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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23-Communicating with an Adversary - Miscellaneous

25-Dealing with Unrepresented People

77-Communicating with an Individual Adversary

Lawyers providing limited-scope representations should describe those limits in writing. Opposing counsel may communicate ex parte with such clients on matters outside the limited representation's scope. Such opposing counsel have no duty to ask third parties whether they are represented, but may not avoid the ex parte communication prohibition by "closing eyes to the obvious." Thus, opposing counsel dealing with a possibly unrepresented person who has filed a pleading likely to have been prepared by a lawyer should ask the person whether she is represented by a lawyer. Opposing counsel may not communicate with such a person unless the person indicates "that the representation has concluded" or unless the issue "to be discussed is clearly outside the scope of the limited-scope representation.

Copyright 2000, Thomas E. Spahn