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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LEO NumTopicsSummary

16-Lawyer's Personal Interests

18-Consent and Prospective Waivers

36-Withdrawal from Representations

48-Criminal Defense Lawyers

A criminal defense lawyer learning that the client claims that the lawyer pressured the client into a plea of guilty against the client's wishes has a conflict with the client that cannot be cured with consent. The lawyer should move to withdraw, but "would be bound to continue the representation" if the court denies the motion. Until the lawyer withdraws, the lawyer must fully protect the client and therefore (presumably) may have to advise the client about the possibility of withdrawing the guilty plea. [Overruled to the extent that a new state law requires a lawyer to continue representing a criminal defendant in such circumstances, explained in LEO 1817.]

Copyright 2000, Thomas E. Spahn