Still wary after a 2010 bid by Gov. Bob McDonnell to bring the Virginia State Bar bank account into the state general fund budget, bar leaders are talking about renaming the VSB’s “Reserve Fund” as the “Trust Fund” to make it clear it is not taxpayer money. Budget chair Alan Anderson advised bar leaders they could call the fund anything they liked.
“In that case, how about the ‘Untouchable Trust Fund?’” suggested Tracy Giles of Roanoke. The pointed terminology was dismissed as raising a red flag.
“Hopefully, the legislature won’t focus on it in the future,” Anderson later said to members of the bar council.
Immediate past VSB president Irv Blank (above) took heat in early 2011 for his blunt talk about the proposal to use bar money for the state budget – so much so he stepped aside to let others speak against the idea before General Assembly money committees. As he explained it at the time, “I’m radioactive.”
Blank’s lightning rod reputation was celebrated Wednesday evening as outgoing president George Shanks presented Blank with a white jumpsuit emblazoned with a bright yellow caution sign reading “Irv Blank – radioactive VSB spokesperson.”
The setting is Virginia Beach, the sun is dancing among clouds and the official convention guide states “casual attire is encouraged.” Former VSB president Jon Huddleston said that, during his term, he made of point of dispensing with the necktie at the annual meeting. At the microphone for a bar council meeting, Huddleston cast a cold eye as he called out three members wearing courtroom attire. His one word comment: “Really?”