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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31-Protecting and Disclosing Confidences and Secrets

A former employee hired a lawyer to assist in disclosing "irregular, and possibly illegal actions of his former employer" involving the company's knowing use of radioactive materials in consumer products. The former employee learned of this conduct inadvertently, and was not involved in the company's wrongful actions. When the former employee later decides not to disclose the company's wrongful conduct, the lawyer must follow the client's direction to keep the information confidential despite the public health risk, because none of the exceptions to the confidentiality rule apply.

Copyright 2000, Thomas E. Spahn