WOODSTOCK — A local attorney and Shenandoah County supervisor will have to explain to the court why his license to practice law shouldn’t be suspended or revoked — or that he shouldn't receive some other penalty.
Brad Pollack has a hearing in front of three judges appointed by the chief justice of the Virginia Supreme Court to answer allegations of improperly accounting for funds while representing three different clients.
Pollack is the District 3 Supervisor on the Shenandoah County Board of Supervisors.
The hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. Feb. 3 and 4 in Shenandoah County Circuit Court.
The allegations are made in a complaint from the Virginia State Bar’s Seventh District Committee, which represents the 26th Judicial District that includes Shenandoah County.
The first incident began in December 2019 and involved Pollack representing a Mount Jackson client facing a misdemeanor firearm charge and a felony charge of making a false statement.
The charges ended up getting dropped, but the client was re-indicted on them and arrested on a court order after not showing up for his arraignment. The complaint states Pollack never communicated the reindictment to the client.
The client paid Pollack $2,500 and $3,500 on two separate occasions for the representation, which was terminated by the client, the determination states. Pollack refused to return the fees to the client and did not properly enter them into his trust account, per state bar regulations, according to the complaint.
The second incident involved Pollack representing a client in a divorce in February of 2019. The client paid Pollack $10,000 with his work to be billed against that retainer. Pollack again failed to deposit the funds into his trust account per State Bar regulations, the complaint states.
The third incident consisted of Pollack representing a Strasburg client for a shoplifting incident in Shenandoah County General District Court for a fee of $800, the complaint continues. Pollack advised the client to waive his probable cause hearing, and the client did, sending the charges to Shenandoah County Circuit Court.
During a proceeding at Circuit Court, Pollack did not represent the client, saying his representation was limited only to the General District Court proceedings, the complaint states. Pollack never provided a written fee agreement nor communicated that to the client.
Pollack has filed in Shenandoah County Circuit Court a response to the complaint, saying in the first instance that he was given no notice that the Mount Jackson client would be indicted in August. In the third instance, Pollack said he does not treat clients as it was described. Pollack suggested handling both instances through the fee dispute process with the Virginia State Bar.
Pollack, who wanted further proceedings be held before a three-judge panel, also filed a motion to recall the scheduling of the hearing, citing several improper procedures by the State Bar Committee, including that in all three instances no inappropriate accounting of funds could be inferred from his clients' complaints. The allegations came as a result of the investigation into the client complaints, Pollack argues.
The Virginia State Bar contended they did follow procedure, citing a Motley v. Virginia case that states the bar’s attorney may examine an attorney's trust account whenever they reasonably believe that the trust account may not be in compliance.
The motion to recall the hearing scheduling was denied, with Pollack’s exception being noted, according to court documents.
An attempt to reach the Virginia State Bar for comment was not returned Tuesday. Pollack declined to comment on the matter, referring to his response he filed in Shenandoah County Circuit Court.