News and Information
May 01, 2018

Virginia State Bar Newsletter May 2018

The following went out as part of a monthly email to all VSB members and associates on May 1. To make sure you are receiving the VSB’s email newsletters, update your contact information in the member portal and add to the account’s address book.

Governance and Ethics

Effective April 6, 2018, the Supreme Court of Virginia has amended Rule 5:7, “Petitions for Writs of Habeas Corpus, Mandamus, and Prohibition.” The amended rule becomes effective June 5, 2018.

The VSB Standing Committee on Legal Ethics is seeking public comment on proposed Comment [5] to Rule of Professional Conduct 3.8 “Additional Responsibilities of a Prosecutor.” Comments are due May 7.

The Supreme Court of Virginia has approved LEO 1750 which applies Rules of Professional Conduct 7.1 Communications Concerning a Lawyer’s Services and 7.3 (d) Solicitation of Clients to a variety of situations in the compendium opinion. Full opinion here.

On April 3, 2018, the VSB Standing Committee on Legal Ethics voted to send proposed revisions to Rule 1.1, Competence, as well as proposed LEO 1889 concerning duties of court-appointed attorneys, to VSB Council which meets on June 14, 2018.

The Advisory Committee on Rules of Court, a subcommittee of Judicial Council, seeks comments on a revised proposed Supreme Court rule amendment on limited scope representation. Comments are due by August 1.

Effective June 15, 2018, the Supreme Court of Virginia has adopted amendments to the Rules of Integration for the Virginia State Bar, Part 6, Section IV, Paragraph 13 renaming CRESPA to RESA.

Effective June 15, 2018, the Supreme Court of Virginia amended Rule 5:1. Scope, Citation, Applicability, and General Provisions, and Rule 5:33Oral Argument. The Court’s current and past rule changes are available here. 

The Court also seeks lawyers for Medical Malpractice Review Panels. If you are interested, please send a short bio or resume to Application deadline: May 31.

Congratulations to the newly elected and reelected members of the Virginia State Bar Council.

Recent Disciplinary Actions:

Karl Galen Blanke, license revoked
Joseph Dee Morrissey, license revoked
Richard Murray, license revoked
Laura Reed Wright, license revoked
Ashraf Wajih Nubani, license suspended

Programs and Events

The VSB has launched a new online access portal for its Virginia Lawyer Referral Service (VLRS) that allows members of the public to find a Virginia lawyer online 24/7/365. The VSB seeks lawyers in a number of regions and practice areas to participate. If you are interested in being a referred lawyer, please see here.

The 80th Annual Meeting, June 14-17, in Virginia Beach features twelve compelling CLEs, “Lawyer Feud” featuring judges from across the commonwealth, and the installation of Leonard C. Heath Jr. as president. The price increases after May 11, so register here today!

Last call to register for the Conference of Local and Specialty Bar Associations’ Solo & Small-Firm Practitioner Forum in Hampden-Sydney on May 10. The FREE event features 6 hours CLE (3 hours ethics pending) as well as a town hall meeting with the Hon. Cleo E. Powell of the Supreme Court of Virginia.


Grayson P. “Gray” Hanes of Reed Smith LLP in Tysons has been awarded the VSB's General Practice Section’s Tradition of Excellence Award which “…recognizes an outstanding lawyer who embodies the highest tradition of personal and professional excellence in Virginia and, in doing so, enhances the image and esteem of attorneys in the Commonwealth.” 

Steve Isaacs of the Virginia Board of Bar Examiners is the 2018 recipient of the VSB Education Section’s William R. Rakes Leadership in Education Award.

Charles H. Slemp III has been awarded the 2018 VSB Young Lawyers Conference R. Edwin Burnette Jr. Award which goes to “...the outstanding young Virginia lawyer who has demonstrated dedicated service to the YLC, the legal profession, and the community."

Dipti Pidikiti-Smith, director of advocacy at Legal Services of Northern Virginia, is the recipient of the Legal Aid Award honoring excellence in legal aid society work.

Charu KulkarniWashington & Lee University School of Law, Class of 2018 has won the Oliver White Hill Law Student Pro Bono Award.

The awards will be presented at the Annual Meeting.


The April issue of Virginia Lawyer magazine should have hit your mailboxes by now. You can read articles from the Senior Lawyers Conference, on marijuana legislation, and on blockchain. Keep your mailing address (and email!) up-to-date in our member portal. Submit your article ideas and letters to editor Dee Norman. If you are interested in advertising in an upcoming issue or on the website, see rates and contact information here.

Updated: May 01, 2018