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

77-Communicating with an Individual Adversary

Given the “inclusive nature and norms electronic communications,” a lawyer may ethically use the “Reply All” option upon receiving an email from a represented party’s lawyer who copies her client- because “the sending lawyer is essentially inviting a reply all response.” The sending lawyer should have the burden of avoiding such responses by not copying her client on the email. However, “reply all” responses must cover “only the specific topics in the initial email,” and not include any “unrelated topics.” The sending lawyer can avoid this implied consent presumption by an explicit oral or written communication. The presumption does not apply to a “traditional letter printed on paper and mailed,” because in that situation “a different set of norms currently exists.”

Copyright 2000, Thomas E. Spahn