All lawyers licensed in Virginia must adhere to the Disciplinary Rules (DRs) and principles codified in the Virginia Code of Professional Responsibility. The ethical precepts contained therein constitute the bedrock upon which the notion of professionalism is based. It distinguishes Virginia lawyers as members of a learned profession. Unfortunately, all lawyers do not accept the ethical responsibilities which come with the privilege of licensure. For those instances in which a lawyer strays from his ethical tethering, the Supreme Court of Virginia has devised a procedure for investigating complaints of lawyer misconduct and, where appropriate, imposing discipline.
Michael L. Rigsby,
Annual Survey of Virginia Law: Professional Responsibility,
U. Rich. L. Rev.
Available at: http://scholarship.richmond.edu/lawreview/vol21/iss4/12