Publications

Virginia Lawyer Register - January 2011

Contents

In this issue:

Disciplinary Proceedings

Disciplinary Summaries


Notices to Members


Proposal for Public Comment


Administrative Suspensions

Task Force Report


Final Legal Ethics Opinions


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


Disciplinary Proceedings

Respondent’s Name Address of RecordAction Effective Date
Circuit Courts
* Spencer Dean AultLovettsville, VARevocationOctober 27, 2010
 
Disciplinary Board
Steven Scott BissCharlottesville, VAPublic ReprimandOctober 18, 2010
Thomas Ray BreedenManassas, VAPublic ReprimandOctober 7, 2010
Gordon Earl Hannett Jr.Floyd, VAPublic Reprimand w/TermsOctober 15, 2010
Philip Alan LiebmanVirginia Beach, VARevocationOctober 25, 2010
Neal Orion ReidRichmond, VASuspension – 14 DaysNovember 19, 2010
Richard Glenn SolomonFalls Church, VARevocationNovember 18, 2010
District Committees
Richard L.J. McGarryRoanoke, VAPublic ReprimandOctober 20, 2010
Impairment Suspension
Effective Date
Gary Lance SmithWinchester, VAAugust 17, 2010 
Suspension – Failure to Pay Disciplinary Costs
Effective DateLifted
Caleb Michael EchterlingHarrisonburg, VANovember 17, 2010 
Brian GayVirginia Beach, VAOctober 29, 2010 
Dean Spiro KalivasSeattle, WAOctober 26, 2010 
Suspension – Failure to Comply with SubpoenaEffective DateLifted
Joseph Louis Tantoh TibuiSan Diego, CAOctober 26, 2010November 3, 2010
Bradley Douglas WeinRichmond, VAOctober 29, 2010 
*Supreme Court granted stay of suspension pending appeal.

 

Features

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

Circuit Court

Spencer Dean Ault
Lovettsville, Virginia
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)
http://www.vsb.org/docs/Ault-111710.pdf
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Disciplinary Board

Steven Scott Biss
Charlottesville, Virginia
07-033-070921
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)
http://www.vsb.org/docs/Biss-101910.pdf
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Thomas Ray Breeden
Manassas, Virginia
07-053-0953
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)
http://www.vsb.org/docs/Breeden-10221-.pdf
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Gordon Earl Hannett Jr.
Floyd, Virginia
09-101-078537
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)
http://www.vsb.org/docs/Hannett-102210.pdf
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Philip Alan Liebman
Virginia Beach, Virginia
09-022-079868, 10-022-080720
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
http://www.vsb.org/docs/Liebman-Consent-110510.pdf
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Neal Orion Reid
Richmond, Virginia
09-033-080089
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)
http://www.vsb.org/docs/Reid-110810.pdf
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Richard Glenn Solomon
Falls Church, Virginia
11-000-085437
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
http://www.vsb.org/docs/Solomon_111810.pdf
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District Committee

Richard Lawrence James McGarry
Roanoke, Virginia
09-080-075799
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)
http://www.vsb.org/docs/McGarry-110510.pdf
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Notices to Members

“Not in Good Standing” Search Available at VSB.org

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.
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Nominations Sought for VSB Committees

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 breeden@vsb.org by March 1, 2011. Questions should be addressed to Valerie Breeden, at (804) 775-0551 or breeden@vsb.org. Persons of diversity are encouraged to apply.
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Proposed Rule 7.2(c)(4) Removed from Consideration

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 [8], 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.

Details:
http://www.vsb.org/pro-guidelines/index.php/rule_changes/item/amendment-to-rule-7.4-revised-pursuant-to-ag-opinion/

Attorney General’s opinion:
http://www.oag.state.va.us/OPINIONS/2010opns/10-103-Gould.pdf
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Proposal for Public Comment

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.

Amendments to 1A:5, Part I, §§ (g), (h) Virginia Corporate Counsel

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 rule as it exists now is posted at http://www.courts.state.va.us/courts/scv/rulesofcourt.pdf.

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Administrative Suspensions

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.

Details: http://www.vsb.org/site/members/administrative-suspensions/
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Report of the Joint VSB/VBA Corporate Counsel Pro Bono Task Force

http://www.vsb.org/docs/VSB_VBA-TaskForceFinalReport_11-8-10.pdf

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Final Legal Ethics Opinions

LEO 1850 Outsourcing of Legal Services
Opinion: http://www.vacle.org/opinions/1850.htm

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.)
Opinion: http://www.vacle.org/opinions/1846.htm