These summaries were prepared by McGuireWoods LLP lawyer Thomas E. Spahn. They are based on the letter opinions issued by the Virginia State Bar. Any editorial comments reflect Mr. Spahn's current personal views, and not the opinions of the Virginia State Bar, McGuireWoods or its clients. 
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19-Judge Conflicts

A lawyer may appear before a judge who has a relative in the lawyer's firm, as long as the judge discloses the relationship and the parties consent. The judge would not have to disclose that a nephew is a lessee of a partner in the firm. The judge's spouse (a receptionist in the judge's son's law firm) may handle client files as long as the spouse does not handle files assigned to the judge. The judge would not have to disclose the fact of the spouse's employment in the son's law firm. [The judge's disclosure obligations would be governed by the Canons of Judicial Conduct.]

Copyright 2000, Thomas E. Spahn