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

34-Limiting Liability to Clients

A lawyer may not prospectively limit liability to a client, but may secure a release from the client for "specific completed acts" in exchange for consideration if the client consents after full disclosure, is "first advised to seek independent counsel as to whether to sign such an agreement" and if the transaction was not "unconscionable, unfair or inequitable when made."The Bar reaffirmed the ethical propriety of arbitration provisions in retainer agreements covering any malpractice claims as long as the client consents after full disclosure and "is advised to seek independent counsel in regard to the advisability of such a provision."

Copyright 2000, Thomas E. Spahn