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
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