Publications

Virginia Lawyer Register - August/September 2009

Contents

In this issue:

Disciplinary Proceedings

Disciplinary Summaries

Notices to VSB Members

Final Opinions

October Council Proposals for Public Comment

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


Disciplinary Proceedings

Respondent’s Name Address of RecordAction Effective Date
Circuit Courts
Lorenzo Lee Bean III Sterling, VA Public Reprimand w/Terms May 28, 2009
*** Walter Franklin Green IV Harrisonburg, VA Public Admonition w/Terms June 23, 2009
** David Loren Shurtz Arlington, VA Suspension – 18 months April 16, 2009
* Michael Patrick Weatherbee Arlington, VA Public Reprimand
January 29, 2009
John W. Wine Marshall, VA Public Reprimand April 22, 2009
Disciplinary Board
Richard Wolfe Arnold Jr. Louisa, VA CRESPA Penalty - $500 June 23, 2009
James Andrew Carter IIHampton, VASuspension – 5 yearsMarch 26, 2009
Kevin Michael CunninghamTega Cay, SC
RevocationMarch 27, 2009
Royal Daniel IIIWashington, DC
RevocationApril 24, 2009
Joseph Kelly Haley III
Petersburg, VA
Revocation
April 24, 2009
Anne Marston Lynch
Portsmouth, VA
Suspension – 1 year w/terms
May 15, 2009
James Edward Moyler Jr.
Williamsburg, VA
Revocation
April 13, 2009
Raul Novo
Chesterfield, VA
Suspension – 2 1/2 years
May 31, 2009
Tonja Michelle Roberts
Danville, VA
Suspension – 1 year w/terms
June 2, 2009
Leslie Dana Silverman
College Park, MD
Suspension – 60 days
June 1, 2009
Jackson Willard Snyder II
Potomac, MD
Suspension – 1 year and 1 day
May 27, 2009
Alan Sherwin Toppelberg
Arlington, VA
Suspension – 1 year
April 24, 2009
District Committees
Russell Nardy Allen
Richmond, VAPublic ReprimandJuly 9, 2009
Howard Norman BiermanArlington, VAPublic AdmonitionApril 15, 2009
Peyton Moncure Chichester IIIRichmond, VAPublic ReprimandApril 21, 2009
Donald Jerome GeeRichmond, VAPublic Reprimand w/TermsMay 28, 2009
Phillip Stone Griffin IIWinchester, VAPublic AdmonitionMay 27, 2009
Mark Michael KantroNorfolk, VAPublic Reprimand w/TermsMay 27, 2009
Christopher Broughton ShedlickFalls Church, VAPublic Reprimand w/TermsJune 8, 2009
Keith Hamner WaldropGoochland, VAPublic AdmonitionJune 8, 2009
Impairment SuspensionEffective Date
Harvey D. Coleman Virginia Beach, VA July 2, 2009
Suspension – Failure to Pay Disciplinary CostsEffective DateLifted
Andrew George Adams III Richmond, VA May 11, 2009 
Charles William Austin Jr. Richmond, VA May 4, 2009 
Steven Scott Biss Petersburg, VA April 21, 2009 
Kristina Marie Cardwell Virginia Beach, VA July 20, 2009 
Ronald Marc Cohen Arlington, VA April 22, 2009 
Wade Trent Compton Lebanon, VA July 6, 2009 
Royal Daniel III Washington, DC July 13, 2009 
Kelly Ralston Dennis McLean, VA April 23, 2009 
Maxime Austria Frias Virginia Beach, VA May 18, 2009 
Steven Lieberman Norfolk, VA May 15, 2009 
Stephen Lee McPherson Chesapeake, VA May 13, 2009 
Brian Merrill MillerFairfax, VAApril 23, 2009 
John Lawson MossTazewell, VA
June 25, 2009
 
James Spaulding Powell
Golden, CO
May 8, 2009
 
Peter Campbell Sackett
Lynchburg, VA
July 6, 2009
 
Uzair Mansoor Siddiqui
Manassas, VA
April 20, 2009
 
Lindsey Owen Sutherland
Fairfax, VA
July 8, 2009
 
Lindsey Owen Sutherland
Fairfax, VA
May 13, 2009
 
Suspension – Failure to Comply with SubpoenaEffective Date
Lifted
Christopher Jason Agresto
Leesburg, VA
May 15, 2009
May 20, 2009
Richard Anthony Bednar
Woodbridge, VA
July 7, 2009
 
Jason Matthew Head
Virginia Beach, VA
June 25, 2009
July 20, 2009
Gary Lance Smith
Winchester, VA
April 29, 2009
May 21, 2009
William L. Stables Jr.
Harrisonburg, VA
April 15, 2009
May 14, 2009
John Arthur Sutherland
Fairfax, VA
July 13, 2009
 
*Respondent has noted an appeal with the Supreme Court of Virginia.
**Supreme Court granted stay of suspension pending appeal.
***Respondent withdrew the appeal.

Features

Disciplinary Summaries

The following are summaries of disciplinary actions for violations of the Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct (RPC) (Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia, Part 6, § II, eff. Jan. 1, 2000) or another of the Supreme Court rules (Rules). References to the reformatted Rules Part 6, Section IV Paragraph 13 are indicated by (eff. May 1, 2009). References to Paragraph 13 before the reformatting are indicated as (eff. before May 1, 2009).

Copies of complete 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.

Circuit Courts


Lorenzo Lee Bean III
Sterling, Virginia
07-070-1277
On May 28, 2009, a three-judge panel in the Fauquier County Circuit Court imposed a public reprimand with terms on Lorenzo Lee Bean III for violating a professional rule that governs safekeeping property. Mr. Bean failed to deposit $60,000 in client funds into an attorney escrow account, as the rules require. This was an agreed disposition of misconduct charges. RPC 1.15(a)(1)(2)

http://www.vsb.org/docs/Bean_05-28-09.pdf
———
Walter Franklin Green IV
Harrisonburg, Virginia
07-070-070541
On December 18, 2008, the Virginia State Bar Seventh District Committee imposed a public admonition with terms on Walter Franklin Green IV for violating disciplinary rules that govern unauthorized practice of law and communicating false or misleading information concerning a lawyer’s services. Mr. Green continued to advertise his services as an attorney on his website while his license to practice law was suspended. Mr. Green appealed the decision but later withdrew the appeal. On June 23, 2009, the Rockingham County Circuit Court dismissed the appeal. RPC 5.5(a)(1); 7.1(a)(1)
Dismissal of appeal: http://www.vsb.org/docs/GreenAppeal_07-08-09.pdf
District committee order: http://www.vsb.org/docs/Green_07-20-09.pdf
———
David Loren Shurtz
Arlington, Virginia
07-041-1154
On April 16, 2009, Mr. Shurtz filed an appeal of the following case with the Supreme Court of Virginia. On April 16, 2009, the Court granted a stay of the suspension pending the appeal.
On March 26, 2009, a three-judge court in Arlington County Circuit Court suspended David Loren Shurtz’s license to practice law for eighteen months, effective April 16, 2009. Mr. Shurtz violated disciplinary rules that govern communication, conflict of interest – prohibited transactions, and misconduct that reflects adversely on a lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness to practice law. The violations occurred during his representation of a client in a personal injury case. RPC 1.4(b), (c); 1.8(e)(1), (e)(2); 8.4(b), (c)

http://www.vsb.org/docs/Shurtz_05-14-09.pdf
———

Michael Patrick Weatherbee
Arlington, Virginia
05-041-4811
On May 11, 2009, Mr. Weatherbee filed an appeal of the following case with the Supreme Court of Virginia.
On January 29, 2009, a three-judge panel of the Arlington County Circuit Court imposed a public reprimand on Michael Patrick Weatherbee for violating the disciplinary rule that governs meritorious claims and contentions. The misconduct occurred in a medical malpractice case, in which Mr. Weatherbee incorrectly named a physician as a defendant. RPC 3.1

http://www.vsb.org/docs/Weatherbee_4-30-09.pdf
———
John W. Wine
Marshall, Virginia
07-070-1360
On April 22, 2009, a three-judge court in the Fauquier County Circuit Court imposed a public reprimand on John W. Wine for violating the professional rule that requires a lawyer to adequately explain fees to a client. The misconduct occurred in an estate administration. This was an agreed disposition of charges against Mr. Wine. RPC 1.5(b)

http://www.vsb.org/docs/Wine_05-14-09.pdf

Disciplinary Board

Richard Wolfe Arnold Jr.
Louisa, Virginia
07-000-1134
On June 25, 2009, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board found that Richard Wolfe Arnold Jr. violated the Virginia Consumer Real Estate Settlement Protection Act and regulations and fined him $500. Mr. Arnold did not maintain an escrow account for deposit of clients’ settlement funds as required by CRESPA and the Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct. This was an agreed disposition of the charges. Virginia Code § 6.1-2.23.C; 15 VAC 5-80-50.B

http://www.vsb.org/docs/Arnold_07-20-09.pdf
———
James Andrew Carter II
Hampton, Virginia
06-060-2563, 06-060-3160, 06-060-3942, 06-060-4118, 07-060-1738, 07-060-064820, 08-060-072335
On March 26, 2009, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended James Andrew Carter II’s license to practice law for five years for violating professional rules that govern competence, diligence, communication, confidentiality of information, conflict of interest, safekeeping property, declining or terminating representation, fairness to opposing party and counsel, respect for rights of third persons, bar admission and disciplinary matters, and misconduct that reflects adversely on a lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness to practice. RPC 1.1; 1.3(a), (b); 1.4(a), (b), (c); 1.6(a); 1. 7(b);1.15(a), (c)(4); 1.16(a)(2), (d), (e); 3.4(d); 4.4; 8.1(c); 8.4(b),(c)

http://www.vsb.org/docs/Carter_4-29-09.pdf

———

Kevin Michael Cunningham
Tega Cay, South Carolina
09-000-078512
On March 27, 2009, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board revoked Kevin Michael Cunningham’s license to practice law in Virginia, based on his disbarment by consent in South Carolina. Mr. Cunningham’s Virginia license was summarily suspended on February 27, 2009, pending a hearing. Rules Part 6, §IV, ¶13.I.7 (eff. before May 1, 2009).

http://www.vsb.org/docs/Cunningham_4.-15-09.pdf
———
Royal Daniel III
Washington, D.C.
09-000-078723
On April 24, 2009, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board revoked Royal Daniel III’s license to practice law, based on his April 17, 2008, disbarment by the Colorado Supreme Court. Mr. Daniel’s Virginia license has been suspended since March 26, 2009, pending a hearing. Rules Part 6, §IV, ¶13.I.7 (eff. before May 1, 2009)

http://www.vsb.org/docs/Daniel-Royal_5-26-09.pdf
———
Joseph Kelly Haley III
Petersburg, Virginia
07-033-1995
On April 24, 2009, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board revoked Joseph Kelly Haley III’s license to practice law. Mr. Haley stipulated that he violated professional rules that govern competence, diligence, safekeeping property, declining or terminating representation, fairness to opposing party and counsel, and misconduct that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s fitness to practice. The violations occurred in a guardianship of an incapacitated adult. RPC 1.1; 1.3(a); 1.15(c)(3),(4); 1.16(a)(2); 3.4(d); 8.4(b)(c)

http://www.vsb.org/docs/Haley_5-26-09.pdf
———
Anne Marston Lynch
Portsmouth, Virginia
08-101-071408, 08-010-071625, 08-010-072683, 08-010-072684, 08-010-074537
On May 15, 2009, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended Anne Marston Lynch’s license to practice law for one year and imposed terms. In five cases, Ms. Lynch violated professional rules that govern diligence, communication, and bar disciplinary matters. The cases involved criminal defense representations and a real estate matter. RPC 1.3(a); 1.4(a); 8.1(c),(d)

http://www.vsb.org/docs/Lynch_06-11-09.pdf
———
James Edward Moyler Jr.
Franklin, Virginia
09-010-076281
On April 13, 2009, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board revoked James Edward Moyler’s license to practice law. Mr. Moyler admitted that he had acknowledged in court proceedings that he had “loaned” himself more than $3.5 million from an estate for which he was executor. The bar had scheduled an April 14, 2009, expedited hearing after learning that he had been ordered by the Southampton County Circuit Court to account for funds in at least two estates. Rules
Part 6, §IV, ¶13.L (eff. before May 1, 2009)

http://www.vsb.org/docs/Moyler_4-17-09.pdf

———
Raul Novo
Chesterfield, Virginia
08-031-074033, 08-031-074806
On May 8, 2009, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended Raul Novo’s license to practice law for thirty months, effective May 31, 2009, for violating professional rules that govern competence, diligence, communication, conflict of interest, and misconduct that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s fitness to practice. The violations occurred in a personal injury representation and a divorce case. This was an agreed disposition of misconduct charges. RPC 1.1; 1.3(a); 1.4(a),(b); 1.7(a)(2); 8.4(c)

http://www.vsb.org/docs/Novo_5-21-09.pdf
———
Tonja Michelle Roberts
Danville, Virginia
08-090-073958, 08-090-074552
On May 6, 2009, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended Tonja Michelle Roberts’s license to practice law for one year, effective June 2, 2009, and imposed terms. Ms. Roberts violated professional rules that govern diligence, communication, declining or terminating representation, and bar admission and disciplinary matters. The violations occurred in cases that involved a bankruptcy and payment to a health care provider in a personal injury representation. In both cases, Ms. Roberts failed to respond to the bar’s investigation. As a term of her discipline, Ms. Roberts must return the $750 fee paid by a client. This was an agreed disposition of misconduct charges. RPC 1.3(a),(b); 1.4(a),(b); 1.16 (d); 8.1(c)

http://www.vsb.org/docs/RobertsT_06-09-09.pdf
———
Leslie Dana Silverman
College Park, Maryland
07-052-2031, 07-052-2323
On May 21, 2009, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended Leslie Dana Silverman’s license to practice law for sixty days, effective June 1, 2009. Ms. Silverman violated professional rules that govern diligence, safekeeping property, and unauthorized practice of law. In two cases, she represented clients in Virginia while her Virginia license was administratively suspended, and she did not deposit client funds into an attorney escrow account, as the rules require. In one case, she failed to appear in court on behalf of the client. This was an agreed disposition of misconduct charges. RPC 1.3(a); 1.5(a)(2); 5.5(a)(1)

http://www.vsb.org/docs/Silverman_06-01-09.pdf
———
Jackson Willard Snyder II
Potomac, Maryland
09-000-079415
On June 30, 2009, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended Jackson Willard Snyder II’s license to practice law for a year and a day, effective May 27, 2009. Mr. Snyder was convicted on February 9, 2009, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland after he pled guilty to making false statements on a financial disclosure form. His license was summarily suspended on May 27, 2009, pending a board hearing. This was an agreed disposition of misconduct charges. Rules Part 6, §IV, ¶13-6.H (eff. May 1, 2009)

http://www.vsb.org/docs/Snyder_7-7-09.pdf
———

Alan Sherwin Toppelberg
Arlington, Virginia
09-000-078935
On April 24, 2009, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended Alan Sherwin Toppelberg’s license to practice law for one year, the same discipline imposed by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals for professional misconduct in that jurisdiction. His Virginia license was summarily suspended on April 3, 2009, pending a hearing. Rules Part 6, §IV, ¶13.I.7 (eff. before May 1, 2009)

http://www.vsb.org/docs/Toppelberg_5-26-09.pdf
———

District Committees

Russell Nardy Allen
Richmond, Virginia
09-032-079048
On July 9, 2009, a Virginia State Bar Third District Subcommittee imposed a public reprimand on Russell Nardy Allen for violating the disciplinary rule that governs diligence. Mr. Allen missed filing deadlines for three appeals. He informed the clients of the subsequent dismissals of the appeals, then obtained delayed appeals on all three cases. RPC 1.3(a)

http://www.vsb.org/docs/Allen_07-20-09.pdf
———
Howard Norman Bierman
Arlington, Virginia
08-041-072548, 08-041-072921, 08-041-072923, 08-041-074232, 08-041-074233, 08-041-073082
On April 15, 2009, a Virginia State Bar Fourth District, Section I, Subcommittee imposed a public admonition on Howard Norman Bierman for violating the professional rule that governs diligence. In six cases involving foreclosure sales, he failed to timely file required documents with commissioners of accounts in Virginia Beach, Staunton, and Chesterfield County, and he failed to respond to inquiries from the commissioners. This was an agreed disposition of misconduct charges. RPC 1.3(a)

http://www.vsb.org/docs/Bierman_05-14-09.pdf
———
Peyton Moncure Chichester III
Richmond, Virginia
08-031-071258
On April 21, 2009, a Virginia State Bar Third District Subcommittee imposed a public reprimand on Peyton Moncure Chichester III for violating professional rules that govern diligence and communication in representing a client in a case of alleged housing discrimination. This was an agreed disposition of misconduct charges. RPC 1.3(a),(b); 1.4(a),(b)

http://www.vsb.org/docs/Chichester_05-14-09.pdf
———
Donald Jerome Gee
Richmond, Virginia
06-032-2891, 07-032-0580
On May 28, 2009, a Virginia State Bar Third District Subcommittee imposed a public reprimand with terms on Donald Jerome Gee for violating disciplinary rules that govern diligence, communication, fees, responsibilities regarding nonlawyer assistants; safekeeping property; and misconduct by violating the Rules of Professional Conduct or attempting to do so. The violations occurred in personal injury cases. This was an agreed disposition of misconduct charges. RPC 1.3(a); 1.4(a); 1.5(a)(1-8)&(c); 1.15(a)(1),(2)&(c)(4); 5.3(a); 8.4(a)

http://www.vsb.org/docs/Gee_06-11-09.pdf
———
Phillip Stone Griffin II
Winchester, Virginia
No. 06-070-2954
On May 27, 2009, the Virginia State Bar Seventh District Committee imposed a public admonition on Phillip Stone Griffin II for violating disciplinary rules that govern making false statement of fact or law to a tribunal and engaging in conduct that reflects adversely on a lawyer’s fitness to practice. The violations occurred during an action to collect unpaid attorney’s fees from a former client. RPC 3.3(a)(1); 8.4(c)

http://www.vsb.org/docs/Griffin_06-09-09.pdf
———
Mark Michael Kantro
Norfolk, Virginia
08-021-071117, 08-021-074925
On May 27, 2009, a Virginia State Bar Second District Subcommittee imposed a public reprimand with terms on Mark Michael Kantro for violating professional rules that govern competence, diligence, communication, and terminating representation. The misconduct occurred in two appeals of probation revocations. This was an agreed disposition of misconduct charges. RPC 1.1; 1.3(a),(b); 1.4(a-c); 1.16(b-d)

http://www.vsb.org/docs/Kantro_06-11-09.pdf
———
Christopher Broughton Shedlick
Falls Church, Virginia
07-051-070816
On June 8, 2009, a Virginia State Bar Fifth District, Section I, Subcommittee imposed a public reprimand with terms on Christopher Broughton Shedlick for violating professional rules that govern responsibilities regarding nonlawyer assistants, professional independence of a lawyer, unauthorized practice of law, communication and advertising about a lawyer’s services, and firm names and letterheads. The misconduct involved the management of Mr. Shedlick’s law office and his advertisements, which used the name and likeness of a disbarred attorney. This was an agreed disposition of misconduct charges. RPC 5.3(a),(b),(c)(1),(2); 5.4(a)(1-3); 5.5(a)(2); 7.1(a)(1); 7.5(a),(d)

http://www.vsb.org/docs/Shedlick_7-7-09.pdf
———
Keith Hamner Waldrop
Goochland, Virginia
08-070-070513
On June 8, 2009, a Virginia State Bar Seventh District Subcommittee imposed a public admonition on Keith Hamner Waldrop
for violating professional rules that govern diligence and communication. The misconduct occurred in a court-appointed criminal representation. This was an agreed disposition of misconduct charges. RPC 1.3(a); 1.4(a)

http://www.vsb.org/docs/Waldrop_7-7-09.pdf
———

Departments

Notices to VSB Members

Paragraph 13 Amendments


The Supreme Court of Virginia amended its Rules, Part 6, Section IV, Paragraph 13, regarding definitions and bonds required for filing of reinstatement petitions. The amendments became effective August 1, 2009.

Definitions
The definitions of “terms” and “costs” have been amended. (¶13.A)

Details: http://www.vsb.org/site/regulation/p13-definition-of-terms, http://www.vsb.org/site/regulation/p13-definition-of-costs

Reinstatement Bond
The bond that petitioners must post for payment of costs related to reinstatement proceedings has been increased from $3,500 to $5,000. (¶13.I.8.b(2))

Details: http://www.vsb.org/site/regulation/p13-increase-amount-reinstatement-bond

Paragraph 19 Amendments


Procedure for Administrative Suspension
The Supreme Court amended its procedures under its Rules, Part 6, Section IV, Paragraph 19, for the administrative suspension of a Virginia State Bar member, effective August 1, 2009. The changes:

  • Impose an additional fine of $100 on February 1 for noncompliance of the Court’s certification requirements for VSB members
  • Eliminate a requirement that notices of noncompliance be sent to the member by certified mail. The notices will be sent by regular mail.

Details: http://www.vsb.org/site/regulation/para19-102108

Final Opinions

Legal Ethics Opinion 1845

Use of Covert Tactics by the Virginia State Bar in Unauthorized Practice of Law Investigations

Details: http://www.vacle.org/opinions/1845.htm

Legal Ethics Opinion 1848

Use of Credit Cards for Legal Services

Details: http://www.vacle.org/opinions/1848.htm

MCLE Administrative Suspensions

A list has been posted of Virginia State Bar members who have been administratively suspended for failure to comply with the Mandatory Continuing Legal Education requirements prescribed in Part 6, Section IV, Paragraph 17, 13.2, and 19, Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia, Organization and Government of the Virginia State Bar.

The VSB has been unable to contact some of these persons. 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 posted list is current as of July 21, 2009.

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


Nominations Sought for Council Members at Large, Disciplinary Board, and MCLE Board


Virginia State Bar President Jon D. Huddleston has appointed a nominating committee to consider nominees for board vacancies in 2010 to be filled by the Supreme Court of Virginia. The committee consists of Manuel A. Capsalis, chair; John Y. Richardson; Judith L. Rosenblatt; Aubrey J. Rosser Jr.; and Edna Ruth Vincent.

Vacancies beginning on July 1, 2010, are listed below. Appointments are for the term specified. The nominating committee’s recommendations will be acted on by the Virginia State Bar Council in October 2009, and the names of the nominees will then be forwarded to the Supreme Court for consideration.

Nominations, along with a brief résumé, should be sent by September 8, 2009, to Manuel A. Capsalis, Chair, VSB Nominating Committee, Virginia State Bar, 707 East Main Street, Suite 1500, Richmond, VA 23219, or e-mailed to Valerie Breeden at breeden@vsb.org.

Council Members at Large

Three vacancies (for which one incumbent is eligible for reappointment to a second term). May serve two consecutive three-year terms.

Disciplinary Board

Six lawyer vacancies and one lay member vacancy (for which four lawyer members are eligible for reappointment to a second term). District committee experience is preferred. May serve two consecutive three-year terms.

Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Board

Three lawyer vacancies (for which two current members are eligible for reappointment to a second term). May serve two consecutive three-year terms.

Details: http://www.vsb.org/site/news/item/nominations-sought-for-boards-at-large/

October Council Proposals for Public Comment


The Virginia State Bar is seeking public comment on the following proposals, which will be considered at the VSB Council meeting on October 16, 2009, in Williamsburg. Comments should be sent in writing to Karen A. Gould, Executive Director, Virgignia State Bar, 707 East Main Street, Suite 1500, Richmond, VA 23219, no later than end of business on the date of deadline.

Duties to Prospective Client

Deadline for comment: September 24, 2009
Proposal: To establish a new rule to govern how a lawyer should handle potential client relationships and the disqualifying information that the potential client might convey. (Rules of Professional Conduct, new Rule 1.18)

Details: http://www.vsb.org/docs/Rule_1-18_3-26-09.pdf

Commonwealth’s Attorney — Advice to Law Enforcement

Deadline for comment: September 24, 2009
Proposal: To clarify that a commonwealth’s attorney can advise a law enforcement officer regarding the legality of an interrogation or other investigative conduct. (Amendment to Rules of Professional Conduct 4.2, Communications with Persons Represented by Council, Comment [5])

Details: http://www.vsb.org/site/regulation/rule-4-2

Paragraph 10 Amendments

Deadline for comment: September 24, 2009
Proposal: To reformat and amend Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia, Part 6, Section IV, Paragraph 10, regarding promulgation of legal ethics and unauthorized practice of law (UPL) opinions and rules of court. The changes would:

  • Update terminology and eliminate redundancy in procedures to provide notice and solicit public comment.
  • Require that the VSB seek the Virginia attorney general’s analysis of potential restraint on competition only for proposed UPL opinions that declare activity conducted by a nonlawyer to be UPL. No other UPL or ethics opinions and no other rules must be submitted for this analysis, under the amended Paragraph 10.
  • Include “foreign” lawyers (as defined in Rules of Professional Conduct 5.5(d)(1)) among the attorneys that VSB ethics counsel can give informal advice and opinions to.
  • Prevent ethics counsel from disclosing the content of advice and opinion provided to a lawyer, unless the lawyer consents in writing to the disclosure. The lawyer cannot withhold consent if the lawyer claims during a disciplinary investigation or hearing that he or she relied on the advice of ethics counsel.

Details: http://www.vsb.org/site/regulation/part-six-sect-iv-par-10/



Paragraph 13 — “Charges of Misconduct” References

Deadline for comment: September 28, 2009
Proposal: To amend the Procedure for Disciplining, Suspending, and Disbarring Attorneys by removing references to “charge of misconduct.” (Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia Part 6, §IV, ¶13)

Details: http://www.vsb.org/site/regulation/part-6-sect-iv-par-13-charge-misconduct

Payee Notification

Deadline for comment: September 28, 2009
Proposal: To require insurers that pay third-party liability claims to notify claimants when they disburse settlement proceeds of $5,000 or more to the claimants’ attorneys. This issue originally was to be considered at the June council meeting, but was postponed to extend time for comment. (This would require legislation.)

Details: http://www.vsb.org/site/public/payee-notification