Monday Morning Answers #227

Happy Monday!

Friday’s questions are here. The answers follow today’s Honor Roll.

Honor Roll

  • Evan BarquistMontroll, Backus & Oettinger
  • Alberto BernabeProfessor of Law, University of Illinois at Chicago, John Marshall School of Law
  • Benjamin Gould, Paul Frank + Collins
  • Lon McClintock, Esq.
  • Jack McCullough, Project Director, Mental Health Law Project, Vermont Legal Aid
  • Jeff Messina, Bergeron, Paradis, Fitzpatrick
  • Herb Ogden, Esq.
  • Keith RobertsDarby Kolter & Nordle
  • Jay Spitzen, Esq.
  • Jonathan Teller-Elsberg, Hershenson, Carter, Scott & McGee
  • Jason Warfield, Esq.
  • Thomas WilkinsonCozen O’Connor
  • Zachary York, Sheehey Furlong & Behm

Answers

Question 1

Fill in the blank. (choices below)

By rule, a concurrent conflict of interest exists if there is ___________________ that the representation of one or more clients will be materially limited by the lawyer’s responsibilities to another client, a former client or a third person or by a personal interest of the lawyer.

  •  A.  an appearance
  •  B.  the potential
  •  C.  a likelihood
  •   D.  a significant risk.  See, V.R.Pr.C. 1.7(a)(2).

 Question 2

Paralegal works at Firm.  Prospective Client meets with Firm to discuss potential representation.  Paralegal has conflict of interest that would preclude Paralegal from representing Prospective Client if Paralegal were a lawyer.  Which is most accurate?

  • A.  The conflict is imputed to all lawyers who work at Firm.
  • B.  The conflict is imputed, but only to lawyers with whom Paralegal works closely.
  • C.  The conflict is not imputed.
  • D.  The conflict is not imputed, but paralegal should be screened from any involvement in Prospective Client’s matter. See, V.R.Pr.C. 1.10, Cmt. [4].

Question 3

At a CLE, I’m talking about “lateral transfers and whether they were involved personally and substantially.”  What specific area of the rules was I addressing?

  • A.  Trust accounting.  A lateral transfer is a type of ACH transfer.
  • B.  Trust accounting. A lateral transfer is wire fraud. Personal & substantial involvement in effectuating one will expose a lawyer to criminal and disciplinary charges.
  • C.  Conflicts of interest that arise when a lawyer changes firm.
  • D.  Conflicts of interest that arise when a lawyer becomes a judge.

Question 4

Lawyer called me with an inquiry. I responded, “one of the comments to the rule indicates that the rule encompasses anyone who supervises, directs, or regularly consults with you on the matter; who has the authority to obligate your client with respect to the matter; and whose act or omission in connection with the matter may be imputed to your client for the purposes of civil or criminal liability.”

Given my response, Lawyer’s inquiry most likely related to:

  • A.  Lawyer’s duty to report a supervisor’s misconduct.
  • B.  Lawyer’s duty to report a client’s criminal conduct.
  • C.  The scope of Lawyer’s duties to maintain a client’s confidences.
  • D. The constituents of Lawyer’s organizational client with whom opposing counsel cannot communicate absent Lawyer’s consent.  See, V.R.Pr.C. 4.2, Cmt. [7].

Question 5

Constitutional Law.

29 years ago today, Michigan ratified an amendment to the U.S. Constitution. At the time, many believed that Michigan was the 38th state to ratify the amendment, thus making the amendment law.  As it turns out, the amendment officially became part of the Constitution two days earlier, when Alabama ratified it on May 5.

Why the confusion?

Because the amendment was proposed in 1789.  Kentucky ratified it in 1792, but that fact was somehow lost to history until 1996.

Anyhow, it was the most recent amendment to be adopted.

What number is it?  In other words, how many amendments are there to the United States Constitution?

  1. The 27th amendment provides that changes to congressional salaries will not take effect until after the next election of members of the House of Representatives.

Hint: think about a long time focus of the Five for Friday posts.

27th Amendment

 

Emotional Well-Being: the debrief video

It’s time for Friday’s debriefing.  Today’s discussion was so thoughtful that there’s no way my recap will do it justice.

Again, it’s Well-Being Week in Law.  Today’s topic is Emotional Well-Being.  I focused on the importance of learning to accept that we will experience negative emotions and learning to control our responses to them.  Earlier today, I posted this blog advance of a group discussion that took place at lunch.

As have been the others this week, the discussion was fantastic. Here’s the debrief video with my takeaways.

Thanks to everyone who participated today and this week!

Enjoy the weekend.

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Related Material from the Institute for Well-Being in Law

Related Posts

The 227th #fiveforfriday legal ethics quiz.

Welcome to the 227th #fiveforfriday legal ethics quiz!

This week is Well-Being Week in Law.  Each day focused on a different component of well-being. Each day, I recorded a video addressing the day’s theme.  Except for Monday, I hosted a discussion of the day’s theme at lunch, then posted a video debrief of the discussion.

The posts and videos are this week’s intro.  Check ‘em out.

Onto the quiz!

Rules

  • Open book, open search engine, text-a-friend.
  • Exception:  Question 5.  We try to play that one honest.
  • Unless stated otherwise, the Vermont Rules of Professional Conduct apply
  • Team entries welcome, creative team names even more welcome.
  • E-mail answers to kennedy@vermont.gov
  • I’ll post the answers & Honor Roll on Monday
  • Please don’t use the “comment” feature to post your answers
  • Please consider sharing the quiz with friends & colleagues
  • Share on social media.  Hashtag it – #fiveforfriday

the-quiz

Question 1

Fill in the blank. (choices below)

By rule, a concurrent conflict of interest exists if there is ___________________ that the representation of one or more clients will be materially limited by the lawyer’s responsibilities to another client, a former client or a third person or by a personal interest of the lawyer.

  • A.   an appearance
  • B.   the potential
  • C.  a likelihood
  •  D.  a significant risk

 Question 2

Paralegal works at Firm.  Prospective Client meets with Firm to discuss potential representation.  Paralegal has conflict of interest that would preclude Paralegal from representing Prospective Client if Paralegal were a lawyer.  Which is most accurate?

  • A.  The conflict is imputed to all lawyers who work at Firm.
  • B.  The conflict is imputed, but only to lawyers with whom Paralegal works closely.
  • C.  The conflict is not imputed.
  • D.  The conflict is not imputed, but paralegal should be screened from any involvement in Prospective Client’s matter.

Question 3

At a CLE, I’m talking about “lateral transfers and whether they were involved personally and substantially.”  What specific area of the rules was I addressing?

  • A  Trust accounting.  A lateral transfer is a type of ACH transfer.
  • B.  Trust accounting. A lateral transfer is wire fraud. Personal & substantial involvement in effectuating one will expose a lawyer to criminal and disciplinary charges.
  • C.  Conflicts of interest that arise when a lawyer changes firm.
  • D.  Conflicts of interest that arise when a lawyer becomes a judge.

Question 4

Lawyer called me with an inquiry. I responded, “one of the comments to the rule indicates that the rule encompasses anyone who supervises, directs, or regularly consults with you on the matter; who has the authority to obligate your client with respect to the matter; and whose act or omission in connection with the matter may be imputed to your client for the purposes of civil or criminal liability.”

Given my response, Lawyer’s inquiry most likely related to:

  • A.  Lawyer’s duty to report a supervisor’s misconduct.
  • B.  Lawyer’s duty to report a client’s criminal conduct.
  • C.  The scope of Lawyer’s duties to maintain a client’s confidences.
  • D.  The constituents of Lawyer’s organizational client with whom opposing counsel cannot communicate absent Lawyer’s consent.

Question 5

Constitutional Law.

29 years ago today, Michigan ratified an amendment to the U.S. Constitution. At the time, many believed that Michigan was the 38th state to ratify the amendment, thus making the amendment law.  As it turns out, the amendment officially became part of the Constitution two days earlier, when Alabama ratified it on May 5.

Why the confusion?

Because the amendment was proposed in 1789.  Kentucky ratified it in 1792, but that fact was somehow lost to history until 1996.

Anyhow, it was the most recent amendment to be adopted.

What number is it?  In other words, how many amendments are there to the United States Constitution?

Hint: think about a long time focus of the Five for Friday posts.

Emotional Well-Being: W.I.N. your 3 feet of influence.

Welcome to Friday of Well-Being Week in Law.

Today’s topic is Emotional Well-Being.  The focus is on learning to understand and identify our emotions.  Here’s a video (8:36) in which I share some thoughts.  The headlines:

  • It’s okay to feel negative emotions
  • W.I.N.
  • W.I.N. your 3-feet of influence
  • It’s okay to ask for help, and help is available.
  • Be 1 of somebody’s 3 or 4

I’m hosting a Zoom discussion today at noon.  The invite is here.  If you’re interested in sharing your thoughts on emotional intelligence, listening to others share theirs, or both – please join!

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Related Material from the Institute for Well-Being in Law

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Communities & Connections: the debrief video

It’s time for Thursday’s debriefing.

Again, it’s Well-Being Week in Law.  Today’s topic is Social Well-Being and the importance of communities and connections.  Earlier today, I posted this video in advance of a group discussion that took place at lunch.

As have been the others this week, the discussion was fantastic.  Here’s the debrief video (7:34) with my takeaways.

Tomorrow’s topic is Emotional Intelligence and the critical role it plays in our well-being. I intend to frame the conversation around an idea (not my own) that I used as a coach:  W.I.N.  Or, “What’s Important Now.”  From there, we’ll talk about how emotional intelligence can help us to W.I.N our three feet of influence.  Feel free to join to share your thoughts, listen to others share theirs, or do both! I’ll include the link in tomorrow morning’s blog post.

Thanks again to everyone who participated today.

Connect!

Related Material from the Institute for Well-Being in Law

Communities & Connections

Welcome to Thursday of Well-Being Week in Law.

Today’s topic is Social Well-Being and the importance of communities and connections.  Here’s a video in which I offer to be your guide as you hunt for connections.

I’m not sure that today’s theme is amenable to discussion as yesterday’s or tomorrow’s, but I’m hosting the noon time chat anyway!  Whether to share your thoughts on communities & connections or to listen to others share theirs, you can join the discussion here.

Connect!

Related Material from the Institute for Well-Being in Law

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Engage & Grow: the debrief video

It’s time for Wednesday’s debriefing!

But first, many thanks to those of you who joined the conversation and shared your thoughts. I appreciate your involvement, as well as your continued commitment to the well-being of the legal profession.

Again, it’s Well-Being Week in Law.

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Today’s topic is Intellectual Well-Being, with the mantra “Engage and Grow.” The focus is on striving for continuous intellectual engagement and growth in our work and personal lives.

Earlier today, I posted this blog in advance of a group discussion we had at noon.  A few minutes ago, I recorded this video (5:36) in which I provide a short debriefing of the discussion.  Check it out.  Among the key takeaways from today’s discussion:

  • many confirmed that pro bono work provides an opportunity to engage intellectually while at work. Especially when providing pro bono services in an area outside your normal practice area.
  • another avenue for intellectual growth within the law is board service. For example, a lawyer mentioned serving on a school board and the associated opportunity for intellectual growth because of being exposed to education law.
  • I continue to learn of more and more lawyers who have fascinating interests outside the law! Interests that require intellectual engagement. Today, a lawyer who taught himself to play guitar.  And another who is on her 110th consecutive day of taking at least one French lesson per day.  C’est fantastique! During the discussion, I committed to learning how to . . . . (the answer is available only via the debrief video!)
  • Finally, we had an insightful talk about Impostor Syndrome. For one, so many of us have experienced it. For another, each of us who has was surprised to learn that so many others have too. As I mentioned this morning, if you feel like a phony, or like someone who doesn’t belong in the profession, (1) you’re not; and (2) you’re not alone. Check out the debrief video for additional thoughts.

Thank you again to those who joined today!

I’ll host another discussion tomorrow at noon.  The topic will be Social Well-Being.  The discussion will focus on the importance of finding communities and forging connections within those communities. I’ll post the link tomorrow morning.

Engage & Grow!

Related Material:

 Related Posts:

Venue, the Electric Slide, and Impostor Syndrome: thoughts on intellectual engagement & growth.

Welcome to Wednesday of Well-Being Week in Law.

Today’s topic is Intellectual Well-Being, with the mantra “Engage and Grow.”  We’re focusing on striving for continuous intellectual engagement and growth in our work and personal lives.

Here’s a video in which I go into more detail.  The video ranges from my personal (and borderline frivolous) engagement and growth – venue in federal criminal cases and mastering the Electric Slide – to a serious discussion of Impostor Syndrome.

I’d love to learn your thoughts & strategies for intellectual growth.  Please consider joining this Zoom discussion at noon to share & listen as others share theirs!

 Links to material referenced in my video are below:

Engage & Grow!

  • An article in Elemental on the connection between curiosity and well-being.
  • An article in Courthouse News about a 9th Circuit opinion that involves an international arms dealer and proper venue in federal criminal cases.
  • Joanna Litt’s letter to The American Lawyer about her husband’s suicide.
  • Neha Sampat’s post in the ABA Journal calling on the profession to address Impostor Syndrome.

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Related Posts:

Align: the debrief video.

It’s time for Tuesday’s debriefing.

This morning I posted Align! It introduced today’s virtual meeting in which we discussed a critical component of wellness: spiritual well-being.  The focus was on striving to align our work lives with our personal values.

Here’s the video debrief.  It’s only 4:31 and includes references to The Office and Star Trek: The Next Generation.  It also goes into more detail on three takeaways from our discussion:

  1. It’s okay if finding meaning in your work is not a core value. Wellness is not one-size fits all. For reasons that could be the topic of their own CLE, there are some among us whose wellness is better served by work that appears rote or boring to others of us.
  2. Just because your work lacks meaning to you doesn’t make it meaningless.  What you do is important to someone, perhaps a client, others with whom you work, or Future You.
  3. A few of us are going to use this exercise to identify & commit to our core values. If nothing else, I like the idea of writing to Future Me.  Probably something I should’ve started doing long ago.

Don’t worry if you missed today’s discussion.  We will reconvene tomorrow at noon to discuss Wednesday’s theme:  Engage & Grow.  The focus will be intellectual well-being, constant curiosity, and striving for growth in both our personal and work lives.  You can join the discussion here.

I’ve not yet finalized the agenda, but it might include me talking about the Electric Slide.

But for now, Align!

Align

Welcome to Tuesday of Well-Being Week in Law.

Before we begin, how about a nod to Disciplinary Counsel’s well-being?  Happy Birthday Sarah Katz!

Onto business.

Today’s focus is Spiritual Well-Being, with the cue being “Align.”  The goal is to consider how we can “foster a sense of meaning and purpose in all aspects of life” so as to “align life and work to serve your values.”

Last year, I posted this video on Spiritual Well-Being.  I tried to make three points.

  1. “Incivility is corrosive” in the profession. It causes stress, anxiety, and burnout. In turn, these corrode a sense of meaning and purpose.
  2. Supervisors should strive to ensure that those who work for them feel a sense of meaning in what they do.
  3. Younger legal professionals should remember Future You. Not every task is what Younger Me expected I’d be doing once I began my career.  Some feel meaningless.  But every task I complete matters to someone.  Most importantly, Future Me is far more likely to find meaning in my future work if I invest in myself now. And treating every task, no matter how small, as if it is the most meaningful is a form of investment.

I’d love to learn how others strive to find meaning & purpose. What are your thoughts and strategies on how align your work and professional live?  Today at noon, I’m hosting a Zoom meeting.  Everyone is invited.  It won’t be a lecture, but a discussion.  The link is here.  Please consider joining!

In the meantime, here are resources on “Align: Spiritual Well-Being” from the Institute for Well-Being in Law.

Align!

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