Should we loosen rules that automatically suspend lawyers who were disciplined in another jurisdiction, and that ensure they get the same punishment that the other jurisdiction imposed ? The Virginia State Bar thinks so, but it wants comments by August 6 on a thorough proposal about this.
Generally, the existing rules are good: they protect the public so that disbarred lawyers can't just hop from one state to another. They make the discipline process more efficient for the bar and the defendants, so the same offenses aren't litigated twice.
But a problem was revealed recently in a case where a lawyer was banned from a particular Federal tribunal, for reasons that never would have called for complete suspension or disbarment from the state bar. And although the tribunal was technically another "jurisdiction" under the ethics rules, the judge's banishment of the lawyer from that one tribunal was never intended to be as severe as a disbarment. He was trying to ban the guy from his tribunal, not put him out of business entirely.
The new proposal addresses all the potential problems with that case and several others the drafters anticipate. Please look at it and tell the Bar's Executive Director what you think, via email@example.com. All public comments are shared with the entire governing Council of the bar several days in advance of any vote on a proposal.