News and Information
November 01, 2018

Virginia State Bar Newsletter November 2018

The following went out as part of a monthly news summary email to all VSB members and associates on November 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 Supreme Court of Virginia seeks comments on proposed rule changes to judicial records access. 

The Court also seeks comments on proposed rule changes regarding the transfer of jurisdiction during the appeal of a final judgment and regarding notices of appeal. 

The Court has amended Rule 5:6A that pertains to the procedures for citing supplemental authorities.

The Court has  amended rules of court, effective January 1, 2019, governing counsel and appearing without counsel, computation of response dates, service of papers after the initial process, general provisions of discovery, the production by parties of documents at trial, transcript record on appeal, and petition for appeal.

The Court approved amendments to a series of rules regarding competence, lawyer assistance programs, and impaired attorneys intended to encourage lawyer wellness.

The Court seeks comments on a rule regarding digital documents.

At its meeting on October 26, 2018, in Newport News, the Virginia State Bar Council heard reports and took actions on:

  • Rule 1.10, Imputed Disqualification: General Rule
  • Rule 1.8, Conflict of Interest: Prohibited Transactions
  • Statutory Amendments Regarding the Judicial Candidate Evaluation Committee
  • Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia Part 6, § IV concerning the Virginia Lawyer Referral Service

The VSB’s Standing Committee on Legal Ethics seeks comments on proposed changes to the rules of professional conduct, concerning the additional responsibilities of a prosecutor and respect for the rights of third persons.

VSB President-elect Marni E. Byrum is seeking applications from Virginia lawyers of all practice types, geographic locations, and experience levels for VSB committees and boards. Please consider volunteering as a leader at the VSB.

In an uncontested election, environmental lawyer Brian L. Buniva of Richmond has been named VSB President for 2020-21.

Professional Regulation

Recent disciplinary actions:

The Disciplinary Board is accepting comments on  Steven Frank Helm’s petition for reinstatement of his license to practice law. The deadline for comment is November 9.

Join the disciplinary system. The Standing Committee on Lawyer Discipline seeks applicants to vacancies in disciplinary district committees, which handle local complaints and investigations into lawyer misconduct.


The holidays are stressful, and mental health issues are often exacerbated by the season. If you are suffering from depression, seasonal affective disorder, or addiction issues, take the time to care for yourself now. 

Find information and resources on the new lawyer well-being website and on VSB's lawyer resource page.

The MCLE Board's Opinion 19 has been amended and now encourages CLE credit for courses that educate lawyers on the many issues concerning well-being and mental health.

Pro Bono

Among the amendments to the Rules of Court that the Supreme Court of Virginia made on October 31 is a significant change to limited scope appearances. Read more about it here.

“We Are All in this Together”: The annual Pro Bono Conference and Celebration included keynote speaker Eve Runyon of the Pro Bono Institute and awards to Andy Nea of Williams Mullen and the Prince William County Bar Association.

If you are looking for a way to make a difference, consider giving online legal assistance to those affected by Hurricane Florence in North Carolina. A recent order of the North Carolina Supreme Court gives out-of-state lawyers the ability to provide pro bono services to those affected by the hurricane.

Awards & Events

Whether you’re a new lawyer, or a seasoned attorney who would like to learn about a new area of practice, the First Day in Practice and Beyond is for you! This CLE offers 6 hours of live credit (2 hours Ethics) for $85. This program is co-sponsored by the VSB’s General Practice Section and Young Lawyers Conference and will be held on Tuesday, December 4, 2018, at the Greater Richmond Convention Center.

Attend the First Annual Forum on Diversity in the Legal Profession, hosted by the Diversity Conference, on November 9 at the University of Richmond School of Law. The program is FREE to all VSB members and will feature Judges Dana and Keith Cutler of Couples Court with the Cutlers.

The Joint ADR Committee is offering two courses November 14-16 for those interested in becoming appellate mediators.There is an initial 20-hour course and a second two-hour course for more specialized training. More info here.

Know of a leader in the law? The Criminal Law Section is seeking  entries for the Harry L. Carrico Professionalism Award, and the Section on the Education of Lawyers requests nominations for the William R. Rakes Leadership in Education Award.

Save the dates! The annual Criminal Law Seminar will be held on February 1 in Charlottesville and February 8 in Williamsburg.

The Family Law Section is seeking nominations for two awards: The Betty A. Thompson Lifetime Achievement Award and the Family Law Service Award. The nomination deadline for both awards is January 18, 2019. Both awards will be presented at the annual Family Law Seminar in April 2019 at the Jefferson Hotel in Richmond.

Updated: Nov 01, 2018