Publications

Virginia Lawyer Register - March 2011

Contents

In this issue:

Disciplinary Proceedings

Disciplinary Summaries

Reinstatement Petitions

Proposal for Public Comment


Approved Rule Changes


Notice to Members


Nominations Sought for Special Board and Committee Vacancies

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


Disciplinary Proceedings

Respondent’s Name Address of RecordAction Effective Date
Circuit Courts
Jason Matthew Head
Virginia Beach, VASuspension w/Terms–30 daysDecember 16, 2010
George Anthony Yancey
Norfolk, VAPublic ReprimandOctober 27, 2010
Disciplinary Board
Gerald Manly Bowen
Herndon, VARevocationSeptember 24, 2010
Reuben Voll GreeneRichmond, VASuspension w/Terms–60 days
January 27, 2011
Sara Davis HarmanHenrico, VA
Suspension–3 yearsDecember 10, 2010
Jason Matthew HeadVirginia Beach, VACRESPA Registration RevokedDecember 10, 2010
  CRESPA PenaltyDecember 10, 2010
  Suspension–20 days
January 1, 2011
Sol Zalel RosenArlington, VARevocationDecember 7, 2010
Carlotta Bernice ThompsonRichmond, VARevocationDecember 9, 2010
Bradley Douglas WeinRichmond, VASuspension–6 months
September 24, 2010
  Suspension–4 years
September 24, 2010
District Committees
Mark Michael Kantro
Norfolk, VA
Public Reprimand w/TermsDecember 21, 2010
Donald Francis Lynch III
Richmond, VAPublic Admonition
December 1, 2010
Suspension – Failure to Pay Disciplinary Costs
Effective DateLifted
Denis Joseph McCarthyBlackstone, VAJanuary 19, 2011 
Dennis Lamar MontgomerySuffolk, VAOctober 2, 1996December 22, 2010
Joseph Dee MorrisseyHenrico, VAJune 21, 2001
December 28, 2010
Suspension – Failure to Comply with SubpoenaEffective DateLifted
James Fred Sumpter
Midlothian, VA
January 5, 2011January 27, 2011

 

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 Courts

Jason Matthew Head
Virginia Beach, Virginia
09-021-079570, 09-021-079674, 09-021-079973, 10-021-081241, 10-021-082943, 09-021-076887, 09-021-077448, 09-021-077661, 09-021-077839, 09-021-077860, 09-021-079565

Effective December 16, 2010, a three-judge panel in the Virginia Beach Circuit Court suspended Jason Matthew Head’s license to practice law for thirty days and imposed terms for violating professional rules that govern diligence; communication; safekeeping property; truthfulness in statements to others; communications concerning a lawyer’s services, firm names and letterheads; and misconduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s fitness to practice. Violations were found in five cases. Six other cases were dismissed. RPC 1.3(a); 1.4(a); 1.15(a)(1),(2), (e)(1)(i-v); 4.1(a); 7.1(a)(1); 7.5(a); 8.4(c)

http://www.vsb.org/docs/Head-010511.pdf
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George Anthony Yancey
Norfolk, Virginia
10-022-083268

On November 15, 2010, a three-judge panel in the Norfolk Circuit Court issued a public reprimand to George Anthony Yancey for violating disciplinary rules that govern diligence and terminating representation. The three-judge court affirmed the sanction imposed by the Virginia State Bar’s Second District Committee, Section II, for failing to comply with the terms of an earlier disciplinary matter. Rules Part 6, § IV, ¶ 13-16BB


Circuit court order: http://www.vsb.org/docs/Yancey-CC-010311.pdf


District committee order: http://www.vsb.org/docs/Yancey-010311.pdf

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Disciplinary Board

Gerald Manly Bowen
Herndon, Virginia
08-051-071879

On September 24, 2010, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board revoked Gerald Manly Bowen’s license to practice law for violating professional rules that govern fairness to opposing party and counsel, unauthorized practice of law, failing to respond to a lawful demand for information from the bar, and misconduct that involves dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation. RPC 3.4(d); 5.5(a)(1); 8.1(c); 8.4(a),(c)


http://www.vsb.org/docs/Bowen-Revocation-113010.pdf
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Reuben Voll Greene
Richmond, Virginia
09-033-076046, 09-033-078166, 10-033-081354, 10-033-080223

Effective January 27, 2011, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended Reuben Voll Greene’s license to practice law for sixty days and imposed terms on the suspension for violating professional rules that govern competence, diligence, communication, fees, safekeeping property, fairness to opposing party and counsel, and misconduct that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness or fitness to practice. This was an agreed disposition of disciplinary charges. Violations were found in three cases. One case was dismissed on the bar’s motion for lack of clear and convincing evidence. RPC 1.1; 1.3(a); 1.4(a); 1.5(a)(1-8); 1.15(a)(1),(2), (e)(1)(i-v), (f)(2),(3),(4)(i),(ii), (5)(i-iii), (6); 3.4(d),(g); 8.4(b)


http://www.vsb.org/docs/Greene-Reuben-020311.pdf
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Sara Davis Harman
Henrico, Virginia
10-032-080215

Effective December 10, 2010, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended Sara Davis Harman’s license to practice law for three years. The board found she violated disciplinary rules that govern competence, diligence, communication, conflict of interest involving a former client, imputed disqualification, declining or terminating representation, and misconduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s fitness to practice. This was an agreed disposition of misconduct charges. RPC 1.1; 1.3(a); 1.4(a),(b); 1.9(a); 1.10(a); 1.16(d),(e); 8.4(c)


http://www.vsb.org/docs/Harman-010311.pdf

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Jason Matthew Head
Virginia Beach, Virginia
10-000-082957

Effective January 1, 2011, the Virginia State Bar suspended Jason Matthew Head’s license to practice law for twenty days for violating requirements of the Consumer Real Estate Settlement Protection Act. The board also fined him $3,000 and revoked his CRESPA registration, effective December 10, 2010. This was an agreed disposition of CRESPA charges. Virginia Code § 6.1-2.21, § 6.1-2.23; 15 VAC 5-80-30, 5-80-50


http://www.vsb.org/docs/Head-010311.pdf
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Sol Zalel Rosen
Arlington, Virginia
09-021-078910

On December 7, 2010, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board revoked Sol Zalel Rosen’s license to practice law. In consenting to the revocation, Mr. Rosen acknowledged the truth of the material facts of a pending disciplinary matter and that he could not successfully defend against it. Rules Part 6, § IV, ¶ 13-28


http://www.vsb.org/docs/Rosen-Consent-Revoc-010311.pdf
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Carlotta Bernice Thompson
Richmond, Virginia
08-032-074710, 08-032-075416, 09-032-076423, 09-032-076797, 09-032-077036, 09-032-077496, 09-032-078036, 09-032-077730, 09-032-077797, 09-032-078520, 10-032-080899

On December 9, 2010, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board revoked Carlotta Bernice Thompson’s license to practice law for violating professional rules that govern diligence, communication, fees, safekeeping property, declining or terminating representation, false statements to a tribunal, failing to respond to the bar’s lawful demand for information, and dishonest conduct that reflects adversely on a lawyer’s fitness to practice. RPC 1.3(a),(b); 1.4(a); 1.5(a)(1-8); 1.15(a)(1),(2), (c)(3), (e)(1)(i-v), (2)(i-iii); 1.16(a)(1), (c-e); 3.3(a)(1),(4); 8.1(c); 8.4(b),(c)

http://www.vsb.org/docs/Thompson-Revocation-011811.pdf
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Bradley Douglas Wein
Richmond, Virginia
07-032-0903, 07-032-1855, 08-032-073809
On September 24, 2010, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended Bradley Douglas Wein’s license to practice law for four years in one case and six months in another, to run concurrently. The board found he violated professional rules that govern diligence, conflict of interest: general rule, conflict of interest: prohibited transactions, safekeeping property, declining or terminating representation, responsibilities regarding nonlawyer assistants, and misconduct that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness to practice. A third case was dismissed for lack of clear and convincing evidence. RPC 1.3(c), 1.7(a)(2); 1.8(a); 1.15(a)(1-2), (b), (c)(3),(4); 1.16(a)(1); 5.3(a),(b),(c)(1),(2); 8.4(a-c)

http://www.vsb.org/docs/Wein-final-120910.pdf

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District Committee

Mark Michael Kantro
Norfolk, Virginia
09-021-079252

On December 21, 2010, a Virginia State Bar Second District–Section I Subcommittee issued a public reprimand with terms to Mark Michael Kantro for violating disciplinary rules that govern diligence and fees. This was an agreed disposition of misconduct charges. RPC 1.3(a-c); 1.5(a)

http://www.vsb.org/docs/Kantro-010311.pdf
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Donald Francis Lynch III
Richmond, Virginia
09-033-076156

On December 1, 2010, a Virginia State Bar Third District Subcommittee issued a public admonition to Donald Francis Lynch III for violating professional rules that govern diligence and communication. RPC 1.3(a); 1.4(c)

http://www.vsb.org/docs/Lynch-010311.pdf
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Reinstatement Petitions

The Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board seeks information about the following petitioners’ fitness to practice law. Written comments or requests to testify at a hearing may be submitted to Barbara S. Lanier, Clerk of the Disciplinary System, 707 East Main Street, Suite 1500, Richmond, Virginia 23219, or to clerk@vsb.org by the date of deadline. Comments will become part of the public record.

Joseph Dee Morrissey
Deadline for comment: April 13, 2011

Pursuant to Part 6, Section IV, Paragraph 13-25 of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia, Joseph Dee Morrissey petitioned the Supreme Court on July 2, 2010, for reinstatement of his license to practice law. The Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board will hear the petition on April 22, 2011, at 9 am at the Workers’ Compensation Commission, 1000 DMV Drive, Courtroom A, Richmond. After hearing evidence and oral argument, the Disciplinary Board will make factual findings and recommend to the Supreme Court whether the petition should be granted or denied.

The Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board revoked Mr. Morrissey’s license on April 25, 2003, for failing to comply with the obligations imposed by Part Six, Section IV, Paragraph 13.K.(1) of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia to give timely notice of the suspension of his law license to his clients, opposing counsel, and courts before which matters were pending; to make appropriate arrangements in compliance with the wishes of his clients; and to furnish proof thereof to the Virginia State Bar. This action derived from the suspension imposed upon him in a proceeding styled Virginia State Bar, ex rel, Third District Committee, Section II, Joseph D. Morrissey, Chancery No. HK, 1655 (Richmond Cir. Ct. Feb. 18, 2000).

At the time of the hearing that resulted in the revocation of his law license, Mr. Morrissey’s prior disciplinary record (received into evidence by the Disciplinary Board at the April 25, 2003 revocation hearing) included three dismissals with terms, one private reprimand, one public reprimand, a six-month suspension, a three-year suspension, and a show-cause summary suspension of his law license based on his disbarment by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia (the show cause matter was dismissed subject to an agreement described below).

Specifically, Mr. Morrissey’s record includes:

  • a dismissal with terms in April 1990 that required him to attend the Virginia State Bar Professionalism Course and certify that he would establish and maintain a trust account if he returned to private practice;
  • a dismissal with terms in September 1990 that required him to attend two hours of legal ethics training after findings that he represented a criminal defendant in the same matter for which he previously prosecuted him while serving as commonwealth’s attorney;
  • a dismissal with terms in June 1993 that required him to write a letter of apology to the presiding judge in a case in which he, while serving as commonwealth’s attorney, amended a felony warrant of arrest for drunken driving down to misdemeanor reckless driving without leave of court;
  • a private reprimand in December 1990 for failing to perfect two criminal appeals and for failing to keep the client reasonably informed about them;
  • a public reprimand in March 1992 for his involvement, while serving as commonwealth’s attorney, in a fist fight with opposing counsel in a criminal trial conducted in the Circuit Court for the City of Richmond (see Morrissey v. Virginia State Bar, 260 Va. 472, 488, 538 S.E.2d 677, 680 Va. 2000);
  • a six-month suspension in December 1993 for misconduct that constituted “dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation” in arranging a plea bargain in a rape case in which the charge was reduced to a misdemeanor and the defendant’s father paid $25,000 to the victim and $25,000 to charities designated by Mr. Morrissey while Mr. Morrissey was serving as commonwealth’s attorney, and for concealing this portion of the agreement from the victim, who had indicated to Mr. Morrissey that she wanted more than $25,000 as an “accord and satisfaction” (See Morrissey v. Virginia State Bar, 248 Va. 334, 338, 448 S.E.2nd 615, 617 Va. 1994);
  • a three-year suspension in December 1999 deriving from his conviction on two counts of contempt for violating Local Rule 57 (C) of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia (making public statements about the identity, testimony or credibility of prospective witnesses), for which he was sentenced to ninety days’ imprisonment followed by three years of probation, and a third citation of contempt for his angry outburst directed at the presiding judge during a sentencing hearing in the Chesterfield County Circuit Court (see Morrissey v. Virginia State Bar, 260 Va. at 477, 538 S.E.2d at 679); and
  • a show-cause summary suspension of his law license in October 2002 deriving from his disbarment from practice in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, effective December 21, 2001, in which the court addressed the matters set forth above and Mr. Morrissey’s subsequent violations of the conditions of probation (attempting to circumvent the conditions of probation and lying to probation officer), resulting in an additional ninety-day jail sentence and the revocation of his probation. See In re: Joseph D. Morrissey, 305 F.3d 211 (4th Cir. 2002). In return for Mr. Morrissey’s withdrawal of the appeal of the April 2003 revocation of his law license, the Virginia State Bar agreed to dismiss the show cause matter.

 

In his July 2, 2010, petition, Mr. Morrissey states that his license to practice law has been suspended or revoked for ten years; that he earned a master of laws degree, graduating with honors, from Trinity College, Dublin, in 2003; that he was scheduled to take the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam on August 6, 2010, and was nearing completion of sixty hours of continuing legal education credits, at least ten of which were in ethics or professionalism; that he has kept abreast of the law as a teacher, student, and state legislator; that he taught law school at the Dublin Institute of Technology for two years (2001-2003); that he was a lecturer of law at Portobello College, Ireland (2001-2002); that in Australia he taught law school at the University of Adelaide and the University of Western Sydney; and that he serves as a delegate in the Virginia General Assembly. He attached letters from law school officials describing his student record and teaching and advocacy abilities.

Copies of Mr. Morrissey’s disciplinary orders are available from the clerk at clerk@vsb.org or (804) 775-0539.

Salvage DeLacy Stith
Deadline for comment: May 11, 2011

Pursuant to Part 6, Section IV, Paragraph 13-25 of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia, Salvage DeLacy Stith petitioned the Court on June 10, 2010, for reinstatement of his license to practice law. The Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board will hear the petition on May 20, 2011, at 9 am at the State Corporation Commission, Tyler Building, 1300 East Main Street, Second Floor, Courtroom A, Richmond. After hearing evidence and oral argument, the Disciplinary Board will make factual findings and recommend to the Supreme Court whether the petition should be granted or denied.

The Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board revoked Mr. Stith’s license on June 24, 1994, for improper record keeping that resulted in overdrafts of his trust account, and for neglect of client legal matters in three criminal cases in which he failed to appeal properly.

At the time of the hearing that resulted in his disbarment, Mr. Stith’s prior disciplinary record included three private reprimands, two public reprimands, a three-year suspension, a twelve-month suspension, and an agreed disposition of other wrongdoing.

Specifically, Mr. Stith’s record includes:

  • a private reprimand in 1978 for failure to perfect an appeal;
  • an agreed disposition in 1983 in which he agreed not to make loans to clients and not to endorse clients’ names to settlement checks;
  • a private reprimand in 1984 for commingling funds and failing to maintain his trust account properly;
  • a private reprimand in 1986 for mishandling a case;
  • a public reprimand in 1987 for neglect of a divorce matter;
  • a three-year suspension in 1987 for making loans to himself out of his trust account;
  • a public reprimand in 1993 for failure to perfect an appeal; and
  • a twelve-month suspension in 1993 for continuing to represent a client after he had been discharged by the client.

 

This is Mr. Stith’s fourth petition for reinstatement. The first was denied by the Supreme Court on May 19, 1999, as insufficient to support a referral to the Disciplinary Board. The second was denied by the Court without opinion on October 2, 2001; on that occasion a Disciplinary Board panel recommended reinstatement, with two members filing a written dissent. The third was denied by the Court on June 18, 2007, without opinion, following a board recommendation that reinstatement be denied.

In his June 10, 2010, petition, Mr. Stith states that it has been seventeen years since his revocation; he taught for sixteen years on the faculty of Elizabeth City State University and retired as an associate professor with tenure in the Social Sciences Department; and he has kept abreast of legal developments by attending continuing legal education programs at annual conventions of the Old Dominion Bar Association and by reading legislative digests and appellate opinions of the Virginia Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of Virginia.
Copies of Mr. Stith’s disciplinary orders are available from the clerk at clerk@vsb.org or (804) 775-0539.

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Proposal for Public Comment

The following proposal is published for public comment and is scheduled to be considered at the Virginia State Bar Council meeting on June 16, 2011. Comments 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 end of business on the day of deadline.

Bylaws of the Virginia State Bar and Council Part II, Article VIII

Standing Committees

Deadline for comment: May 10, 2011

The proposal would change from three to two the number of Virginia State Bar Council members required to serve on the Standing Committees on Legal Ethics and Unauthorized Practice of Law.

Text of proposed changes (new language indicated by underlining):

  • Sec. 1. Committee on Legal Ethics —There shall be a standing committee to be appointed by the president and to be known as the Committee on Legal Ethics. The committee shall consist of nine active members of the bar, at least three two of whom shall be members of the Council. All powers and duties of the Council with respect to legal ethics, not otherwise delegated or reserved, shall be exercised and discharged by the committee.

    Members shall be appointed to three-year terms. No member shall serve more than two consecutive three-year terms. A member appointed to fill an unexpired term shall be eligible to serve two additional full three-year terms. An eligible member wishing to be reappointed shall be required to reapply in writing prior to the end of his or her current term under procedures established by Council and administered by the executive director.
  • Sec. 2. Committee on Unauthorized Practice of Law —There shall be a standing committee to be appointed by the president and to be known as the Committee on the Unauthorized Practice of Law. The committee shall consist of nine members. Seven of the members shall be active members of the bar, at least three two of whom shall be members of the Council. Two of the members shall be non-lawyers. All powers and duties of the Council with respect to the unauthorized practice of the law, not otherwise delegated or reserved, shall be exercised and discharged by the committee.

    Members shall be appointed to three-year terms. No member shall serve more than two consecutive three-year terms. A member appointed to fill an unexpired term shall be eligible to serve two additional full three-year terms. An eligible member wishing to be reappointed shall be required to reapply in writing prior to the end of his or her current term under procedures established by Council and administered by the executive director.

 

Details: Proposal posted online at http://www.vsb.org/pro-guidelines/index.php/rule_changes/item/amendments-to-bylaws-for-vsb-standing-committees/

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Approved Rule Change

Rules of the Virginia Supreme Court Part 6, § IV, ¶ 17
Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Rule

Effective: January 7, 2011

The Supreme Court of Virginia approved amendments to the Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Rule that:

increase the number of MCLE Board members required to approve new regulations or amendments from three (a majority of a board quorum) to seven (a majority of the twelve-member board); 

require the board to submit proposed regulations to the Virginia State Bar Council for advice and comment before they are adopted; and   

authorize the council to reject, by a two-thirds vote of council members present and voting, board-approved new or amended regulations. This authority begins with regulatory changes by the board on or after July 1, 2010. A rejection would result in suspension of enforcement of the regulation until it has been approved or modified by the Supreme Court.


Details: http://www.vsb.org/pro-guidelines/index.php/rule_changes/item/amendments-to-paragraph-17-regarding-mcle-rule/

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License Forfeitures

The names of Virginia State Bar members who have forfeited their licenses to practice law for failure to pay annual membership fees are posted at http://www.vsb.org/site/members/license-forfeitures/. Forfeiture is governed by §54.1-3914, Code of Virginia. The list is current as of February 4, 2011.