News and Information
June 08, 2016

COLD Approves Proposed Changes to Virginia Code

The Committee on Lawyer Discipline has approved a proposal to revise Virginia Code Section 54.1-3935, which provides the procedure for an attorney or the Virginia State Bar to demand that an attorney disciplinary matter proceed before a three-judge circuit court in lieu of a district committee or the disciplinary board of the Virginia State Bar. The proposal removes the procedure whereby any person may file a bar complaint in circuit court and bypass the Virginia State Bar’s confidential process for investigating bar complaints. The proposal also removes the procedure whereby a court may initiate a bar investigation and issue a rule to show cause against a lawyer. This provision has not been exercised in recent memory. Instead, courts have reported attorney misconduct to the Virginia State Bar in accordance with the Canons of Judicial Conduct. Other revisions largely clarify language.

The proposal is subject to approval by the VSB Council and the Supreme Court of Virginia before forwarding to the Virginia legislature for consideration.

Comments in support of or in opposition to the proposed revisions should be sent to Karen A. Gould, the Executive Director of the Virginia State Bar, not later than August 6, 2016.  Comments may be submitted via e-mail to

view the proposed changes

Updated: Jul 15, 2016