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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LEO NumTopicsSummary

17-Fraud on the Tribunal

23-Communicating with an Adversary - Miscellaneous

56-Duty to Advise the Court

Virginia LEO 1900 (1/4/24) (A lawyer must disclose her client’s death to opposing counsel “before any further substantive communication,” and must disclose her client’s death in a matter before a court “no later than the next communication with, or appearance before, the court.” Failure to make such a disclosure amounts to a continuing misrepresentation of the lawyer’s authority. Lawyers may properly wait to advise opposing counsel while determining if the deceased client’s estate’s representative (if any) decides how to proceed with the representation. The Bar overrules Virginia LEO 952 (7/31/87), and instead adopts the reasoning of the ABA LEO 97 (9/18/95).

Copyright 2000, Thomas E. Spahn