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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27-Litigation Tactics (Including Misrepresentations, Tape Recordings)

A lawyer may compensate a non-expert witness for time spent in attending a deposition or trial, meeting with the lawyer to prepare for providing testimony and reviewing documents, as long as the fee is reasonable and the payment is not "being made for the substance or efficacy of the witness's testimony." Determining the reasonableness of the fee is easy when the witness loses hourly wages or a professional fee, but becomes more difficult "where the witness has not sustained any direct loss of income" (if, for instance, the client is retired or unemployed).

Copyright 2000, Thomas E. Spahn