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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4-Witness-Advocate Rule

48-Criminal Defense Lawyers

Two lawyers represent clients in criminal matters. There is a dispute with the IRS about the extent of the immunity the clients have been given. The lawyers must withdraw as counsel if they testify at any pretrial hearings about the scope of the immunity, because the Virginia Code "does not provide a distinction between testifying on pre-trial issues and testifying at the trial" (the Bar had insufficient information about possible substantial hardship on the clients should the lawyers withdraw).

Copyright 2000, Thomas E. Spahn