Adopted | Rule Prohibiting Agreements Limiting Bar Complaints
Approved by the Supreme Court of Virginia on January 4, effective March 4, 2024.

January 4, 2024

On January 4, 2024, the Supreme Court of Virginia adopted revisions to Rule 8.4 of the Rules of Professional Conduct.

View the Court's order.

November 8, 2023

A petition with revisions to Rule 8.4 was sent to the Supreme Court of Virginia for approval on November 8, 2023.

View the petition to the Court.

October 17, 2023

At its meeting on October 13, 2023, VSB Council approved revisions to Rule 8.4. A petition will be sent to the Supreme Court of Virginia for approval. It will be posted here after it is sent.

September 20, 2023

At its meeting on September 15, 2023, the Legal Ethics Committee voted to send the proposed changes to Rule 8.4 to VSB Council for approval during the October 13, 2023, meeting.

The Virginia State Bar is seeking public comment on a proposed amendment 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.

Inspection and Comment

The proposed rule may be inspected below or at the office of the Virginia State Bar, 1111 East Main Street, Suite 700, Richmond, Virginia 23219-0060, between the hours of 9:00 am and 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday. 

Any individual, business, or other entity may submit written comments in support of or in opposition to the proposed opinion with Cameron M. Rountree, executive director of the Virginia State Bar, not later than August 31, 2023. Comments may be submitted via email to [email protected].

Proposed new Rule 8.4(f) prohibiting agreement not to file bar complaint

RULE 8.4 Misconduct

It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to:

  1. violate or attempt to violate the Rules of Professional Conduct, knowingly assist or induce another to do so, or do so through the acts of another;
  2. commit a criminal or deliberately wrongful act that reflects adversely on the lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness or fitness to practice law;
  3. engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation which reflects adversely on the lawyer’s fitness to practice law;
  4. state or imply an ability to influence improperly or upon irrelevant grounds any tribunal, legislative body, or public official; or
  5. knowingly assist a judge or judicial officer in conduct that is a violation of applicable rules of judicial conduct or other law; or
  6. enter into an agreement with a client or former client limiting or purporting to limit the right of the client or former client to file or pursue any complaint before a lawyer regulatory or disciplinary authority.