Professional Guidelines

An agency of the Supreme Court of Virginia

The Virginia State Bar

Professional Guidelines

13-9 Clerk of the Disciplinary System

  1. Current Dockets. The Clerk shall maintain a docket of current Attorney discipline and RESA matters pending before the District Committees, the Board or courts of this Commonwealth.
  2. Records Retention. The Clerk shall retain all Files with respect to any Disciplinary Record for a period of at least five years from the date of the final Order in the Disciplinary Proceeding that created that Disciplinary Record.  The Clerk may destroy all other Files upon the expiration of one year after the Dismissal.
  3. File Destruction. Whenever a File is destroyed, the following information shall be preserved:
    1. The name and Bar identification number of Respondent;
    2. The name and last known address of the Complainant;
    3. The date the matter was initially received by the Bar;
    4. A summary of the Complaint or allegation of Misconduct;
    5. The date of the Dismissal or any sanction(s) imposed; and
    6. The disposition of the matter, including the basis for Dismissal or the sanction(s) imposed. 
    Such summary information shall be retained for at least five years whenever the Complaint or allegation of Misconduct is dismissed with no Disciplinary Record having been created, and for at least ten years whenever a Disciplinary Record has been created, an Impairment determined, a Reinstatement Proceeding held or a finding of Misconduct involving a RESA violation is made.
  4. Preservation of Determinations and Orders. The Clerk shall preserve a copy of all District Committee Determinations and Board or court orders in which an Attorney has been found to have engaged in Misconduct, to be impaired, to have committed a violation of RESA or requested Reinstatement.
  5. Costs. The Clerk shall assess Costs against the Respondent in the following cases:
    1. All cases in which a final determination of Misconduct is made by a Subcommittee, District Committee, three-judge Circuit Court, the Board or this Court;
    2. All cases against a Respondent who consents to revocation;
    3. All proceedings under this Paragraph in which there is a finding that a Respondent has been found guilty of a Crime;
    4. All reciprocal cases under this Paragraph in which a final determination imposing discipline is made;
    5. All Reinstatement cases under this Paragraph;
    6. All cases before the Board in which sanctions were imposed for violations of RESA and/or the Bar’s RESA regulations; and
    7. With respect to Guardian Ad Litem’s fees and costs, all Disciplinary Proceedings in which a Guardian Ad Litem is appointed and the Board, in its discretion, assesses the Guardian Ad Litem’s fees and costs against Respondent.
  6. Review of Costs Assessment. If the Respondent disagrees with the amount of Costs as calculated by the Clerk, or if the Respondent asserts that the immediate payment thereof would constitute a hardship, the Respondent may petition the Board for review within ten days of the notice assessing Costs. The Chair, upon written request of Respondent, included with his petition, may grant Respondent a hearing on the Costs issue. The decision of the Chair shall be final and non-appealable. Interest at the judgment rate shall commence on the Costs assessed 30 days after the issuance of the notice of assessment, unless otherwise prescribed by the Board. If the Respondent fails to pay the Costs and interest so assessed within 30 days of the notice of assessment or within such other time as the Board may order, then the Costs assessed and interest shall be a debt subject to collection by the Bar, and the Board shall issue an order of Suspension against the Respondent until such time as Respondent shall pay all of the Costs and accrued interest.
  7. Public Notification of Sanctions. The Clerk shall issue a statement to the communications media and individuals and entities listed below summarizing each public Admonition, Public Reprimand, Suspension, or Revocation upon receipt of a Summary Order, District Committee Determination, or Memorandum Order approving an Agreed Disposition:  
    1. The Clerk of this Court;
    2. Clerks of the Circuit and District Courts in each judicial circuit in the Commonwealth where the Attorney resides or maintains an office; and
    3. Disciplinary authorities for jurisdictions, federal or state, wherein it is reasonable to expect that the Attorney may be licensed.


The amendments effective December 1, 2019revised Paragraph 13-9 to clarify and simplify language.

The amendments effective January 1, 2019, allow the Disciplinary Board to assess fees and costs of a Guardian Ad Litem to be paid by the Respondent when the Guardian Ad Litem was appointed by the Disciplinary Board.

The amendments effective June 15, 2018, conform Paragraph 13 to Chapter 27.2 of title 55 of the Code of Virginia, renaming CRESPA (Consumer Real Estate Settlement Protection Act) to RESA (Real Estate Settlement Agents).

The amendments effective March 19, 2010, revised Paragraph 13 dealing with the use of the phrase "Charge of Misconduct".

Updated: November 25, 2019