News and Information
October 25, 2012

Indigent Defense Task Force Proposes Amendments to Virginia Supreme Court Rule 3A:11

The Virginia State Bar’s Indigent Defense Task Force is seeking public comment on proposed amendments to Rule 3A:11 of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia.

The following proposal is published for public comment, which should be submitted in writing to Karen A. Gould, Executive Director, Virginia State Bar, 707 E. Main Street, Suite 1500, Richmond, VA 23219 or, no later than the end of business January 15, 2013.

view proposed Rule 3A:11 (PDF file)

Rule 3A:11 applies to discovery and inspection of files for prosecutions involving felonies in a circuit court and any misdemeanor brought on direct indictment.

The task force proposes that Rule 3A:11 be expanded so that: both parties receive more complete information in preparing for trial and in making informed plea decisions; defendants’ rights are better protected; the element of unfair surprise is limited; and, post-trial litigation is minimized. The task force concluded that the recommendations are appropriate and should be considered by the Supreme Court to address needed improvements to the manner in which discovery is conducted in criminal cases in the commonwealth.

The task force will present these recommendations to the VSB Executive Committee and Council for consideration at their respective February meetings. With Council’s assent, approved proposed amendments will be forwarded to the Supreme Court of Virginia. Original approved recommendations authorizing work on the extant proposal can be found at

Updated: Oct 26, 2012