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Lawyer discipline changes aim for clarity

The Virginia State Bar is seeking comments on two proposed changes to bar discipline rules to establish application of the “clear and convincing” standard and to clarify the definition of “Disciplinary Record.”

The VSB’s Committee on Lawyer Discipline approved the changes Nov. 8. They would amend Part 6, Section IV, Paragraph 13-1 of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia and would add Part 6, Section IV, Paragraph 13-1.1

The first change would make it clear that “Disciplinary Record” does not include administrative or impairment suspensions. A lawyer’s license can be administratively suspended for failure to pay dues on time or for failure to respond to a bar subpoena.

The added paragraph states, “The burden of proof in all Disciplinary Proceedings is clear and convincing evidence.”

Comments should be submitted in writing to Karen A. Gould, Executive Director, Virginia State Bar, at 1111 E. Main Street, Suite 700, Richmond, VA 23219-0026 or publiccomment@vsb.org, no later than the end of the business day on Jan. 15.