A lawyer shall not participate in offering or making:
Virginia Code Comparison
This Rule is similar to DR 2-106, although it specifically permits a restriction if it is approved by a tribunal or a governmental entity.
Va. Sup. Ct. 5.6
After a lengthy debate about the merits of settlements and the public policy favoring clients' unrestricted choice of legal representation, the Committee decided to generally prohibit provisions in settlement agreements that restricted a lawyer's right to practice, but added an exception if a tribunal or a governmental entity approves the restriction. The Comment emphasizes that lawyers whose right to practice has been restricted by a court-approved settlement should advise all future clients of the restriction and refer them to other counsel, if necessary.
Originally, Rule 5.6(b) prohibited only broad restrictions on an attorney's right to practice in settlement agreements. However, in line with the recommendations of the Boyd-Graves Conference Report of August 2004, the prohibition in Rule 5.6(b) is now expanded to reach all restrictions on the right to practice in settlement agreements, other than those within the exception afforded for settlement agreements approved by a tribunal or governmental entity. The current more expansive prohibition is in line with both the ABA's Model Rule 5.6 and with provisions in other jurisdictions.