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Virginia State Bar

Apr 27, 2020

Lawyers question need for client sex prohibition

At least six lawyers have raised concerns about a Virginia State Bar proposal to explicitly ban lawyers from initiating sexual relations with a current client. But there is no consensus on what’s wrong with the proposal. One lawyer questioned the need for specifically addressing sex, as opposed to overbearing conduct in general. Others would prefer […]

Oct 3, 2018

Buniva unopposed for VSB president-elect

Richmond environmental lawyer Brian L. Buniva is in line to become the president of the Virginia State Bar in 2020. Despite expressed interest from other attorneys, no one else filed by the Oct. 1 deadline to challenge Buniva’s nominating petition to qualify for election as president-elect. Without opposition, Buniva is expected to be acclaimed as […]

Sep 4, 2018

Prosecutor faces VSB ethics charges

A Virginia prosecutor has been charged by a Virginia State Bar disciplinary panel with “dishonesty and misrepresentation” in concealing information about a police drug informant. The case against Joseph W. Lee III, formerly with the Portsmouth commonwealth’s attorney’s office, marks a rare instance of bar ethics charges against a prosecutor for alleged discovery misconduct. The […]

Aug 1, 2018

Mims, bar leaders sound a call for wellness

ROANOKE – Justice William C. Mims of the Virginia Supreme Court compares his formula for well-being with the cylinders of his car. The car may have six cylinders, but if the spark is lacking for any one of them, the car just won’t run right. If the ignition coils fail for two cylinders, Mims’ Saab […]

Jun 20, 2018

Appellate mediation project is approved

VIRGINIA BEACH — Virginia’s appellate courts will launch pilot mediation projects for civil cases next year. A study committee recommended in April that the courts give appellate mediation a try. The Supreme Court of Virginia gave the green light in May. The pilot mediation programs will run for two years, beginning Jan. 1. In the […]

Jun 14, 2018

Lawyer who lied about work accepts bar suspension

A former Tysons Corner law firm associate has agreed to a two-and-a-half-year license suspension, admitting he lied about uncompleted work on collections cases over a period of more than two years. When he admitted his lapses and his lies in May of last year, Rory K. Nugent resigned from the firm of Rees Broome PC and gave […]

May 1, 2018

Law students seek change to bar app question

Law students in Virginia are asking for a rule change which they say will allow them to seek mental health treatment without fear of its impacting their careers. The question arose when students from the University of Richmond sent a letter to the Virginia Board of Bar Examiners in early April asking them to “end […]

Apr 12, 2018

Lawyer surrenders license over estate fee allegations

A former Alexandria attorney who paid himself more than $1 million for work on a decedent’s estate gave up his license last month in the face of seven ethics charges, including accusations of a wrongful act, making a false statement to a tribunal and “dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation.” Richard Murray said the beneficiaries knowingly […]

Mar 29, 2018

Morrissey to be subject to bar discipline after finding

Lawyer Joe Morrissey’s 2014 conviction for contributing to the delinquency of a minor has led to a finding that he violated the Rules of Professional Conduct. A three-judge Richmond Circuit Court panel concluded March 28 that Morrissey’s 2013 relationship with a 17-year-old employee – now his wife – was a criminal or deliberately wrongful act, […]

Mar 27, 2018

Lawyer disbarred after skipping VSB hearing

A Lynchburg lawyer who ran afoul of a bankruptcy judge, failed to show at a series of court appearances and then skipped a Virginia State Bar disciplinary hearing has been disbarred. Brent L. Barbour’s pattern of violations over a short period of time and a past record of similar conduct “demonstrate a serious failure to […]

Mar 23, 2018

Bar: Tips to assistance program could help troubled lawyers

A Virginia State Bar committee is recommending allowing bar prosecutors to share concerns about a lawyer’s mental health or substance abuse issues with a lawyer assistance program. The rule change would mark an exception to otherwise strict confidentiality about any bar investigation of a lawyer accused of ethics violations. Another proposal would allow a lawyer […]

Jan 29, 2018

Criminal discovery reform…again

The latest study of Virginia criminal discovery rules produced a fresh report just in time to forestall a legislative rewrite effort this month. Once again, a multi-discipline group is recommending defense access to police reports. The next move is up to the Supreme Court of Virginia. The Virginia State Bar’s Criminal Discovery Reform Task Force […]

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