VIRGINIA UPL OPINION 130


Collection of Legal Fees and Costs by Suspended Lawyer Acting Pro Se.

You have indicated that you have a concern regarding the collection of monies due you under two circumstances which occurred prior to the suspension of your license. The first situation regards your pursuit on a pro se basis of payments due you on a number of discounted notes. The second situation involves your filing and pursuing litigation in your own name to collect attorneyís fees and costs due you from that period of time prior to your suspension. Some of those attorney’s fees have been reduced to judgment and others are merely outstanding debts.

The Committee has reviewed your request and is of the opinion that you may represent yourself pro se in the two situations described, with two provisos. First, you may only do so if the claim you are pursuing is in your name alone. Thus, if the fees are due to you as a member of a partnership or if the discounted notes are due you and a co-owner (your spouse or other party), you may not proceed pro se since in doing so would be representing another party while your license to practice law is suspended. Second, the Committee cautions that you must take every precaution to be certain that opposing parties, their counsel, and the court know that you are proceeding pro se and not in any capacity as a lawyer.

Committee Opinion
March 10, 1989

 

Updated: Aug 28, 2006