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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9-Government Lawyer Conflicts

18-Consent and Prospective Waivers


44-Conflicts - Miscellaneous

48-Criminal Defense Lawyers

It is not per se improper for a part-time county attorney to also serve as a part-time assistant public defender, although a conflict (not curable by consent) would arise should the lawyer be asked to defend a criminal defendant: (1) if the county is an alleged victim; or (2) if the county attorney's office is responsible for prosecuting the crime (such as violations of building codes or local ordinances). The county attorney (also acting as a part-time public defender) does not face a conflict in advising the Board of Supervisors on such matters as law enforcement budgets, because the attorney is not a member of the governing body and therefore does not vote on the appropriations. Although such a dual role might create a "appearance of impropriety," such a standard "by itself is too vague a standard" to create a conflict.

Copyright 2000, Thomas E. Spahn