The Virginia State Bar's Sixth District Subcommittee issued a public reprimand with no penalty this week to former Caroline County Commonwealth's Attorney Tony Spencer for his conduct in a courtroom dispute over a legal manual. 

The subcommittee cited Spencer on Tuesday for violating professional rules that govern fairness to opposing party and counsel. A news release from the State Bar called the action "an agreed disposition of misconduct charges."

The case stemmed from a 2015 incident in which Spencer accused defense attorney Melisa E. Danjczek, who had previously worked as a prosecutor in his office, of taking a copy of a DUI manual prepared for commonwealth's attorneys in Virginia without permission. During the dispute, Spencer took the manual from Danjczek, who had brought it to court.

The judge hearing the DUI case that brought the two attorneys together in the courtroom took the manual from Spencer and returned it to Danjczek, according to the bar's report.

Danjczek later filed a lawsuit, which led to a $90,000 out-of-court settlement in 2016 and an apology from Spencer, who did not seek re-election in 2015. 

  

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