News and Information
June 24, 2019

VSB Clients’ Protection Fund Board Pays $39,322.02 to Petitioners

At its most recent meeting in Richmond on May 3, 2019, the Virginia State Bar Clients’ Protection Fund Board approved five new payments totaling $39,322.02.

In the largest awards of the meeting, two former clients of Robert Lyman Isaac Shearer Jr. were awarded $11,500 and $10,000 as reimbursement for fees they paid to Shearer as clients. In both cases, Shearer was hired for custody matters and did not fulfill professional obligations. The bar suspended Shearer’s license for three years in June 2018.

The board also approved a $9,947.02 payment to a former client of Beverly Anne English, as reimbursement for funds that the attorney collected in a divorce proceeding but failed to remit to the petitioner. English’s license was revoked in February 2017. 

A former client of Bryan James Waldron received $6,375 for reimbursement of client funds the attorney misappropriated. The petitioner had also filed a disciplinary complaint that led to Waldron’s license revocation in September 2018.  

Finally, one petitioner was reimbursed $1,500 for payments made to his attorney, Renay Melitta Fariss, prior to her death in November 2018. The VSB encourages lawyers to take a moment to plan ahead for protecting their clients’ interests in the event of death or disability. 

A chart of the amounts paid as a result of May’s meeting 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 to Petitioner

Type of Case

18-555-003177

Robert Lyman Isaac Shearer Jr. 

Springfield, VA

$11,500

Unearned fees/Family Law 

19-555-003188

Beverly Anne English

Virginia Beach, VA

$9,947.02

Unearned fees/Family Law

19-555-003192

Bryan James Waldron

Oakton, VA

$6,375

Unearned fees/Real Estate 

19-555-003201

Robert Lyman Isaac Shearer Jr.

Springfield, VA

$10,000

Unearned fees/Family Law

19-555-003210

Renay Melitta Fariss Deceased 

Chesterfield, VA

$1,500

Unearned fees/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 due to qualifying conduct or status of a Virginia lawyer. 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 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. While the VSB does not name petitioners in news summaries, recipients of Clients’ Protection Fund disbursement are a matter of public record. Contact the administrator, or review the public meeting materials for the May meeting for more information. 

Updated: Jun 24, 2019