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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17-Fraud on the Tribunal

21-Reporting Another Lawyer's Unethical Conduct

A lawyer who lied to a client, opposing counsel and the court about whether a lawsuit had been filed before the running of the statute of limitations has committed a fraud on the tribunal and must be reported (applying an objective rather than a subjective test in determining if the fraud raises a substantial question as to fitness to practice law). A lawyer's duty to report such misconduct arises "when the information possessed by the reporting lawyer is based upon a substantial degree of certainty and not on rumors or suspicion." ) [Rule 8.3(a) requires a lawyer to report another lawyer's ethics violation under certain circumstances if the lawyer has "reliable information" about the breach.]

Copyright 2000, Thomas E. Spahn