News and Information
April 01, 2020

Virginia State Bar Newsletter April 2020

The following went out as part of a monthly news summary email to all Virginia lawyers on April 1. To make sure you are receiving the VSB emails, update your contact information with the Virginia State Bar and add vsbnews@vsb.org to your email account’s address book.

Governance

Lawyers are permitted to practice, subject to certain restrictions, during Governor Northam's Stay at Home order issued to reduce the spread of COVID-19. More information here.

The VSB’s office reopened March 30 at reduced capacity, after closing March 24-27 due to COVID-19 concerns. The VSB office at 1111 E. Main Street is closed to visitors

The VSB continues to provide essential services to Virginia’s lawyers and the public while taking steps to keep the health of our members, employees, and the general public at the forefront of our actions. We strongly urge the use of electronic communication to assist us in providing services while protecting lawyers and the public. If you need to reach a staff person, please send an email or call the appropriate contact person.

On March 27, 2020, the Supreme Court of Virginia issued an order extending the judicial emergency response to the COVID-19 emergency beginning April 6 through April 26, 2020, for all district and circuit courts of the Commonwealth.

The Bar has created a resource page helpful for lawyers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 related updates from various courts and the VSB may be found on the VSB website here.

April 3 is the deadline to submit public comment on proposed amendments to Rules 1.8, 1.10, 1.15, and 3.3, of the Rules of Professional Conduct.

The MCLE Board seeks feedback from providers and lawyers on improving the MCLE process. Please note that the town hall scheduled for May 18 has been cancelled.

The VSB seeks comments on proposed changes to the Judicial Candidate Evaluation Committee’s procedures and policies.

Discipline

Michael Anthony Cole, license revoked, effective February 21, 2020. 
Ellis Charles Baggs, license revoked, effective March 13, 2020.
David Barney Wilks, license suspended, effective February 27, 2020.
Azadeh Sophia Kokabi, license suspended, effective March 6, 2020.
Kathryn Suzanne Pennington, license suspended, effective March 13, 2020.
George Ed Barker Jr., public reprimand, effective March 17, 2020.
Charles Edwin Taylor, public reprimand, effective March 19, 2020.


Compliance


VSB Membership and MCLE services are operating with reduced capacity due to delays in mail processing and other extenuating circumstances related to the COVID-19 public health emergency. You may contact us by phone, 804-775-0577, or email.

FAQs about "Live" courses and MCLE during COVID-19
The MCLE requirements for 2020 have not been cancelled. Information on this and other MCLE questions during the pandemic here.

Pro Bono / Access to Justice

For lawyers working on COVID-19 pro bono cases, 300 law students and paralegals have volunteered to help you handle legal cases caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. More information here.

Effective March 13, 2020, the Supreme Court of Virginia amended Section IV, Paragraph 22 to request that each active and associate VSB member voluntarily report their pro bono hours and/or financial contributions. More information here.

Opportunities, Events & Awards

The Leroy R. Hassell Sr. Indigent Criminal Defense Seminar, scheduled for May 1, 2020 has been rescheduled as a live webcast/telephone seminar, on the same date and time. New registration information for the seminar will be sent to previous registrants and will be available soon on the VSB program webpage. There will be no group broadcast locations for this seminar.

The Board of Governors of the Diversity Conference seeks nominations for the Clarence M. Dunnaville Jr. Achievement Award that promotes diversity and inclusion in the Bar.

Join the Diversity Conference Board of Governors! Please submit an application by April 15. Contact Luis Perez, Immediate Past President, at abogadolp@gmail.com  for more information on joining the Board of Governors or the Dunnaville Award.

Meeting Cancellations

All VSB in-person meetings through June 10, 2020, have been cancelled until further notice. We are monitoring the situation regarding the VSB Annual Meeting in Virginia Beach – June 17-20. The status of all meetings will continue to be updated on the events page of the VSB website.

Updated: Apr 01, 2020