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

18-Consent and Prospective Waivers

48-Criminal Defense Lawyers

51-Government Attorneys

A former Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney may represent a criminal defendant on appeal if the lawyer had no substantial responsibility over the case while in the Commonwealth's Attorney's office (the former Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney had nothing to do with the case, never saw the file, never heard of the case and had no knowledge of the case).On the other hand, a former Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney is per se prohibited from defending a criminal defendant if the lawyer prosecuted the defendant on a separate earlier drug charge while a public employee. Consent would not cure this problem "because of a need for the heightened sensitivity of public perception regarding the private practice of a public employee."

Copyright 2000, Thomas E. Spahn