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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1-Adversity to Current Clients

3-Multiple Representations on the Same Matter

9-Government Lawyer Conflicts

Each jurisdiction's Public Defender and each jurisdiction's Capital Defense Unit should be considered separate legal entities for conflicts purposes, because each office acts independently, has a secure computer system and bears none of the indicia of offices in a multi-office law firm. Although a single state Commission oversees all of the offices, this fact should not result in a presumption that information in one office is shared with other offices. A Public Defender in an office may represent a capital defendant in a matter adverse to a client formerly represented by another lawyer in that office, "unless the defense of the current client would require the use of [protected] information obtained in the representation of the former client."

Copyright 2000, Thomas E. Spahn