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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27-Litigation Tactics (Including Misrepresentations, Tape Recordings)

31-Protecting and Disclosing Confidences and Secrets

48-Criminal Defense Lawyers

A lawyer may not disclose to the court or the prosecutor that the court had granted a continuance at the prosecutor's request and set the lawyer's client's first degree murder trial one day after the expiration of the time during which the prosecution could proceed. The lawyer's client's case was originally set for trial within the permissible time limit, but the prosecution later sought to rearrange trial dates of various co-defendants, and had arranged for a trial on a day that the lawyer had earlier advised the court he was available. "You were not consulted before the request for the continuance, nor have you consented to the continuance of this case. You allege that the time limitation for the prosecution of this felony will expire on February 8, 1989, one day before the case is set for trial pursuant to § 19.2-243 of the Code of Virginia.". "It is the opinion of the Committee that since you have no legal obligation to reveal the expiration of the limitations period, you may not reveal it to the detriment of your client."

Copyright 2000, Thomas E. Spahn