Publications

Virginia Lawyer Register — November 2012

Contents

In this issue:
Disciplinary Proceedings

Disciplinary Summaries

Proposals for Public Comment

Notices to Members

  • Rules of Professional Conduct
    Amendments to Rule 7.1-7.5
  • Legal Ethics Opinion 1863
    May a lawyer communicate with an insurance adjuster when the insured is represented by a lawyer provided by the insurer?
  • Legal Ethics Opinion 1864
    May a criminal defense lawyer agree that he will not give certain discovery materials to his client during the course of the representation, and that he will remove certain materials from his file prior to the end of the representation?
  • Amendment to Legal Ethics Opinion 1732
    Contract between law firm and attorney/employee requiring payment to firm of a percentage from any contingency fee case attorney/employee takes with him if he leaves the firm.

MCLE suspensions

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

Disciplinary Proceedings

Respondent’s Name Address of Record Action Effective Date
Circuit Court
Vaughan Christopher Jones Richmond, VA Suspension w/Terms – 60 Days October 1, 2012
Atchuthan Sriskandarajah Fairfax, VA Public Reprimand June 5, 2012
 
Disciplinary Board
Sharon Rudolph Connelly Springfield, VA Suspension w/Terms—1 year January 1, 2012
Donald Jerome Gee Richmond, VA Public Reprimand June 22, 2012
Phillip Stone Griffin II Winchester, VA Suspension—6 months August 24, 2012
Shannon McLaughlin Guignon Fairfax, VA Revocation August 1, 2012
Thomas Andrew Hawbaker Omaha, NE Revocation June 22, 2012
Heajin Jung Fairfax, VA Suspension w/Terms—14 Days July 17, 2012
Rebecca Louise Marquez Arlington, VA Suspension—5 years August 29, 2012
Mufeed Wadie Said Richmond, VA Public Reprimand w/Terms June 27, 2012
Harte Peary Stafford Annandale, VA Revocation August 24, 2012
James Fred Sumpter Midlothian, VA Suspension—30 Days September 1, 2012
 
District Committees
Neville Paul Crenshaw Chantilly, VA Public Reprimand w/Terms April 30, 2012
David Glenn Hubbard Tyson’s Corner, VA Public Reprimand w/Terms April 30, 2012
David Garrett Mullins Bristol, TN Public Reprimand August 15, 2012
David Albert Powers III Chesterfield, VA Admonition w/Terms August 23, 2012
 
Impairment Effective Date
Rebecca Louise Marquez Arlington, VA August 29, 2012
William Magruder McKee Norfolk, VA September 7, 2012
 
Suspension – Failure to Pay Disciplinary Costs Effective Date Lifted
Martin Joseph Sweaney Dallas, TX September 13, 2012  
Timothy James Wall Fredericksburg, VA July 19, 2012 August 1, 2012
 
Suspension – Failure to Comply with Subpoena Effective Date Lifted
Jefrey Greg Booth Norfolk, VA September 11, 2012 September 21, 2012
Timothy Paul Harris Arlington, VA September 17, 2012  
John F. Kane Norfolk, VA August 28, 2012  
David Garrett Mullins Bristol, TN December 16, 2011 August 16, 2012
  April 3, 2012 August 16, 2012
  April 5, 2012 August 16, 2012
Robert Henry Smallenberg Ashland, VA August 6, 2012  
 

 

Features

Disciplinary Summaries

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">clerk@vsb.org. VSB docket numbers are provided.

Circuit Courts

Vaughan Christopher Jones
Richmond, Virginia
10-033-084154, 10-033-085156
Effective October 1, 2012, a three-judge panel of the Circuit Court of the city of Richmond suspended Vaughan Christopher Jones’s license to practice law for sixty days with terms for violating professional rules that govern diligence, communication, fees, and declining or terminating representation. RPC 1.3(a), 1.4(a)(b), 1.15(c)(3), 1.16(d)

http://www.vsb.org/docs/Jones-100412.pdf

Atchuthan Sriskandarajah
Fairfax, Virginia
10-022-081527
On June 6, 2012, the Circuit Court of the County of Fairfax issued a public reprimand to Atchuthan Sriskandarajah for violating a professional rule that governs communication of fields of practice and certification. This was an agreed disposition of misconduct charges. RPC 7.4

http://www.vsb.org/docs/Srisk-082712.pdf

Disciplinary Board

Sharon Rudolph Connelly
Springfield, Virginia
12-000-092253
On August 24, 2012, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended Sharon Rudolph Connelly’s license to practice law for one year with terms, effective January 1, 2012, based on her 2008 conviction for conspiracy to commit money laundering in the United State District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. Part 6, § IV, ¶ 13-22

http://www.vsb.org/docs/Connelly-101012.pdf

Donald Jerome Gee
Henrico, Virginia
11-032-085775
On June 22, 2012, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board issued a public reprimand to Donald Jerome Gee for violating a professional rule that governs safekeeping property. The board dismissed a second case for lack of clear and convincing evidence. RPC 1.15(c)(4)

http://www.vsb.org/docs/Gee-080212.pdf

Phillip Stone Griffin II
Winchester, Virginia
09-070-078724, 09-070-079663, 09-070-076886, 10-070-083334
Effective August 24, 2012, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended Phillip Stone Griffin II’s license to practice law for six months for violating professional rules that govern diligence, communication, fees, safekeeping property, meritorious claims and contentions, fairness to opposing party and counsel, responsibilities regarding nonlawyer assistants, unauthorized practice of law; multijurisdictional practice of law, and bar admission and disciplinary matters. The board dismissed two cases. This was an agreed disposition of misconduct charges. RPC 1.3(a); 1.4(a)(b)(c); 1.5(b); 1.15(a); 3.1; 3.4(d)(i); 5.3(a)(b)(c)(1)(2); 5.5(a)(b)(c); 8.1(c)

http://www.vsb.org/docs/Griffin-082412.pdf

Shannon McLaughlin Guignon
Fairfax, Virginia
12-041-091359
On July 24, 2012, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board revoked Shannon McLaughlin Guignon’s license to practice law. In consenting to the revocation, Mr. Guignon admitted that the disciplinary charges against him are true and that he could not successfully defend against them. Part 6, § IV, ¶ 13-28

http://www.vsb.org/docs/Guignon-082712.pdf

Thomas Andrew Hawbaker
Omaha, Nebraska
12-000-090713
On June 22, 2012, the Virginia State Bar revoked Thomas Andrew Hawbaker’s license to practice law based on his February 9, 2011, disbarment in California. His Virginia license was summarily suspended on February 23, 2012. Part 6, § IV, ¶ 13-24

http://www.vsb.org/docs/Hawbaker-082712.pdf


Heajin Jung
Fairfax, Virginia
11-051-085929
On July 17, 2012, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended Heajin Jung’s license to practice law for fourteen days with terms for violating rules that govern competence, communication, conflict of interest: prohibited transaction, safekeeping property, and communication with persons represented by counsel. This was an agreed disposition of misconduct charges. RPC 1.1; 1.4(a)(b)(c); 1.8(h); 1.15(a)(1)(2), (c)(1), (f)(1)(2)(4)(5)(6); 4.2

http://www.vsb.org/docs/Jung-082712.pdf

Rebecca Louise Marquez
Arlington, Virginia
13-000-093039, 13-041-090066
On August 29, 2012, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended Rebecca Louise Marquez’s license to practice law indefinitely on impairment grounds. In another matter, the board also suspended Ms. Marquez’s license to practice law for five years for violating professional rules that govern safekeeping property and misconduct. This was an agreed disposition of misconduct charges. RPC 1.15(b)(4)(5),(c)(1)(2)(i-ii)(3)(4),(d)(3)(i-iv)(4); 8.4(b)(c); and Part 6, § IV, ¶ 13-23.

http://www.vsb.org/docs/Marquez-impair-100412.pdf

http://www.vsb.org/docs/Marquez-susp-100412.pdf

William Magruder McKee
Norfolk, Virginia
12-000-090527
Effective September 7, 2012, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended William Magruder McKee’s license to practice law on impairment grounds. Part 6, § IV, ¶ 13-23.

Mufeed Wadie Said
Richmond, Virginia
11-031-084823, 11-031-085301, 11-031-086073, 11-31-086457, 11-031-086622, 11-031-088306, 12-031-090062
On June 27, 2012, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board issued a public reprimand with terms to Mufeed Wadie Said for violating professional rules that govern diligence, communication and safekeeping property. This was an agreed disposition of misconduct charges. RPC 1.3(a);1.4(a); 1.15(a)(1)(2),(c)(3),(e)(1)(i-v)

http://www.vsb.org/docs/Said-100412.pdf


Harte Peary Stafford
Annandale, Virginia
10-053-083368
On August 24, 2012, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board revoked Harte Peary Stafford’s license to practice law for violating professional rules that govern competence, diligence, communication, fees, safekeeping property, declining or terminating representation, and bar admission and disciplinary matters. RPC 1.1; 1.3(a); 1.4(a)(b)(c); 1.5(a)(4); 1.15(a),(c)(3)(4),(e)(1)(i-v),(e)(2)(i-iii),(f)(1)(i),(f)(2),(f)(4)(I,ii),(f)(5)(i-iii),(f)(6); 1.16(d); 8.1(c)

http://www.vsb.org/docs/Stafford-100412.pdf

James Fred Sumpter
Midlothian, Virginia
12-032-090738
Effective September 1, 2012, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended James Fred Sumpter’s license to practice law for thirty days for violating professional rules that govern diligence, communication, and declining or terminating representation. This was an agreed disposition of misconduct charges. RPC 1.3(a); 1.4(a); 1.16(d)

http://www.vsb.org/docs/Sumpter-082712.pdf


District Committees

Neville Paul Crenshaw
Chantilly, Virginia
10-051-080819
On April 30, 2012, the Virginia State Bar Fifth District – Section I Subcommittee issued a public reprimand with terms to Neville Paul Crenshaw for violating professional rules that govern diligence, communication, declining or terminating representation and bar admission and disciplinary matters. This was an agreed disposition of misconduct charges. RPC 1.3(a); 1.4(a)(c); 1.16(d)(e); 8.1(c)

http://www.vsb.org/docs/Crenshaw-082712.pdf

David Glenn Hubbard
Tyson’s Corner, Virginia
11-051-08779, 12-051-088880
On April 30, 2012, a Virginia State Bar Fifth District – Section I Subcommittee issued a public reprimand with terms to David Glenn Hubbard for violating professional rules that govern communication and bar admission and disciplinary matters. This was an agreed disposition of misconduct charges. RPC 1.4(a)(c), 8.1(c)

http://www.vsb.org/docs/Hubbard-082712.pdf

David Garrett Mullins
Bristol, Tennessee
12-102-088898, 12-102-089253, 12-102-089534
On August 15, 2012, a Virginia State Bar Tenth District - Section II Subcommittee issued a public reprimand to David Garrett Mullins for violating rules of professional conduct that govern diligence and communication. This was an agreed disposition of misconduct charges. Tenn. Sup. Ct. R. 8, RPC 1.3, 1.4(a)(3)(4)

http://www.vsb.org/docs/Mullins-082712.pdf

David Albert Powers III
Chesterfield, Virginia
11-033-085455
On August 23, 2012, a Virginia State Bar Third District Committee– Section III issued an admonition with terms to David Albert Powers III for violating professional rules that govern safekeeping property. RPC 1.15 (c)(3), (e)(1)(iii)

http://www.vsb.org/docs/Powers-091112.pdf

 

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 or gould@vsb.org, no later than the end of the business day on the day of the deadline.

Deadline for comment: January 15, 2013

Proposed Amendments to Paragraph 13-13

Participation and Disqualification of Counsel

On September 5, 2012, the Committee on Lawyer Discipline approved the proposed amendments to Part 6, Section IV, Paragraph 13-13 of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia. These amendments ease the restrictions involving imputation of conflicts of interest for attorneys representing respondents in bar disciplinary actions. These revisions will allow more attorneys to participate in the disciplinary system as counsel for respondents.

Details: http://www.vsb.org/pro-guidelines/index.php/rule_changes/item/amendments-para-13-13-2012-09

Proposed VSB Bylaws Amendment
To Give the Chair of the Diversity Conference a Seat on the Executive Committee

Deadline for comment: January 15, 2013
The Diversity Conference of the Virginia State Bar proposes an amendment to the bylaws to place its chair on the Executive Committee.

Details: http://www.vsb.org/docs/prop-bylaw-DC-101712.pdf

Proposed Revisions to Clients’ Protection Fund Rules of Procedure

Deadline for comment: January 15, 2013

The Clients’ Protection Fund Board (the Board) proposes that the Rules of Procedure of the Clients’ Protection Fund be amended to clarify how the Board processes claims for reimbursement. The Board adopted the proposed revisions on May 11, 2012, in order to clarify the requirements for receiving and processing petitions for reimbursement. Many of the proposed changes are housekeeping matters to improve readability or grammar. Significant proposed changes include:

  1. Adding to the definition of “Dishonest Conduct” to give the Board more options as to the amount of approved payments from the Fund. [Rule I.6(b)]
  2. Giving the Petitioner, as well as the Lawyer, the right to address the Board at a meeting at which the claim is being considered, even if the Lawyer does not request to address the Board. Currently, only the Lawyer has the right to seek permission to address the Board; if the Lawyer is allowed to address the Board, the Petitioner may also ask to address the Board. [Rule III.6]
  3. Clarifying that the Board must make its decisions by majority vote. [Rule III.7]
  4. Allowing claims to be considered timely if filed within seven years of when the Petitioner knew or should have known of the claimed loss. [Rule III.7(g)]
  5. Clarifying the requirement for the number and timing of Board meetings. [Rule VI.1]
  6. Clarifying when the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Board are elected and the length of their terms. [Rule VI.5.]

Details: http://www.vsb.org/docs/prop-CPF-rules-080912.pdf


Proposed Amendments to Virginia Supreme Court Rule 3A:11

Deadline: January 15, 2013.

The Virginia State Bar’s Indigent Defense Task Force is seeking public comment on proposed amendments to Rule 3A:11 of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia.
Rule 3A:11 applies to discovery and inspection of files for prosecutions involving felonies in a circuit court and any misdemeanor brought on direct indictment.

The task force proposes that Rule 3A:11 be expanded so that: both parties receive more complete information in preparing for trial and in making informed plea decisions; defendants’ rights are better protected; the element of unfair surprise is limited; and, post-trial litigation is minimized. The task force concluded that the recommendations are appropriate and should be considered by the Supreme Court to address needed improvements to the manner in which discovery is conducted in criminal cases in the commonwealth.

The task force will present these recommendations to the VSB Executive Committee and Council for consideration at their respective February meetings. With Council’s assent, approved proposed amendments will be forwarded to the Supreme Court of Virginia. Original approved recommendations authorizing work on the extant proposal can be found at http://www.vsb.org/docs/sections/criminal/taskforce904.pdf.

Details: http://www.vsb.org/site/news/item/idt-prop-3A11

Notices to Members

Rules of Professional Conduct Amendments to Rule 7.1-7.5

Effective December 1, 2012, the Supreme Court of Virginia has approved amendments to Rules 7.1-7.5 of the Rules of Professional Conduct proposed by the Standing Committee on Legal Ethics and by the Executive Committee. The amendments make the rules more general in their application by removing the specific examples of lawyer advertising statements or claims from the body of rules to the comment section. They also remove unnecessary and redundant language.

Details: http://www.vsb.org/docs/SCV-order-rules7.1-7.5-091812.pdf

The VSB’s Standing Committee on Legal Ethics issued the following LEO as final on September 26, 2012:

Legal Ethics Opinion 1863

May a lawyer communicate with an insurance adjuster when the insured is represented by a lawyer provided by the insurer?

Details: https://www.vacle.org/opinions/1863.htm

The VSB’s Standing Committee on Legal Ethics issued the following LEO as final on October 24, 2012:

Legal Ethics Opinion 1864

May a criminal defense lawyer agree that he will not give certain discovery materials to his client during the course of the representation, and that he will remove certain materials from his file prior to the end of the representation?

Details: https://www.vacle.org/opinions/1864.htm

The VSB Standing Committee on Legal Ethics approved an amendment to LEO 1732, effective October 23, 2012. The amendment clarifies that Rule 1.5(f) of the Rules of Professional Conduct allows fee sharing between lawyers formerly associated in a law firm, with no requirement for client consent.

Legal Ethics Opinion 1732

Contract between law firm and attorney/ employee requiring payment to firm of a percentage from any contingency fee case attorney/employee takes with him if he leaves the firm.

Details: http://www.vsb.org/site/news/item/leo-1732-amended


MCLE suspensions

Virginia State Bar members who have been administratively suspended for failure to comply with the Mandatory
Continuing Legal Education requirements for 2011 are listed below.

The requirements are described in Part 6, Section IV, Paragraphs 17, 13.2, and 19 of the Rules of the Virginia Supreme Court.

The VSB has been unable to contact some of these attorneys. The bar requests that members report the location and practice status of any person on the list by contacting the MCLE Department at (804) 775-0577 or MCLE@vsb.org.

The list below was posted August 23, 2012, is current as of August 23, 2012. To determine whether a listed attorney has fulfilled MCLE obligations after that date, contact the MCLE Department.

List: http://www.vsb.org/site/members/administrative-suspensions#MCLE