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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12-Withdrawing Lawyers (Including Non-Compete Issues)

48-Criminal Defense Lawyers

A law firm fired an associate and decided to discontinue practicing in the areas in which the associate had concentrated (including criminal defense work). The firm wrote all of the associate's former clients, and referred them to another law firm (even if the client asked, the firm did not provide the former associate's new address). The Bar held that the clients should have been informed of all choices, including hiring the former associate. The firm acted improperly in requiring that the clients contact the firm instead of the associate, and refusing to provide the associate's new address. The law firm should also have provided the associate with a list of client names and addresses.

Copyright 2000, Thomas E. Spahn