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. 
 Back to main menu

  Print This Leo
LEO NumTopicsSummary

8-Bills and Fees

40-Trust Accounts

A lawyer who has not been paid may: (1) garnish any of the former client's money being held in the trust account of a successor lawyer (the money should not be called a "retainer" which involves the payment of money "to insure the attorney's availability for future legal services" and must therefore not be placed in a trust account because it is earned upon payment); (2) undertake discovery of documents relating to the client's payments to the successor lawyer, although the discovery "should not seek more confidential information from the new attorney than is necessary for collection."

Copyright 2000, Thomas E. Spahn