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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32-Lawyers Acting in Other Roles (Miscellaneous)

50-Lawyer-Owned Businesses

58-Real Estate Lawyers

As indicated in earlier Opinions, a lawyer representing a real estate purchaser cannot impose fees on the seller absent an agreement or some forewarning. A lawyer designated in a real estate contract as settlement agent may not comply with a title company’s instructions that would involve the title company preparing documents and undertaking other activities that would constitute the unauthorized practice of law (a lawyer who owns a title company may perform legal work for a client, but may not undertake the same activities if working on behalf of the title company -- because “only an attorney engaged in private practice specifically retained by the seller may undertake legal representation of the seller).” [Approved by the Supreme Court of Virginia 11/2/16].

Copyright 2000, Thomas E. Spahn