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

56-Duty to Advise the Court

A lawyer may ethically file an action asserting a cause of action which had previously been dismissed in a similar case by the same court. The lawyer may ethically refrain from telling the court of the earlier action, but must answer honestly if the court asks about prior rulings. Furthermore, the earlier decision was being appealed, so the lawyer could be making a good faith argument for an extension, modification or reversal of existing law. [Rule 3.3(a)(3) would require disclosure if the earlier decision was "controlling legal authority."]

Copyright 2000, Thomas E. Spahn