News and Information
January 21, 2022

VSB Seeks Comment on Ethics of Replying All to Email with Opposing Party

The Virginia State Bar’s Legal Ethics Committee seeks 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 "replying 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 the client, such as by forwarding the email to the client.

Inspection and Comment

The proposed advisory opinion may be inspected here. 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.

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

Updated: Jan 21, 2022