October 27, 2023

Volunteers Sought for Local Disciplinary District Committees 2024

Volunteer attorneys and lay members are needed to serve on the Virginia State Bar’s Local Disciplinary District Committees beginning on July 1, 2024.

What are Disciplinary District Committees?

Local disciplinary district committees (District Committees) are the “engine” of attorney self-regulation. Along with the VSB Disciplinary Board and Committee on Lawyer Discipline, District Committee members play a unique and integral role in the attorney disciplinary process.

The 17 committees in 10 disciplinary districts review complaints and investigations against attorneys in their jurisdiction and determine whether there is sufficient evidence of a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct. Committee members also review agreed dispositions and hear disciplinary matters.

Each District Committee consists of 10 members, 7 active attorneys and 3 lay members. Sitting in subcommittees of 2 lawyers and 1 lay member, members review complaints of attorney misconduct which are referred for investigation to determine whether there is clear and convincing evidence of ethical misconduct and make dispositional and processing decisions when a determination of misconduct is made.

Where are the vacancies?

The table below identifies anticipated committee vacancies by judicial circuit. All terms begin July 1, 2024. Note: There are vacancies that may not become available, as some current members are eligible for reappointment which is detailed below.

VSB Disciplinary District Judicial Circuits   Attorney Vacancies
Lay Member Vacancies
First District 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 8th 2 (0/2) 1 (0/1)
Second District (2 sections) 2nd, 4th  3 (1/2) 0 (0/0)
Third District (3 sections) 6th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th 8 (3/5) 2 (2/0)
Fourth District (2 sections) 17th, 18th 3 (1/2) 2 (1/1)
Fifth District (3 sections) 19th, 31st 7 (4/3) 2 (2/0)
Sixth District 9th, 15th  2 (0/2) 1 (1/0)
Seventh District 16th, 20th, 26th 1 (0/1) 1 (1/0)
Eighth District 23rd, 25th  4 (1/3) 0 (0/0)
Ninth District 10th, 21st, 22nd, 24th 4 (3/1) 0 (0/0)
Tenth District (2 sections) 27th, 28th, 29th, 30th  5 (4/1) 2 (2/0)
* Some current committee members are eligible for reappointment. V- indicates a true vacancy seeking a candidate. R- indicates a reappointment is pending approval.

Each member of a District Committee must be a resident of or have his or her office in the District Committee area for which the member is appointed.

What is the application process?

Applications in the form of a résumé and short statement of interest are due February 28, 2024, to Stephanie Blanton – email [email protected] or mail to Virginia State Bar, 1111 East Main Street, Suite 700, Richmond, VA 23219-0026.

Interested applicants cannot have:

  • A criminal record
  • A disciplinary record of disbarment, revocation, or suspension
  • A public reprimand within the past 10 years
  • Private discipline within the past five years (with a few exceptions)

VSB Council members will nominate from the applicant pool within their districts, and the entire Council body will vote on nominees at the VSB Annual Meeting on May 30, 2024. If approved by the VSB Council, the new members’ terms begin July 1, 2024. Members serve staggered three-year terms – with two consecutive terms allowed.

Members attend a two-day disciplinary conference in early-August 2024 (with CLE credit). Serving on a District Committee is required to serve on the VSB Disciplinary Board which handles cases of suspension and revocation/disbarment.

Learn more about District Committees and other volunteer opportunities at the VSB.

VSB seeks balance and diversity in committee membership, not only in race and gender, but in geography, the types of practice areas in which lawyers are engaged, and the settings in which lawyers practice (e.g., solos to corporate counsel, prosecutors to defense).