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

9-Government Lawyer Conflicts

16-Lawyer's Personal Interests

18-Consent and Prospective Waivers

A government lawyer who will personally be subjected to a sequestration furlough (1) may not represent the agency in defending the sequestration furloughs, because "there is a conflict between the lawyer's personal interest in not being furloughed and the agency's interest in upholding the furloughs. . . . [T]he conflict may not be waived because the lawyer cannot reasonably believe that he will be able to provide competent and diligent representation to the agency in light of the nature and strength of his personal interest in the matter."; (2) may represent the agency in unrelated matters, with the agency's consent. These answers would be the same even if the lawyer retained private counsel to challenge his personal furlough. If the lawyer's employment with the agency ends, he may challenge his furlough (the Bar noted that the agency was willing to consent to his undertaking such a challenge while at the agency, so "it is manifestly unfair and illogical that the lawyer would be ethically precluded from pursuing his furlough challenge after the representation of the client has ended, solely on the basis that the agency will not consent.")

Copyright 2000, Thomas E. Spahn