Virginia Bar president considers attorney trust audits
Headline Legal News | 2008/02/22 05:04
The president of the Virginia State Bar is proposing random audits of lawyer trust accounts.

Lawyers use trust accounts to temporarily hold real estate proceeds or retainers until they are disbursed to a third party or -- once a fee is earned -- to the lawyer.

It is a severe violation of professional conduct for a lawyer to mingle trust account money with personal funds or operating money.

But it does happen.

According to the state bar, a Virginia Beach attorney had his license revoked after he wrote 72 checks that he couldn't cover from 2002 to 2005. The checks totaled $3.3 million.

Bar president and Norfolk lawyer Howard Martin Junior says will make the audit proposal to the bar's executive committee next month. The American Bar Association recommends that every state conduct random audits to protect the public.



Drexel Law Gets Provisional Accreditation
Headline Legal News | 2008/02/21 03:12
Drexel University's new law school has received its much-awaited provisional accreditation, an important step toward providing its first students with usable legal degrees.

The university announced the provisional accreditation from the American Bar Association yesterday. It will allow graduating students to take the bar exam and, upon passing the test, practice professionally. Final accreditation will take at least two more years.

"To reach this milestone less than 18 months after welcoming our first law students to Drexel is remarkable and a testament to the vision and commitment of our Board of Trustees and the hard work and passion of the faculty and staff of the College of Law and its founding dean, Roger Dennis," Drexel President Constantine Papadakis said in a statement. "Drexel Law has gathered some of the most talented, innovative law faculty, practicing professionals and students anywhere, and it shows in every initiative."

In a city already boasting a healthy number of law schools, Drexel broke onto the scene in 2006. It was the first new law school in the region more than 30 years.

The law school's first class of 180 was drawn from a pool of more than 1,700 applicants and will graduate in 2009. And this year students are enjoying the school's new $19 million home on Market Street.


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