Tuesday, April 24, 2018
The Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board excluded a limited license holder from practice
The Respondent graduated from law school in 2004. He then took the Virginia Bar Exam in 2004, which he failed. In 2005, the Respondent took the West Virginia Bar Exam and failed that as well. He subsequently took the Tennessee Bar Exam in 2005 and passed. He was then licensed to practice law in Tennessee. In 2006, he submitted an application and was granted the privilege to serve as corporate counsel in the Commonwealth pursuant to the Rules of Virginia Supreme Court, Part One A, Foreign Attorneys, Rule 1A:5, with the limited ability to provide legal services for a company known as 21st Century Computers (hereinafter “21st Century”) and only for 21st Century. 21st Century was a business that the Respondent’s father-in-law started out of his home in the 1980s and was later incorporated in Virginia.
At no point was the Respondent admitted before the Supreme Court of Virginia granting him the ability to practice law generally. Furthermore, the Respondent admitted to Investigator Baker that he (the Respondent) researched the license restrictions of corporate counsel before applying with the Commonwealth and acknowledged that he could only work for the corporation and the corporation only, but stated he was allowed to do pro bono work. He further stated that he believed he could give legal representation where “the poor person don’t have to pay me nothin’.” He wrongfully believed that he could be compensated through an entity, such as the Commonwealth for doing legal work for indigent persons.
You see the issue
Knowing full well that he was not authorized to practice law that was not associated with 21st Century, the Respondent rented an office with a sign that alerted the public that the office was The Billips Law Firm LLC. He also advertised to the public that he was an attorney by establishing a website and Facebook page for his firm and by making pens to hand out to the public.
it is ORDERED that the privilege to practice law as corporate counsel in the Commonwealth of Virginia that was granted to the Respondent, B. Walter Billips, is revoked effective March 23, 2018 pursuant to Part VI, Section 4, Paragraph 13(1) of the Rules of Virginia Supreme Court and that B. Walter Billips shall be excluded from admission to the Virginia State Bar and shall be excluded from the exercise of any privilege to practice of law in any capacity within the Commonwealth.