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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  Topic: 83 - Solicitation
LEO NumTopicsSummaryDate
1290

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28-Law Firm Staff

83-Solicitation

[WITHDRAWN 9/16] A law firm staff member may not solicit business for the firm even if the non-lawyer is to receive no additional compensation for the service (because the staff member would be compensated with a regular salary for recommending or securing employment for the law firm). A lawyer may never delegate in-person solicitation to a non-lawyer, even acting under the lawyer's supervision.10/25/1989
0856

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76-Trust and Estate Lawyers

83-Solicitation

[WITHDRAWN 9/16] A lawyer may offer free estate planning seminars to church members (with no intent to solicit other business) and may accept other business if a church member wants to retain the lawyer.11/10/1986
1572

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13-Marketing - Miscellaneous

38-Fee Splitting

42-Payments to Solicit Recommendations

83-Solicitation

A lawyer may not engage in an arrangement with a non-lawyer under which the non-lawyer refers cases to the lawyer, assists in helping the lawyer for a fee and in personal injury cases receives a percentage of the client's recovery. The arrangement impermissibly involves a lawyer: (a) paying the non-lawyer a referral fee for soliciting clients and; (b) splitting fees with a non-lawyer. 2/8/1994
0625

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83-Solicitation

84-Direct Mail Marketing

A lawyer may solicit business from an accident victim in writing, by telephone or by in-person communication. [Rule 7.3(f) would prohibit any in-person or telephone solicitation in these circumstances.]11/14/1984
1515

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8-Bills and Fees

16-Lawyer's Personal Interests

18-Consent and Prospective Waivers

60-Lawyers Acting as Trustees

61-Lawyers Acting as Executors

76-Trust and Estate Lawyers

83-Solicitation

This LEO outlines the principle governing a lawyer acting as executor or trustee: a pre-existing attorney-client relationship is not necessary, but is one factor showing the propriety of the lawyer's selection. The lawyer must fully disclose the fees that will be charged (preferably in writing) and "has a duty to suggest that the client investigate potential fees of others who might otherwise provide such services." A lawyer acting as executor or trustee may hire the lawyer's own law firm to represent him or her as long as there is full disclosure (including "the general compensation to be paid to the law firm") and consent (if the client is already dead, the beneficiaries can consent). A lawyer acting as a fiduciary is governed by the Code. A lawyer may solicit designation as a fiduciary as long as there is no overreaching or fraud. (Approved by the Supreme Court 2/1/94)2/1/1994

Copyright 2000, Thomas E. Spahn