News and Information
November 12, 2020

VSB Considers Reducing Clients’ Protection Fund Assessment, Removing Sunset Provision

The Virginia State Bar is seeking public comment on two proposals regarding the Clients' Protection Fund. The CPF was established to reimburse clients who suffer a quantifiable financial loss due to the dishonest conduct of a Virginia lawyer.

The Clients' Protection Fund Board unanimously approved both these proposals at its September 25, 2020 meeting.

The first proposal seeks VSB Council authorization to petition the Supreme Court of Virginia to reduce the annual Clients’ Protection Fund assessment of each Virginia lawyer from $10 to $5 beginning in FY 2022 (July 1, 2021).

Secondly, the VSB seeks Council approval for VSB staff to request authorization from the Supreme Court of Virginia for permission to petition the Virginia General Assembly to reauthorize Va. Code Section 54.1-3913.1 beyond July 1, 2023, and remove the associated “sunset” provision.  This request is made to petition the General Assembly beginning with its 2022 regular session and, if necessary, 2023 regular session. 

The language of the two paragraphs can be found below with deletions indicated with strikethrough.

§ 54.1-3913.1. (Effective until July 1, 2023) Clients' Protection Fund.

The Clients' Protection Fund is continued as a special fund of the Virginia State Bar. The Fund shall consist of moneys transferred to it from the State Bar Fund and the Virginia State Bar's Administration and Finance Account. Disbursements to the Clients' Protection Fund from the State Bar Fund shall be made only upon approval of the disbursements through the annual budgetary process of the Virginia State Bar. Notwithstanding the provisions of § 54.1-3912, the Supreme Court may adopt rules assessing members of the Virginia State Bar an annual fee of up to $25 to be deposited in the State Bar Fund and transferred to the Clients' Protection Fund.

1996, c. 346; 2007, c. 807.
 
§ 54.1-3913.1. (Effective July 1, 2023) Clients' Protection Fund.

The Clients' Protection Fund is continued as a special fund of the Virginia State Bar. The Fund shall consist of moneys transferred to it from the State Bar Fund and the Virginia State Bar's Administration and Finance Account. Disbursements to the Clients' Protection Fund from the State Bar Fund shall be made only upon approval of the disbursements through the annual budgetary process of the Virginia State Bar.

1996, c. 346.
 

Inspection and Comment

Any individual, business, or other entity may file written comments in support of or in opposition to the proposed changes with Karen A. Gould, executive director of the Virginia State Bar, not later than January 8, 2021. Comments may be submitted by mail to 1111 East Main Street, Suite 700, Richmond, Virginia 23219-0026 or by email to publiccomment@vsb.org.

Updated: Nov 12, 2020