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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2-Adversity to Former Clients

9-Government Lawyer Conflicts

51-Government Attorneys

Because "a lawyer cannot be adverse to a former client in a substantially related matter, or if the lawyer learned relevant confidences during the earlier representation," a public defender who is elected a Commonwealth's Attorney must decide on a "case by case" basis whether the lawyer can prosecute former clients; disqualification would result in the vicarious disqualification of the entire Commonwealth's Attorney's office.

Copyright 2000, Thomas E. Spahn