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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21-Reporting Another Lawyer's Unethical Conduct

58-Real Estate Lawyers

A lawyer who prepared documents necessary to transfer property in violation of an assignment has committed a fraud. Another lawyer learning of the fraud would have a duty to report it if the ethical violation raises a substantial question as to the lawyer's fitness to practice law in other respects. Relevant factors for this determination include: "the recency of the conduct, the seriousness of the offense, the likelihood that the conduct will be repeated, the likelihood that it will affect the attorney's competence, and any mitigating or aggravating circumstances." [If information about the ethics violation is a client confidence, a lawyer may report the other lawyer's misconduct only if the client consents under Rule 1.6(c)(3); the lawyer considering whether to report must consult with the client under that Rule.]

Copyright 2000, Thomas E. Spahn