Publications

Virginia Lawyer Register - May 2011

Contents

In this issue:

Disciplinary Proceedings

Disciplinary Summaries

Proposals for Public Comment

Approved Rule Changes

Notices to Members

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


Disciplinary Proceedings

Respondent’s Name Address of RecordAction Effective Date
Circuit Courts
Henry St. John Fitzgerald
 Arlington, VA Public Reprimand
 January 11, 2011
Edward Ruffin House
 Suffolk, VA Revocation January 5, 2011
 
Disciplinary Board
Richard Anthony Bednar Farmington, UT Suspension — 3 years March 23, 2011
Larry Cecil Brown Jr. Alexandria, VA Public Admonition w/Terms February 15, 2011
Arthur Charles Ermlich Jr.
 Virginia Beach, VA

Suspension w/Terms — 5 days

Suspension — 6 months

January 28, 2011

January 28, 2011

Steven Frank Helm Salem, VA Revocation April 1, 2011
Keh Soo Park Fairfax, VA Revocation March 8, 2011
Peter Jung-Wook Rim
 Annandale, VA Public Reprimand w/Terms 
 February 18, 2011
Michael Raymond Thames Arlington, VA Public Reprimand w/Terms
 January 27, 2011
Karen Patricia Woolley Southern Pines, NC Suspension — 30 days
 February 4, 2011
 
District Committees
Clay Bennett Blanton Quinton, VA Public Reprimand March 15, 2011
Gregory Thomas Casker Chatham, VA Public Reprimand February 3, 2011
James Fred Sumpter  Midlothian, VA Public Reprimand w/Terms
 March 3, 2011
Walter Ware Morrison Virginia Beach, VA Public Reprimand w/Terms
 March 14, 2011
 
Suspension—Impairment
Effective Date
Clarence Flippo Hicks Gloucester, VA February 25, 2011 
 
Suspension – Failure to Pay Disciplinary Costs
Effective DateLifted
Gerald Manly Bowen  Herndon, VA February 15, 2011 
Walter Franklin Green IV Harrisonburg, VA February 11, 2011 
Philip Alan Liebman Virginia Beach, VA March 14, 2011 
Sol Zalel Rosen Arlington, VA February 11, 2011 
Richard Glenn Solomon Falls Church, VA March 4, 2011 
 
Suspension – Failure to Comply with SubpoenaEffective DateLifted
Tracey Suzann Foughty-Deavers  Fairfax, VA
  
Brian Gay Virginia Beach, VA  
John Russell Ward Virginia Beach, VA  
 

 

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

Henry St. John Fitzgerald
Arlington, Virginia
09-041-076478
On January 11, 2011, a three-judge panel in the Arlington County Circuit Court imposed a public reprimand on Henry St. John Fitzgerald for violating a professional rule that governs declining or terminating representation. This was an agreed disposition of misconduct charges. RPC 1.16(d),(e)
http://www.vsb.org/docs/Fitzgerald-012611.pdf

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Edward Ruffin House
Suffolk, Virginia
10-010-082618
On January 5, 2011, a three-judge panel in the Circuit Court of the City of Suffolk revoked Edward Ruffin House’s license to practice law for violating professional rules that govern safekeeping property and dishonest conduct that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s fitness to practice. RPC 1.15(a); 8.4(b),(c)
http://www.vsb.org/docs/House-022511.pdf

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Disciplinary Board

Richard Anthony Bednar
Farmington, Utah
09-052-078586, 09-052-079643, 09-052-079974, 10-052-081160
On March 23, 2011, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended Richard Anthony Bednar’s license to practice law for three years for violating professional rules that govern diligence, communication, safekeeping property, declining or terminating representation, and failing to respond to a lawful demand for information from a disciplinary authority. This was an agreed disposition of misconduct charges. RPC 1.3(a); 1.4(a); 1.15(a)(2), (c)(4); 1.16(a)(2), (d), (d); 8.1(c)
http://www.vsb.org/docs/Bednar-032411.pdf

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Larry Cecil Brown Jr.
Alexandria, Virginia
07-053-2705
On February 15, 2011, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board issued a public admonition with terms to Larry Cecil Brown Jr. for violating a disciplinary rule that governs safekeeping property. This was an agreed disposition of misconduct charges. RPC 1.15(a)(2)
http://www.vsb.org/docs/Brown-022511.pdf

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Arthur Charles Ermlich Jr.
Virginia Beach, Virginia
10-022-083391
Effective January 28, 2011, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended Arthur Charles Ermlich Jr.’s license to practice law for five days and imposed terms on the suspension for violating a professional rule that governs declining or terminating representation by failing to return a client’s file. This was an agreed disposition of misconduct charges. RPC 1.16(e)
http://www.vsb.org/docs/Ermlich-Susp-Terms-021511.pdf

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Arthur Charles Ermlich Jr.
Virginia Beach, Virginia
10-022-083032
On January 28, 2011, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended Arthur Charles Ermlich Jr.’s license to practice law for six months for violating professional rules that govern diligence, communication, and failing to protect a client’s interest after terminating representation. RPC 1.3(a); 1.4(a); 1.16(d)
http://www.vsb.org/docs/Ermlich-021511.pdf

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Steven Frank Helm
Salem, Virginia
10-080-083744, 11-080-084690, 11-080-086004
On April 1, 2011, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board revoked Steven Frank Helm’s license to practice law. In consenting to the revocation, Mr. Helm acknowledged the truth of material facts of pending disciplinary complaints and that he could not successfully defend prosecution of charges based on the complaints. Rules Part 6, § IV, ¶ 13-28
http://www.vsb.org/docs/Helm-040111.pdf

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Keh Soo Park
Fairfax, Virginia
09-052-078381, 11-052-086577
On March 8, 2011, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board revoked Keh Soo Park’s license to practice law. In consenting to the revocation, Mr. Park acknowledged the truth of material facts of pending disciplinary complaints and that he could not successfully defend prosecution of charges based on the complaints. Rules Part 6, § IV, ¶ 13-28
http://www.vsb.org/docs/Park-Revocation-032811.pdf

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Peter Jung-Wook Rim
Annandale, Virginia
08-053-074843
On February 18, 2011, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board imposed a public reprimand with terms on Peter Jung-Wook Rim for violating professional rules that govern responsibilities regarding nonlawyer assistants and deliberate misconduct that reflects adversely on a lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness to practice. This was an agreed disposition of misconduct charges. RPC 5.3(b),(c)(1); 8.4(b)
http://www.vsb.org/docs/Rim-022811.pdf

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Michael Raymond Thames
Arlington, Virginia
09-041-079745
On January 27, 2011, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board issued a public reprimand with terms to Michael Raymond Thames for violating or attempting to violate a disciplinary rule. RPC 1.3(a)
http://www.vsb.org/docs/Thames-Amended-021511.pdf

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Karen Patricia Woolley
Southern Pines, North Carolina
08-070-075359
On February 4, 2011, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended Karen Patricia Woolley’s license to practice law for thirty days for violating professional rules that govern confidentiality of information, conflict of interest involving prohibited transactions, and safekeeping property. This was an agreed disposition of misconduct charges. RPC 1.6(a); 1.8(e)(1),(2); 1.15(a)(1),(2), (e)(1)(i-v),(2)(i-iii), (f)(2),(4)(i),(ii),(5)(i-iii),(6);
http://www.vsb.org/docs/Woolley-021511.pdf

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District Committee

Clay Bennett Blanton
Quinton, Virginia
09-060-077450
On March 15, 2011, a Virginia State Bar Sixth District Subcommittee imposed a public reprimand on Clay Bennett Blanton for violating disciplinary rules that govern competence and diligence. This was an agreed disposition of misconduct charges. RPC 1.1; 1.3(a)
http://www.vsb.org/docs/Blanton-Determination-032811.pdf

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Gregory Thomas Casker
Chatham, Virginia
10-090-082948, 10-090-083386, 10-090-083225
On February 3, 2011, a Virginia State Bar Ninth District Subcommittee issued a public reprimand to Gregory Thomas Casker for violating professional rules that govern diligence and communication. This was an agreed disposition of misconduct charges. RPC 1.3(a); 1.4(a)
http://www.vsb.org/docs/Casker-021511.pdf

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James Fred Sumpter
Midlothian, Virginia
11-032-085088
On March 3, 2011, a Virginia State Bar Third District–Section II Subcommittee issued a public reprimand with terms on James Fred Sumpter for violating professional rules that govern competence, diligence, and communication. This was an agreed disposition of misconduct charges. RPC 1.1; 1.3(a),(b); 1.4(a)
http://www.vsb.org/docs/Sumpter-032811.pdf

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Walter Ware Morrison
Virginia Beach, Virginia
10-021-083030
On March 14, 2011, a Virginia State Bar Second District Subcommittee imposed a public reprimand with terms on Walter Ware Morrison for violating professional rules that govern communication, fees, and safekeeping property. This was an agreed disposition of misconduct charges. RPC 1.4(b); 1.5(a),(b); 1.15(a)
http://www.vsb.org/docs/Morrison-Determination-032811.pdf
 

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Proposals for Public Comment

The VSB Standing Committee on Legal Ethics requests public comment on the following proposed ethics opinions. Comments should be submitted in writing 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 date of deadline.

Proposed Legal Ethics Opinion 1856
Scope of Practice for Foreign Lawyer in Virginia

Deadline for comment: June 2, 2011
Proposed Legal Ethics Opinion 1856 develops the application of Virginia ethics rules to multijurisdictional practice in the commonwealth. The advisory opinion addresses a hypothetical Virginia law firm in which some of the partners and associates are licensed in other U.S. jurisdictions or a foreign nation, but not Virginia. The Ethics Committee examines under what conditions these “foreign lawyers,” as defined under Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct 5.5(d)(1), can practice on a temporary basis or “continuously and systematically” under Rule 5.5. The opinion also addresses the conditions under which foreign lawyers can work for a Virginia law firm as contract attorneys.
Draft opinion:  http://www.vsb.org/site/regulation/leo-1856

Proposed Legal Ethics Opinion 1858
May a Lawyer Agree to Indemnify an Insurance Company as a Condition of Settlement?

Deadline for comment: June 2, 2011
Proposed Legal Ethics Opinion 1856 asks two questions: May a plaintiff’s lawyer agree to indemnify a defendant or the defendant’s insurer for a third-party lien claim against settlement proceeds received by the plaintiff? And may the defendant’s counsel request or demand an indemnification agreement as a condition of settlement? The opinion concludes that the plaintiff’s lawyer cannot ethically agree to pay an unreimbursed lien, nor can the defendant’s lawyer make indemnification of the third party lien by the plaintiff’s lawyer a condition of settlement.
Draft opinion:  http://www.vsb.org/site/regulation/leo-1858
 

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Approved Rule Changes

Rules of the Virginia Supreme Court Part 1A, Rule 1A:5
Virginia Corporate Counsel

Effective: April 15, 2011
The Supreme Court of Virginia approved amendments to Rule 1A:5 that were proposed by the Joint Virginia State Bar-Virginia Bar Association Corporate Counsel Pro Bono Task Force and endorsed by the VSB Council. The Court amended the previous rule to lift limitations and expand opportunities for Part I corporate counsel, who are admitted in states other than Virginia, to do pro bono work subject to the VSB’s regulatory authority while they do that work.  The Court removed requirements that the registrants’ work be supervised by a Virginia-licensed legal aid society, that the work be supervised by a legal aid lawyer or pro bono volunteer who is an active member of the VSB, and that limited the legal services the registrant could provide.
Amended rule: http://www.vsb.org/pro-guidelines/index.php/rule_changes/item/the-joint-virginia-state-bar-and-virginia-bar-association-corporate-counsel/

Rules of the Virginia Supreme Court Part 6, §  IV, ¶ 11
Dues
Effective:  March 9, 2011
These amendments to Part 6, § IV, ¶ 11 of the Rules of the Virginia Supreme Court provide the Virginia State Bar with more flexibility for setting dues. Previously, Paragraph 11 required the VSB to charge $250 for active members and $125 for associate members.  The new rule permits the VSB to charge up to $250 for active members and $125 for associate members. The VSB is required to report to the Court the proposed annual dues amount on or before April 1 for the following fiscal year.
Amended rule: http://www.vsb.org/pro-guidelines/index.php/rule_changes/item/amendments-to-paragraph-11-regarding-vsb-annual-dues/
 

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Notices to Members

Rules of the Virginia Supreme Court Part 6,  IV, ¶ 13
Procedure for Disciplining, Suspending, and Disbarring Attorneys

Effective: February 17, 2011
These changes address the Virginia State Bar’s procedures for implementing Court multijurisdictional practice rules, which regulate lawyers who are not members of the Virginia State Bar, but who are authorized to conduct a limited practice here.
Amended rule: http://www.vsb.org/pro-guidelines/index.php/rule_changes/item/amendments-to-paragraph-13-regarding-multijurisdictional-practice/

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