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Thomas E. Spahn

Partner

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Practices
Education
  • Yale Law School, JD, 1977
  • Yale University, BA, magna cum laude, 1974
Admissions
  • Virginia
Affiliations

Member, The American Law Institute

Fellow, American Bar Foundation

Member, American Bar Association Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility, 2004-2006

Fellow, Virginia Law Foundation

Member, 2001-present; Chairman, 2005-2006; Vice Chairman, 2003-2004, Virginia Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee

Member; Standing Committee on Legal Ethics, 2004-2010; Task Force on Emergency Legal Services, 2007-2012, Special Committee to Review Procedural Rules Governing Bar Disciplinary Proceedings, 2000-2002; The Joint Virginia State Bar and Virginia Bar Association Commission on Multidisciplinary Practice, 2000-2002; Member, 1994-2000; Reporter 1996-2000, Special Committee to Study the Virginia Code of Professional Responsibility; Faculty, Course on Professionalism, 1996-1999; Chair, Committee on Publications/ Public Information, 1996-2001, Virginia State Bar

Chair, Commission on Professionalism, 2006-present; Chair, Professionalism Task Force, 1997-2000, Virginia Bar Association

Member, Digital Archive of the Birth of the Dot Com Era, Advisory Counsel (sponsored by the Library of Congress, and The Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland), 2005-2009

Former Member, Boyd-Graves Conference on Virginia Procedure

Former Member, John Marshall Inn of Court

Member; Chair, Committee on Admissions, 1987-1988; Chair, Committee on Continuing Legal Education, 1990-1991; Committee on Administration of Justice, 1995-1999, Richmond Bar Association

Tom practices as a commercial litigator. He regularly advises a number of Fortune 500 companies on such issues as properly creating and preserving the attorney-client privilege and work product protections when conducting corporate investigations, when hiring outside consultants, when dealing with the government, and during other daily and extraordinary situations. Tom has assisted in creating and defending privilege logs in many product liability and commercial litigation matters. He also advises in-house counsel on ethics issues, including conflict of interest, confidentiality, and dealing with corporate wrongdoing.

Tom was selected as the 2013 metro-Washington, DC “Lawyer of the Year” for “Bet the Company Litigation” by The Best Lawyers in America (Woodward/White, Inc.).

In 2013, the Virginia Law Foundation published the latest version of Tom's book on the attorney-client privilege and the work product doctrine – a two-volume 1,500 page book discussing those topics on a national level. Tom has also written books on defamation and ethics issues facing in house lawyers. He has published several book chapters and more than 75 articles in Virginia and national publications on numerous topics. The ABA's General Practice Section honored Tom’s article on “Litigation Ethics in the Modern Age” as one of the "Best Articles Published by the ABA" in 2004.

Since 1988, Tom has spoken at more than 1,200 CLE programs throughout the United States, and in several foreign countries. In March 2009, Tom was invited to Reykjavik, Iceland, to discuss an ethics issue on Iceland’s leading news and interview show. In July 2012, he was invited to Erbil, Iraq, to participate in a panel assisting the Kurdistan Bar Association in establishing ethics rules.

Tom has served on the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility, and on numerous Virginia State Bar and Virginia Bar Association committees. As chairman of the Virginia State Bar Committee on Publications/Public Information, Tom led the committee in developing public service announcements articulating lawyers’ benefit to society, which were extensively published in Virginia, and purchased by the bars of six other states and the Canadian Bar Association. As chairman of the Virginia Bar Association Commission on Professionalism, he acted as principal drafter of Principles of Professionalism that have been endorsed by the Virginia Supreme Court and the Virginia Attorney General’s Office, and commended by both of Virginia’s federal district courts.

After personally reading, summarizing, and categorizing more than 1,600 Virginia Bar Legal Ethics Opinions, he made his work available to the public online.

vCard
T: +1 703 712 5417F: +1 703 712 5199tspahn@mcguirewoods.com1750 Tysons Boulevard
Suite 1800
Tysons Corner, VA 22102-4215

Representation of a Central Asian government in proceeding before a Special Court of Inquiry in New Delhi, India, investigating the deadliest mid air collision in aviation history.

Representation of an automobile manufacturer in connection with America’s worst drunk driving accident.

Representation of an equipment manufacturer in depositions in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Representation of a utility in litigation involving easement rights over one of America’s most popular walking and biking path.

Selected as the metro-Washington DC "Lawyer of the Year," Bet-the-Company Litigation, The Best Lawyers In America, Woodward/White, Inc., 2013

Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers In America, Commercial Litigation, Woodward/White, Inc., 2007-2014

Named to "Virginia Super Lawyers," Business Litigation, Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, 2006-2014

Named to "Washington DC-area Super Lawyers," Business Litigation, Super Lawyers, Thompson Reuters, 2007-2014

Named to "Legal Elite," Litigation, 2000; Civil Litigation, 2003; Legal Services/Public Service, 2004-2005; Civil Litigation, 2006; Civil Litigation, 2008, 2010, Virginia Business

Recipient, commendation from The Northern Virignia Chapter of the Federal Bar Association in recognition of "outstanding and dedicated service," 2014

Recipient, Virginia Bar Association William B. Spong, Jr. Professionalism Award, 2010

Named to "Leaders in Law," Virginia Lawyers Weekly, 2008

Recipient, Virginia Bar Association Walker Award of Merit "in recognition and appreciation of exceptional leadership within the Bar," 2004

Recipient, Special Commendation from the Virginia State Bar for "his outstanding service to the bar," 2002

Recipient, Burton Foundation Award for Legal Achievement (for the article "Virginia Corporate Directors' Duties - A Recent History"), 2002

Recipient, Gardener G. DeMallie Jr. Continuing Legal Education Award, Virginia Law Foundation, Virginia CLE, 1999

AV Preeminent Rated, Martindale-Hubbell

Thomas E. Spahn, The Attorney-Client Privilege and the Work Product Doctrine: A Practitioner's Guide (3d. ed. 2013)