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

17-Fraud on the Tribunal

27-Litigation Tactics (Including Misrepresentations, Tape Recordings)

56-Duty to Advise the Court

Two lawyers represent a defendant in circuit court felony charges and in connection with district court capiases for failure to appear. The lawyers appear before the district court on the capias matter, and do not advise the court of the simultaneous felony charges in circuit court. One of the lawyers later obtains dismissal of the felony charges in circuit court on double jeopardy grounds. It is not per se improper for the defendant's lawyers to have failed to reveal to the district court that their client was also the subject of felony charges in the circuit court. However, a lawyer may not make an "affirmative representation which is untrue." The lawyers violated this rule by telling the district court judge that the capiases were matters "between defendant and the Court." Furthermore, the lawyer's conduct "falls short of the aspirational exhortations contained in EC 7-33, in that they failed to be aboveboard with the judges in both district court and circuit court."

Copyright 2000, Thomas E. Spahn