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

22-Interviews with Prospective Clients

24-Representation of or Adversity to Witnesses

31-Protecting and Disclosing Confidences and Secrets

48-Criminal Defense Lawyers

A university pre-paid student legal service office represents students in criminal matters only if the complaining witness or victim is a student and consents to the representation. The ethics rules permit contact with the student (who will be a witness and not a party to the criminal proceeding) and also permits making the representation of the student-defendant contingent on the witness' consent. Although no attorney-client relationship arises from the initial consultation between the office and the student-defendant, the meeting "created an expectation of confidentiality" that the lawyer must respect.

Copyright 2000, Thomas E. Spahn