Every practicing Virginia lawyer will get a $5 fee reduction this year. Moreover, lawyers trying to get back in the good graces of the bar will benefit far more with newly approved reductions in administrative penalties.
The Supreme Court of Virginia on April 28 reduced the fee assessed for the Virginia State Bar Clients’ Protection Fund from $10 to $5 effective July 1. Legislative authorization for the CPF fee will come to an end in 2023, but the VSB is hoping to get that sunset provision eliminated, to leave the Supreme Court with discretion to set assessments as it sees fit. The CPF’s account has reached $11 million, a level once seen as sufficient for the fund to be self-sustaining.
In addition, the Supreme Court cut in half VSB delinquency fees and reinstatement fees faced by lawyers seeking renewal after running afoul of bar administrative rules. The penalty for late dues payments drops from $50 to $25, effective immediately. The fee for reinstatement after an administrative license suspension falls from $150 to $75.
Members of the VSB Council supported the cuts in March, saying well-intentioned lawyers often faced substantial cumulative fees after accidentally allowing their standing to lapse.
The court also extended the period for completion of the Mandatory Professionalism Course from 12 to 24 months after a new lawyer becomes an active member.