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)

48-Criminal Defense Lawyers

The Bar declines to say whether it is unethical for a lawyer to tape record telephone conversations with opposing counsel. (4/19/89) [In LEO 1738, the Bar indicated that lawyers may secretly tape record telephone conversations in which they participate, but only in situations involving criminal or housing discrimination investigations or if the lawyers are protecting themselves from possible criminal action.] [The Bar also dealt with this issue in LEO 1765, in which it overruled any inconsistent holdings in LEO 1217.] [Overruled in Virginia LEO 1814 (5/3/11), which allows a lawyer to engage in or have an agent engage in lawful undisclosed tape recording, as long as they comply with Rule 4.3 by disclosing their role at the time.]

Copyright 2000, Thomas E. Spahn