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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10-Former Government Lawyer Conflicts

51-Government Attorneys

A lawyer representing a defendant in an automobile accident case learns that a partner prosecuted the client while an Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney. The former Commonwealth's Attorney has not and will not be involved in the civil case. Given the appearance of impropriety, the law firm must withdraw from representing the defendant in the civil case, even if the client consents. [Rule 1.11 allows a law firm to avoid disqualification in certain circumstances if it screens the former government lawyer.]

Copyright 2000, Thomas E. Spahn