News and Information
June 01, 2020

Virginia State Bar Newsletter June 2020

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


The Supreme Court of Virginia has made a number of notable amendments to the Rules of Court, including imposing an email address of record requirement for all members. The amendments take effect on June 30, 2020.
The Court extended the declaration of Judicial Emergency due to COVID-19 through June 7. Update June 1: The Court issued a Fifth Order modifying and extending the Declaration of Judicial Emergency through June 28.
The Court amended paragraph four of its May 6 Judicial Emergency Order regarding COVID-19 protocols.

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.

Eleven lawyers have joined the VSB Council after the May election. Meet them here.

Volunteers are sought for VSB Council at-large and Disciplinary Board Vacancies.

The Court clarified its Judicial Emergency Order re tolling of statutory deadlines in criminal prosecutions.


Recent disciplinary actions:
Kathryn Suzanne Pennington, license revoked, effective May 11, 2020.
William Franklin Burton, license suspended, effective May 20, 2020. 
Raymond Lewis Palmer, license suspended, effective September 15, 2020.

Other Disciplinary Board actions:
Cheryl Schroeder Thomas, license suspended, effective April 29, 2020.
Ellen Mary Lynch, license suspended, effective May 12, 2020.


Virginia lawyers’ annual renewal statement for the 2020-2021 year will be mailed in mid-June. The Supreme Court of Virginia has extended the deadline for renewal from July 31, 2020, until September 30, 2020. Our office is closed to the public. 

Please consider using a trackable express delivery method if sending close to the September 30 deadline. Please be advised if you intend to mail or deliver renewals/payments to the Virginia State Bar, deliveries are only accepted from the following services: USPS, UPS, Fed Ex, DHL, and Richmond Express. All renewal requirements must be received by 4:45 p.m. on September 30, 2020. Contact the membership department of the VSB at (804) 775-0530 if you have questions about your dues statement. 

Pro Bono / Access to Justice

Amendments to Paragraph 22 Voluntary Pro Bono Publico Legal Services reporting became effective May 15, 2020. Click here to find pro bono opportunities.

Marcellinus Slag has won the 2020 Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Award.

Emily Lopynski of the University of Richmond has won the 2020 Law Student Pro Bono Service Award.

Opportunities, Events & Awards

Defense attorney Jamilah D. LeCruise of Norfolk has been awarded the 2020 R. Edwin Burnette Jr. Young Lawyer of the Year Award by the Virginia State Bar Young Lawyers Conference.

The Senior Lawyers Conference has completed the 2020 Senior Virginians Handbook, the first update since 2013. The 112-page book is filled with legal information and resources for Senior Virginians. Order printed copies here.

The Environmental Law Section just released its first newsletter since 2006. Section members can read up on an array of important updates in one place. The Oyster filters leading environmental law updates from sources such as the DEQ, the EPA, and the Courts so section members and their clients know of the most recent environmental law updates.

Family lawyers: The Virginia Division of Child Support is holding a FREE two-hour CLE webinar on Friday, June 26th from 12 – 2 p.m. called Effective Interaction: DCSE & Family Law in Virginia. Sign up here.

All Virginia lawyers contribute $10 per year to the Clients’ Protection Fund to reimburse clients financially damaged by lawyer malfeasance. The Clients’ Protection Fund Board has a June 10th CLE for Virginia lawyers entitled Your Clients' Protection Fund: What Is It and How Do You File a Petition? 1.0-hour credit (Ethics). Please contact Vivian R. Byrd, administrator to Clients’ Protection Fund by email, or at (804) 775-9426 for more information.

Meeting Cancellations

All VSB in-person meetings through June 10, 2020, have been canceled. The status of all meetings will continue to be updated on the events page of the VSB website.

Updated: Jun 01, 2020