News and Information
March 04, 2020

VSB News March 2020


The VSB’s Standing Committee on Legal Ethics seeks public comment on proposed amendments to Rules 1.8, 1.10, 1.15, and 3.3 , of the Rules of Professional Conduct.

Yes, Virginia, we want to improve your MCLE experience. The MCLE Board seeks feedback from providers and lawyers.

At its meeting on February 29 in Richmond, the Virginia State Bar Council approved a number of amendments and the FY2021 budget .

The Standing Committee on Legal Ethics  seeks comments on proposed amendments to Rule 1.8 ( concerning sexual relations with a current client ), a proposed new legal ethics opinion, and amendments to existing LEO 1850. Comments deadline has been extended until March 20.

Bar Council , the Virginia State Bar’s governing body, will hold its annual elections by electronic ballot in April for terms beginning July 1. Virginia lawyers who wish to be on the ballot must be active members in good standing of their circuit as of March 15, 2020. Instructions are included at this link if you wish to file for election.

The Bar’s Nominating Committee  is  accepting applications  from Virginia lawyers for the Clients’ Protection Fund Board, the Judicial Candidate Evaluation Committee, and the Executive Committee of Bar Council. Applications are due March 27. 

The VSB seeks comments on proposed changes to the  Judicial Candidate Evaluation Committee ’s procedures and policies.


Recent disciplinary actions :

Clifford John Shoemaker , license revoked, effective February 7, 2020.

Paul Granville Watson IV , license revoked, e ffective February 10, 2020.

Kenneth Steven Kaufman , license revoked, effective February 21, 2020.

David Harris Miller license revoked, effective February 21, 2020.

Jason Michael Breneman , license suspended, effective February 14, 2020.

Michael Anthony Cole, license suspended, effective February 21, 2020.

Traci Leigh Bransford Marquis license suspended, effective February 26, 2020.

James Anthony Rivera public reprimand, effective February 7, 2020.

Craig Edward Baumann public reprimand, effective February 18, 2020.

Sterling Harrisbe Weaver Sr., admonition, effective February 6, 2020.

Earn CLE credit training with the Bar.  The VSB is offering a free 2-hour CLE to lawyers interested in serving as Receivers of the practices of deceased, disabled, or suspended/revoked attorneys. The Bar seeks lawyers willing to serve the profession and assist in protecting both public and client interests where an attorney has not designated a successor, and there is no one available to assist in the winding down of the attorney’s law practice.


Receivership Training (2.0 Ethics CLE, pending)

April 13, 2020, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Bank of America Building, 1111 E. Main Street, 3rd Floor, Richmond, VA 23219

Register here . 


To avoid suspension , all 2019 CLE hours and delinquency fees must be received no later than 4:45 p.m. EST March 10 . You may pay your Noncompliance Fee and Late Filing Fees online with a Visa or Mastercard. Please use a verifiable delivery service such as FedEx or UPS close to the deadline. Postmarks are not considered. Fax or emails are not accepted for 2019 compliance. Instructions for compliance and a blank Form 1 End of Year Report may be found at our website  here . Your continued good standing is important to us. Please call if you have any questions: (804) 775-0577.

Pro Bono / Access to Justice

Nominate an access to justice hero! The Virginia Legal Aid Award and Oliver White Hill Law Student Pro Bono Award nominations deadline is March 6 by 5 p.m. Nomination information .

You can help fill the justice gap in Virginia by taking one pro bono case in March. Finding cases is now easier than ever with the JusticeServer Statewide Pro Bono Portal . You can register and browse available opportunities from the comfort of your home, office or anywhere with an internet connection. There is a particular need for help with no fault divorces. No experience necessary and great training materials provided. Register here today!

Events and Awards

David Masterman has been awarded the Family Law section's 2020 Betty A. Thompson Lifetime Achievement Award.

Brian Hirsch has been recognized by the Family Law Board of Governors with the Family Law Service Award.A close up of a logo

Description automatically generated

The Board of Governors of the Diversity Conference seeks nominations for the Clarence M. Dunnaville Jr. Achievement Award that promotes diversity and inclusion in the Bar.

Also, if you, or someone you know, would like to be on the Diversity Conference Board of Governors submit an application by April 15. Please contact Luis Perez, Immediate Past President, at  for more information on joining the Board of Governors or the Dunnaville Award.

Please nominate a general practice lawyer for the Tradition of Excellence Award , sponsored by the General Practice Section and given at the Annual Meeting. Nominations are due April 6.

CLE Opportunities

The elusive Corporate Counsel section is sponsoring our April Virginia Lawyer , their first issue since 2003!

In the meantime, thank you to the Senior Lawyers Conference and to all the lawyers and advertisers who made the February issue possible.

If you prefer to read Virginia Lawyer  online and would like to opt out of receiving your printed magazine, please log on to your member portal  and do so there.

Updated: Mar 04, 2020