Publications

Virginia Lawyer Register - May 2012

Contents

In this issue:
Disciplinary Proceedings

Disciplinary Summaries

Notices to Members

View May Virginia Lawyer Register (PDF of mailed version with hyperlinks to additional materials)

Disciplinary Proceedings

Respondent’s Name Address of Record Action   Effective Date
 
Disciplinary Board
Richard Scott Gordon Newport News, VA Suspension – 3 months February 17, 2012
Sara Davis Harman Glen Allen, VA Suspension w/Terms – 1 year December 10, 2013
Rachel Heather MacKnight Chevy Chase, MD Suspension w/Term – 1 year and 1 day February 29, 2012
Theodore Scott Silva, Jr. Vienna, VA Suspension – 3 years November 10, 2011
Jan C. Smith White Stone, VA Public Reprimand March 20, 2012
Brian Keith Stevens Glen Allen, VA Suspension – 60 Days January 27, 2012
John Arthur Sutherland, Jr. Fairfax, VA Revocation December 9, 2011
Richard Donald Trala, Jr. Richmond, VA Revocation March 1, 2012
Timothy James Wall Fredericksburg, VA Suspension w/Terms – 30 Days February 17, 2012
 
District Committees
Curtis Tyrone Brown Chesapeake, VA Public Admonition January 17, 2012
Carl Herman Bundick Accomac, VA Public Reprimand December 29, 2011
Elizabeth Margaret Fischer Alexandria, VA Public Reprimand w/Terms March 26, 2012
Andrea Celestine Long Richmond, VA Public Admonition March 29, 2012
John Anthony Nowacki Alexandria, VA Public Admonition February 16, 2012
David Benjamin Weinberg Alexandria, VA Public Reprimand December 9, 2011
 
Suspension – Failure to Pay Disciplinary Costs Effective Date Lifted
Christopher Jason Agresto Leesburg, VA March 8, 2012  
    February 2, 2012  
Michael J. Biddinger Spotsylvania, VA March 8, 2012  
James Andrew Carter, II Hampton, VA January 31, 2012  
Brett Nathan Dorny Arvada, CO February 3, 2012  
Owaiian Maurice Jones Fredericksburg, VA March 1, 2012  
Mark Michael Kantro Norfolk, VA February 1, 2012  
Francis Allen Minor Springfield, VA February 28, 2012  
Tina Elizabeth Orr Norfolk, VA March 5, 2012  
Harry Tun Washington, DC January 31, 2012  
Bradley Douglas Wein Richmond, VA January 26, 2012  
Carl V. Williams New Orleans, LA February 7, 2012  
 
Suspension – Failure to Comply with Subpoena Effective Date Lifted
Randall Bertron Campbell Roanoke, VA February 7, 2012  
Gwen Anne Carpenter Alexandria, VA February 7, 2012 February 21, 2012
Jin-Ho Cynn Fairfax, VA March 13, 2012  
Olaf Francis Gebhart, Jr. Tifton, GA February 7, 2012  
Richard Lawrence McGarry Roanoke, VA February 7, 2012  
David Garrett Mullins Bristol, TN December 16, 2011  
    April 3, 2012  
    April 5, 2012  
Tonja Michelle Roberts Danville, VA April 3, 2012  
David Samir Saliba Wytheville, VA December 16, 2011 December 20, 2011
Robert Henry Smallenberg Ashland, VA January 5, 2012 January 6, 2012
Sandra Mae Ward Grundy, VA March 6, 2012 March 13, 2012
 

 

Features

The following are summaries of disciplinary actions for violations of the Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct (RPC) (Rules of the Virginia Supreme Court Part 6, ¶ II, eff. Jan. 1, 2000) or another of the Supreme Court Rules.

Copies of disciplinary orders are available at the Web link provided with each summary or by contacting the Virginia State Bar Clerk’s Office at (804) 775-0539 or clerk@vsb.org. VSB docket numbers are provided.

Disciplinary Board

Richard Scott Gordon
Newport News, Virginia
10-010-081800
On February 17, 2012, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended Richard Scott Gordon’s license to practice law for three months for violating rules that govern diligence, communications, and fairness to opposing party and counsel. RPC 1.3(a)(b)(c); 1.4(a)(b)(c); 3.4(e)
http://www.vsb.org/docs/Gordon-022212.pdf

Sara Davis Harman
Glen Allen, Virginia
10-032-083590, 11-032-086311, 11-032-086318
Effective December 10, 2013, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended Sara Davis Harman’s license to practice law for one year with terms for violating rules of professional conduct that govern diligence, communication, declining or terminating representation, bar admission and disciplinary matters, and misconduct. The suspension is effective upon termination of Ms. Harman’s current three-year suspension, which was effective December 10, 2010. This was an agreed disposition of misconduct charges. RPC 1.3(a)(b); 1.4(a)(b); 1.16(d); 8.1(c); 8.4(c)
http://www.vsb.org/docs/Harman-032712.pdf

Rachel Heather MacKnight
Chevy Chase, Maryland
11-080-086501
On February 29, 2012, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended with terms Rachel Heather MacKnight’s license to practice law for one year and one day for violating professional rules that govern candor toward the tribunal, truthfulness in statements to others, and misconduct. This was an agreed disposition of misconduct charges. RPC 3.3(a)(1)(4); 4.1(a); 8.4(b)(c)
http://www.vsb.org/docs/MacKnight-022912.pdf

Theodore Scott Silva Jr.
Washington D.C.
12-000-089362
On December 9, 2011, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended Theodore Scott Silva Jr.’s license to practice law for at least three years with his reinstatement being contingent upon showing reinstatement by the District of Columbia Bar. The suspension was effective November 10, 2011.
http://www.vsb.org/docs/silva-011012.pdf

Jan C. Smith
White Stone, Virginia
10-060-080411, 11-060-086108, 11-060-085701
On March 20, 2012, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board issued a public reprimand to Jan C. Smith for violating professional rules that govern diligence and communication. This was an agreed disposition of misconduct charges. RPC 1.3(a); 1.4(a)
http://www.vsb.org/docs/Smith-041612.pdf

Brian Keith Stevens
Henrico County, Virginia
10-032-081361, 11-000-087268
On January 27, 2012, the Virginia State Disciplinary Board suspended Brian Keith Stevens’s license to practice law for sixty days for violating rules that govern diligence, safekeeping property, and responsibilities regarding nonlawyer assistants, and for violating the Virginia Consumer Real Estate Settlement Protection Act. RPC 1.3(a); 1.15(c)(4), (f)(4)(i)(ii), (5)(i)(ii)(iii); 5.3(a)(b)(c)(2); Va. Code §55.525.24(B)(1) and (2); 15 VAC 5-80-50(B)
http://www.vsb.org/docs/Stevens-030112.pdf

John Arthur Sutherland Jr.
Fairfax, Virginia
09-053-079278
On December 9, 2011, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board revoked John Arthur Sutherland Jr.’s license to practice law for violating professional rules that govern diligence, communication, declining or terminating representation, bar admission and disciplinary matters, and misconduct.  RPC 1.3(a)(b)(c), 1.4(a), 1.16(d)(e), 8.1(c), 8.4(a)
http://www.vsb.org/docs/Sutherland-021512.pdf

Richard Donald Trala Jr.
Richmond, Virginia
11-031-087414, 12-031-089642, 12-031-090739
On March 1, 2012, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board revoked Richard Donald Trala Jr.’s license to practice law. In consenting to the revocation, Mr. Trala admitted that the disciplinary charges against him are true and that he could not successfully defend against them. He stipulated that he violated rules that govern diligence, communication, and conflict of interest: prohibited transactions. RPC 1.3(a); 1.4(a)(b)(c); 1.8(e)(1)(2)
http://www.vsb.org/docs/Trala-022912.pdf

Timothy James Wall
Fredericksburg, Virginia
10-060-082012, 11-060-087939
Effective February 17, 2012, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended Timothy James Wall’s license to practice law for thirty days with terms for violating professional rules that govern safekeeping property and declining or terminating representation. This was an agreed disposition of misconduct charges. RPC 1.15(c)(3), (c)(4), (e)(1)(i-v),  (f)(4)(i-ii), (f)(5)(i-iii), (f)(6); 1.16(d)
http://www.vsb.org/docs/Wall-021012.pdf

District Committees

Curtis Tyrone Brown
Chesapeake, Virginia
10-021-083956
On January 17, 2012, a Virginia State Bar Second District Subcommittee issued a public admonition to Curtis Tyrone Brown for violating professional rules that govern diligence and meritorious claims and contentions. This was an agreed disposition of misconduct charges. RPC 1.3(a); 3.1
http://www.vsb.org/docs/brown-011712.pdf

Carl Herman Bundick
Accomac, Virginia
11-021-085549
On December 29, 2011, a Virginia State Bar Second District Subcommittee issued a public reprimand to Carl Herman Bundick for violating professional rules that govern diligence and communication. This was an agreed disposition of misconduct charges. RPC 1.3(a); 1.4(a)(b)(c)
http://www.vsb.org/docs/Bundick-122911.pdf


Elizabeth Margaret Fischer
Alexandria, Virginia
10-042-083573
On March 26, 2012, a Virginia State Bar Fourth District— Section II Subcommittee issued a public reprimand with terms to Elizabeth Margaret Fischer for violating professional rules that govern diligence, communication, declining or terminating representation, and misconduct. This was an agreed disposition of misconduct charges. RPC 1.3(a)(b); 1.4(a); 1.16(d)(e); 8.4(b)
http://www.vsb.org/docs/Fischer-041612.pdf

Andrea Celestine Long
Richmond, Virginia
12-032-089315
On March 29, 2012, a Virginia State Bar Third District—
Section II Subcommittee issued a public admonition to Andrea Celestine Long for violating the professional rule that governs safekeeping property. This was an agreed disposition of misconduct charges. RPC 1.15(a)(1), (d)(3)(i)(ii)(iii)(iv)
http://www.vsb.org/docs/Long-041612.pdf

John Anthony Nowacki
Alexandria, Virginia
09-042-076256
On February 16, 2012, a Virginia State Bar Fourth District—Section II Subcommittee imposed a public admonition on John Anthony Nowacki for violating a professional rule that governs engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation which reflects adversely on the lawyer’s fitness to practice law. This was an agreed disposition of misconduct charges. RPC 8.4(c)
http://www.vsb.org/docs/Nowacki-021612.pdf

David Benjamin Weinberg
Alexandria, Virginia
10-042-081186
On December 9, 2011, a Virginia State Bar Fourth District — Section II Subcommittee issued a public reprimand to David Benjamin Weinberg for violating professional rules that govern communication, declining or terminating representation, and bar admission and disciplinary matters. RPC 1.4(a); 1.16(e); 8.1(c)
http://www.vsb.org/docs/weinberg-120911.pdf

Notices to Members

Proposals for Public Comment

The following proposals are published for public comment, which should be submitted in writing to Karen A. Gould, Executive Director, Virginia State Bar, 707 E. Main Street, Suite 1500, Richmond, VA 23219, no later than the end of the business day on the day of the deadline.

Proposed Amendments to Rule 1.11
Special Conflicts of Interest
Deadline for comment: June 15, 2012

The Virginia State Bar’s Standing Committee on Legal Ethics is seeking public comment on proposed amendments to Rule 1.11 of the Rules of Professional Conduct.
The amendment to Rule 1.11(d)(1) parallels the existing provision in paragraph (b)(1) and provides that a conflict created by a move from private to public employment can be cured with the consent of both the private client and the appropriate government agency. Currently, a lawyer may represent a private client in connection with a matter in which the lawyer participated personally and substantially as a public employee with the consent of the private client and the government agency, but the reverse conflict cannot be cured with consent from both affected clients. The Committee proposes to address this disparity by providing for waiver of the conflict in both situations.

Second, the proposed amendment moves the definition of “confidential government information” from paragraph (g) to section (c), which is the only place in the Rule where the term is used. The Committee also made minor grammatical changes to that definition. Finally, the proposal adopts ABA Model Rule Comment [3], to explain why paragraphs (b) and (d) are not limited to circumstances in which the lawyer would be adverse to a former client, but rather apply to any matter in which the lawyer was involved prior to her move to or from government employment.

Details:
http://www.vsb.org/docs/Rule-1.11_prop031612.pdf


Proposed Amendments to Paragraph 13-26
Appeals from Disciplinary Board Determinations
Deadline for comment: May 31, 2012

On March 7, 2012, the Committee on Lawyer Discipline approved the proposed amendments.  New language adds a cross-reference to Rule 5:28 of the Rules of Court which allows the Virginia State Bar to file assignments of cross-error in the event that a respondent appeals a disciplinary action to the Supreme Court of Virginia.  Also added is a cross-reference to Rule 5:21(b) of the Rules of Court which sets forth specific procedures for perfecting and prosecuting appeals from the Disciplinary Board and three-judge circuit courts.  Because Supreme Court Rule 5:21(b) overrides existing language in Paragraph 13-26, that language has been removed.

Details:
http://www.vsb.org/docs/prop-13-26-appeal-board-030912.pdf

Proposed Amendment to Paragraph 13
Definition of “Bar Counsel”
Deadline for comment: May 31, 2012

On March 7, 2012, the Committee on Lawyer Discipline approved the proposed amendment which corrects the cite to the Code of Virginia, concerning appointment of Bar Counsel.

Details:
http://www.vsb.org/docs/prop-13-1-definititon-bc-030912.pdf


Approved Change to Professional Guidelines

Rules of the Supreme Court
Amendment to Professional Guidelines Paragraph 13-6,
Procedures for Disciplining, Suspending, and Disbarring Attorneys
Effective: April 13, 2012

The Supreme Court of Virginia approved the Virginia State Bar Standing Committee on Lawyer Discipline’s amendment that requires service as a district committee member as a prerequisite for nomination for Disciplinary Board service.

Details:
http://www.vsb.org/docs/13-6-SCV-order-041312.pdf