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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31-Protecting and Disclosing Confidences and Secrets

36-Withdrawal from Representations

A lawyer who knows or believes that the lawyer's services are being used to perpetrate a fraud must withdraw and may disaffirm documents the lawyer has prepared, even if such a "noisy withdrawal" might reveal client confidences. A lawyer would be obligated to take these steps even if the lawyer is fired before having the chance to withdraw. The lawyer may (but does not necessarily have to) withdraw -- without a "noisy withdrawal" -- if the lawyer's services have been used without the lawyer's knowledge to commit a fraud that is now completed.

Copyright 2000, Thomas E. Spahn