News and Information
May 28, 2020

Clients’ Protection Fund Board Pays $30,659.00 to Former Clients

The Virginia State Bar Clients’ Protection Fund Board authorized payments totaling $30,659.00 in reimbursement to former clients of eight Virginia attorneys at its September 20, 2019 meeting and at its most recent meeting on February 7, 2020.

In the largest award of the meetings, one petitioner, a long-standing client of Travis Joseph Tisinger of Berryville, was awarded $12,000 as reimbursement for retainer fees that the attorney collected for a waterproofing claim and settlement, and trust fund work. The investigator found insufficient work on the attorney’s part. Tisinger’s license  was revoked by consent in April of 2019 for misconduct related to the petitioner’s case.

Two petitioners recovered $6,409 and $5,000, respectively, for fees paid to Michael F. Fasanaro Jr. of Virginia Beach. The first petitioner was granted returns for an unearned fee in family law wherein the petitioner hired Fasanaro to represent him in a divorce case, but mediated the divorce without attorney assistance, asking for a fee refund. Fasanaro did not have the funds to deliver the refund. The second recipient recovered funds for an unearned fee in criminal law. Fasanaro failed to represent the petitioner in an appeal for conviction of a murder sentencing. Fasanaro’s license was revoked by consent in July 2019 for misconduct related to the two cases.

The board approved a $3,500 payment to a petitioner’s father to reimburse for an immigration case in which Sean Hanover of Fairfax did not do significant work. The petitioner’s father paid the fee that was not honored or refunded.  Hanover’s license was revoked by consent in February 2019 after conviction in a felony case. 

A petitioner received $1,875 as reimbursement for funds that the attorney Shelley Renee Collette of Winchester received for prompt counsel in a drug distribution criminal case.  The attorney was found to engage in dishonest conduct including failure to appear in court. Collette’s license was revoked by consent in March 2018 for numerous infractions.

A former client of Jason Allen Spitler of Luray was awarded $750 by the board for an insignificant amount of work in an adoption case. A Memorandum Order of Revocation for Spitler’s license was entered June 2019.

The board approved the payment of $500 to a petitioner against Bryan James Waldron of Oakton for not fully earning a retainer for filing a civil suit in September 2015. Waldron’s license was revoked in September 2018 relating to this and three other complaints for wrongful action. 

Two petitioners, mother and son, were awarded reimbursement for claims against John Frederick McGarvey of Glen Allen. The son was awarded $125 and the mother was awarded $250 for McGarvey’s failure to appear in court and insufficient service in 2016.  McGarvey was suspended indefinitely on grounds of impairment in February 2017. The board has previously approved petitions against McGarvey, most recently seven cases totaling $14,550 in 2018.  

Finally, the board awarded a petitioner $250 for the failure to fulfill a verbal agreement by attorney George Ernest Marzloff of Ruther Glen in a matter of a work release in 2017. Marzloff’s license was revoked by consent in August 2019.

A chart of the amounts paid as a result of the two meetings follows. The board delays the release of the final chart, as the awards given to new petitioners are subject to a 30-day appeal period.

Docket Number

Lawyer’s Name

City of Record

Amount Paid

Type of Case

19-555-003199

George Ernest Marzloff

Ruther Glen, VA

$250.00

Unearned Fee/Criminal Law

19-555-003203

Bryan James Waldron

Oakton, VA

$500.00

Unearned Fee/Civil Law - State

19-555-003212

Sean Hanover

Fairfax, VA

$3,500.00

Unearned Fee/Immigration

19-555-003218

Shelly Renee Collette

Winchester, VA

$1,875.00

Unearned Fee/Criminal Law

19-555-003219

Travis Joseph Tisinger

Berryville, VA

$12,000.00

Malpractice-Negligence/Civil Law - State

20-555-003228

John Fredrick McGarvey

Glen Allen, VA

$125.00

Unearned Fee/Criminal Law

20-555-003229

John Fredrick McGarvey

Glen Allen, VA

$250.00

Unearned Fee/Criminal Law

20-555-003233

Michael F. Fasanaro, Jr.

Virginia Beach, VA

$6,409.00

Unearned Fee/Family Law

20-555-003232

Michael F. Fasanaro, Jr. 

Virginia Beach, VA

$5,000.00

Unearned Fee/Criminal Law 

20-555-003237

Jason Allen Spitler

Luray, VA

$750.00

Unearned Fee/Family Law

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 up to $25. The Supreme Court of Virginia has set the current annual fee at $10 per Virginia lawyer with an active license status. 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 the Clients’ Protection Fund by email or at (804) 775-0572.

Updated: Jun 22, 2020