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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26-Fruits and Instrumentalities of Crimes

40-Trust Accounts

The Model Rules "do not mandate that a lawyer perform a 'gate-keeper' role" to "combat money laundering and terrorist financing." The ABA's August 2010 Voluntary Good Practices Guidance for Lawyers to Detect and Combat Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing takes the proper "risk-based approach" rather than a "rules-based" approach. Lawyers following those guidelines can comply with the Model Rules by avoiding improperly assisting money laundering or terrorist financing. Among other things, lawyers may terminate representations under Rule 1.16 if the lawyer "reasonably believes" clients are engaging in criminal or fraudulent conduct, even if the lawyer does not "know for certain" that clients are engaging in illegal conduct

Copyright 2000, Thomas E. Spahn