On September 11, 2023, the First District Committee of the Virginia State Bar publicly reprimanded attorney Steve Morton Osser for violating the professional rule that governs communicating with persons represented by counsel.
The charge cited Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 4.2 , which states:
“In representing a client, a lawyer shall not communicate about the subject of the representation with a person the lawyer knows to be represented by another lawyer in the matter unless the lawyer has the consent of the other lawyer or is authorized to do so by law or a court order.”
According to a news article published by the Suffolk News-Herald, Oser made contact with Laura Brooks, the employment manager at Smithfield Foods, on September 16, 2022, during his representation of Blue Casteen in a workers’ compensation matter. The violation occurred when Oser discussed Casteen’s case with Brooks without proper authorization and consent.
Despite Oser’s assertion that he had a “legal justification,” “professional duty,” and “moral obligation” to communicate with Brooks, the proceedings found that he had violated the abovementioned rule.
Oser maintains that he acted in the best interests of his client, believing the information he possessed to be accurate. Nevertheless, the Virginia State Bar determined that the violation had been proved by convincing evidence and issued a public reprimand.
The Disposition states:
“Effective September 11, 2023, the First District Committee of the Virginia State Bar issued a public reprimand without terms to Steven Morton Oser for violating the professional rule that governs communicating with persons represented by counsel.”
According to avvo.com, Mr. Osser is a personal injury attorney in Suffolk, Virginia. He attended the Whittier College School of Law, graduating in 1986. He acquired his law license in Virginia in 1989.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.