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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79-Communicating with a Governmental Adversary

Although generally a lawyer may not have ex parte contacts with a represented government entity, the constitutional right to petition allows a lawyer to establish such ex parte contacts if the official has authority to "take or recommend action on the controversy, and the sole purpose of the communication . . . is to address a policy issue, including settling the controversy." Moreover, the lawyer must give advance notice of such contact to the government lawyer and provide copies of any written materials to be presented to the government official.

Copyright 2000, Thomas E. Spahn