On Monday, March 20, 2023, the First District Subcommittee of the Virginia State Bar publicly reprimanded attorney Matthew Taylor Morris for continuing to practice law despite his suspension status. The case is entitled “In the Matter of  Matthew Taylor Morris,” with case no. 23-022-127437.

The charges cited Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct 5.5 which states:

A lawyer shall not practice law in a jurisdiction in violation of the regulation of the legal profession in that jurisdiction, or assist another in doing so.

The Rules of Professional Conduct can be found here.

On October 12, 2022, the respondent’s license was administratively suspended for his failure to pay his bar dues. Upon knowledge, the respondent paid the dues and late fees to be reinstated as a member in good standing on November 9, 2022.

Records from VSB Regulatory Compliance indicate and proved that the annual dues statement for the respondent was already prepared on June 1, 2022, and was successfully mailed to the respondent’s address of record. On October 14, 2022, a letter was prepared by the director of regulatory compliance, informing the respondent that his license had been suspended on October 12, 2022.

In response, the respondent stated he did not get the documents from the VSB concerning his bar dues or the suspension. However, the respondent admitted that his “house is a mess” and “it is mail everywhere.” Respondent said a family member could have received the mail and put it somewhere in the house. Respondent asserted that he didn’t know that his bar dues were already due and that it slipped into his mind but recognized that the responsibility was his.

In consideration of this, the Virginia State Bar decided to publicly reprimand the respondent.

The order states:

“Accordingly, having approved the Agreed Disposition, it is the decision of the Subcommittee to impose a Public Reprimand with Terms. The term is:

1. For a period of two (2) years following the service of the Subcommittee Determination, Respondent will not engage in any conduct that violates the Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct, including any amendments thereto, and/or which violates any analogous provisions, and any amendments thereto, of the disciplinary rules of another jurisdiction in which Respondent may be admitted to practice law. The terms contained in this paragraph will be deemed to have been violated when any ruling, determination, judgment, order, or decree has been issued against Respondent by a disciplinary tribunal in Virginia or elsewhere, containing a finding that Respondent has violated one or more provisions of the Rules of Professional Conduct referred to above, provided, however, that the conduct upon which such finding was based occurred within the period referred to above, and provided, further, that such ruling has become final.”

Mr. Morris is listed in the law firm Top Tier Law Group, P.L.L.C. as a practicing attorney. He practices in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He is licensed in Virginia. Mr. Morris’ info can be found on lawyer.com.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.