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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3-Multiple Representations on the Same Matter

18-Consent and Prospective Waivers

71-Representing Corporations

A lawyer represents both a corporation and its chairman (who is sued in both individual and fiduciary capacities). On appeal, the plaintiff raised issues outside the record that hurt the chairman. The chairman wants the lawyer to correct the statements, but the lawyer refuses to do so because it might hurt the corporation. Because there is an actual conflict between the corporation and the chairman, the lawyer must withdraw from representing both. Because it is obvious that the lawyer may not adequately represent the interests of the corporation and the chairman, consent would not cure the conflict. [The Bar's conclusion that consent would not cure this conflict almost surely would 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