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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LEO NumTopicsSummary

3-Multiple Representations on the Same Matter

4-Witness-Advocate Rule

30-Disclosing Confidences Under Court Order

66-Lawyers Acting as "Scriveners"

71-Representing Corporations

A lawyer acted as a "scrivener" for two shareholders of a corporation attempting to reach an agreement (the lawyer had represented the company, and therefore properly declined to represent either shareholder in their dispute). The Bar warned that a lawyer acting as a "scrivener" faces multiple representation problems, especially if the parties are not otherwise represented by lawyers. If a dispute arises between shareholders of a closely held corporation, the lawyer may not play any role if the lawyer had been the corporation's lawyer. If one of the parties called the lawyer to testify, the lawyer should move to quash the subpoena. If the court denies the motion, the lawyer may testify. [Superseded in LEO 1803, which held that the existence of an attorney client relationship depends on the lawyer's action rather than a mere title, and holding that the attorney client relationship would arise between prisoners and lawyers practicing at a state prison if the lawyers did anything more than simply typing up what the prisoner wrote].

Copyright 2000, Thomas E. Spahn