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

Canon 5.


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