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

8-Bills and Fees

16-Lawyer's Personal Interests

38-Fee Splitting

40-Trust Accounts

A lawyer may engage in a "barter" arrangement in which the lawyer renders services in return for other goods, as long as: the lawyer does not share legal fees (in cash or in kind) with any non-lawyers; the client consents; the legal fees are reasonable; and the lawyer keeps the legal fees in a trust account (or segregated in the case of goods) until the fees are earned. [Under Rule 1.8(a), a lawyer may not enter into a "business transaction" with a client unless the client is given an opportunity to seek independent advice, and there has been full disclosure and consent in writing.]

Copyright 2000, Thomas E. Spahn