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Home > Actions on Rule Changes and Legal Ethics Opinions > amendments to Paragraph 13-6.D, Quorum Requirement for Disciplinary Board.

Adopted | amendments to Paragraph 13-6.D, Quorum Requirement for Disciplinary Board. Approved by the Supreme Court of Virginia December 23, 2020, effective February 22, 2021.

On December 23, 2020, the Supreme Court of Virginia approved amendments to the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia Part 6 Section IV, Paragraph 13-6.D. Effective February 22, 2021.

View the Court's order (pdf)


The proposed amendments were approved by Bar Council on October 23, 2020, and are pending consideration by the Supreme Court of Virginia. 

View the petition to the Court (pdf)


The Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board proposes amending the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia Part 6 Section IV, Paragraph 13-6 D. regarding the quorum requirement of the Disciplinary Board for purposes of considering an Agreed Disposition of a disciplinary matter.

This proposed change is meant to facilitate the Disciplinary Board’s expeditious consideration of a proffered Agreed Disposition by Bar Counsel and Respondent’s Counsel, via telecommunication means, without having to physically assemble a quorum of the Disciplinary Board in one location. Adoption of this proposal will: (i) conserve bar resources by obviating the need for volunteer Disciplinary Board members to travel from all parts of the Commonwealth for an in-person Agreed Disposition hearing in Richmond; (ii) conserve bar resources by obviating the need for volunteer Disciplinary Board members to travel from all parts of the Commonwealth for an in-person misconduct hearing in Richmond when an agreement is reached between the parties on the eve of a misconduct hearing; (iii) harmonize the Rule text in 13-6.D with 13-7.C (Subcommittee Quorums); (iv) permit Agreed Disposition hearings via telecommunication means consistent with Va. Code Sec. 2.2-3708.2.
 

Inspection and Comment

The proposed changes may be inspected below or at the office of the Virginia State Bar between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Any individual, business, or other entity may file written comments in support of or in opposition to the proposed changes with Karen A. Gould, executive director of the Virginia State Bar, not later than September 4, 2020. Comments may be submitted by mail to 1111 East Main Street, Suite 700, Richmond, Virginia 23219-0026 or by email to publiccomment@vsb.org.

 

The proposed amendments are as follows. Underlined text is new language and strikethrough text indicates text being removed.

 

13-6.D. Meetings and Quorum. The Board shall meet on reasonable notice by the Chair or a Vice Chair.  A Panel of five members shall constitute a quorum, and the action of a majority of a Panel shall constitute action of the Board.  For the exclusive purposes of considering an Agreed Disposition, pursuant to subparagraph 13-6.H, a Panel may act in a meeting in person or through any means of communication by which all five members participating may simultaneously hear each other during the meeting.  One of the five persons assigned to any Panel shall be a present or former nonlawyer member unless the scheduled nonlawyer is unable to attend and an alternate nonlawyer member or former member is not reasonably available.  In such event, participation by a nonlawyer shall not be required in any proceeding if a quorum is otherwise present.

originally posted July 30, 2020

Updated: December 23, 2020