VSB Docket No. 01-062-0289


Pursuant to Virginia Supreme Court Rules of Court Part Six: IV, 13(B)(5) and Council Rule of Disciplinary Procedure IV(B), the Virginia State Bar, by Assistant Bar Counsel Claude V. Worrell, II, and the Respondent, Joseph Rocco Caprio, Esq. hereby enter into an Agreed Disposition arising out of the above-referenced matter.

Both parties affirm that the proposed Subcommittee Determination of a Public Reprimand with Terms, a true copy of which is attached hereto and incorporated herein by reference, reflects the stipulated facts, violations, and disposition for the above-referenced matter.

Respondent understands that should the Subcommittee accept this agreed disposition by unanimous vote, the Subcommittee Determination will be signed by the Chair or Chair Designate and thereafter mailed without the necessity of any hearing or further notice to the parties. Further, it is understood and agreed by the parties hereto that should the Subcommittee refuse the agreed disposition neither party shall be bound by the stipulations or findings contained herein and this matter shall be forthwith scheduled for a hearing by the full Committee.




Claude V. Worrell, II

Assistant Bar Counsel


Joseph Rocco Caprio



Barry R. Taylor

Counsel for the Respondent


Pursuant to Virginia Supreme Court Rules of Part Six: IV, 13(B)(5)(b)(4) and Council Rule of Disciplinary Procedure IV(B)(4), the duly convened subcommittee of the Sixth District of the Virginia State Bar hereby accepts the Agreed Disposition in this matter.

Date: __________ _________________________________

Date: __________ _________________________________

Date: __________ _________________________________






VSB Docket No. 01-062-0289



On the 7th day of November, 2001, a meeting in this matter was held before a duly convened Sixth District subcommittee consisting of William Ethan Glover, Esq., Mark A. Butterwork, and William Latane Lewis, Esq., presiding.

Pursuant to Part 6, IV, 13(B)(5) of the rules of the Supreme Court, the Sixth District Subcommittee of the Virginia State Bar hereby serves upon the Respondent the following Public Reprimand with Terms.


1. At all times relevant hereto the Respondent, Joseph Rocco Caprio, Esq. (hereinafter the Respondent), has been an attorney licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

2. On March 6, 1995, at his job at JESCO, Inc., the Complainant, Harold G. Hadad, suffered a work related injury to his hand and knees. He filed a worker's compensation claim on May 8, 1995, and began receiving benefits.

3. The Complainant received a Memorandum of Agreement from Travelers Indemnity Co., his employer's insurance carrier, which contained an incorrect statement about the sustained injuries and how the Complainant sustained them. He did not sign it and requested that the Memorandum be corrected. A hearing before the Virginia Worker's Compensation Commission was set for February 7, 1996. The Complainant hired the Respondent to represent him at the hearing.

4. Prior to the hearing, the Respondent withdrew the Complainant's claim for benefits because the Complainant was still receiving medical treatment for his injuries and the hearing was canceled. The Respondent told the Complainant that they would refile the claim when his treatment was complete. On March 11, 1996, the Complainant was released from treatment and allowed to return to work.

5. On April 1, 1996, Warren Britt, Esquire, the attorney for Travelers, sent the Respondent a Memorandum of Agreement and Statement of Fact for the Complainant to sign. The Respondent never gave the Complainant the Memorandum for him to sign.

6. In March of 1997, the Complainant reinjured his knee while on the job. He was told by his doctor that he had no insurance because his worker's compensation had run out. His benefits had stopped because the Respondent had withdrawn his claim and had not refiled it before the statue of limitations had run out.

7. A hearing was set in the case for August 5, 1997. The Complainant fired the Respondent and went to the hearing pro se. The case was dismissed due to the Respondent's failure to refile the Complainant's claim within two years of his injury.


The Subcommittee finds that the following Disciplinary Rules have been violated:

DR 6-101. Competence and Promptness.

(A) A lawyer shall undertake representation only in matters in which:

(1) The lawyer can act with competence and demonstrate the specific legal knowledge, skill, efficiency, and thoroughness in preparation employed in acceptable practice by lawyers undertaking similar matters, or

(2) The lawyer has associated with another lawyer who is competent in those matters.

(B) A lawyer shall attend promptly to matters undertaken for a client until completed or until the lawyer has properly and completely withdrawn from representing the client.

(C) A lawyer shall keep a client reasonably informed about matters in which the lawyer's services are being rendered.

(D) A lawyer shall inform his client of facts pertinent to the matter and of communications from another party that may significantly affect settlement or resolution of the matter.

DR 7-101. Representing a Client Zealously.

(A) A lawyer shall not intentionally:

(1) Fail to seek the lawful objectives of his client through reasonably available means permitted by law and the Disciplinary Rules, except as provided by DR 7-101(B). A lawyer does not violate this Disciplinary Rule, however, by acceding to reasonable requests of opposing counsel which do not prejudice the rights of his client, by being punctual in fulfilling all professional commitments, by avoiding offensive tactics, or by treating with courtesy and consideration all persons involved in the legal process.

(2) Fail to carry out a contract of employment entered into with a client for professional services, but he may withdraw as permitted under DR 2-108, DR 5-102, and DR 5-105.

(3) Prejudice or damage his client during the course of the professional relationship, except as required under DR 4-101(D).

(B) In his representation of a client, a lawyer may:

(1) With the express or implied authority of his client, exercise his professional judgment to limit or vary his client's objectives and waive or fail to assert a right or position of his client.

(2) Refuse to aid or participate in conduct or pursue an objective which he believes to be unlawful or which is repugnant or imprudent and, if the client insists, withdraw pursuant to the provisions of DR 2-108.


Accordingly, it is the decision of the Subcommittee to offer the Respondent an opportunity to comply with certain terms and conditions, compliance with which by February 15, 2002, shall be a predicate for the disposition of this complaint by imposition of a Public Reprimand with Terms. The terms and conditions which shall be met by February 15, 2002 are:

1. The Respondent shall institute and maintain a docket control system which shall ensure that he reviews the status of all pending matters periodically, and remind him in advance of key deadlines and other obligations. The Respondent shall institute and maintain a written office policy relating to regular and informative client communication. This policy shall include provisions for providing the client with written copies of all documentation relating to the representation, engaging in regular meetings either in person or by telephone to discuss the progress of the case and to answer client inquiries. Both the docket control system and the communication policy shall be implemented immediately. The Respondent shall provide the Assistant Bar Counsel handling this matter with a detailed written description of both the docket control system and communication policy, and shall certify in writing under oath that he is using such systems in his office.

2. The Respondent shall establish a mentor relationship with an active member of the Virginia State Bar. Such mentor shall be experienced in the area(s) of worker's compensation and shall be approved by the Assistant Bar Counsel handling this case prior to the establishment of the mentor relationship. The mentor shall meet with the Respondent at least bimonthly for a period of twelve (12) months after establishment of the relationship, and monitor whether the Respondent's practice complies with the rules and opinions of the Virginia State Bar and provide support and advice to the Respondent in the area of civil litigation and law office management. The Respondent shall provide satisfactory evidence of this mentorship and the name of his proposed mentor to the Assistant Bar Counsel handling these case by within sixty (60) days of the date of acceptance of the Agreed Disposition and Determination by this subcommittee. The mentor shall report to the Assistant Bar Counsel handling this case on a bi-monthly basis whether the Respondent has cooperated fully with the mentor in ensuring the Respondent's compliance with rules and opinions of the Virginia State Bar.

3. The Respondent shall complete six (6) hours of continuing legal education in the area of worker's compensation in addition to the mandatory continuing legal education hours required to maintain his license to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Upon completion of such term, the Respondent shall so certify in writing to the Assistant Bar Counsel assigned to this case.

Upon satisfactory proof that the above noted terms and conditions have been met, a Public Reprimand with Terms shall be imposed, and this matter shall be closed. If, however, the terms and conditions have not been met by February 15, 2002, this matter will be certified to the Disciplinary Board of the Virginia State Bar for further proceedings.



By __________________________________

Chair/Chair Designate


I certify that I have this _____ day of ________________, 2001, mailed a true and correct copy of the Subcommittee Determination (Private Reprimand with Terms) by CERTIFIED MAIL, RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED, to the Respondent, Joseph Rocco Caprio, Esq., at Box G, West Point, VA 23181-1015, his last address of record with the Virginia State Bar, and a copy thereof by first class mail, postage prepaid, to the Respondent's counsel, Barry R. Taylor, Esq., P.O. Box 6116, Virginia Beach, VA 23456-0116, and a copy thereof by first class mail, postage prepaid, to Claude V. Worrell, II, Esq., Assistant Bar Counsel, at 100 North Pitt Street, Suite 310, Alexandria, Virginia 22314-3133.


Chair/Chair Designate