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Home > Actions on Rule Changes and Legal Ethics Opinions > Legal Ethics Opinion 1896, Out-of-State Lawyers Working Remotely in Virginia.

Proposed | Legal Ethics Opinion 1896, Out-of-State Lawyers Working Remotely in Virginia. Comments due by August 30, 2021.

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 Legal Ethics Opinion 1896, Out-of-State Lawyers Working Remotely in Virginia. This opinion addresses the remote work questions sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic and discusses opinions on the question from other states and the ABA while reinforcing the conclusion from LEO 1856 that a foreign lawyer may maintain a continuous and systematic presence in Virginia as long as the lawyer is engaged in the practice of law of their licensing jurisdiction and/or exclusively federal law that does not require Virginia licensure. While the foreign lawyer does not have to remain “invisible” within Virginia, they cannot hold out as authorized to practice law in Virginia and must appropriately disclose their status.

Inspection and Comment

The proposed opinion may be inspected below, or 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 August 30, 2021. Comments may be submitted via email to publiccomment@vsb.org.

View proposed LEO 1896 (PDF file posted 6/29/21)

 

Posted: June 29, 2021
Updated August 1 to extend comments deadline

Updated: August 2, 2021