February 28, 2011
Highlights of the Virginia State Bar Council Meeting February 26, 2011
Corporate Council Pro Bono Proposal Endorsed
The council voted without dissent to recommend approval of proposed changes to the Rules of the Virginia Supreme Court 1A:5, Part I, ¶¶ (g), (h), Virginia Corporate Counsel. The changes would lift limitations and expand opportunities for corporate counsel to do pro bono work, while subjecting them to VSB regulatory authority while they do that work. The proposal was recommended by a Virginia State Bar–Virginia Bar Association task force.
Proposal to Waive In Law Professors Is Supported
By a vote of 46 to 16, the council supported a proposal by Professor A. Benjamin Spencer of Washington and Lee University School of Law to allow full-time law school professors to practice in Virginia without taking the bar exam if they have been engaged in full-time, active practice in another jurisdiction for five of the previous seven years. Professor Spencer said the waiver will allow faculty to more effectively assist students in applied law clinics and to describe recent practical examples in traditional classes. The waiver would end when the teacher no longer is employed full-time. The council’s vote will be reported to the Supreme Court at the Court’s request.
Proposed Rules 7.1–7.5 Pulled by Ethics Committee
The council was told that the VSB Standing Committee on Legal Ethics on February 24, 2011, decided to pull the proposed changes to Rules of Professional Conduct 7.1–7.5, Lawyer Advertising and Solicitation.
UPL Legislation Adopted by General Assembly
Ethics Counsel James M. McCauley reported that legislation was adopted by the General Assembly that extends the statute of limitations for prosecuting unauthorized practice of law to two years from the date of discovery.
Justice Hassell Remembered
The council observed a moment of silence in memory of former Chief Justice Leroy Rountree Hassell Sr., who died February 9, 2011. VSB Executive Director Karen A. Gould referred members to Richard Cullen’s reflections at http://www2.timesdispatch.com/news/2011/feb/13/tdopin02-chief-justice-fought-the-good-fight-kept--ar-837657/.