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

32-Lawyers Acting in Other Roles (Miscellaneous)

36-Withdrawal from Representations

68-Lawyers Acting as Mediators

Lawyers may ethically participate in a "collaborative law process," which involves adverse parties and their lawyers "commit[ing] to work cooperatively to reach a settlement," and "structur[ing] a mutually acceptable written resolution of all issues without court involvement," which is then "submitted to the court as a final decree." The so-called "four-way" agreement normally includes a provision requiring the lawyers to withdraw from representing their clients if the collaborative effort fails. Such an agreement is an acceptable limitation on the scope of representation under Model Rule 1.2(c), and does not involve a non-waivable conflict. [as the Colorado Bar held in Colorado LEO 115]. (2/24/07)]

Copyright 2000, Thomas E. Spahn