Professional Guidelines

An agency of the Supreme Court of Virginia

The Virginia State Bar

Professional Guidelines

13-11 Limited Right to Discovery

There shall be no right to discovery in connection with disciplinary matters, including matters before three-judge Circuit Courts, except:

The amendments effective March 1, 2016, added  language to Paragraph 13-1 B.3.

  1. Issuance of such summonses and subpoenae as are authorized; and
  2. Bar Counsel shall furnish to Respondent a copy of the Investigative Report considered by the Subcommittee when the Subcommittee set the Complaint for hearing before the District Committee or certified the Complaint to the Board, with the following limitations:
    1. Bar Counsel shall not be required to produce any information or document obtained in confidence from any law enforcement or disciplinary agency, or any documents that are protected by the attorney-client privilege or work product doctrine, unless attached to or referenced in the Investigative Report; and
    2. Bar Counsel shall not be required to reveal other communications between the Investigator and Bar Counsel, or between Bar Counsel and the Subcommittee.
  3. Bar Counsel shall make a timely disclosure to the Respondent of all known evidence that tends to negate the Misconduct of the Respondent or mitigate its severity or which, upon a finding of Misconduct, would tend to support imposition of a lesser sanction than might be otherwise imposed.  Bar Counsel shall comply with the duty to disclose this evidence regardless of whether the information is confidential under this Paragraph.  If Bar Counsel discloses under this subparagraph information that is otherwise confidential, Bar Counsel shall promptly notify the Attorney or Complainant who is the subject of the disclosure unless Bar Counsel decides that giving such notice would prejudice a disciplinary investigation.  Notice shall be in writing and shall be deemed effective when mailed by first-class mail to the Bar’s last known address of the subject Complainant or Attorney.

The amendments effective July 16, 2021revised Paragraph 13 to promote greater fairness, efficiency, consistency, and transparency in bar proceedings.

The amendments effective March 1, 2016, added language to Paragraph 13-1 B.3.

Updated: July 14, 2021