October 17, 2023
Highlights of the October 13 VSB Council Meeting
At its meeting on October 13, 2023, in Williamsburg, the Virginia State Bar Council heard the following significant reports and took the following actions.
Amendments to VSB Conference Bylaws
Council approved, with 57* yeah votes, 0 nay votes, and 1 abstention, amendments to VSB Conferences bylaws, including:
- Amendments to the Senior Lawyers Conference Bylaws, which reduced the quorum requirement and clarified that members attending either physically or virtually may vote on actions before their Board of Governors.
- Amendments to the Young Lawyers Conference Bylaws, which reduced the quorum requirement for the transaction of business by the Board of Governors and the Nominating Committee, and clarified that members attending either physically or virtually may vote on actions before their Board of Governors or conference meetings.
- Amendments to the Conference of Local & Specialty Bar Associations Bylaws and removal of its Constitution, which combined two separate governing documents, the Constitution and Bylaws, reduced the quorum requirement for the transaction of business by the Executive Committee, clarified that members attending either physically or virtually may vote on actions before their Executive Committee, and set the quorum requirement and approval process for the transaction of business for any subcommittee or other entity established by the Executive Committee.
Amendments to the VSB Bylaws Relating to Quorum and VFOIA Requirements
Council unanimously approved changes to the Virginia State Bar Bylaws and the Bylaws of the Council of the Virginia State Bar, which reduced the current VSB committee and board quorum requirement from a majority of voting members to three or more; required an affirmative vote of a majority of voting members for action to be taken by the committee or board; and removed a provision that is inconsistent with the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (VFOIA).
Request to Authorize VSB Legislative Activity in Support of Virginia Child Dependency Legal Representation Workgroup Recommendations
Council unanimously approved the VSB Access to Legal Services Committee’s request to support of the recommendations of the Virginia Child Dependency Legal Representation Workgroup, as convened by the Office of the Children’s Ombudsman, to improve the quality of legal representation in certain child dependency cases. The request to support policy, budgetary, and related legislative activity will be presented to the Supreme Court of Virginia for approval.
Proposed Legal Ethics Opinion 1900
Council approved with 57* yea votes, 1 nay votes, and 0 abstentions, amendments to proposed LEO 1900, Duty to disclose the death of the client. The proposed opinion will be presented to the Supreme Court of Virginia for approval.
Amendments to Rule 8.4(f), Prohibiting Agreements Not to File Bar Complaint
Council approved with 50* yea votes, 6 nay votes, and 0 abstentions, proposed amendments to Rule 8.4 adding a new paragraph (f). The proposed rule prohibits a lawyer from making an agreement with a client or former client limiting the client or former client’s right to file or pursue a lawyer disciplinary complaint. The proposed changes will be presented to the Supreme Court of Virginia for approval.
*Updated October 30, 2023, to correct a discrepancy due to unverified votes recorded in polling software.