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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51-Government Attorneys

The ethics rules apply with full force to Commonwealth's Attorneys, so Commonwealth's Attorneys act unethically by taking cases that they do not have time to handle properly. Supervisors act improperly in assigning "an impermissibly large case load" to an Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney. The Bar explained that "the facts that the client is the amorphous Commonwealth and that the Commonwealth's Attorney has himself a large case load provides no safe harbor from the requirements of Rule 5.1."

Copyright 2000, Thomas E. Spahn