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Home > Actions on Rule Changes and Legal Ethics Opinions > Legal Ethics Opinion 1897, replying all to an email when the opposing party is copied.

Adopted | Legal Ethics Opinion 1897, replying all to an email when the opposing party is copied. Approved by the Supreme Court of Virginia September 19, 2022. Effective immediately.

Update 9/19/22: On September 19, 2022, the Supreme Court of Virginia adopted Legal Ethics Opinion 1897, replying all to an email when the opposing party is copied, effective immediately.

View the Court's order (PDF)


Update 7/7/222: At its meeting on June 16, 2022, VSB Council approved, with 67 yea votes and 4 nay votes, proposed advisory LEO 1897. The proposed opinion has been presented to the Supreme Court of Virginia for approval. view petition to the Court (PDF file) view the appendix to the petition (PDF file)


Update 5/31/22: The Standing Committee on Legal Ethics voted on May 26, 2022, to submit the proposal to VSB Council for approval at its June, 16, 2022, meeting.


Update 3/25/22: The Standing Committee on Legal Ethics voted to table this proposal at its March 24, 2022, meeting.


Pursuant to Part 6, § IV, ¶ 10-2(C) 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 advisory Legal Ethics Opinion 1897, replying all to an email when the opposing party is copied.

This proposed opinion addresses whether a lawyer who receives an email from opposing counsel, with the opposing party copied in the “to” or “cc” field, violates Rule 4.2 when he replies all to the email. The committee concludes that this conduct does not violate Rule 4.2 because the sending lawyer has given implied consent to the communication with her client by including the client on the email. A lawyer who does not wish to give such consent should separately communicate with her client, such as by forwarding the email to the client.

Inspection and Comment

The proposed advisory opinion may be inspected at the office of the Virginia State Bar, 1111 East Main Street, Suite 700, Richmond, Virginia 23219-0026, between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Copies of the proposed advisory opinion 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 website at https://www.vsb.org.

Any individual, business, or other entity may file or submit written comments in support of or in opposition to the proposed opinion with Karen A. Gould, Executive Director of the Virginia State Bar, not later than February 28, 2022. Comments may be submitted via email to publiccomment@vsb.org.

View proposed LEO 1897 (PDF)

 


Posted Jan 21, 2022

Updated: September 19, 2022