Tom Spahn on Litigation Ethics (On Demand Seminar)

MCLE Credits: 2.0
Ethics Credits Included: 2.0

MCLE Credit: 2.0 (Ethics: 2.0)
Live-Interactive Credit: 0.0
Designation Credit: 2.0 Trial Practice/Litigation
2.0 Ethics (Designations Information)
Price: $149 (Includes a downloadable audio version.)
Viewable Through: 12/31/2024


A pre-recorded streaming video replay of the August 2021 webcast, Tom Spahn on Litigation Ethics.

Topics Covered

Are you engaged in litigation? If so, can you answer these questions?

  • What can you say to the press about a pending case? Does it matter if the case is criminal or civil? Jury or judge-alone?
  • How far may a lawyer go in criticizing judges or their opinions?
  • May you advise your client to wear a body wire to record conversations?
  • What are the limits of surveillance of the opposing party?
  • Are there any instances where deceptive discovery practices are acceptable?
  • Under what circumstances can witnesses be paid?

Learn the answer to these and other questions, and avoid the consequences of a violation of the rules.

Civil litigation is full of ethical issues throughout the entire process. In this program, Tom Spahn guides you through a practical discussion of how to properly deal with these issues in the areas of communications, discovery, witnesses, and settlements. This interactive program uses hypotheticals to explore ethical topics of interest to litigators (and transactional lawyers whose clients might face litigation), including issues such as:

  • Lawyers' communications—including talking to the press about cases and criticizing judges
  • Deceptive discovery tactics—including recording telephone calls, and use of admittedly deceptive tactics in public interest investigations such as housing discrimination tests, and in purely commercial investigations
  • Dealing with fact witnesses—including the permissibility of paying fact witnesses for their time, and preparing them for testimony
  • Claims—including "ghostwriting" pleadings, and filing knowingly time-barred claims
  • Settlements—including acceptable levels of deception during settlement negotiations, silence about the law and facts, and the enforceability of settlement agreements
  • Dealing with courts—including the duty to disclose unfavorable facts and law
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Thomas E. Spahn, McGuireWoods LLP / Tysons
Thomas E. Spahn practices as a commercial litigator with McGuireWoods in Tysons, Virginia. He was selected as the 2013 and 2020 metro-Washington, DC "Lawyer of the Year" for "Bet the Company Litigation" by The Best Lawyers in America (Woodward/White, Inc.). He has served on the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility, and is a member of the American Law Institute and a fellow of the American Bar Foundation. He is a fellow of the Virginia Law Foundation. Mr. Spahn has written extensively on attorney-client privilege (including the Virginia CLE® publications The Attorney-Client Privilege and the Work Product Doctrine: A Practitioner's Guide and A Virginia-Specific Summary Guide: The Attorney-Client Privilege and the Work Product Doctrine), ethics, and other topics, and has spoken at over 1,400 CLE programs throughout the U.S. and in several foreign countries. He graduated magna cum laude from Yale University and received his J.D. from Yale Law School.

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