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About the Teleseminar

In many instances, clients want to be jointly represented – in litigation, a business or commercial transaction, or in an estate planning matter. Their motivations may include a desire to save attorneys’ fees, more closely align positions and strategies in litigation or a transaction, and often a belief that no conflicts exist between the parties and thus there is no need for independent representation.  Despite these client desires and beliefs, ethics rules require attorneys to carefully identify and disclose conflicts, obtaining a waiver (where possible) to continue a representation or requiring withdrawal (where not possible).  Explaining this to clients who are intent on a joint representation may be difficult but is necessary to avoid later ethics complaints.  This program will provide you with a guide to identifying the ethical issues in joint representations, how to discuss them with clients, obtain waivers or withdraw from the representation. 

  •   Attorney ethics in joint representations in litigation, transactions and planning
  •   Determining when joint representations are permissible or even desirable
  •   Issues when adversity arises later in time in a joint representation
  •   Joint representations in litigation – communications, confidentiality and preserving the attorney   client privilege
  •     Representing spouses or multiple generations of a family in an estate planning matter
  •   Jointly representing a business entity and an officer of the entity 


About the Speaker


Thomas E. Spahn is a partner in the McLean, Virginia office of McGuireWoods, LLP, where he has a broad complex commercial, business and securities litigation practice. He also has a substantial practice advising businesses on properly creating and preserving the attorney-client privilege and work product protections.  For more than 20 years he has lectured extensively on legal ethics and professionalism and has written “The Attorney-Client Privilege and the Work Product Doctrine: A Practitioner’s Guide,” a 750 page treatise published by the Virginia Law Foundation.  Mr. Spahn has served as member of the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility and as a member of the Virginia State Bar's Legal Ethics Committee.  He received his B.A., magna cum laude, from Yale University and his J.D. from Yale Law School.


Mandatory MCLE Credit Hours

This seminar qualifies for 1.0 MCLE Credit Hour, including up to 1.0 LEPR Credit Hour