Virginia Lawyer Register - January 2011
In this issue:
- “Not in Good Standing” Search Available at VSB.org
- Nominations Sought for VSB Committees
- Proposed Rule 7.2(c)(4) Removed from Consideration
- Report of the Joint Virginia State Bar-Virginia Bar Association Corporate Counsel Pro Bono Task Force
- LEO 1850 Outsourcing of Legal Services
- LEO 1846-Amended Is It Ethical for a Lawyer to Become a Member of a Lead-Sharing Organization?
View January Virginia Lawyer Register (PDF of mailed version with hyperlinks to additional materials)
|Respondent’s Name||Address of Record||Action||Effective Date|
|* Spencer Dean Ault||Lovettsville, VA||Revocation||October 27, 2010|
|Steven Scott Biss||Charlottesville, VA||Public Reprimand||October 18, 2010|
|Thomas Ray Breeden||Manassas, VA||Public Reprimand||October 7, 2010|
|Gordon Earl Hannett Jr.||Floyd, VA||Public Reprimand w/Terms||October 15, 2010|
|Philip Alan Liebman||Virginia Beach, VA||Revocation||October 25, 2010|
|Neal Orion Reid||Richmond, VA||Suspension – 14 Days||November 19, 2010|
|Richard Glenn Solomon||Falls Church, VA||Revocation||November 18, 2010|
|Richard L.J. McGarry||Roanoke, VA||Public Reprimand||October 20, 2010|
|Impairment Suspension||Effective Date|
|Gary Lance Smith||Winchester, VA||August 17, 2010|
|Suspension – Failure to Pay Disciplinary Costs||Effective Date||Lifted|
|Caleb Michael Echterling||Harrisonburg, VA||November 17, 2010|
|Brian Gay||Virginia Beach, VA||October 29, 2010|
|Dean Spiro Kalivas||Seattle, WA||October 26, 2010|
|Suspension – Failure to Comply with Subpoena||Effective Date||Lifted |
|Joseph Louis Tantoh Tibui||San Diego, CA||October 26, 2010||November 3, 2010|
|Bradley Douglas Wein||Richmond, VA||October 29, 2010|
|*Supreme Court granted stay of suspension pending appeal.|
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).
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 email@example.com. VSB docket numbers are provided.
Spencer Dean Ault
06-070-1371, 06-070-3262, 09-070-078760, 07-070-0688, 08-070-075105
On November 24, 2010, Spencer Dean Ault filed an appeal of the following revocation with the Supreme Court of Virginia.
Effective October 27, 2010, a three-judge panel of the Loudoun County Circuit Court revoked Spencer Dean Ault’s license to practice law for violating disciplinary rules that govern competence, diligence, conflict of interest involving prohibited transactions, candor toward a tribunal, truthfulness in statements to others, knowingly making a false statement in a disciplinary matter, and misconduct that reflects adversely on a lawyer’s fitness to practice. RPC 1.1; 1.3(a); 1.8(a)(1-3); 3.3(a)(1); 4.1(a); 8.1(a); 8.4(a-c)
Steven Scott Biss
On October 18, 2010, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board issued a public reprimand to Steven Scott Biss for violating a professional rule that governs conflict of interest involving a former client. This was an agreed disposition of misconduct charges. RPC 1.9(a)
Thomas Ray Breeden
On October 7, 2010, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board imposed a public reprimand on Thomas Ray Breeden for violating disciplinary rules that govern responsibilities of a partner or supervisory lawyer. This was an agreed disposition of misconduct charges. RPC 5.1(c)(1),(2)
Gordon Earl Hannett Jr.
On October 15, 2010, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board issued a public reprimand with terms to Gordon Earl Hannett Jr. for violating professional rules that govern misconduct that reflects adversely on a lawyer’s fitness to practice. This is an agreed disposition of misconduct charges. RPC 8.4(b),(c)
Philip Alan Liebman
Virginia Beach, Virginia
On October 25, 2010, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board revoked Philip Alan Liebman’s license to practice law. In agreeing to the revocation, Mr. Liebman acknowledged the truth of pending charges that he had violated disciplinary rules that govern diligence, communication, fees, and safekeeping property. Rules Part 6, § IV, ¶ 13-28
Neal Orion Reid
On October 22, 2010, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended Neal Orion Reid’s license to practice law for fourteen days, beginning November 19, 2010. He violated disciplinary rules that govern candor towards a tribunal and conduct involving fraud, deceit, dishonesty, or misrepresentation that reflects adversely on an attorney’s fitness to practice. This was an agreed disposition of misconduct charges. RPC 3.3(a)(1); 8.4(c)
Richard Glenn Solomon
Falls Church, Virginia
On November 18, 2010, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board revoked Richard Glenn Solomon’s license to practice law. In consenting to the revocation, Mr. Solomon admitted that the Maryland Court of Appeals disbarred him by consent in that state on September 9, 2010. On October 22, 2010, the Disciplinary Board summarily suspended his Virginia license pending a show cause hearing. Rules Part 6, § IV, ¶ 13-28
Richard Lawrence James McGarry
On October 20, 2010, the Virginia State Bar Eighth District Committee issued a public reprimand to Richard Lawrence James McGarry for violating disciplinary rules that govern fairness to an opposing party or counsel and truthfulness in statements to others. RPC 3.4(j); 4.1(a),(b)
The Virginia State Bar has added a new feature to its Attorney Records Search at http://www.vsb.org/attorney/attSearch.asp: the ability to search active Virginia lawyers’ names to see if they are not eligible to practice because their licenses are suspended or revoked.
The “Attorneys Not in Good Standing” search function was designed in conjunction with the VSB’s new permanent bar cards.
Lawyers are put on not-in-good-standing (NGS) status for administrative reasons — such as not paying dues or fulfilling continuing legal education requirements — and when their licenses are suspended or revoked for violating professional rules.
The NGS search can be used by the public with other attorney records searches — “Disciplined Attorneys” and “Attorneys without Malpractice Insurance” — to check on the status and disciplinary history of a lawyer.
Virginia State Bar President-elect George Warren Shanks invites Virginia lawyers to volunteer for committees essential to the self-regulation of the legal profession. Appointments generally will be for three-year terms that run from July 1, 2011, through June 30, 2014.
A list of committee vacancies is included with the application form at
http://www.vsb.org/docs/cmte_form.pdf and on page 8. To be considered for an appointment, fax the form to the bar at (804) 775-0501 or e-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org by March 1, 2011. Questions should be addressed to Valerie Breeden, at (804) 775-0551 or email@example.com. Persons of diversity are encouraged to apply.
The Virginia State Bar Standing Committee on Legal Ethics has removed from consideration a proposed Rule 7.2(c)(4) of the Rules of Professional Conduct, after the Virginia attorney general opined that the proposal would violate the state’s “capping and running” statue, Virginia Code §§ 54.1-3939 and 54.1-3941.
The Ethics Committee requested the opinion based on public comments received about the proposal. The proposed Rule 7.2(c)(4) and corresponding Comment , also withdrawn, would have allowed nonexclusive lead sharing arrangements between lawyers and other nonlawyer professionals. It was part of proposed changes to Rules 7.1-7.5, Lawyer Advertising and Solicitation, that will be considered by the VSB Council on February 26, 2011.
Attorney General’s opinion:
February Council Proposal — Public Comment Requested
The following proposal is published for public comment and is scheduled to be considered at the Virginia State Bar Council meeting on February 26, 2011. Comments should be submitted to Karen A. Gould, Executive Director, Virginia State Bar, 707 East Main Street, Suite 1500, Richmond, VA 23219, no later than end of business on the day of deadline.
Deadline for comment: February 14, 2011
The rule, proposed by a Virginia State Bar-Virginia Bar Association Task Force, would lift limitations and expand opportunities for Virginia corporate counsel to do pro bono work, and would state that all legal services provided by Virginia corporate counsel are subject to the Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct. The comment deadline is February 14, 2011.
Details: The Report of the Joint VSB-VBA Corporate Counsel Pro Bono Task Force follows on page 5. It also can be found at http://www.vsb.org/docs/VSB_VBA-TaskForceFinalReport_11-8-10.pdf The r.ule as it exists now is posted at http://www.courts.state.va.us/courts/scv/rulesofcourt.pdf.
As required by the Rules of the Virginia Supreme Court Part Six, § IV, ¶ 19, the Virginia State Bar has posted a list of members who were administratively suspended on October 8, 2010, for failure to comply with the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia, Part Six, § IV, ¶¶ 11 and/or 16, 18, or 19; or the Code of Virginia, §§ 54.1-3912 or 54.1-3913.1. These attorneys were notified of their suspensions using their last address of record with the Virginia State Bar; however, in some instances, this has not been effective. To assist the Virginia State Bar in re-establishing contact with these attorneys, anyone having knowledge of the present location and practice status of persons on this list should contact the VSB Membership Department. This list was last updated by the Membership Department on November 30, 2010.
LEO 1850 Outsourcing of Legal Services
LEO 1846-Amended Is It Ethical for a Lawyer to Become a Member of a Lead-Sharing Organization?
On December 29, 2010, the Virginia State Bar Standing Committee on Legal Ethics revised LEO 1846 to reference the Virginia attorney general’s opinion of December 7, 2010. (See “Proposed Rule 7.2(c)(4) Removed from Consideration,” page 4.)