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

1-Adversity to Current Clients

44-Conflicts - Miscellaneous

54-Insurance Defense Lawyers

A lawyer retained by an uninsured motorist insurance carrier but providing informal advice to the defendant motorist has an attorney-client relationship with the motorist. The lawyer may provide such advice without a conflict because the carrier and the motorist share an interest in defeating the plaintiff's claim (although adversity may later develop if the carrier asserts a subrogation claim against the motorist). The lawyer may not permit the motorist to tell the Court that the motorist is appearing pro se, and must comply with any court rules requiring disclosure of informal assistance by a lawyer. [overruled to the extent it is inconsistent with LEO 1874 (7/28/14), which explained that the ethics rules do not prohibit undisclosed assistance to a pro se litigant, but some courts forbid it]

Copyright 2000, Thomas E. Spahn