News and Information
March 14, 2023

Virginia State Bar Clients’ Protection Fund Board Pays $71,130.00 on Thirteen Petitions

The Virginia State Bar Clients’ Protection Fund Board authorized payments totaling $71,130.00 in reimbursement to petitioners regarding nine Virginia attorneys at its January 27, 2023, meeting.

The board awarded a full reimbursement of $4,250 for unearned attorney’s fees in a criminal law matter. The board found that Jonathan Preston Fisher of Blacksburg failed to appear in court to represent his client and did no work on the matter. Fisher’s license was revoked in May 2021.

Two former clients of Paul Reddick Hedges of Chesapeake were awarded $1,000 and $750, representing partial reimbursements, by the board. In both cases, the board found that Hedges did sufficient work to earn some, but not all, of the fees paid by the clients before Hedges passed away and his practice went into receivership.

The board approved a payment of $35,000 to a former client of David Brooks Hundley of Richmond. The board was of the opinion that Hundley failed to tell the client that he had settled the case without the client’s knowledge or consent, and that he forged the client’s name to the settlement check and failed to disburse any of the settlement to the client. Hundley’s license was revoked by consent in August 2020.

A petitioner received $1,000 as full reimbursement of advance payment of fees paid to Herbert Lawrence Jackson of Lawrenceville. The board found that no work was performed by Jackson before his death.

The board awarded $375 in a partial reimbursement of fees a client paid to Tina Tracy Neyhart of Blacksburg. Neyhart was retained by the client for $750 to obtain a divorce.  However, Neyhart only obtained a Separation Agreement and failed to secure a final divorce. Neyhart’s license was revoked in August 2022.

Two former clients of Raul Novo of Richmond were awarded $405, a full reimbursement, and $1,050, a partial reimbursement, by the board. One client paid Novo an advanced fee of $405 for representation in a traffic case, but Novo passed away before taking any action on the client’s behalf. Another client paid $2,100 to Novo for representation in an immigration matter, but Novo only completed partial representation before his death. The board awarded the client half of the fee the client paid.

The board approved reimbursement of $1,850 for escrow fees that Robert Steven Pope of Aldie charged for maintaining funds in escrow from the sale of a home. The Petitioner and her ex-husband designated Pope as the escrow agent, but he misappropriated the funds and lied to the Petitioner about why the funds could not be disbursed after the ex-husband died. Although Pope had misappropriated the escrowed funds, he continued to charge the escrow handling fee. Pope eventually repaid most of the misappropriated funds but did not repay the escrow fees. The board determined that Pope was not entitled to the escrow fees. Pope’s license was revoked by consent in November 2021.

Three former clients of Kevin Peter Shea of Hampton were awarded $15,000, $7,500 and $2,150 by the board. One client paid Shea a $15,000 fee for representation in a civil matter but felt forced to agree to a non-suit after Shea postponed the client’s trial multiple times because he was not prepared to try the matter. The board originally granted a partial award of $7,500 to the client, but upon review, the board found that Shea provided insignificant legal services and granted a full $15,000 reimbursement. The board also awarded $7,500 to a husband and wife who retained Shea to represent them in a case involving allegedly defective construction on their home. The board previously had denied the claim because it appeared that Shea had done some work on the case. The clients requested a second  review, and the board approved payment of $7,500 because new information presented by the petitioners showed that the work that Shea did was ineffective and of no value to the clients because the lawsuits were time-barred at the time Shea performed the work. However, the board did not reimburse $5,000 in court-ordered sanctions the clients had to pay for filing frivolous actions. Finally, a client received $2,150 in partial reimbursement of fees paid to Shea, who completed only some of the work he was hired to do in three separate cases for the client. Shea’s license was revoked by consent in February 2022, prior to his death in July 2022.

A petitioner received an $800 award from the board as full reimbursement of fees paid to Charles James Swedish of Vienna. The board found that Swedish provided no legal services before his death on behalf of the petitioner in a traffic offense case.

Docket Number

Lawyer’s Name

City of Record

Amount Paid

Type of Case


Jonathan Preston Fisher

Blacksburg, VA


Unearned Fee/Criminal Law


Paul Reddick Hedges

Chesapeake, VA


Unearned Fee/Family Law


Paul Reddick Hedges

Chesapeake, VA


Unearned Fee/Family Law


David Brooks Hundley

Richmond, VA


Embezzlement/Personal Injury


Herbert Lawrence Jackson

Lawrenceville, VA


Unearned Fee/Civil Law – State


Tina Tracy Neyhart

Blacksburg, VA


Unearned Fee/Family Law


Raul Novo

Richmond, VA


Unearned Fee/Traffic Offenses


Raul Novo

Richmond, VA


Unearned Fee/Immigration


Robert Steven Pope

Aldie, VA


Embezzlement/Real Estate


Kevin Peter Shea

Hampton, VA


Unearned Fee/Civil Law – State


Kevin Peter Shea

Hampton, VA


Unearned Fee/ Malpractice/Negligence


Kevin Peter Shea

Hampton, VA


Unearned Fee/Civil Law – State
Malpractice – Legal
Personal Injury/Property Damage


Charles James Swedish

Vienna, VA


Unearned Fee/Traffic Offenses

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 or by telephone at (804) 775-0572.

Updated: Mar 14, 2023