Virginia State Bar Council to Review Unauthorized Practice of Law Opinion 217
view draft of UPL 217 (PDF file posted 08/09/13)
Pursuant to Part Six: Section IV, Paragraph 10 of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia, the Virginia State Bar Council, at its meeting on October 4, 2013, at 9:00 a.m. at the Marriott Waterside Hotel in Norfolk, Virginia, is expected to consider for approval, disapproval, or modification, a proposed Unauthorized Practice of Law Opinion 217, Non-Lawyer Acting as Prosecutor in a Criminal Contempt Proceeding.
UPL Opinion 217
UPL Opinion 217 was issued by the Standing Committee on the Unauthorized Practice of Law on August 6, 2013. This opinion addresses whether it is the unauthorized practice of law for a non-lawyer party in a civil domestic relations matter to act as prosecutor for criminal contempt proceedings arising from the domestic relations matter.
In this proposed opinion, the father, a non-lawyer party to the civil visitation case and the moving party/complaining witness on the show cause/criminal contempt charges, is allowed to stand in as prosecutor for the Commonwealth to prosecute the alleged offending parent, who is also the adverse party in the civil matter. The Committee concludes that the father’s activity is the unauthorized practice of law.
Inspection and Comment
The proposed unauthorized practice of law opinion may be inspected at the office of the Virginia State Bar, 707 East Main Street, Suite 1500, Richmond, Virginia 23219-2800, between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Copies of the proposed opinion can be obtained from the offices of the Virginia State Bar by contacting the Office of Ethics Counsel at (804) 775-0557, or can be found at the Virginia State Bar’s website at http://www.vsb.org.
Not later than September 9, 2013, any individual, business, or other entity may file or submit to Karen A. Gould, the Executive Director of the Virginia State Bar, a written comment in support of or in opposition to the proposed advisory opinion.Updated: Aug 09, 2013