LEO: Attorney/Client - Confidences and  LE Op. 1037


Attorney/Client - Confidences and Secrets.


March 8, 1988


You advise that you represent a client which is a limited partnership

with five general partners. The partnership owns a parcel of land which

was down zoned by the city, and the partnership has filed litigation

against the city contesting the validity of the down zoning. During the

pendency of the litigation, one of your client's general partners accepted

employment as a partner with the private law firm representing the city in

the defense of the law suit. You state that this general partner was

involved in the usual discussions involving strategy, settlement, and the

conduct of the suit prior to his accepting his new employment. Since

accepting the employment, the new law firm has erected a "Chinese wall"

around the general partner. The general partner has also disposed of his

partnership interest by conveying it into a trust for the benefit of his



You wish to know whether or not the former general partner's new firm may

continue to represent the city in the pending litigation.


The Committee opines that there is no violation of Canon 4 due to the

fact that the former general partner never served as counsel to the

development company.


The Committee further opines that nothing within the facts of the

situation you present appears to violate any of the provisions of the

Virginia Code of Professional Responsibility.


Committee Opinion March 8, 1988