VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — A year before Republican candidate Tim Anderson won an award for 'Small Firm Pro Bono Attorney of the Year,' a federal judge ordered Anderson to take on 15 cases at no charge as punishment for impersonating a judge in an effort to 'intimidate his staff.'
Anderson, an attorney, is running against Democrat Nancy Guy to represent the 83rd District in the Virginia House of Delegates. The 83rd district represents the northwest part of Virginia Beach and a small part of Norfolk.
In his campaign mailers and posts, Anderson has touted his pro bono award, saying he "routinely worked without pay for folks who couldn't afford an attorney."
The Legal Aid Society of Eastern Virginia gave him the award in 2017.
A year earlier, in 2016, Anderson offered to file more pro-bono work as part of his apology for impersonating a federal bankruptcy court judge.
In an order, Chief Judge Stephen C. St. John said Anderson admitted to using a courthouse phone to call his office while pretending to be Chief Judge St. John to see “whether his staff was properly prioritizing telephone calls received from the Bankruptcy Court.”
The judge said the attempt to intimidate his staff was “disrespectful, offensive, contemptuous, and shocking to the conscience of the court.
As part of why he should not be held in contempt or issued sanctions, Anderson offered to take on 10 pro bono cases over the ensuing six months, adding that his legal reputation took a hit.
Judge St. John added five more pro bono cases, legal training, and said Anderson couldn't violate any other court rules for the next year.
Through a campaign statement, Anderson said: "This was quality control for my firm to make sure communications with judges are handled professionally, and all concerns were dismissed."
Legal Aid Society of Eastern Virginia said it gave Anderson the award based on the hours and cases he worked and said the judge's order was known at the time of the award.
Anderson narrowly beat out former Republican delegate Christopher Stolle in the Republican primary in June, winning by 24 votes.