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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18-Consent and Prospective Waivers

Recent changes to Model Rule 1.7 (and especially Comment [22]) allow "effective informed consent to a wider range of future conflicts" than under the early Model Rules. Because ABA LEO 372 (4/16/93) is "no longer consistent with the Model Rules," the ABA withdraws that opinion. Open-ended prospective consents are likely to be valid if (for instance) the client "has had the opportunity to be represented by independent counsel in relation to such consent and the consent is limited to matters not substantially related to the subject of the prior representation." Such consents do not authorize the lawyer to "reveal or use confidential client information" absent an additional explicit consent. The client's consent must be confirmed in writing under Model Rule 1.7(b)(4).

Copyright 2000, Thomas E. Spahn