Lawyer blasts VSB’s
“regrets” to inmate
Recently I received a “Personal & Confidential” letter from the Virginia State Bar in regard to an inmate complaining that I had never sent him his file. The letter was signed by an Assistant Intake Counsel.
I produced to her the November 1994 letter to the inmate showing his file had been sent to him then. I also sent the State Bar the postal receipt and copying bill. A few weeks later the complaint was dismissed. I received a copy of a letter sent by the Bar lawyer to the inmate expressing her “regret” of any delay in his getting his papers.
Since his file was mailed to him within six weeks of his case ending in the Supreme Court in the fall of 1994, I wrote the Bar lawyer and asked her the factual basis of her statement to the inmate. No reply being received, I wrote her again three weeks later.
Her supervisor then called and said I would not be getting a written reply from the Intake lawyer nor the State Bar.
She admitted that the letter sent to the inmate is a form letter. There is, of course, no factual basis for the form letter sending “regrets” to the inmate. No apology was owed the inmate.
It is a sad commentary that the Virginia State Bar is so eager to send out “Personal & Confidential” letters (particularly those aimed at lawyers doing criminal defense work) but cannot simply dismiss a frivolous complaint from an inmate without adding factually inaccurate regrets.
Robert P. Geary
Point from VADA
Thank you for the article titled “Defense Bar Hones Argument,” which appeared in the Nov. 4 edition of Virginia Lawyers Weekly. For the most part, the article was right on point and the quotations accurate. However, I do think it is important to clarify one important issue.
My argument, contrary to your article, is a far cry from that one made by State Farm in the Khabir v. State Farm case [VLW 096-12-04]. In fact, I used that case as an example of what I thought to be an overly aggressive approach by State Farm to limit damage claims.
As I understand the facts, in Khabir, the plaintiff’s medical bills exceed $8,000.00 and the plaintiff’s HMO largely paid for these expenses, leaving the plaintiff with a co-payment of $265.00. State Farm took the position that the plaintiff, for purposes of any payment under the med-pay provisions of his policy with State Farm, only “incurred” $265.00, the amount of his co-payment, even relevant to any amounts written off by the plaintiff’s health care provider, not amounts actually paid to his health care providers by a collateral source. In short, the court in Khabir does not appear to have addressed any “write offs,” if in fact such existed.
Again, I thank you for your coverage and hope that my correspondence clarifies the subject of my presentation to the VADA.
Richard E. Ladd Jr.