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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LEO NumTopicsSummary

27-Litigation Tactics (Including Misrepresentations, Tape Recordings)


44-Conflicts - Miscellaneous

66-Lawyers Acting as "Scriveners"

Legal services organization lawyers may give forms to pro se litigants without violating any prohibitions on “ghost-writing” as long as the lawyers do not assist the pro se` litigants in completing the forms; analogizing the situation to the distinction in the UPL analysis between providing forms and helping complete them. [Superseded in LEO 1803, which held that the existence of an attorney client relationship depends on the lawyer's action rather than a mere title, and holding that the attorney client relationship would arise between prisoners and lawyers practicing at a state prison if the lawyers did anything more than simply typing up what the prisoner wrote]. [overruled to the extent it is inconsistent with LEO 1874 (7/28/14), which explained that the ethics rules do not prohibit undisclosed assistance to a pro se litigant, but some courts forbid it]

Copyright 2000, Thomas E. Spahn