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

2-Adversity to Former Clients

24-Representation of or Adversity to Witnesses

A lawyer representing a client in an eviction case discovers that the lawyer is representing another client (on an unrelated matter) who could be an adverse witness in the eviction matter. Because it is "not obvious" that the lawyer can adequately represent both clients (the lawyer must challenge the credibility of one client in representing the other client), the lawyer should withdraw from representing the eviction client. Once the lawyer drops the eviction client, the lawyer may continue to represent the other client in the unrelated matter. [The Bar's conclusion that consent would not cure this conflict might be different under Rule 1.7(a)'s "reasonably believes" subjective standard rather than the old Code's "obvious" standard] [There may be limits on a lawyer's ability to withdraw from a current representation to avoid a conflict created by multiple representations.]

Copyright 2000, Thomas E. Spahn