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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54-Insurance Defense Lawyers

Although the ABA takes no position on whether an attorney-client relationship exists between an insured and lawyers hired by an insurance company to represent the insured, the lawyers: may not allow their professional judgment to be affected by litigation guidelines imposed by the insurance carrier (and might even have to withdraw under extreme circumstances); may not disclose the insured’s confidential information to a third-party auditor picked by the insurance company without the insured’s informed consent (because of ethics duties and the risk of waiver); may in certain circumstances be barred from revealing confidential information about the insured to the insurance carrier (such as information that would jeopardize coverage).

Copyright 2000, Thomas E. Spahn