On Wednesday, January 10, 2024, Attorney Thomas Charles Mason, III was publicly reprimanded by the Virginia State Bar for misconduct related to his representation of a client in a personal injury lawsuit.
The case is entitled “In the Matter of Thomas Charles Mason, III,” with case no. 23-032-128934.
The charges cited Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct 1.3 and 3.4 which states:
A lawyer shall act with reasonable diligence and promptness in representing a client.
A lawyer shall not: Knowingly disobey or advise a client to disregard a standing rule or a ruling of a tribunal made in the course of a proceeding, but the lawyer may take steps, in good faith, to test the validity of such a rule or ruling.
The Rules of Professional Conduct can be found here.
According to documents filed with the Third District, Section II Subcommittee of the Virginia State Bar, Mason took over the representation of client Ronnie Artis in September 2018 regarding two car accident cases from 2015. Mason substituted as counsel in November 2018 but did not properly effectuate service in one of the cases, leading to a dismissal. He refiled the suit in September 2019.
The agreed-upon facts note that Mason failed to respond to discovery requests from opposing counsel, missing several deadlines from January to July 2020. He did not appear at two hearings related to motions to compel discovery. Mason also failed to provide a signed medical release to opposing counsel for nearly a year, prompting another motion.
The pretrial scheduling order set deadlines for designating experts, which Mason also missed. He disclosed an expert a month later in October 2021 and the court excluded the testimony. Documents show ongoing delays, missed deadlines, and failures to properly file documents throughout 2021 as the trial date approached.
In the agreed disposition between Mason and Bar Counsel Renu Brennan, Mason admitted his conduct violated the Rules of Professional Conduct regarding diligence, fairness to opposing counsel, and failing to comply with discovery requests. The Subcommittee approved the disposition of a public reprimand on January 10, 2024. Mason waived his attorney fees from the settled case and reimbursed expert fees. Even after the settlement, the defense counsel had to pursue enforcement of the agreement in December 2021 due to improper notarization.
The Disposition states:
“Accordingly, having approved the agreed disposition, it is the decision of the Subcommittee to impose a Public Reprimand Without Terms, and Thomas Charles Mason, III is hereby so reprimanded, Pursuant to Part 6, S IV, 13-9.E of the Rules of Supreme Court of Virginia, the Clerk of the Disciplinary System will assess costs.”
According to avvo.com, Mr. Mason III is a personal injury attorney in Richmond, Virginia. He attended the College of William and Mary, Marshall-Wythe School of Law, graduating in 2012. He acquired his law license in Virginia in 2013.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.