News and Information
December 01, 2021

Clients’ Protection Fund Board Pays $18,205.00 on Six Petitions

The Virginia State Bar Clients’ Protection Fund Board authorized payments totaling $18,205.00 in reimbursement at its September 24, 2021, meeting.

The board approved a $4,455 payment for unearned attorney’s fees in an immigration matter. The board found that the attorney, Ellis Charles Baggs of Richmond, failed to file the client’s immigrant visa application that the $4,455 fee should have covered. Baggs’s license was revoked by consent in March 2020, for neglect of multiple cases in his immigration practice.

The board approved a payment of $4,000 to a former client of Michael Anthony Cole of South Boston, who is now deceased. The board found that, when Cole settled an automobile accident suit, he paid the client her share after deducting his attorney fees, but held back $4,000 to pay medical bills. Cole failed to pay a chiropractor’s bill for treating the client. The chiropractor sued Cole and the client. The client paid the chiropractor’s bill to avoid judgment. The board approved payment to the client in the amount that Cole improperly withheld from the insurance settlement.  Cole’s license to practice law in Virginia was revoked in February 2020 prior to his death in June 2020.

Four former clients of Jonathan Preston Fisher of Blacksburg were awarded $3,600, $1,250, $750, and $4,150 by the board. One former client was awarded $3,600 for partial reimbursement of a $7,200 fee for work on a DUI that Mr. Fisher did not fully complete. Another client received $4,150 as a total reimbursement of fees paid for work that was not completed by Mr. Fisher in a DUI case. Two former clients were reimbursed $1,250 and $750 respectively, in unearned fees for traffic matters. Fisher’s license was revoked in May 2021.

Docket Number

Lawyer’s Name

City of Record

Amount Paid

Type of Case

21-555-003306

Ellis Charles Baggs 

Richmond, VA

$4,455.00

Unearned Fee/Immigration

21-555-003285

Michael Anthony Cole (Deceased) 

South Boston, VA

$4,000.00

Embezzlement/Personal Injury/Property Damage

21-555-003317

Jonathan Preston Fisher 

Blacksburg, VA

$3,600.00

Unearned Fee/Traffic Offenses 

22-555-003332

Jonathan Preston Fisher 

Blacksburg, VA

$1,250.00

Unearned Fee/Traffic Offenses 

21-555-003323

Jonathan Preston Fisher 

Blacksburg, VA

$750.00

Unearned Fee/Traffic Offenses 

22-555-003335

Jonathan Preston Fisher 

Blacksburg, VA 

$4,150.00

Unearned Fee/Criminal 

The Clients’ Protection Fund was created by the Supreme Court of Virginia in 1976 to reimburse persons who suffer a quantifiable financial loss because of dishonest conduct by a Virginia lawyer whose law license has been suspended or revoked for disciplinary reasons, or who has died and did not properly maintain client funds. The fund is not taxpayer funded but is supported by Virginia lawyers who pay an annual fee of $5. Payments from the Clients’ Protection Fund are discretionary and are not a matter of right. 

If you have any questions, you may contact Vivian R. Byrd, administrator to Clients’ Protection Fund by email at (804) 775-0572.

Updated: Dec 01, 2021