Imagine walking around in another person’s skin, in order to understand him. Atticus Finch gave that advice to his daughter Scout, and it may have been on the minds of Virginia’s Supreme Court justices when they heard a trio of lawyer discipline cases last week. When a Virginia State Bar complaint comes before the court, [...]
By Deborah Elkins
Published: January 9, 2013
Tags: Constitutional, Justice Cleo E. Powell, Justice Cynthia D. Kinser, Justice William C. Mims, Lawyer Discipline, Rules of Professional Conduct, Supreme Court of Virginia News, Virginia State Bar
Lawyer-blogger Horace Hunter faced the Supreme Court of Virginia Jan. 8 in the appeal of his disciplinary case, and he said anything he wrote about his clients’ cases is absolutely protected by the First Amendment. First Amendment scholar Rodney Smolla made the case by arguing that Hunter’s blog is not commercial speech, but political speech [...]
Judges and judgeships again made headlines in Virginia legal news in 2012, with the General Assembly earning national attention with its rejection of an openly gay candidate for a general district court seat. The leading VLW story was a report that, in a year of austerity, legislators with access to the budget process managed to [...]
A lawyer accused of continuing to practice law despite a two-year suspension has been handed an additional two-year suspension after telling the Virginia State Bar “to go f— themselves.”
A Hanover County lawyer with a long list of discipline complaints has agreed to surrender his license. Robert H. Smallenberg of Ashland consented to revocation with nine complaints pending against him, according to an order and affidavit provided by the Virginia State Bar. Many of the complaints involved accounting for clients’ money and communication with [...]
The Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board has recommended reinstatement of a law license for K. Dennis Sisk, who lost his license in 2005 after he represented his own drug dealer in Richmond federal court while his law license was suspended. The board issued its split decision calling for reinstatement at the close of an Oct. [...]
A Fairfax County attorney who thought her law license was revoked after a 2007 federal felony conviction got a surprise earlier this year when she sought reinstatement. She was still in good standing. Her license never was impacted by the conviction, even though she promptly self-reported to the Virginia State Bar.
An Eastern Shore lawyer is fighting to overturn a Virginia State Bar admonition for failing to withdraw from representing a divorcing husband after the wife divulged confidential information to his law partner. The case highlights the risk of not having a database for easy conflict checks, even for a small law office.
The Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board has affirmed a public reprimand against a Prince George County prosecutor who allegedly pursued criminal charges without probable cause. The case represents another instance of bar discipline for a prosecutor, following recent criticism from some defense lawyers that few prosecutors seemed to face misconduct proceedings. As an assistant commonwealth’s [...]
A lawyer using rented conference rooms as “virtual offices” for client meetings with contract lawyers emerged almost unscathed from a battle with the Virginia State Bar over advertising issues. The Fairfax attorney agreed to a public reprimand without terms and promised several marketing changes to resolve complaints about the promotion of his practice on the Internet. The case presented issues of first impression about Internet marketing and “virtual” law offices, according to an agreed order from a three-judge attorney discipline panel.