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July 27, 2016

Comments Sought on Proposed Legal Ethics Opinion 1886

The Virginia State Bar’s Standing Committee on Legal Ethics is seeking public comment on proposed advisory Legal Ethics Opinion 1886: Duty of partners and supervisory lawyers in a law firm when another lawyer in the firm suffers from significant impairment.

This proposed opinion addresses the ethical duties of partners and supervisory lawyers in a law firm to take remedial measures when they reasonably believe another lawyer in the firm may be suffering from a significant impairment that poses a risk to clients or the general public. The proposed opinion specifically focuses on the obligations of partners and supervisory lawyers to take precautionary measures before a lawyer’s impairment has resulted in serious misconduct or a material risk to clients or the public. In this proposed opinion, the committee concludes that Rule of Professional Conduct 5.1(b) requires a partner or supervising lawyer to take reasonable steps to prevent an impaired lawyer under his direction and control from violating the Rules of Professional Conduct.

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 September 9, 2016. Comments may be submitted via e-mail to

Updated: Jul 27, 2016

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