October 02, 2007
Standing Committee on Legal Ethics Seeking Public Comment on Proposed Amendments to Rules 1.9 & 1.11
of the Rules of Professional Conduct
Pursuant to Part Six: Section IV, Paragraph 10(c)(iii) of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia, the Virginia State Bar’s Standing Committee on Legal Ethics (“Committee???) is seeking public comment on proposed amendments to Rules 1.9 and 1.11 of the Rules of Professional Conduct.
RULE 1.9 AND 1.11
The Committee proposes an amendment that moves the language from Comment  into the body of Rule 1.11. This rule deals with special conflicts of interest for former and current government officers and employees.
The substance of Comment  deals with the issue of disqualification of other lawyers in the agency when one of the lawyers is disqualified from a matter. The Committee believes that since Comment  deals with a substantive issue of lawyer conduct, it should be directly incorporated into the rule versus in a comment, as comments are meant to provide guidance to lawyers rather than to direct their conduct. The Committee has not modified the rule in that other lawyers in the agency are not disqualified, even if the lawyer in question is disqualified, but has moved this language directly into Rule 1.11 by adding subsection (3) to section (d) of the Rule.
In addition, the Committee believes that Rule 1.9 needed additional commentary to provide direction to lawyers regarding law firm disqualifications when lawyers move from private to public employment. The Committee added this direction in Comment  to Rule 1.9.
Inspection and Comment
The proposed amendment may be inspected at the office of the Virginia State Bar, 707 East Main Street, Suite 1500, Richmond, Virginia 23219-2800, between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Copies of the proposed amendment can be obtained from the offices of the Virginia State Bar by contacting the Office of Ethics Counsel at 804-775-0557, or can be found at the Virginia State Bar's Web Page at http://www.vsb.org
Any individual, business or other entity may file or submit written comments in support of, or in opposition to, the proposed amendment by filing ten copies with Thomas A. Edmonds, the Executive Director of the Virginia State Bar, not later than November 2, 2007.
# # #Updated: Oct 02, 2007