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

1-Adversity to Current Clients

18-Consent and Prospective Waivers

71-Representing Corporations

A lawyer represented a borrower in an action brought by a bank's real estate loan division. One of the lawyers' partners was later hired by the bank's commercial finance division in unrelated litigation. The commercial finance division consented, recognizing that the two divisions of the bank act independently.The Bar held that there were "inherent dangers" in these two representations despite the bank's indication that the subdivisions are distinct from each other. Because both divisions "are part of the same entity managed under the same supervisory scheme," there was a danger of "misuse of the client's information." The Bar held that the simultaneous representation was improper and could not be cured by consent (because it was not "obvious" that the lawyer could adequately serve both clients). [The Bar's conclusion that consent would not cure this conflict would almost surely be different under Rule 1.7(a)'s "reasonably believes" subjective standard rather than the old Code's "obvious" standard.]

Copyright 2000, Thomas E. Spahn