The Virginia State Bar website now has a third button to click to check on the status of an attorney – “Attorneys Not in Good Standing.”
That button supplements buttons for “Attorneys Without Malpractice Insurance” and “Disciplined Attorneys.”
In most instances the new button duplicates the information available by clicking the “Disciplined Attorneys” button, but an attorney can be “not in good standing” without having been disciplined, notes VSB Executive Director Karen A. Gould.
Examples include an administrative suspension for not having paid bar dues or having met mandatory continuing legal education requirements.
Issuance of permanent bar cards makes it more important for judges and sheriffs to be able to determine quickly whether an attorney is still in good standing, Gould said.
Many sheriffs give special privileges to those with bar cards, including allowing them to carry into a courthouse electronic devices that are otherwise banned.
Moreover, the Supreme Court of Virginia has made it clear that many actions, such as signing a pleading, are a legal nullity if an attorney is not in good standing, Gould said.
By Alan Cooper