News and Information
February 28, 2019

Clients’ Protection Fund Board Pays $51,123 to Petitioners

At its most recent meeting on January 11, 2019, in Charlottesville, the Virginia State Bar Clients’ Protection Fund Board approved payments totaling $51,123.

The board approved new claims in the amount of $47,173 regarding five Virginia lawyers. In the largest award of the meeting, one petitioner, a former client of Michael Anthony Lormand of Glen Allen, was awarded $17,500 as reimbursement for funds that the attorney collected for her spousal arrearages but failed to remit to her. The bar revoked Lormand’s license to practice in June of 2018 for misconduct related to the petitioner’s case.

Another petitioner recovered $16,875 for fees paid to Christopher DeCoy Parrott of Manassas. Parrott’s license was initially suspended in November of 2016, and, failing to comply with the terms of the suspension, his license was revoked in October of 2017. Parrott, facing discipline, signed an agreement in 2017 to pay the petitioner back, but that never occurred.  

The board approved a $2,000 payment to a petitioner’s estate to reimburse for work in a divorce case in which Shelly Renee Collette did not do significant work. The petitioner died after he filed the petition, but before the Board considered the claim. Collette’s license was revoked in March of 2018. 

A former client of Charles Gregory Phillips of Salem was awarded $2,914 – reimbursement for a fee given to Phillips for work on a divorce proceeding that wasn’t carried out. Phillips attempted to present investigators with an itemized bill that showed work occurring before the petitioner retained him and after the petitioner terminated the representation. The bill was deemed fraudulent, and the petitioner’s complaint to the bar was one of the cases that led to Phillips’ ten-month suspension last year. 

A petitioner, the mother of a decedent in a wrongful death action, received $7,884 as reimbursement for funds that the attorney, Michael Alan Bishop, received before his death but failed to pay to the wrongful death beneficiaries. The attorney did not maintain the funds for disbursement to the beneficiaries. The VSB encourages lawyers to take a moment to plan ahead for protecting their clients’ interests in the event of death or disability. 

At the meeting, the board also affirmed its prior decisions in September 2018 to approve three claims from former clients of Phillips and Brent Lavelle Barbour, totaling $3,950. In Phillips’ case, the petitioner appealed the awarded amount of $1,250, asking for the full requested amount of $2,500. The board decided, however, that some work had been performed in her divorce and custody case, and they affirmed their award of $1,250. 

Barbour, whose license was revoked in February 2018, requested reconsideration of two awards given to his former clients in September. The board affirmed an award of $1,200 as reimbursement for unearned fees in one criminal case. And, in another, the board increased its award from $750 to the full amount requested by the petitioner, $1,500. In both cases, Barbour had not done any significant work for the clients. 

A full chart of the amounts paid as a result of January’s meeting follows.i

New Petitions 

Docket Number

Lawyer’s Name

City of Record

Amount Paid

Type of Case

18-555-003162

Christopher DeCoy Parrott

Manassas, VA

$16,875

Unearned fees/Civil Law - State

18-555-003168

Shelly Renee Collette

Winchester, VA

$2,000

Unearned fees/Family Law

18-555-003174

Michael Anthony Lormand

Glen Allen, VA

$17,500

Unearned fees/Family Law

19-555-003181

Charles Gregory Phillips

Salem, VA

$2,914

Unearned fees/Family Law

19-555-003193

Michael Alan Bishop Deceased 

Meadowview, VA

$7,884

Unearned fees/Personal Injury/Property Damage

Reconsidered Petitions 

18-555-003176

Brent Lavelle Barbour

Lynchburg, VA

$1,500

Unearned fees/Criminal Law

19-555-003180

Brent Lavelle Barbour

Lynchburg, VA

$1,200

Unearned fees/Criminal Law

18-555-003167

Charles Gregory Phillips

Salem, VA

$1,250

Unearned fees/Family Law

At the January meeting, the board also read a letter of gratitude from Jason Blye, a claimant awarded $4,360 in September. “After the outcome of my case, I had become so discouraged and felt that all hope was lost,” he wrote. “I had never felt so cheated in my life and the thoughts of having let my daughter down were overwhelming at times. … It is because of you and your board that I will have the financial ability to get back into court and get the outcome that we deserve. This program is a true blessing and I hope that you and your board realize that your efforts are greatly appreciated.”

The Clients’ Protection Fund was created by the Supreme Court of Virginia in 1976 to reimburse persons who suffer a quantifiable financial loss because of dishonest conduct by a Virginia lawyer whose law license has been suspended or revoked for disciplinary reasons, or who has died and did not properly maintain client funds. The fund is not taxpayer funded but is supported by Virginia lawyers who pay an annual fee of up to $25. The Supreme Court of Virginia has set the current annual fee at $10 per Virginia lawyer with an active license status. VSB Executive Director Karen Gould gave a report on the fund and fee earlier this year. ii

Payments from the Clients’ Protection Fund are discretionary and are not a matter of right. If you have any questions, you may contact Vivian R. Byrd, administrator to Clients’ Protection Fund by email at (804) 775-0572.

 


i The Virginia State Bar delays the release of the final chart, as the awards given to new petitioners are subject to a 30-day appeal period.

ii While the VSB does not name petitioners in news summaries, recipients of Clients’ Protection Fund disbursement are a matter of public record. Contact the CPF administrator, or review the meeting materials linked on the event page for the January Clients’ Protection Fund Board meeting. 

Updated: Mar 01, 2019