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Home > Actions on Rule Changes and Legal Ethics Opinions > LEO 1891 on communication with represented government officials.

Adopted | LEO 1891 on communication with represented government officials. Effective January 9, 2020.

On January 9, 2020, the Supreme Court of Virginia approved Legal Ethics Opinion 1891, effectively immediately.

View the Court's order (pdf)

The proposed opinion was approved by Bar Council on October 25, 2019, and is pending consideration by the Supreme Court of Virginia. 

View the petition to the Supreme Court of Virginia (pdf)

The Standing Committee on Legal Ethics agreed to submit the proposed opinion to Council for approval at its next meeting on October 25, 2019.

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 proposed Legal Ethics Opinion 1891, Communication With Represented Government Officials.

This proposed opinion addresses whether there are instances where communication with represented government officials is “authorized by law” for purposes of Rule 4.2, considering the constitutional and statutory rights of citizens to access the government and to petition for the redress of grievances. The opinion concludes that yes, communication with a represented government official is authorized by law and does not require the government lawyer’s consent if the communication is made for the purposes of addressing a policy issue and the government official being addressed has the ability or authority to take or recommend government action, or otherwise effectuate government policy on the issue. A lawyer making such a communication is not required to give the government lawyer notice of the intended communication. 

View proposed LEO 1891 (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

Updated: January 10, 2020