Dear Miss Snark,
I've searched the Snarkarchives (thanks, Miss Adventure) but can't find anything about this.
Five years ago an editor said she'd like to see my story again if I made certain changes. I wasn't able to do them at that time but now I have.
The original submission was made through my agent. Two years ago we parted ways and I'm planning to re-submit on my own. Is that horribly unethical? If the editor makes an offer, should my ex-agent get 15% since she made first contact?
Get out your contract with your former agent. Look at the paragraph that says "bloodsucking leach-length of time fangs are inserted". Sometimes this will also say "duration of agreement" or "commissions".
Most likely there will be wording that addresses this issue. Mine says I get a piece of you for a year after the contract is over if you sell to someone I pitched to.
If you DON'T have a contract, well, now you know why you should. Still and all, a year is pretty much fair, and five years is more than fair.
Bottom line: It's not unethical to resubmit and if you sell it, not pay a commission.