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

17-Fraud on the Tribunal

27-Litigation Tactics (Including Misrepresentations, Tape Recordings)

31-Protecting and Disclosing Confidences and Secrets

A lawyer learned that a client's answers to interrogatories were incorrect, and required updating under Supreme Court Rules. The client wanted to settle the case before amending the answers, because the amendment could adversely affect the settlement value. The lawyer may not attempt to settle the case before amending the answers, because they were signed under oath and the lawyer now knew that they were inaccurate. Such a settlement would be "fraudulently induced," whether the lawyer "verbally reaffirmed the incorrect answers or simply remained silent as to their inaccuracy during the negotiations process." [Rule 3.3(a)(2) and Rule 4.1(b) require a lawyer to disclose facts if disclosure is necessary to avoid assisting a client's criminal or fraudulent acts.]

Copyright 2000, Thomas E. Spahn