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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8-Bills and Fees

Because a Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer has "largely earned" her fee before filing a bankruptcy petition, the filing date is a "reasonable benchmark" for distribution of a fixed fee from the lawyer's trust account. Lawyers may therefore ethically withdraw the fixed fee from the lawyer's trust account immediately before filing the petition, thus avoiding: (1) the trust account funds becoming the trustee's assets; and (2) the lawyer becoming the estate's creditor.

Copyright 2000, Thomas E. Spahn