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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LEO NumTopicsSummary

9-Government Lawyer Conflicts

21-Reporting Another Lawyer's Unethical Conduct

31-Protecting and Disclosing Confidences and Secrets

A proposed FOIA amendment would require a member of a public body to certify that nothing improper was discussed. The lawyer representing the public body would have to reveal a false certification as a fraud upon a third party if the "fraud has been committed to dilute the citizenry's respect for the workings of government." Otherwise, the lawyer could not reveal a false certification.If one of the board members was a lawyer, that member could not sign a false certification. If the member did so, the county attorney discovering the falsity of the certification would have to report it to the professional authorities. It would be "rebuttably presumptive that a false certification by a presiding officer-member/attorney would reflect adversely on that lawyer's fitness to practice law" and would have to be reported to the Bar.

Copyright 2000, Thomas E. Spahn