News and Information
September 20, 2021

Comments Sought on Prosecutor’s Communication with Represented Victim

The Virginia State Bar’s Standing Committee on Legal Ethics (“Committee”) is seeking public comment on proposed advisory Legal Ethics Opinion 1895, Prosecutor’s Communication with Represented Victim in a Criminal Case.

This proposed opinion addresses whether Rule of Professional Conduct 4.2 prohibits a prosecutor from communicating with a victim who is represented by counsel in both the criminal case being handled by the prosecutor and in a related civil case. The proposed opinion concludes that certain communications are “authorized by law” pursuant to applicable law establishing crime victim’s rights, and therefore the prosecutor may communicate directly with the victim for those purposes. Any communication that is not authorized or required by law must be made through the victim’s counsel as required by Rule 4.2.

Inspection and Comment

The proposed draft advisory opinion may be read here. Please direct questions to 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 November 1, 2021. Comments may be submitted via email to publiccomment@vsb.org.

 

Updated: Sep 21, 2021