LEO: Attorney/Client - Employee as Client LE Op. 925
Attorney/Client - Employee as Client.
June 11, 1987
A supervisor at a large corporation is also a licensed attorney who
maintains a small private practice. The supervisor/attorney performed
minor real estate services for an employee under his supervision and whom
he evaluates at the large corporation. The legal services provided by the
attorney/supervisor were outside of the regular work and the fee charged
was comparable to that charged by other licensed Virginia practitioners in
that area for similar services. The supervisor/attorney subsequently gave
the employee a negative evaluation and recommended termination of the
With reference to the above circumstances, it is not per se improper for
an attorney to provide legal services to an employee.
The committee declines to opine as to whether or not the
attorney/supervisor should perform legal services only after signing a
waiver. It is proper to render the services without a waiver provided the
attorney is mindful of the provisions of the Code.
It is proper for the attorney/supervisor to perform legal services for an
employee even though the attorney/supervisor may need to take adverse
employment actions toward the employee, provided there is no conflict with
It is proper not to refund legal fees when, subsequent to representation,
the attorney/supervisor recommends termination of the employee/client if
no ethical violations have occurred. [Canon 5; DR:4-101(B); EC:5-1, EC:
Committee Opinion June 11, 1987