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. 
 Back to main menu

  Print This Leo
LEO NumTopicsSummary

48-Criminal Defense Lawyers

77-Communicating with an Individual Adversary

78-Communicating with an Employee of a Corporate Adversary

The rule prohibiting a lawyer from knowingly communicating with a represented adverse party: applies in the civil and criminal context; cannot be waived by the client; prohibits the lawyer from ignoring evidence that the other party is represented (the lawyer may want to contact a person's previous lawyer to confirm that the representation has ended); does not prohibit communications unrelated to the subject of the representation (a lawyer cannot prohibit all ex parte communications between the client and other lawyers by claiming that the lawyer represents the client "for all purposes"); prohibits communications with corporate employees "with managerial responsibilities," who "may legally bind the organization with respect to the matter in question," or "whose act or omission in connection with that matter may be imputed to the organization for purposes of civil or criminal liability or whose statement may constitute an admission on the part of the organization"; prohibits such communication even if the represented person initiates the communication; does not prohibit contact with former officers or employees; allows communication with a person who claims no longer to be represented only if the lawyer has "reasonable assurance" that the representation has ended; prohibits the lawyer from directing an agent to communicate in violation of the rule; permits communications "authorized by law" (meaning that the communications were approved by a statutory authority).

Copyright 2000, Thomas E. Spahn