Bar ruling recited

Published 8:14 pm Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Editor, Smithfield Times

Mr. Henry A. Thompson is seeking the Surry Office of Commonwealth’s Attorney in the coming November election.

In a recent article, Mr. Thompson promoted himself as if he has been a principled and competent attorney as he has litigated, in his own words, thousands and thousands of criminal law cases. On his political signs scattered throughout the county he touts “Justice For All.”

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However, in January of 2012, the Third District Subcommittee, Section I of the Virginia State Bar obviously didn’t share his exalted opinion of himself. The subcommittee served Mr. Henry Allen Thompson a Public Admonition Without Terms. The admonition states “such conduct by Henry Allen Thompson constitutes misconduct in violation of the following provisions of the Rules of Professional Conduct: Rule 1.3 Diligence, Rule 1.1 Competence and Rule 1.3 Diligence (or lack thereof).

Rule 1.1 Competence according to the Virginia State Bar states: A lawyer shall provide competent representation to a client. Competent representation requires the legal knowledge, skill, thoroughness and preparation reasonably necessary for the representation.

Rule 1.3 Diligence according to the Virginia State Bar: A lawyer shall act with reasonable diligence and promptness in representing a client. In its’ admonition the Virginia State Bar gave two detailed cases where Mr. Thompson did not exercise the due diligence his profession demands.

In my opinion, Mr. Thompson is neither knowledgeable nor competent enough to represent Surry County clients in any litigation that may be necessary. Surry County citizens do not need nor do they deserve Mr. Thompson for a Commonwealth Attorney and if he should be elected, the citizens of Surry County will not be able to depend on him for justice.

Please remember, your vote is crucial in November’s election. Choose your candidates carefully. You will have to live with your choices for the next four years.

Helen Cooke Eggleston