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. 
 Back to main menu

  Print This Leo
LEO NumTopicsSummary

10-Former Government Lawyer Conflicts

48-Criminal Defense Lawyers

51-Government Attorneys

A law firm may not represent criminal defendants after hiring a former Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney who had been assigned to prosecute or had some minor involvement involving the prosecution of the defendants, even though the Commonwealth's Attorney did not recall any of the facts, did not recall any discussions about the case and had not made any court appearances on behalf of the Commonwealth. The Bar held that the Commonwealth's Attorney had sufficient responsibility to trigger DR 9-101(B). Given the appearance of impropriety, consent from the client would not cure the conflict. [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