Robinson, candidates for the upcoming president-elect election, spoke and answered questions at the Council meeting.  The election starts November 1, 2014, and ends December 1, 2014.  

Updated: Oct 27, 2014
October 27, 2014

Glen A. Huff Named Chief Judge-elect of Court of Appeals of Virginia

The Honorable Glen A. Huff has been elected chief judge-elect of the Court of Appeals of Virginia by his fellow judges. He will succeed Chief Judge Walter S. Felton, who will retire on December 31. Judge Huff will serve a four-year term as chief judge.

Judge Huff, of Virginia Beach, was appointed to the court by the Virginia General Assembly in July 2011. He practiced law for more than thirty-five years before joining the court.

Judge Huff received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Maine and his law degree from the University of New Hampshire Law School, formerly the Franklin Pierce Law Center.

Updated: Oct 27, 2014
October 22, 2014

Nominations Sought for Carrico Professionalism Award

The Criminal Law Section is accepting nominations for the Harry L. Carrico Professionalism Award. Nominations are due by December 5. Download the nomination form (PDF file).

Updated: Oct 22, 2014
October 10, 2014

Registration Open for Four Pro Bono Webinars

Before You Say "Yes" to Serving on a Board, Know What is Expected: Part 2 - Ethical issues for Attorney-Directors and Pro Bono Lawyers — Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Representing Victims of Domestic Violence: Part 2 - The Nuts and Bolts of Protective Orders — October 16, 2014

Representing Victims of Domestic Violence: Part 3 - Custody, Support and Visitation — October 28, 2014

Before You Say "Yes" to Serving on a Board, Know What is Expected: Part 3 - Nine Key Components — Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Visit the Pro Bono page for more information

Recordings of previous VSB Pro Bono webinars are available online.

Updated: Oct 10, 2014
October 03, 2014

Voting for President-Elect will be Online

Additional Info

See statements from the candidates in the October 2015 issue of Virginia Lawyer.

download Candidates Forum (PDF file)

Updated Oct 3, 2014:

Please note that the subject of the online voting instructions e-mail will be "Virginia State Bar 2014 President-elect Election Login Information.”

 

originally posted Aug 26, 2014:

This year for the first time the election for president-elect of the Virginia State Bar will be conducted online rather than with paper ballots. Balloting will begin on October 31 and continue until the close of business on December 1.

The change is being made to cut down on paperwork, save money and staff time, and ensure accuracy.

The VSB has partnered with Survey & Ballot Systems (SBS) to administer the 2014 election. Voting members will receive an e-mail from SBS with instructions on how to register their vote.

To ensure e-mail with voting information arrives safely in your inbox on or around October 31, add the following e-mail address as a safe sender: noreply@directvote.net. These settings can be made in your e-mail account SPAM/Junk filters or by contacting your IT department. This process is often referred to as “whitelisting." Members who have not already done so should add their e-mail addresses to VSB records to ensure that the information arrives.

SBS will begin sending e-mails to all members on October 31 but because of the high volume, some may take more than a day to arrive.

Members without e-mail addresses will receive an instruction letter. Those voters who prefer to vote by paper ballot will have to request the ballot by November 24.

Updated: Oct 15, 2014
October 01, 2014

Virginia State Bar E-News, October 2014

This year for the first time the election for president-elect of the Virginia State Bar will be conducted online rather than with paper ballots. To ensure e-mail with voting information arrives safely in your inbox on or around October 31, add the following e-mail address as a safe sender: noreply@directvote.net.

The Clients’ Protection Fund Board is seeking public comment on proposed amendments to the per attorney and per claim limits on payments from the fund.

The Standing Committee on Legal Ethics has extended the deadline for public comment on proposed amendments to Rules 1.1 (Competence) and 1.6 (Confidentiality) of the Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct.

The Committee on Lawyer Discipline is seeking public comment on three proposed amendments to the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia:

The Special Committee on Access to Legal Services will hold its annual Pro Bono Conference and Celebration on October 22 in Portsmouth.

The Standing Committee on Lawyer Discipline calls for nominations for district committee vacancies to be filled by Council in June.

The VSB Litigation Section’s Appellate Committee is hosting a free CLE on October 28 in Charlottesville on Preserving Error and Avoiding Mistakes that Will Sink Your Appeal.

Updated: Sep 30, 2014
September 26, 2014

Nominations Sought for 2015-16 District Committee Vacancies

The Standing Committee on Lawyer Discipline calls for nominations for district committee vacancies to be filled by Council in June. Note that there are vacancies which may not become available because some members are eligible for reappointment.

To review qualifications for eligibility, see Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia, Part 6, Section IV, Paragraph 13-4 – Establishment of District Committees, specifically 13-4.E (Qualifications of Members) and 13-4.F (Persons Ineligible for Appointment).

FIRST DISTRICT COMMITTEE: 2 attorney vacancies; 1 non-attorney vacancy (current member is eligible for reappointment). The vacancies are to be filled by members from the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th or 8th judicial circuits.

SECOND DISTRICT COMMITTEE, SECTION I: 2 attorney vacancies (both current members are eligible for reappointment). The vacancies are to be filled by members from the 2nd or 4th judicial circuits.

SECOND DISTRICT COMMITTEE, SECTION II: 1 attorney vacancy (current member is eligible for reappointment). The vacancies are to be filled by members from the 2nd or 4th judicial circuits.

THIRD DISTRICT COMMITTEE, SECTION I: 3 attorney vacancies (2 current members are eligible for reappointment). The vacancies are to be filled by members from the 6th, 11th, 12th, 13th or 14th judicial circuits.

THIRD DISTRICT COMMITTEE, SECTION II: 2 attorney vacancies (1 current member is eligible for reappointment); 1 non-attorney vacancy (current member is eligible for reappointment). The vacancies are to be filled by members from the 6th, 11th, 12th, 13th or 14th judicial circuits.

THIRD DISTRICT COMMITTEE, SECTION III: 3 attorney vacancies (2 current members are eligible for reappointment); 1 non-attorney vacancy. The vacancies are to be filled by members from the 6th, 11th, 12th, 13th or 14th judicial circuits.

FOURTH DISTRICT COMMITTEE, SECTION I: 2 attorney vacancies (both current members are eligible for reappointment); 1 non-attorney vacancy. The vacancies are to be filled by members from the 17th or 18th judicial circuits.

FOURTH DISTRICT COMMITTEE, SECTION II: 1 attorney vacancy; 1 non-attorney vacancy. The vacancies are to be filled by members from the 17th or 18th judicial circuits.

FIFTH DISTRICT COMMITTEE, SECTION I: 3 attorney vacancies (current members are eligible for reappointment); 1 non-attorney vacancy (current member is eligible for reappointment). The vacancies are to be filled by members from the 19th or 31st judicial circuits.

FIFTH DISTRICT COMMITTEE, SECTION II: 2 attorney vacancies (1 current member is eligible for reappointment). The vacancies are to be filled by members from the 19th or 31st judicial circuits.

FIFTH DISTRICT COMMITTEE, SECTION III: 2 attorney vacancies (both current members are eligible for reappointment); 1 non-attorney vacancy (current member is eligible for reappointment). The vacancies are to be filled by members from the 19th or 31st judicial circuits.

SIXTH DISTRICT COMMITTEE: 2 attorney vacancies; 1 non-attorney vacancy. The vacancies are to be filled by members from the 9th or 15th judicial circuits.

SEVENTH DISTRICT COMMITTEE: 1 attorney vacancy (current member is eligible for reappointment); 1 non-attorney vacancy (current member is eligible for reappointment). The vacancies are to be filled by members from the 16th, 20th or 26th judicial circuits.

EIGHTH DISTRICT COMMITTEE: 4 attorney vacancies (3 current members are eligible for reappointment). The vacancies are to be filled by members from the 23rd or 25th judicial circuits.

NINTH DISTRICT COMMITTEE: 4 attorney vacancies (current members are eligible for reappointment). The vacancies are to be filled by members from the 10th, 21st, 22nd or 24th judicial circuits.

TENTH DISTRICT COMMITTEE, SECTION I: 2 attorney vacancies (both current members are eligible for reappointment); 2 non-attorney vacancies (1 current member is eligible for reappointment). The vacancies are to be filled by members from the 27th, 28th, 29th or 30th judicial circuits.

TENTH DISTRICT COMMITTEE, SECTION II: 3 attorney vacancies (1 current member is eligible for reappointment). The vacancies are to be filled by members from the 27th, 28th, 29th or 30th judicial circuits.

 

Nominations, along with a brief resume, should be sent by February 28, 2015, to Stephanie Blanton, Virginia State Bar, 1111 East Main Street, Suite 700, Richmond, VA 23219-3565 Blanton@vsb.org

Updated: Sep 26, 2014
September 26, 2014

Comments Sought on Amendments to Three Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia

The Committee on Lawyer Discipline is seeking public comment on proposed amendments to three Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia.

Part Six, Section IV, Paragraph 13-4.C would clarify the address of record of district committee members. It would require district committee members to provide either a home or business address that is physically located in the district served.

Part Six, Section IV, Paragraph 13-4.E would exempt ex-officio members of the council from having to resign from district committees.

Part Six, Section IV, Paragraph 13-25 would require that petitions for reinstatement be filed with the clerk of the disciplinary system rather than with the clerk of the Supreme Court of Virginia.

Comments should be submitted in writing to Karen A. Gould, Executive Director, Virginia State Bar, 1111 E. Main Street, Suite 700, Richmond, VA 23219-3565 or publiccomment@vsb.org, no later than the end of the business day on October 30, 2014.

Updated: Sep 26, 2014
September 22, 2014

Special Council Election for 4th Circuit Representative

David W. Lannetti, one of the VSB Council representatives for the 4th Circuit, has announced his resignation because of his appointment to the bench. Anyone interested in being elected to council from the 4th Circuit must file a petition with the executive director at Holloman@vsb.org. See sample petition here (Word doc). The petition must be signed by at least ten other members eligible to vote in the circuit, and must be accompanied by a statement of qualifications not exceeding 150 words. Nominations must be filed in the office of the executive director on or before noon on October 6, 2014. Any petition failing to comply with these requirements will be rejected. The election will take place by electronic means between November 1, 2014, and December 1, 2014, 11:59 p.m. in conjunction with the election for president-elect. Eligible voters must be active members in good standing as of October 1, 2014. The membership will be notified by electronic means of candidates who qualify to run in the election.

Updated: Sep 22, 2014
September 22, 2014

VSB to Evaluate Candidates for Judicial Vacancies

The Virginia State Bar has been asked by the House and Senate Courts of Justice committees to evaluate candidates for vacancies on the Virginia Supreme Court and Court of Appeals.

Candidates are to submit on or before September 30, 2014, a résumé, a brief writing sample, and responses to a questionnaire (Word doc) available on the Virginia State Bar website.

Submissions should be sent electronically, and the original questionnaire should be submitted by mail. Interviews of candidates will be scheduled to take place on Tuesday, October 21, 2014, at the Virginia State Bar office at 1111 E. Main Street, Suite 700, Richmond. Contact VSB staff member Asha B. Holloman, holloman@vsb.org, (804) 775-0551, if you have any questions.

Updated: Sep 22, 2014
September 18, 2014

Comments Sought on Proposed Amendments to Rules on Competence and Confidentiality

The Standing Committee on Legal Ethics is seeking public comments on proposed amendments to Rules 1.1 (Competence) and 1.6 (Confidentiality) of the Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct. Comments should be submitted in writing to Karen A. Gould, Executive Director, Virginia State Bar, 1111 E. Main Street, Suite 700, Richmond, VA 23219-3565 or publiccomment@vsb.org, no later than the end of the business day on November 3, 2014.

Read more

Updated: Sep 18, 2014
September 18, 2014

Comments Sought on Rule Concerning District Committee Members’ Address of Record

The Committee on Lawyer Discipline is seeking public comment on proposed amendments to Part Six, Section IV, Paragraph 13-4.C of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia that would clarify the address of record of district committee members. It would require district committee members to provide either a home or business address that is physically located in the district served. Comments should be submitted in writing to Karen A. Gould, Executive Director, Virginia State Bar, 1111 E. Main Street, Suite 700, Richmond, VA 23219-3565 or publiccomment@vsb.org, no later than the end of the business day on October 31, 2014.

Read more

Updated: Sep 18, 2014
September 17, 2014

Comments Sought on Proposed Amendments to the Clients’ Protection Fund Rules

The Clients’ Protection Fund Board is seeking public comment on proposed amendments to the per attorney and per claim limits on payments from the fund. Comments should be submitted in writing to Karen A. Gould, Executive Director, Virginia State Bar, 1111 E. Main Street, Suite 700, Richmond, VA 23219-3565 or publiccomment@vsb.org, no later than the end of the business day on October 16, 2014.

On September 12, 2014, the Clients’ Protection Fund Board voted unanimously to recommend that the VSB Council amend the Clients Protection Fund Rules to increase the per attorney limit from 10 percent to 15 percent of the net worth of the fund and to increase the per claim limit from $50,000 to $75,000.

The current per claim limit of $50,000 has been in place since July 1, 2000, and the per attorney limit of 10 percent of the net worth of the fund has been in place since October 1986. 

As of August 31, 2014, the CPF balance was $7.6 million. Legislation continuing the $25 CPF assessment (Code of Virginia section 54.1-3913.1) until June 30, 2020, was passed by the 2014 General Assembly.

The CPF board’s recommendations will be considered by the VSB Council at its October 24, 2014, meeting.

view the proposed rule changes

Updated: Sep 17, 2014
September 08, 2014

Pro Bono Awards Announced

Advocates for Cancer Patients, Founders of Pro Bono Referral Program Recognized for Service

The Lewis F. Powell Jr. Pro Bono Award this year will be shared by the Legal Information Network for Cancer and two lawyers, M. Steven Weaver and Glenn M. Hodge, who helped start what has been called one of the most successful pro bono programs in the nation.

The Legal Network for Cancer, or LINC, is dedicated to helping cancer patients and their loved ones with non-medical needs. It operates in the Richmond area and has helped uncounted people with assistance and referral to legal, financial, and community resources.

Weaver and Hodge are members of the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Bar Association and helped start the association’s Pro Bono Referral Program in 1982. They have served continuously as leaders of the program for thirty-two years.

In her letter nominating LINC, Alexandra D. Bowen noted that the organization provides a long list of services to cancer patients, survivors, and their families. Those services include securing insurance coverage, securing disability income, preparing powers of attorney, preparing advance medical directives, and assisting with estate planning. LINC recruits volunteer attorneys and assists in training them in such areas as drafting life planning documents, handling Social Security appeals, debtor’s rights, landlord tenant law, and the Affordable Care Act.

“LINC provides an embrace to frightened people during their most difficult times and gives them peace of mind,” Bowen wrote. “The legal and financial services that LINC provides enable cancer patients and their families to have dignity and a better quality of life in their time of need.”

Weaver, of Clark & Bradshaw, and Hodge, of Wharton, Aldhizer & Weaver, were nominated by John E. Whitfield, executive director of Blue Ridge Legal Services Inc.

He noted that “at least every other month for the last thirty-two years, Steve Weaver and Glenn Hodge have come to the BRLS legal aid office in Harrisonburg and met with BRLS’s legal staff to review and discuss potential pro bono referrals to the bar association teams.” He wrote that they have contributed hundreds of hours to meeting with the legal aid staff and have mentored many staff attorneys.

Thanks in part to the leadership of Weaver and Hodge, the organization has received a number of state and national awards. It has closed about 3,000 cases with more than 23,000 hours of donated legal services during the years Weaver and Hodge have served as leaders.

“These two leaders have continued – quietly, effectively, faithfully, without fanfare – to make sure the Pro Bono Referral Program they helped to create thirty-two years ago continues to fulfill its mission of helping to ensure equal justice to all regardless of their ability to pay,” Whitfield wrote.

The Powell award was established by the Special Committee on Access to Legal Services of the Virginia State Bar to honor attorneys and attorney groups that have made outstanding pro bono contributions. The award will be presented October 22 during the Virginia State Bar Pro Bono Conference and Celebration in Portsmouth.

Updated: Sep 08, 2014
September 02, 2014

Virginia State Bar E-News, September 2014

This year for the first time the election for president-elect of the Virginia State Bar will be conducted online rather than with paper ballots. To ensure e-mail with voting information arrives safely in your inbox on or around October 31, add the following e-mail address as a safe sender: noreply@directvote.net.

Registration is open for the 2014 VSB Pro Bono Conference and Celebration, Wednesday, October 22, at the Renaissance Hotel Portsmouth-Norfolk Waterside. 

The Young Lawyers Conference 13th Annual Professional Development Conference will be Friday, September 19 at three locations – Washington, D.C., Richmond, and Virginia Beach.

Please make a voluntary contribution to Legal Services Corporation of Virginia. Take a moment to read the appeal and consider a donation.

Updated: Sep 02, 2014
August 21, 2014

Registration open for annual Pro Bono Conference and Celebration

Registration is open for the 2014 VSB Pro Bono Conference and Celebration, Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at the Renaissance Hotel Portsmouth-Norfolk Waterside. 

This free conference will feature three CLE (pending) sessions covering topics such as ethical considerations in pro bono, innovations in the delivery of pro bono services, and a demonstration on the JusticeServer database. The evening celebration (ticketed event) is a joint function with the Legal Aid Conference, and will include dinner, an awards ceremony honoring the 2014 recipient of the Lewis F. Powell Jr. Pro Bono Award, and remarks from keynote speaker, Justice William Mims of the Supreme Court of Virginia.

Registration forms should be printed and mailed or e-mailed to Karl Doss, VSB Director of Access to Legal Services, 1111 E. Main Street, Suite 700, Richmond, VA 23219-3565, by October 17.

This conference will be held in conjunction with the 2014 Virginia Legal Aid Conference, October 22-24.

Updated: Aug 21, 2014
August 18, 2014

Supreme Court of Virginia Announces Election of the Hon. Donald W. Lemons as Chief Justice-Elect

Justice Lemons photo

Today, the Justices of the Supreme Court of Virginia elected Justice Donald W. Lemons as Chief Justice-elect. Chief Justice-elect Lemons will succeed Chief Justice Cynthia D. Kinser, who has served one term as Chief Justice and will retire from the Court on December 31, 2014.

Chief Justice-elect Lemons will assume office on January 1, 2015. He was elected by the General Assembly to the Supreme Court of Virginia in 2000 and again in 2012. Previously, Chief Justice-elect Lemons served as a judge of the Court of Appeals of Virginia and the Circuit Court for the City of Richmond.

He received both his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Virginia. After receiving his law degree, he served as Assistant Dean and Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Virginia School of Law. Thereafter, he has served on the faculties of the University of Richmond School of Law and Washington and Lee University School of Law.

Chief Justice-elect Lemons has held leadership roles in numerous legal and civic organizations, including serving as the President of the American Inns of Court. Current Chief Justice Kinser remarked that "Chief Justice-elect Lemons is a dedicated jurist who exemplifies integrity, civility, and professionalism. He will lead the judiciary with distinction during the next four years. I look forward to working with him to effect a smooth transition."

Updated: Aug 18, 2014
August 06, 2014

Court Forms Available on Website

The Office of the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court of Virginia would like to remind attorneys that certain district court and circuit court forms are available to members of the Virginia State Bar on the Virginia State Bar's website. These forms are available in a "fillable" PDF format so that the necessary information can be entered on the electronic form, which can then be printed for filing with the court. Upon logging in as a member on the VSB's website, the forms are available in the member's area under "Forms and Downloads."

In addition to the court forms that have been accessible on the VSB's website, form DC-645, Income Withholding for Support, has recently been added to the website. This form is the required federal form for income withholding in cases involving support, and includes information and statutory requirements specific to Virginia. Form DC-645 may be used by attorneys for submission to the courts in appropriate cases, as employers have been directed by the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement to reject any income withholding orders that are not submitted in the required federal format. 

Updated: Aug 06, 2014
August 01, 2014

Virginia State Bar E-News, August 2014

The VSB Executive Committee is seeking comments on a proposal to add e-mail and phone numbers to members’ address of record. Comments are due by August 15 to the VSB offices or publiccomment@vsb.org.

The Bylaw Amendment Committee is seeking comments on a proposed amendment to the council election procedures. Comments are due by August 15 to the VSB offices or publiccomment@vsb.org.

The Committee on Lawyer Discipline is seeking public comments on a proposal concerning insurance coverage requirements. The committee also is seeking public comments on disclosure of information rule. Comments are due by August 15.

Virginia State Bar’s Standing Committee on Legal Ethics is seeking public comment on proposed amendments to Rules 1.1 (Competence) and 1.6 (Confidentiality) of the Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct. Comments are due by September 2 to the VSB offices, or publiccomment@vsb.org.

The Standing Committee on Legal Ethics also issued LEO 1874: “Limited Scope Representation—Reviewing Pleadings for Pro Se Litigants— Substantial Assistance and “‘Ghostwriting’” as final.

VSB member volunteers are needed to serve as council members at large, and on the Disciplinary and Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Boards. Nominations are being sought by September 5.

Please make a voluntary contribution to Legal Services Corporation of Virginia. Take a moment to read the appeal and consider a donation.

The Access to Legal Services Committee of the Virginia State Bar is seeking nominations for the Lewis F. Powell Jr. Pro Bono Award.

Save the date: the Special Committee on Access to Legal Services will hold its annual Pro Bono Conference and Celebration on October 22 in Portsmouth. Details to come.

 

Updated: Aug 01, 2014
July 31, 2014

Lewis F. Powell Jr. Pro Bono Award—Final Call for Nominations

The Access to Legal Services Committee of the Virginia State Bar is seeking nominations for the Lewis F. Powell Jr. Pro Bono Award.

Nominations should be sent to Virginia State Bar Access to Legal Services Committee, c/o Karl A. Doss, 1111 East Main Street, Suite 700, Richmond, Virginia 23219-3565 (or e-mail nominations and supporting documents to doss@vsb.org ). Nominations must be received by 5:00 pm, Friday, August 22, 2014.

Updated: Jul 31, 2014
July 30, 2014

Legal Ethics Opinion 1874 Now Final

LEO 1874 – Regarding limited scope representation -- reviewing pleadings for pro se litigants -- substantial assistance and “ghostwriting.”

Updated: Jul 30, 2014
July 29, 2014

Comments Sought on Proposed Amendments to Rules of Professional Conduct 1.1, 1.6

Pursuant to Part Six: Section IV, Paragraph 10-2(C) of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia, the Virginia State Bar’s Standing Committee on Legal Ethics is seeking public comment on proposed amendments to rules 1.1 (Competence) and 1.6 (Confidentiality) of the Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct.

RULE 1.1 Competence

Comment

Maintaining Competence

[6] To maintain the requisite knowledge and skill, a lawyer should engage in continuing study and education, including the benefits and risks associated with technology relevant to the lawyer’s practice. The Mandatory Continuing Legal Education requirements of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia set the minimum standard for continuing study and education which a lawyer licensed and practicing in Virginia must satisfy. If a system of peer review has been established, the lawyer should consider making use of it in appropriate circumstances.   

RULE 1.6 Confidentiality

 (d)  A lawyer shall make reasonable efforts to prevent the inadvertent or unauthorized disclosure of, or unauthorized access to, information protected under this Rule.

Comment

Acting Reasonably to Preserve Confidentiality

[19]  Paragraph (d) requires a lawyer to act  reasonably to safeguard information protected under this Rule against unauthorized access by third parties and against inadvertent or unauthorized disclosure by the lawyer or other persons who are participating in the representation of the client or who are subject to the lawyer’s supervision. See Rules 1.1, 5.1 and 5.3.  The unauthorized access to, or the inadvertent or unauthorized disclosure of confidential information does not constitute a violation of  this Rule if the lawyer has made reasonable efforts to prevent the access or disclosure.  Factors to be considered in determining the reasonableness of the lawyer’s efforts include, but are not limited to, the sensitivity of the information, the likelihood of disclosure if additional safeguards are not employed, the cost of employing additional safeguards, the difficulty of implementing the safeguards, and the extent to which the safeguards adversely affect the lawyer’s ability to represent clients (e.g., by making a device or important piece of software excessively difficult to use). A client may require the lawyer to implement special security measures  or may give informed consent to forego security measures that would otherwise be appropriate under this Rule.  Whether a lawyer may be required to take additional steps to safeguard a client’s information in order to comply with other laws, such as state and federal laws that govern data privacy or that impose notification requirements upon the loss of, or unauthorized access to, electronic information, is beyond the scope of these Rules. 

Inspection and Comment

The proposed rule amendments may be inspected at the office of the Virginia State Bar, 1111 East Main Street, Suite 700, Richmond, Virginia 23219-3565, between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.  Copies of the proposed rule amendments can be obtained from the offices of the Virginia State Bar by contacting the Office of Ethics Counsel at 804-775-0557, or can be found at the Virginia State Bar’s website at http://www.vsb.org/pro-guidelines/index.php/rule_changes

Not later than September 2, 2014, any individual, business, or other entity may file or submit to Karen A. Gould, the Executive Director of the Virginia State Bar, a written comment in support of or in opposition to the proposed rule amendments.

Updated: Jul 29, 2014
July 08, 2014

Supreme Court of Virginia Adopts Amendments and a New Rule

Effective July 2, 2014, the Supreme Court of Virginia has amended Rules

  • 2:404, Character Evidence Not Admissible to Prove Conduct; Exceptions; Other Crimes;
  • 2:803, Hearsay Exceptions Applicable Regardless Of Availability Of The Declarant (Rule 2:803(10) (a) derived from Code § 8.01-390(C); Rule 2:803(10) (b) derived from Code § 19.2-188.3; Rule 2:803(17) derived from Code § 8.2-724; and Rule 2:803(23) derived from Code § 19.2-268.2);
  • 2:902, Self-Authentication (Rule 2:902(6) derived from Code § 8.01-390.3 and Code § 8.01-391(D));
  • 2A:2, Notice of Appeal;
  • 3A:8, 7C:6, and 8:18, Pleas.

Effective July 2, 2014, the Court has added Rule 2:413, Evidence of similar crimes in child sexual offense cases (derived from Code § 18.2-67.7:1).

Updated: Jul 08, 2014
July 01, 2014

Virginia State Bar E-News, July 2014

Dues statements were mailed June 18. The annual dues must be received at the Virginia State Bar by July 31, or delinquency fees will be assessed. All active members must pay the Clients' Protection Fund assessment and provide a completed and signed Mandatory Certification Regarding Professional Liability Insurance, also by July 31. Separate fines will be assessed for unpaid dues, unpaid CPF fees, and incomplete liability insurance certifications. You may renew your membership, certify your liability insurance coverage, join VSB sections, and pay your dues online by going to Member Login on the VSB home page.  Beginning this year Corporate Counsel registrants may also use this feature.

Enclosed in your dues statement is a request for voluntary contributions to Legal Services Corporation of Virginia. Please take a moment to read the appeal and consider a donation.

The Advisory Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure, a subcommittee of Judicial Council, seeks comments on proposed amendments to Rule 2:803, Business Records Rule Reformatting, and Rule 4:11, Numerical Limit on Requests For Admissions, of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia.

Effective July 1, 2014, the Court has added Rule 1A:8, Military Spouse Provisional Admission.

The VSB Executive Committee is seeking comments on a proposal to add e-mail and phone numbers to members’ address of record. Comments are due by August 15 to the VSB offices or publiccomment@vsb.org.

At its meeting on June 12, 2014, in Virginia Beach, the Virginia State Bar Council

VSB member volunteers are needed to serve as council members at large, and on the Disciplinary and Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Boards. Nominations are being sought by September 5.

The Access to Legal Services Committee of the Virginia State Bar is seeking nominations for the Lewis F. Powell Jr. Pro Bono Award.

The 2014 Midyear Legal Seminar is headed to Madrid, Spain, November 4-11, with an optional extension trip to Barcelona, November 11-15. Limited space is still available. Don’t delay; register right away. See the VSB’sMidyear Seminar website for details.

The VSB and the Legal Information Network for Cancer (LINC) is offering a free webinar Meeting the Legal Needs of Clients Facing Serious Illness Through Pro Bono - Part 5a: Housing Law (Landlord-Tenant). Wednesday, July 23, 2–3:30 p.m.

Updated: Jun 30, 2014
June 27, 2014

Registration Open: “VSB-LINC Pro Bono Webinar on Housing Law”

Meeting the Legal Needs of Individuals Facing Serious Illness Through Pro Bono: Part 5a – Housing Law (Landlord-Tenant)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014, 2 – 3:30 p.m.

Attendance at the previous webinars in the series is not a prerequisite.

Session Description: Many seriously ill individuals find themselves facing eviction or foreclosure as a consequence of financial instability resulting from their illness and often will require the assistance of a lawyer. This free, two-part webinar, which concludes the VSB/LINC pro bono webinar series, will cover common legal issues encountered by volunteer lawyers handling housing law cases. This first housing law webinar will focus on landlord-tenant issues, including an overview of the Virginia Landlord-Tenant Act, addressing landlord abuses, protecting against public utilities shut-offs, and spotting issues when defending against eviction. (The second housing law webinar will provide an overview of basic defense strategies in foreclosure matters). Attorneys Alexandra "Sandra” Bowen of the Richmond firm Bowen Ten Cardani PC, and Christine “Christie” Marra of the Virginia Poverty Law Center will be the faculty for these webinars.

By registering for this free CLE program, attendees agree to accept a pro bono referral from a recognized pro bono legal services program. (1.5 hours of MCLE credit pending for each of these webinars).

Register at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4165501260646209025.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation e-mail containing information about joining the webinar.

This webinar series is co-sponsored by the VSB and Legal Information Network for Cancer (LINC).

View System Requirements

Updated: Jun 27, 2014
June 25, 2014

VSB Access Committee is seeking nominations for the Lewis F. Powell Jr. Pro Bono Award

Nominations should be sent to Virginia State Bar Access to Legal Services Committee, c/o Karl A. Doss, 1111 East Main Street, Suite 700, Richmond, Virginia 23219-3565 (or e-mail nominations and supporting documents to doss@vsb.org ). Nominations must be received by 5:00 pm, Friday, August 22, 2014.

 

more information

Updated: Jun 25, 2014
June 25, 2014

Nominations Sought for Board and Committee Vacancies

Vacancies in 2015 are listed below. All appointments or elections will be for the terms specified, beginning on July 1, 2015.

Council Members at Large: 3 lawyer vacancies (of which 2 incumbents are not eligible for reappointment and 1 incumbent is eligible for reappointment to a second term). May serve 2 consecutive 3-year terms.

Disciplinary Board: 5 lawyer vacancies and 1 lay member vacancy (of which 5 lawyer members are eligible for reappointment to a second 3-year term, and 1 lay member is eligible for reappointment). District committee service is required. May serve 2 consecutive 3-year terms.

Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Board: 4 lawyer vacancies (of which 1 member is not eligible for reappointment and 3 current members are eligible for reappointment to a second term). May serve 2 consecutive 3-year terms.

Nominations, along with a brief résumé, should be sent by September 5, 2014, to 
Sharon D. Nelson, chair, VSB Nominating Committee, Virginia State Bar, 
1111 E. Main St., Suite 700, Richmond, VA 23219-3565, or e-mailed to nominations@vsb.org.

Updated: Jul 01, 2014
June 19, 2014

Comments Sought on Proposed Amendment to Council Election Procedures

The Bylaw Amendment Committee seeks comment on a proposed amendment to the Council bylaws, Article II, Sec. 2, in order to prevent the elimination of ballots when the voter fails to vote for precisely the number of positions to be filled on Council from his or her circuit.

Comments should be submitted to Karen A. Gould, Executive Director, Virginia State Bar, 1111 E. Main St., Suite 700, Richmond, VA 23219-3565, no later than the end of the business day on August 15, 2014. Comments may be submitted via e-mail to publiccomment@vsb.org.

Updated: Jun 19, 2014
June 16, 2014

Public Advisory: “Court Notice” E-mail Scam

The Office of the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court of Virginia has learned of an e-mail scam in which an e-mail appears to be an official e-mail from a Virginia or federal court and falsely claims to be about an upcoming court case. The e-mail may include words such as "Notice to Appear in Court" or "Court Notice" in the subject line or in the body of the e-mail. The e-mail provides information for the recipient to contact the court, lending a sense of legitimacy to the scam.

The e-mail instructs the recipient to review an attached notice or click on a link provided in the e-mail. When the recipient opens the attachment or clicks on the link, a computer virus infects the recipient's computer. Please be advised that such e-mail is not from a court, nor is it about a court case, but a scam designed to infect the recipient's computer with a virus.

Virginia's circuit and district courts do not conduct business by sending unsolicited e-mail messages. If you receive an unsolicited e-mail claiming to be from a Virginia trial court:

  • Do not open any attachments, click on any links, or unsubscribe - doing so may install the malware/virus onto your computer.
  • Delete the e-mail.
  • If you are uncertain about the legitimacy of the e-mail, contact information for all courts can be found on Virginia's Judicial System Website.
Updated: Jun 16, 2014
June 16, 2014

Highlights of the June 12, 2014, Virginia State Bar Council Meeting

At its meeting on June 12, 2014, in Virginia Beach, the Virginia State Bar Council heard the following significant reports and took the following actions:

Amendment to Rule 1.10

Council unanimously approved an amendment to Rule 1.10: Imputed Disqualification: General Rule. This proposed rule amendment is intended to avoid a situation in which a lawyer avoids the imputation of a conflict of interest by avoiding the knowledge that another lawyer in the firm has a conflict as to the representation.

Rule 5.8

By a vote of 64-1, council approved new Rule 5.8: Procedures for Lawyers Leaving Law Firms and Dissolution of Law Firm. The proposed rule codifies a number of the suggestions from LEOs on departing lawyers’ obligations into more concrete steps to follow.

Addition to VSB Bylaws

Council unanimously approved an addition to VSB and Council Bylaws, adding a new Part III regarding amendments: Upon motion of a council member, the bylaws contained in either Part I or Part II may be amended at any regular meeting of the bar council provided there has been at least thirty days' notice of the proposed amendment to all Virginia State Bar members. Amendment of the bylaws must be by a two-thirds vote of the council members present and voting at that regular meeting.

Budget

The council approved a $14.6 million budget for 2014-15.

Hiring freeze and spending reduction

Executive Director Karen A. Gould announced a freeze on hiring and implementation of a 5 percent reduction in spending for the fiscal year.

Updated: Jun 16, 2014
June 14, 2014

Edward L. Weiner Is President-elect of the Virginia State Bar

Edward L. Weiner, of Fairfax, is the Virginia State Bar’s new president-elect. He will serve in that position for one year and then succeed Kevin E. Martingayle for the 2015-16 term.

Weiner took office June 13 during the VSB’s annual meeting in Virginia Beach.

Weiner, founder and senior partner at Weiner Spivey & Miller PLC, is a former chair of the bar’s Conference of Local Bar Associations. He is president of the Fairfax Bar Association and a past president of the Fairfax Law Foundation. He also served on the VSB Council of Local Bar Leaders and serves on the Supreme Court of Virginia professionalism faculty.

Weiner is a member of the board of directors of the George Mason University Center for the Performing Arts and host of an annual Law Day celebration that benefits the Fairfax Law Foundation’s pro bono programs. Weiner is the founder of Jazz 4 Justice, a fund-raising model that partners local bar associations with university music departments to raise money for legal aid and pro bono programs as well as music scholarships.

Weiner graduated from the State University of New York at Binghamton. He received his law degree from the University of Richmond and his LL.M in international law from the Georgetown University Law Center.

He and his wife, Maura, have two daughters.

Updated: Jun 11, 2014
June 14, 2014

Virginia Beach Attorney Kevin E. Martingayle Is President of the Virginia State Bar

Martingayle photo

Kevin E. Martingayle, owner and partner of Bischoff Martingayle PC of Virginia Beach, is the Virginia State Bar’s new president for the 2014-15 term. He heads a state agency that regulates and supports 47,000 Virginia lawyers.

He was sworn in June 13 during the VSB’s annual meeting at Virginia Beach.

Martingayle has been a member of the VSB Council and chair of the Better Annual Meeting Committee. He has served on the Executive, Budget and Finance, and Legal Ethics committees. He formerly served as Second Circuit representative on the Council.

He also is a member of The Virginia Bar Association, Virginia Beach Bar Association, Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, Federal Bar Association, and the American Bar Association.

Martingayle is a native of Richmond and graduated from Collegiate High School in 1985. He is a 1988 graduate of Hampden-Sydney College (cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) and has a law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law, 1991.

His practice focuses on appeals; civil, commercial, employment, and estate litigation; civil rights; and constitutional, land use and zoning, and municipal and administrative law.

He is the founder and event coordinator of the Allen Stone Braveheart Memorial Races, which raises money for the Navy Seal Foundation, Virginia Beach Volunteer Rescue Squad, and Virginia Beach Lifeguard Association.

He is married to Elisabeth Martingayle and has three children.

Updated: Jun 11, 2014
June 03, 2014

CLBA Honors Bar Associations

The following bar associations will receive awards from the Conference of Local Bar Associations during the Virginia State Bar Annual Meeting. The awards recognize projects that serve the bench, the bar, and the people of Virginia.

The CLBA makes information on winning projects available to other groups that want to consider similar programs. For information, contact Paulette J. Davidson at Davidson@vsb.org or (804) 775-0521.

 

AWARDS OF MERIT

For excellence in bar projects

 

First-time Awardees:

 

Newport News Bar Association

The association held its first “Jazz for Justice” event in March 2014, with proceeds going to the Legal Aid Society of Eastern Virginia, Christopher Newport University’s music scholarship program, and the Virginia State Bar Diversity Conference. The event raised $9,000 for the beneficiaries.

 

The Prince William County Bar Association Inc.

The association collaborated with the Prince William County Public Library Adult Education Department to develop the Library Learning Series. The program offers monthly presentations on law-related topics led by volunteer members of the bar. The programs are open to the public and free.

 

Roanoke Bar Association

The association combined its yearly “You and the Law” event with a Senior Citizens Law Day program to create “You and the Law: Aging with Dignity.” Seminars included “Long Term Care,” “Paying for Long Term Care,” “Employing Caregivers,” “Gifts,” “Safeguarding Resources,” and “Medicare.”

 

Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys

The first annual two-day Deposition Workshop provided lawyers with skills needed to face down a bullying opponent, handle a lying deponent, pull the information needed out of a reticent deponent, ensure that what is discovered in depositions is admissible in court, use the latest technology to build a case, depose an expert witness, and handle a sympathetic or minor deponent.

 

Warren County Bar Inc.

The annual Shenandoah Valley Barrister’s Ball was started in 2009 to aid the Blue Ridge Legal Services. The bar association began sponsoring the ball after members noticed the BRLS was facing federal cuts and that colleagues were losing their jobs. The ball has helped save jobs and allowed Blue Ridge to continue to provide legal services to indigent clients. It has raised more than $5,000 a year.

 

Sustained Projects:

 

Metropolitan Richmond Women’s Bar Association

The association has published its “Understanding Your Domestic Relations Rights in Virginia” pamphlet for more than twenty years. The pamphlet is designed to help the public understand the general legal circumstances they may face in domestic relations problems. More than 15,000 are provided for free to courts and organizations each time it is updated.

 

Virginia Beach Bar Association

The Seatack Elementary School Mentoring Program was founded by Virginia Beach Circuit Court Judge Thomas S. Shadrick in 1999 to support third graders who live in a disadvantaged area of the city. The program is jointly sponsored by Judge Shadrick and the association and serves all sixty-six third graders at the school.

 

CERTIFICATES OF ACHIEVEMENT

For high achievement in bar projects

 

Henrico County Bar Association

The association’s Rule of Law Program at Godwin High School involved three guest speakers, twenty attorney volunteers, fifteen law enforcement officials, the school administration and teachers. The program, presented by the Center for the Teaching of the Rule of Law, provides students with the chance to interact with members of the three branches of government as well as the legal profession.

 

The Prince William County Bar Association Inc.

After noting that many pro se litigants in Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court lacked fundamental understanding of how the court works, where to file cases, what evidence to bring to court, how to behave, and how to present a case, the association developed a brochure titled “What You Need to Know about Prince William County Juvenile Court.” The association has distributed copies to clerk’s offices, probations desks, and intake offices.

 

The Prince William County Bar Association Inc.

The association receives is second certificate this year for publishing the brochure “Appearing in Court Without a Lawyer: A Guide for Pro Se Litigants.”

 

Roanoke Bar Association

The Peace of Mind Project matched association members who specialize in estate planning with first responders, using the attorney’s own forms and procedures with the object of providing free estate planning documents for those who put their lives on the line every day for citizens. When the facts allow, the first responder’s spouse’s plan is included at no charge.

 

Virginia Women Attorneys Association and Virginia State Bar Diversity Conference

The two organizations presented the panel discussion “Diversity and the Rule of Law: Complementary or Contradictory” at the Annual Meeting in 2013. The panelists spoke on affirmative actions in college admissions. 

Updated: Jun 03, 2014
June 02, 2014

Virginia State Bar Announces 2014 Law in Society Contest Winners

Timothy Park, a freshman at Trinity Christian School in Fairfax, has been awarded first place in the 2014 Law in Society Contest sponsored by the Virginia State Bar and its Litigation Section.

Park won for his essay "Sammy Senior's Legal Woes in the Age of Social Media." He will receive $2,300. This year’s essay contest asked students to address a situation where an 18-year-old male student was filmed drinking at a party. An older student recorded the scene on video, e-mailed it to the younger student’s school principal, and posted the video and pictures to social media websites. The student was then suspended from school based on the information seen on the websites. The essay is available at http://www.vsb.org/site/public/2014-winning-essay.

The Law in Society award was developed to increase awareness of and appreciation for the U.S. Constitution and legal system. Park’s essay was among dozens submitted by public, private, and homeschooled students in the equivalent of high school. Park will receive his award during a ceremony at Trinity Christian School on Wednesday, June 4.

Mara Reichle, a junior at York High School in Yorktown, and Laura Cross, a senior at Douglas Freeman High School in Richmond, placed second and third, respectively. Reichle will receive $1,850 and Cross $1,350.

Five honorable mentions will be awarded to: Lydia Cawley of Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, DoñaMaria Reed of Landstown High School in Virginia Beach, Bailey Holland of James River High School in Midlothian, Christiana Johnson of Glen Allen High School in Henrico, and Grace Baggett of Mountain View Christian Academy in Winchester.

Each honorable mention will be awarded $250. All winners will receive plaques commemorating their win and the newest edition of Strunk and White’s Elements of Style.

Updated: Jun 02, 2014
June 01, 2014

Virginia State Bar E-News, June 2014

Check your mail – Dues statements will be mailed June 18. The annual dues must be physically received at the Virginia State Bar by July 31, or delinquency fees will be assessed. All active members must pay the Clients' Protection Fund assessment and provide a completed and signed Mandatory Certification Regarding Professional Liability Insurance, also by July 31. Separate fines will be assessed for unpaid dues, unpaid CPF fees, and incomplete liability insurance certifications. Beginning June 18, you may renew your membership, certify your liability insurance coverage, join VSB sections, and pay your dues online by going to Member Login on the VSB home page.  Beginning this year Corporate Counsel registrants may also use this feature.

Enclosed in your dues statement is a request for voluntary contributions to Legal Services Corporation of Virginia. Please take a moment to read the appeal and consider a donation.

The Advisory Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure, a subcommittee of Judicial Council, seeks comments on proposed amendments to Rule 2:803, Business Records Rule Reformatting, and Rule 4:11, Numerical Limit on Requests For Admissions, of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia.

Effective May 16, 2014, the Supreme Court of Virginia has amended rules 5:1A, 5:17, and 5A:12, and added rule 5A:1A. All concern Penalties for Non-compliance; Show Cause; Dismissal, and Petitions for Appeal.

Effective July 1, 2014, the Court has added Rule 1A:8, Military Spouse Provisional Admission.

The VSB Executive Committee is seeking comments on a proposal to add e-mail and phone numbers to members’ address of record. Comments are due by August 15 to the VSB offices or publiccomment@vsb.org.

Register for the June 19 VSB & Legal Information Network for Cancer webinar, Meeting the Legal Needs of Individuals Facing Serious Illness Through Pro Bono: Part 4 – Social Security Benefits.

Congratulations to the newly elected, reelected, and Court-appointed members of the Virginia State Bar Council.

Last call for Annual Meeting online registration. Online pre-registration will be accepted until 5 p.m. Monday, June 9, or register on-site in Virginia Beach. Kevin E. Martingayle of Virginia Beach will be sworn in as the 76th VSB president on Friday, June 13.

Download the new Mobile App to access up-to-date information on the 2014 Annual Meeting. Also, the Annual Meeting is now on Twitter @VSBAnnualMeet and #VSBAnnualMeeting.

The 2014 Midyear Legal Seminar is headed to Madrid, Spain, November 4-11, with an optional extension trip to Barcelona, November 11-15. Limited space is still available. Don’t delay; register right away. See the VSB’s Midyear Seminar website for details.

Beginning in June, the Virginia Lawyer Register will appear in Virginia Lawyer magazine rather than as a separate publication. The combined Virginia Lawyer and Virginia Lawyer Register will be published six times per year.

Awards:

Updated: May 30, 2014
May 30, 2014

Last call for Annual Meeting online registration

Annual Meeting art

Last call for Annual Meeting online registration. Online pre-registration will be accepted until 5 p.m. Monday, June 9, or register on-site in Virginia Beach. Kevin E. Martingayle of Virginia Beach will be sworn in as the 76th VSB president on Friday, June 13.

Everything you love about the Annual Meeting with a whole new twist.

Download the new Mobile App to access up-to-date information on the 2014 Annual Meeting.

#VSBAnnualMeeting

Updated: May 30, 2014
May 29, 2014

Roanoke Bar Association is First Recipient of Bar Association of the Year Award

The Virginia State Bar has named the Roanoke Bar Association as the first winner of its Bar Association of the Year Award.

The award, sponsored by the VSB Conference of Local Bar Associations, recognizes lasting and exemplary contributions to the legal community and the community at large in Virginia. The award also recognizes the dedication of local and statewide bar associations and emphasizes the importance of close cooperation between the Virginia State Bar and bar leaders.

The Roanoke Bar Association has an extensive record of providing services to the community, performing charitable works, and offering pro bono services. Members of the Roanoke Bar have participated in Barrister Book Buddies with the Roanoke City Public Schools for fourteen years. They have worked with the Salem/Roanoke County Bar Association to offer Rule of Law classes in middle schools since 2009 and this year held classes in twelve schools. Members have offered You and the Law educational seminars to the public since 2009. In addition, members offer free wills, powers of attorney, advance medical directives, and estate planning to first responders; participate in the Red Cross blood drive; financially support the Roanoke Law Library; and share in the Oliver Hill Mentoring Program.

The association’s charitable works are provided through the Roanoke Law Foundation and include Santa at the Station, a holiday party for underprivileged children, and a number of grants and scholarships.

In its nominating letter, the Roanoke Bar Association noted that it “prides itself in providing exceptional opportunities for members to network with colleagues from the bench and the bar, to further their legal services, to participate in community service activities, and to be recognized for their contributions. An extraordinary effort is continuously being made to raise the esteem in which our profession is held by encouraging members to participate in these activities and take advantage of everything the RBA has to offer.”

The award will be presented on June 13 during the Virginia State Bar Annual Meeting in Virginia Beach.

Updated: May 29, 2014
May 23, 2014

Kathleen M. (Katie) Uston Named Local Bar Leader of the Year

Kathleen M. Uston, an assistant bar counsel with the Virginia State Bar, is the recipient of this year’s Local Bar Leader of the Year Award from the Conference of Local Bar Associations.

The award recognizes continued dedication of bar leaders and close cooperation with the Virginia State Bar.

Uston has been an active member of the Alexandria bar since she graduated from George Mason University School of Law in 1991. She is a past president of the Alexandria Bar Association and the VSB Young Lawyers Conference. She has served on the VSB Council and Executive Committee and is a former vice chair of the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division Solo and Small Firm Committee. She recently completed her term as immediate past president of the Alexandria Bar Association Board of Directors and serves on the board as well as on the Program Committee of the National Organization of Bar Counsel.

In nominating Uston for the award, Dipti Pidikiti-Smith noted her extensive service to the Alexandria Bar Association dating to the 1990s, where as president she helped support the launch of the Resolver Program, through which volunteer attorneys work with pro se litigants in custody and visitation disputes. Uston has helped strengthen the relationship between the association and Legal Services of Northern Virginia and has collaborated with LSNV on various projects including working to implement the Jazz 4 Justice program in Alexandria, a portion of the proceeds from which go to benefit LSNV.

“Katie contributes a sense of integrity in the legal profession, promotes collegial relationships among the association’s members and involvement in the bar and responds to the legal needs within the community,” Pidikiti-Smith wrote. “Katie has inspired and motivated me and peers to service through her leadership.”

The award will be presented June 13 during the Virginia State Bar Annual Meeting in Virginia Beach.

Updated: May 23, 2014
May 21, 2014

Portsmouth Assistant Public Defender Named Young Lawyer of the Year

Edwin Wu photo

Edwin J. Wu, an Assistant Public Defender in Portsmouth, has been named the recipient of the Virginia State Bar Young Lawyers Conference 2014 R. Edwin Burnette Jr. Young Lawyer of the Year Award.

The award recognizes a young lawyer who demonstrates dedicated service to the conference, the legal profession, and the community. It is named in honor of Lynchburg Judge R. Edwin Burnette Jr., past president of the VSB (1993-1994) and the YLC (1985-1986). The award will be presented on June 13, 2014, at the Virginia State Bar Annual Meeting in Virginia Beach.

Wu has been a member of the Portsmouth Public Defenders Office since September 2013. He is also an adjunct professor at Norfolk State University where he teaches business law and federal income taxation to undergraduate students.

Christopher R. Fortier, the recipient of last year’s award, praised Wu for his work on organizing the Professional Development Conference in Virginia Beach and for implementing the Minority Pre-Law Conference at Regent University School of Law. Over the past year, Wu volunteered at the Legal Aid Society of Eastern Virginia and the Community Tax Law Project. Wu also assists with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program that provides free tax preparation services to the military and the community.

In his nominating letter, Fortier described Wu as “a true community servant and a mentor for the profession’s next generation. His impact on this profession has already been large as he has opened new avenues for minority students to get the education they need to serve their communities without leaving home.”

Updated: May 21, 2014
May 21, 2014

Registration Open: VSB-LINC Pro Bono Webinar on Social Security Benefits

Meeting the Legal Needs of Individuals Facing Serious Illness Through Pro Bono: Part 4 – Social Security Benefits

Thursday, June 19, 2014, 2–3:30 p.m.

Attendance at the previous webinars in the series is not a prerequisite.

Session Description: Many seriously ill individuals are no longer able to work because of their illness and they (and their families) are eligible to receive Social Security Disability (SSD) income and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). This free, 90 minute nuts and bolts webinar will provide an overview of the laws governing Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income disability, including eligibility requirements; handling social security claims; and appeals process. Joanna L. Suyes, a social security disability attorney with Marks & Harrison, will provide attendees with critical information about common legal issues that will help them to assist pro bono clients through the Social Security benefits process.

By registering for this free CLE program, attendees agree to accept a pro bono referral from a recognized pro bono legal services program. (1.5 hours of MCLE Credit Approved)

Please register at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5830824869726828545

After registering, you will receive a confirmation e-mail containing information about joining the webinar.

This webinar series is co-sponsored by the VSB and Legal Information Network for Cancer (LINC).

View System Requirements

Updated: May 21, 2014
May 19, 2014

Christine E. Marra Named Legal Aid Award Winner

Marra photo

Christine E. (Christie) Marra, a family and housing law attorney with the Virginia Poverty Law Center, has been selected as the recipient of the 2014 Virginia Legal Aid Award by the Virginia State Bar’s Access to Legal Services Committee.

The award recognizes lawyers employed by legal aid societies licensed by the VSB. Recipients are chosen for their advocacy, quality of service, and impact beyond their service area.

Marra began her legal career working with a legal aid program in the coalfields of southwest Virginia. She was hired by the Central Virginia Legal Aid Society in Richmond, where she worked for thirteen years as a family and housing law attorney for the urban poor in the Richmond area. In 2004 she joined the Virginia Poverty Law Center, which provides legal aid training and public policy advocacy.

In nominating Marra, John E. Whitfield, executive director of Blue Ridge Legal Services Inc., said that at legal aid field offices and at the poverty law center Marra has done outstanding work leading the legal aid community’s advocacy in the areas of family law, children’s rights, and housing issues. She also was awarded the Family Law Service Award by the VSB Family Law Section in 2010.

State Senator George L. Barker wrote: “For twenty-two years, (Marra) has worked to provide legal assistance to those who most need it and can least afford it.… I turn to her for counsel on issues related to poverty, housing discrimination, and access to education.”

A nominating letter signed by seven members of the Virginia Poverty Law Center noted that Marra “has provided direct representation and legislative and regulatory advocacy on issues such as foster care, adoption, domestic violence, divorce, child support, public benefits and low-income housing. Her vigilance and persistence have led to reforms that make a measurable difference in the lives of Virginians who face hard times.”

Marra graduated from the University of Virginia in 1988 and earned her law degree from the University of Richmond in 1991.

The award will be presented during the Virginia State Bar Annual Meeting June 13 in Virginia Beach.

Updated: May 19, 2014
May 16, 2014

Supreme Court of Virginia Adopts Rule Changes and Amendments

Effective May 16, 2014, the Supreme Court of Virginia has amended rules 5:1A, 5:17, and 5A:12, and added rule 5A:1A. All concern Penalties for Non-compliance; Show Cause; Dismissal, and Petitions for Appeal.

Effective July 1, 2014, the Court has added Rule 1A:8, Military Spouse Provisional Admission.

Updated: May 16, 2014