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Home > Actions on Rule Changes and Legal Ethics Opinions > revisions to LEO 1872 on virtual law office and use of executive office suites.

Adopted | revisions to LEO 1872 on virtual law office and use of executive office suites. Approved by the Supreme Court of Virginia October 2, 2019, effective immediately.

On October 2, 2019, the Supreme Court of Virginia approved amendments to LEO 1872, effective immediately. 

View the court order (pdf) 
 


Council approved by unanimous vote the proposed amendments to LEO 1872 at its June 13, 2019, meeting. The petition for this amended opinion was filed with the Supreme Court of Virginia on June 19, 2019.

View the current LEO 1872 (pdf)

View the petition to the Court (pdf)


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 is seeking public comment on revisions to Legal Ethics Opinion 1872, Virtual Law Office and Use of Executive Office Suites.

The proposed revisions to LEO 1872 update references to Rule 1.6(d), on a lawyer’s duty to protect confidential information, and Rule 7.1, on advertising; the revisions also remove references to former Regulation 7 Governing Applications for Admission to the Virginia Bar Pursuant to Rule 1A:1 of the Supreme Court of Virginia since that regulation has been modified and no longer requires that lawyers admitted to practice by motion maintain a physical office space.

The proposed revisions also modify the discussion of when a lawyer may advertise a non-exclusive office space as a location of the firm. The revisions remove the “factors to be considered” in making that determination, which currently include frequency of use, whether nonlawyers use the space, and whether signage indicates that the space is used as a law office. Thus, the analysis in the opinion is narrowed to the question of whether the advertised location is an office where the lawyer provides legal services, and whether the advertised location is being used to mislead prospective clients that the lawyer’s practice or firm is more geographically diverse or larger than is actually the case. This revision conforms the LEO with revisions made to LEO 1750 (approved by the Supreme Court of Virginia), which refers to and cites LEO 1872 excluding these two sentences.

View proposed revised LEO 1872 (pdf)

Inspection and Comment

The proposed opinion may be inspected via the pdf linked above or 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 opinion can be obtained from the offices of the Virginia State Bar by contacting the Office of Ethics Counsel at 804-775-0557.

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 April 1, 2019. Comments may be submitted via email to publiccomment@vsb.org.

Updated: October 3, 2019