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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16-Lawyer's Personal Interests

18-Consent and Prospective Waivers

36-Withdrawal from Representations

44-Conflicts - Miscellaneous

A plaintiff in a dog bite case hired a lawyer who is a "casual acquaintance" of the defendant. The lawyer's casual relationship with the defendant is a "personal interest" that may create a conflict. The "impact of such personal interests may be measured along a continuum, with the least significant interests representing only a de minimus conflict which does not require disclosure to or consent from the client." Here, any conflict was cured by the client's consent. The client also consented to the lawyer's limiting the representation to non-litigation matters only, with the understanding that the lawyer would withdraw from the case if litigation became necessary.

Copyright 2000, Thomas E. Spahn