Ethics and the Virtual Law Office


Originally published in St. Louis Lawyer - February 2013.

In the December 2012 issue of Forbes, the article “You Don't Have To Quit Lawyering To Have A Life” extols the virtues of a “virtual law practice.” Meanwhile, legal news sources report that a Virginia disciplinary panel has determined lawyer Atchuthan Sriskandarah should be reprimanded for promoting and operating his virtual law practice in violation of Virginia’s Rules of Professional Conduct. See Virginia State Bar v. Sriskandarah, Case No. CL 2012-4137 (VSB Docket 10-022-081527) (Cir. Ct. Fairfax County, June 28, 2012).

Seeking to harmonize such messages, this column offers practical guidance on how lawyers can operate a virtual practice in compliance with the ethics rules.

As explained in the Forbes article, a virtual law office (or VLO) is “a law firm, run by a lawyer or group of lawyers, that meets the legal needs of its clients securely over the internet and through other technological tools.”

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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