News and Information
March 01, 2019

Virginia State Bar Newsletter March 2019

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


The VSB Standing Committee on Legal Ethics is seeking public comment on four Legal Ethics Opinions, due by March 22. The LEOs pertain to lawyer advertising, virtual law offices, and communication with represented persons and represented government officials. 

On February 15, the Supreme Court of Virginia amended the rules on file formats for documents. The new rule takes effect on May 1, 2019. 

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit seeks public comment on two proposed rule amendments, concerning Local Rule 35(c) and Internal Operating Procedure 34.2, due March 25.

At its meeting on February 23, 2019, in Richmond, the Virginia State Bar Council heard reports and took actions on:

  • The proposed rewrite of the Unauthorized Practice of Law Rules
  • Rule of Professional Conduct 4.4(b)
  • Rule of Professional Conduct 3.8 
  • Appointment of Renu M. Brennan as Bar Counsel
  • Budget
  • ALPS Agreement

The Access to Legal Services Committee seeks comment on a proposal to amend the VSB Bylaws to designate the committee as a standing committee. Comments are due by April 5.

Get on the ballot for Bar Council elections. The Bar Council oversees all bar functions, and members are elected by Virginia lawyers. You must petition to be on the ballot in your circuit before April 1. Learn more about vacancies and petitioning.

Even if you’re not running, make sure your contact information is current in the bar’s records before March 15 to ensure that you are eligible to vote in your circuit and that you receive the ballot. (See bylaws Part II, Article II, Sec. 3e.)

In addition to Bar Council elections, there are vacancies on the Clients’ Protection Fund Board, the Judicial Candidate Evaluation Committee, and the executive committee of Bar Council.

Professional Regulation

Recent disciplinary actions:

The VSB Disciplinary Board continued the hearing on the Reinstatement Petition of Ann Bridgeforth Tribbey of Midlothian to June 28, 2019. The background and request for public comment may be found here.

The Clients' Protection Fund Board awarded $51,123 to former clients of Virginia lawyers at its latest meeting on January 11. Learn more about the cases and the discipline imposed on the lawyers here.

Goats. Martial Arts. Evictions. Health law. February’s issue of Virginia Lawyer magazine has it all. 

Read the online, interactive version now


What brought together five justices of the Supreme Court of Virginia, deans and representatives from all eight Virginia law schools, the VSB, the VBBE, and distinguished Virginia lawyers in Charlottesville on Feb. 5? A robust and forward-looking discussion of law student wellness – with input from law students from around the state. See more photos here

Pro Bono

Join us on Wednesday, March 27, from 12:00 - 3:00 pm at Regent University School of Law at the VBA Pro Bono Council's Firms in Service and Access to Justice Commission seminar (lunch included) with opening remarks by Virginia Supreme Court Justice Arthur Kelsey. Register here.

In August’s Virginia Lawyerwe featured pro bono and low bono needs in trusts and estate work for black farmers. Now interested lawyers can earn an hour of CLE credit (pending) learning about curing title defects in heirs property on April 10 in Richmond. 

Opportunities, Awards & Events

Register for this year’s TECHSHOW before March 10 to secure the early bird rate! The April 8 event at the Greater Richmond Convention Center features seven possible hours of CLE, with 4 possible in Ethics.

Join the Young Lawyers Conference for the 2019 Celebration of Women & Minorities in the Legal Profession Bench Bar Dinner on March 28.

The Diversity Conference and Young Lawyers Conference’s Oliver Hill/Samuel Tucker Pre-Law Institute is July 7-12 in Richmond! Applications from interested high school students are due April 12. 

Running a small law firm? Register now for the Solo and Small-Firm Practitioner Forums on March 26 in Suffolk. Or save the date for the Fredericksburg event on May 8.

Register now for the Conference of Local and Specialty Bar Associations’ Bar Leaders Institute on April 12 for bar leaders from across the commonwealth. 

Register now for a seat at one of the webcast locations for the Leroy Rountree Hassell Sr. Indigent Criminal Defense Seminar on May 3.

Please plan on attending the Annual Meeting in June. Registration will open in April, and lawyers from across the state will meet to learn, network, and celebrate. And don't forget that we all have a colleague who deserves an award. Nominate yours for one of the many awards presented at the Annual Meeting each year.

Updated: Mar 01, 2019