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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8-Bills and Fees

16-Lawyer's Personal Interests

There is nothing per se improper with a lawyer borrowing money from a client, as long as there has been full and adequate disclosure, the transaction is not "unconscionable, unfair or inequitable when made" and "all doubts regarding the sufficiency of the disclosure [are] resolved in favor of the client." It would be improper for a lawyer to repay the loan by undisclosed credits applied to the client's bill. [Under Rule 1.8(a), a lawyer may not enter into a "business transaction" with a client unless the client is given an opportunity to seek independent advice, and there has been full disclosure and consent in writing.]

Copyright 2000, Thomas E. Spahn