Is this edition of The Digital Edge, Sharon Nelson and Jim Calloway interview commercial litigator at McGuireWoods Tom Spahn, often known as “Mr. Ethics” in Virginia. He has served on the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professionalism, and has spoken over 1,200 times on ethics and other topics in the United States and abroad.
He explains that lawyers and their firms should remain civil and open to negotiation before the lawyer has left. Firms have run into trouble while trying to penalize leaving employees on an individual basis. He discusses the ethically proper way to deal with unfinished business doctrines, document retention programs, and fiduciary duties to clients. Due to technology, there are new issues to consider including digital files or property ownership of domain names. Overall, however, Spahn emphasizes that every partner has a continuing duty to make sure every client is adequately served.