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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31-Protecting and Disclosing Confidences and Secrets

56-Duty to Advise the Court

After winning a motion, a lawyer prepared a decree accidentally broader than the court's ruling. Because the lawyer had not intentionally mis-drafted the decree, the lawyer may now assert a res judicata defense based on the overbroad decree. The Bar held that the lawyer must concede the circumstances of the drafting should the adversary raise it. [Rule 4.1(b) might require disclosure of the mistake if the disclosure is necessary "to avoid assisting a criminal or fraudulent act by a client."]

Copyright 2000, Thomas E. Spahn