Sunday, November 06, 2005

On the free speech rights of lawyers regarding pending cases in Virginia

In Anthony v. Virginia State Bar, the Virginia Supreme Court in an opinion by Senior Justice Russell imposed the sanction of a public reprimand imposed by the Bar on Joseph Anthony, the lawyer who filed a federal lawsuit claiming some form of collusion between some Roanoke lawyers and the Virginia Supreme Court. After he was sanctioned by Judge Osteen, sitting by designation in the W.D. Va., he then appealed to the Fourth Circuit with bad things to say about the district court judges, and appealed to the United States Supreme Court with bad things to say about the Fourth Circuit.

The case was heard only by Justices Lacy, Keenan, Koontz, Kinser, and Lemons, in addition to Senior Justice Russell.

I suppose this is the final chapter of the Snyder-Falkinham case, which was ostensibly settled, then the plaintiff got new counsel to try to get out from under the settlement, but the Virginia Supreme Court held that the settlement was binding. Eventually, she hired Mr. Anthony, and his bold claims generated a fair amount of publicity, almost ten years ago.

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