Five for Friday #138

I don’t like winter.  At all.

Anyhow, a few nonlawyer friends poked fun at lawyers in response to yesterday’s post on the Florida Supreme Court’s opinion on judges and their Facebook friends.  They found it comical that, only in the law, would you need 2 pages of “mumbo jumb” to define the word “friend.”

Point taken.

But, as I stare at 8 inches of snow, I wish more of you who wished for snow for the holidays would’ve consulted a lawyer before transmitting your wish. Because while we might have needed a lot of mumbo jumbo to define “friend,” we would have used that mumbo jumbo to specify that your wish:

  • “does not include, and in fact excludes, any holiday, religious or secular, that falls closer to the United States federal holiday known as ‘Veterans Day’ than to the United States federal holiday known as ‘New Year’s Day,’ with this clause referring to the ‘Veterans Day’ in any particular calendar year and the ‘New Year’s Day’ that falls in the next calendar year, as determined by the schedule published by the United States Office of Personnel Management, with ‘publishing’ including, but not being limited to, electronic availability.”

Axl did not sing about November Snow. This is ridiculous!

Snow Day

But it’s my fault.  My superstitions failed me.

I’m pretty lazy.   I put off even the simplest of tasks as long as possible, and then some.  One task that falls prey to my procrastination more often than others is changing over to winter tires.  Not this year.

No, this year I dropped off my car on November 6.  Part of my thinking was “if I put them on early, it’ll never snow!”  It’s like when I make sure to pack an umbrella when I drive to Fenway.  If I do, it won’t rain.

Fresh off my new lock screen having won the World Series for the Red Sox, I was confident I’d guaranteed a mild winter.

Apparently the umbrella theory doesn’t apply to winter tires.

Anyhow, cabin fever is already setting in.  But it’s not all bad.  The weather resulted in a very positive experience on the way to work.

I slipped and fell as I walked from the parking garage to the office this morning.  Two college-aged guys were walking from the other direction and saw me fall. I was sure they’d mock me.

Nope.

One clapped and gave me a high-five as he said “you saved the coffee! that’s awesome!”

He was right. I didn’t spill my coffee.  Years of crowded bars finally paid off.

And you know what?  As mad as I was at the weather, and as mad as I was at falling, and as mad as I was at knowing that 138 days from now we could very well be experiencing a similar storm, the guy made me laugh.  He changed my whole outlook on the day.  He won his 3-feet of influence.

Do the same for someone today.  You never know what a difference it’ll make.

Onto the quiz!

Rules

  • None.  Open book, open search engine, text/phone/email-a-friend.
  • Exception – but one that is loosely enforced – #5 (“loosely” = “aspirational”)
  • Unless stated otherwise, the Vermont Rules of Professional Conduct apply
  • Team entries welcome, creative team names even more welcome.
  • E-mail answers to michael.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
  • Please consider sharing the quiz on social media.  Hashtag it – #fiveforfriday

Question 1

Lawyer called me with an inquiry. I listened, then said:

  • “the rule refers to court costs and expenses of litigation, and says that repayment may be contingent upon the outcome.”

What did Lawyer call to discuss?

Question 2

With respect to legal ethics, the phrase “going up the ladder” is most often used in connection with the duties of attorney who:

  • A.  prosecutes criminal cases
  • B.  knows or should know that the attorney made a mistake
  • C.  is being paid by someone other than the client
  • D.  represents an organization

Question 3

Former Client thinks Attorney committed malpractice.  They meet.  Former Client is not represented, but is willing to accept Attorney’s settlement offer.

By rule, what must Attorney do before settling ?

Question 4

What’s the topic of the rule associated with these words & phrases:

  • extrajudical
  • a lawyer involved in the investigation or litigation of a matter
  • disseminated by means of public communication
  • will have a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing the proceeding

Question 5

In honor of Stan Lee, who passed away this week . . .

Jennifer Walters graduated from the UCLA School of Law and eventually practiced law at the firm of Goodman, Lieber, Kurtzman, and Book.  There, she represented Arthur Moore, a client who had been charged with robbery.   The charge was dismissed after Walters successfully argued that all of the evidence against Moore had been seized during a traffic stop & search that violated the 4th Amendment.

Shortly thereafter, Moore disclosed information to Walters that caused her to go green with anger.  She was so angry that she punched him in the face, knocked him through the wall into the street, and disclosed his confidences to the crowd that gathered after he went crashing through the wall.  As a result, she was disbarred.

No matter, for Jennifer Walters, law was just a side job. Her true calling is as a super hero.

Who is Jennifer Walters when she transforms into her super hero alter ego?

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Judges and their Facebook Friends

Last year, I blogged on the Florida case in which a lower level court held that, standing alone, a judge’s Facebook friendship with a lawyer is not sufficient to disqualify the judge from a matter in which the lawyer appears.

I wrote:

This makes sense to me.  As with almost everything tech-related, I try to use analogies to non-tech stuff.  For example, if you learned that a lawyer who regularly appeared before a judge belonged to the same health club, or went to the same church, or was in the same law school class as the judge my guess is that you wouldn’t reflexively yell “conflict! disqualify the judge!”

No, you might ask something as simple as, “do they actually know each other? If so, how well? Do they do stuff together?”

In my view, Facebook is no different.  Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal agrees. The opinion presents a fantastic analysis of what it means, if anything, to be Facebook friends with someone.

The decision directly conflicted with another from a different Florida district.  So, the Florida Supreme Court agreed to resolve the issue.

Today, the Court issued its opinion.  For those of you who like to cut to the case, here you go:

  • “We hold that an allegation that a trial judge is a Facebook ‘friend’ with an
    attorney appearing before the judge, standing alone, does not constitute a legally
    sufficient basis for disqualification.”

I like the opinion.  I like it because it resolves a “tech” issue by analogizing to how we did things pre-tech.  To summarize:

  1. Since well before Facebook and social media, Florida law has recognized “that an allegation of mere friendship between a judge and a litigant or attorney appearing before the judge, standing alone, does not constitute a legally sufficient basis for disqualification.”
  2. There’s no reason to treat a Facebook friendship any differently than a “traditional” friendships.  In fact, it’s likely that Facebook friends are less friendly than traditional friends.
  • “In short, the mere fact that a Facebook friendship’ exists provides no
    significant information about the nature of any relationship between the Facebook
    ‘friends.’ Therefore, the mere existence of a Facebook ‘friendship’ between a
    judge and an attorney appearing before the judge, without more, does not
    reasonably convey to others the impression of an inherently close or intimate
    relationship. No reasonably prudent person would fear that she could not receive a
    fair and impartial trial based solely on the fact that a judge and an attorney
    appearing before the judge are Facebook ‘friends’ with a relationship of an
    indeterminate nature.”

From there, the Florida Supreme Court observed that its decision is consistent with the majority of states that have addressed the issue.

Finally, remember: just like real-life relationships, a Facebook friendship or other social media connection might create an appearance that provides a basis to inquire further.  So maybe it’s best to avoid such connections.

For now, here’s the final paragraph from the Florida opinion:

  • “In some circumstances, the relationship between a judge and a litigant,
    lawyer, or other person involved in a case will be a basis for disqualification of the
    judge. Particular friendship relationships may present such circumstances
    requiring disqualification. But our case law clearly establishes that not every
    relationship characterized as a friendship provides a basis for disqualification. And
    there is no reason that Facebook ‘friendships’—which regularly involve
    strangers—should be singled out and subjected to a per se rule of disqualification.”

Regular readers know my response:

Image result for facebook like symbol

 

Wellness Wednesday: Enough.

Usually I use this column to highlight lawyers doing nonlawyerly things.

Sadly, suicide is becoming a lawyerly thing to do.  As we know, over the past 4 years, at least 5 Vermont attorneys have taken their own lives.  I know a sixth whose death technically was not a suicide.  But it was.

We must continue to work to make the profession a healthier place.

Ten years ago today, Joanna Litt married Gabe MacConaill.  Gabe was an attorney.  He’s not here to celebrate his anniversary.  He took his own life last month.

A few days ago, The American Lawyer published a letter from Joanna.  It’s here.  The Tax Prof Blog has it for free here.  Reporting on the letter, Above The Law has Jill Switzer’s  post on how lawyer suicides are becoming too frequent.

Joanna’s letter is heartbreaking.  It should make us double our resolve to destigmatize a lawyer’s decision to admit that he or she needs help.

Sometime in the next few months, the Vermont Commission on the Well Being of the Legal Profession will issue a state action plan.  I expect that the plan will reference, if not incorporate, aspects of the ABA’s mission to convince legal employers to pledge to commit to a healthier work environment.  My post on the pledge is here.

Consider the pledge.

In the meantime, odds are that many of us know a lawyer who is fighting the fight that Gabe fought.  Let’s do what we can to encourage that lawyer to seek help.

So that his or her Joanna doesn’t have to write a letter.

Free, confidential services are available 24/7 for people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress and for those around them. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). A crisis text line is at 741-741.

Wellness

 

 

Volunteer for Veterans

Rule 6.1 of the Vermont Rules of Professional Conduct suggests that lawyers provide 50 hours of pro bono legal services per year.  One area in which pro bono services are needed: helping our veterans.

Last Friday, and in anticipation of Veterans Day, President Bob Carlson blogged on the ABA’s work to ensure that our veterans can access legal services, including the services necessary to secure the benefits to which they are entitled. The post includes many tips on how to get involved in pro bono efforts on behalf of veterans.

For those of you who don’t know her, I’m proud to use this opportunity to introduce you to Katelyn Atwood.  Katelyn practices law in Rutland and is a fellow member of the Vermont Bar Association’s Board of Managers.

From 2014-2016, Katelyn served as the Vermont Bar Foundation’s Poverty Law Fellow. She focused on establishing the Vermont Veterans Legal Assistance Program (“VVLAP”).  Today, VVLAP remains an ongoing project in Vermont Law School’s South Royalton Legal Clinic.

Katelyn – today I thank not only our nation’s veterans.  I thank you too – for your tireless efforts to raise awareness as to our veterans’ unmet legal needs.

Katelynn Atwood, Vermont Poverty Law Fellow

 

Monday Morning Answers: #137

Welcome to Monday.  Friday’s questions are here.  (Yes, Clemson won!) The answers follow today’s honor roll.

clemson

Honor Roll

  • Karen Allen
  • Beth DeBernardi, Administrative Law Judge, Vermont Dept. of Labor
  • Cary DubeBergeron, Paradis, Fitzpatrick
  • Bob Grundstein
  • Tammy Heffernan
  • Keith KasperMcCormick, Fitzpatrick, Kasper & Burchard
  • Jeanne Kennedy, Mom of the Blogger
  • Jordana LevineMarsicovetere & Levine
  • Pam Loginsky, Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorneys
  • Kevin LumpkinSheehey Furlong & Behm
  • Lon McClintock
  • Jeff MessinaBergeron Paradis Fitzpatrick
  • Hal Miller, First American
  • Jim Runcie, Ouimette & Runcie
  • Jay Spitzen, Esq.

Answers

 

Question 1

Lawyer called me with an inquiry. I listened, then said: “the rule says that your first duty is to try to maintain as normal an attorney-client relationship as possible.”

Given my statement, it’s most likely that Lawyer called out of concern that:

  • A.  Lawyer’s client suffered from a diminished capacity.  See, Rule 1.14(a).
  • B.  Lawyer’s client had presented false evidence to a tribunal
  • C.  Lawyer’s client had used Lawyer’s services to perpetuate a fraud
  • D.  Lawyer’s client had given false testimony in a deposition.

Question 2

Which is associated with a different rule or set of rules than the others?

  • A.  Commingling
  • B.   Qualitative Comparisons.
  • C.   Disbursements
  • D.  Held in connection with a representation

Generally, the advertising rules prohibit “qualitative comparisons” to other lawyers or firms.  Choices A, C & D are phrases associated with the trust accounting rules.

Question 3

As in all cases, the rules prohibit unreasonable fees in divorces & criminal cases.

With respect to fees, the rules also prohibit something else in divorces and criminal cases.

What is it?

Contingent fees.  Rule 1.5(d).

Question 4

Prospective Client meets with you.  Prospective Client indicates that Lawyer represents her, but that she wants a second opinion from you.

True or False:  the rules prohibit you from discussing the matter with Prospective Client absent Lawyer’s consent.

FalseRule 4.2, Comment[4].  Per the Reporter’s Note to the 2009 Amendments, “a new sentence clarifies that Rule 4.2 does not preclude communication with a represented person who is seeking a second opinion from a lawyer who is not representing a party in the matter.”

Question 5

Speaking of the Heisman Trophy . . .

. . .in 1962, President Kennedy nominated Byron White to the United States Supreme Court.  Justice White served until 1993, with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg replacing White upon his retirement.

25 years before being appointed to the Supreme Court, Justice White finished 2nd in the Heisman Trophy voting. He was an outstanding running back for the University of Colorado.  He’s the only US Supreme Court justice who also received votes in the Heisman race.

Justice White’s football skills resulted in a famous nickname.

What’s the nickname?

Byron “Whizzer” White was an All-American halfback and Heisman Trophy runner-up for the Colorado Buffalos.

Five for Friday #137: my college football injury.

Blogger’s note: warning – this post includes paltering.

Welcome to #137!

Another week, another failure on my part to connect the intro to the number.  But this week I have an excuse.  Given my plans for the weekend, I’m compelled to share the story of my college football injury.

That’s right – college football injury. Not many people can say they have one.  Even fewer who played high school football in Vermont can.  I’m one of the few.

College football is my favorite sport.  Clemson is my favorite college football team. Tomorrow night, the undefeated Clemson Tigers play at Boston College in a match-up between the 2nd and 17th ranked teams in the nation.  I’ll be there.

While now a Clemson fan, there was a time when I loved the Boston College Eagles football team like it was my job.  Because, it was my job.

I’ve often mentioned that I did my undergrad at UVM.  Paltering!  The truth is that I transferred to UVM in the middle of my sophomore year, transferred from Boston College.

I didn’t decide where to attend college until November of my senior year of high school.  The day before Thanksgiving, I visited BC.  At the time, the BC football team was enjoying its best season in decades, led by eventual Heisman Trophy winner Doug Flutie.  That week, the Eagles were ranked 10th in the nation and scheduled to face #12 Miami on the day after Thanksgiving.  While it was a road game, the hoopla and anticipation were beyond description.  As the kids would say today, on the day of my visit, campus was lit.

I watched the game back home.  It turned out to be one of the most iconic games in college football history, with Flutie’s miraculous Hail Mary winning the game in stunning fashion on the final play:

See the source image

Between the excitement on campus and the result of the game, I was sold.  BC it was!

Fast forward to my first few days on campus.  Part of my financial aid package was “work-study,”  which means I had to get a job.  Scanning the list of available work-study positions, one jumped out at me: a job with the football team.  Given the mania (still) surrounding the football team, I assumed it’d be filled before I could walk to the stadium to apply.

I was wrong. I got the job. One of the best jobs of my life.

It involved a variety of grunt work, but included pay, meals, free entry to the games, and a spot on the sidelines.  The only drawback? It caused my college football injury.

My sophomore year, BC had a good season and was invited to play in the Hall of Fame Bowl in Tampa.  It was a fantastic game.  My college football injury almost left me to watch it from the hotel, but I gamely made it to the stadium.

Back then, I was what I remain today: a pale-skinned Irish dude. So, a few weeks before we left for Tampa, I decided it’d be wise to tan.  Need a base before I hit beach!

It worked.  Sort of.  5 or 6 trips to the tanning salon later, I was no longer a pale-skinned Irish dude.

I was a bright red Irish dude who’d foolishly burned himself silly.

I’m not exaggerating.  The day we left for Florida, I woke up in extreme distress, with “sun” burn everywhere.  It was so bad that on the flight to the bowl game, the team’s medical staff stripped me of my clothes, laid me across 3 seats, and covered me in wet towels.  Once in Tampa, it was more of the same. I didn’t leave the hotel room until the night of the game.  I heard the beaches were great.

This weekend, I doubt I’ll bump into anyone who’d remember me from back then. But, per chance I do, and per chance that person says “hey, aren’t you the guy who . . .”  I’ll quickly interrupt and finish the sentence with:

“had a college football injury? Yes. Yes I am.”

Paltering lives!

Onto the quiz!

Rules

  • None.  Open book, open search engine, text/phone/email-a-friend.
  • Exception – but one that is loosely enforced – #5 (“loosely” = “aspirational”)
  • Unless stated otherwise, the Vermont Rules of Professional Conduct apply
  • Team entries welcome, creative team names even more welcome.
  • E-mail answers to michael.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
  • Please consider sharing the quiz on social media.  Hashtag it – #fiveforfriday

Question 1

Lawyer called me with an inquiry. I listened, then said: “the rule says that your first duty is to try to maintain as normal an attorney-client relationship as possible.”

Given my statement, it’s most likely that Lawyer called out of concern that:

  • A.  Lawyer’s client suffered from a diminished capacity
  • B.  Lawyer’s client had presented false evidence to a tribunal
  • C.  Lawyer’s client had used Lawyer’s services to perpetuate a fraud
  • D.  Lawyer’s client had given false testimony in a deposition.

Question 2

Which is associated with a different rule or set of rules than the others?

  • A.  Commingling
  • B.   Qualitative Comparisons
  • C.   Disbursements
  • D.  Held in connection with a representation

Question 3

As in all cases, the rules prohibit unreasonable fees in divorces & criminal cases.

With respect to fees, the rules also prohibit something else in divorces and criminal cases.

What is it?

Question 4

Prospective Client meets with you.  Prospective Client indicates that Lawyer represents her, but that she wants a second opinion from you.

True or False:  the rules prohibit you from discussing the matter with Prospective Client absent Lawyer’s consent.

Question 5

Speaking of the Heisman Trophy . . .

. . .in 1962, President Kennedy nominated Byron White to the United States Supreme Court.  Justice White served until 1993, with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg replacing White upon his retirement.

25 years before being appointed to the Supreme Court, Justice White finished 2nd in the Heisman Trophy voting. He was an outstanding running back for the University of Colorado.  He’s the only US Supreme Court justice who also received votes in the Heisman race.

Justice White’s football skills resulted in a famous nickname.

What’s the nickname?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Siri, Alexa, and Client Confidences

Query: do Siri and Alexa get mad if a human accidentally calls one the other?  I don’t know, but, if not, I think a sarcastically angry response should be added to each’s algorithm.

Anyhow, without even having started yet, I digress.

My recent posts on client confidences spurred additional research.   The research led me to Alberto Bernabe’s Professional Responsibility Blog.  Professor Bernabe is a regular member of this blog’s #fiveforfriday Honor Roll.

Earlier this year, Professor Bernabe posted a link to this article.   The article appeared on the ABA’s Law Technology Today blog and details some of the issues about which lawyers should be aware when using digital voice assistants.  One of those issues: client confidences.  If you or your firm uses a digital voice assistant, I suggest giving the article a read.

Even if you don’t use a DVA, remember, your clients might and the duty of competence includes tech competence.  I can hear you now:  “Mike, how in the world might my client’s digital voice assistant affect the case?

Well, what if your client’s Echo might have recorded a murder?

Side note:  Kathleen Zellner, the defense lawyer quoted in the story about the Amazon Echo murder case, plays a prominent role in the recently released Season 2 of Making a Murderer.

And remember: it’s not just Echos and other digital voice assistants.  Our lives (and our clients’ lives) are replete with devices that record, collect and exchange data over the internet of things.  Data that may impact our clients’ matters.

But, for now, I’ll leave it at client confidences. Issues related to the internet of things can wait for another day.

Well, ok.  Here’s a teaser:

“Hey Siri! Did Encyclopedia Brown investigate the The Case of the Hacked Refrigerator.

 

See the source image

 

 

 

Don’t Post That

There was a time in my life when the MTV Video Music Awards were must see tv.  I refer to that era as “law school.”

In my first year of law school, Hammer’s U Can’t Touch This won the VMAs for Best Rap Video & Best Dance Video.  I loved that song.  I wore out my apartment’s carpet dancing to it.

Anyhow, the song came to mind yesterday upon reading the ABA Journal’s story about a lawyer who called a client an “idiot and terrible criminal” in a Facebook post.

Why did the story remind me of the song?

Because last week I announced the theorem Keep Quiet & Lawyer OnToday, I’m announcing its corollary:  Don’t Post That.  It’s pronounced as if you’re singing along with Hammer.

Don’t let the pop culture reference gloss over your eyes.  This is a serious post. The story that prompts it raises concerns about an issuet that troubles me: my perception that we’ve become too willing to share too much.

Here’s the backdrop:

Aaccording to an article in the Des Moines Register, the Associated Press obtained a screenshot of an attorney’s Facebook post. In it, the attorney recounted meeting with a client to prepare for trial on federal gun & drug charges.  The client expressed concern that the “blue-collar jurors” would not connect with the attorney.

Per the AP story, the attorney turned to social media, posting that he was “flabbergasted” that the client would even suggest such a thing.  The post went on to state that the client was an ” ‘(expletive) idiot and a terrible criminal . . . who needed to shut his mouth because he was the dumbest person in the conversation by 100 times.’ ”  The attorney’s post observed ” ‘you wonder why need jails, huh?’ ”

The post speaks for itself and probably wouldn’t require more than 3 seconds at a CLE:  Don’t Post That.  It’s the attorney’s response that I find noteworthy.

The AP interviewed the attorney.  He told the AP that “he shared the post only with his Facebook friends.”

In Vermont, Rule 1.6 addresses client confidences.  The rule sets out the general prohibition against disclosing information relating to the representation of a client, then lists some exceptions.

“You may tell your friends” is not one of the exceptions.  In fact, it’s kind of the point of the rule.

Again, this story presents a stark example and I think most lawyers recognize that there’s no “friends & family” exception to the duty to maintain confidences. But as I noted last week, I think we sometimes get a bit lax in how much we share about our cases and clients.  Even a little is too much.

Finally, the fact that the attorney’s disclosure was made on social media is almost a red herring.  To me, this is not “See! I told you that social media is bad!”  That is, my guess is that lawyers who improperly disclose client confidences on social media would likely do by other means as well.  If you’re willing to post confidences to social media, you’re probably also willing to drop them in casual conversation over dinner.

Don’t.  Remember our postulates:

  • Theorem:  Keep Quiet & Lawyer On.
  • Corollary:  Don’t Post That.

Now, I look forward to spending the weekend revising Hammer’s lyrics to create a parody version entitled Don’t Post That.  Maybe I’ll sing it at my next CLE.

And, if I’m feeling nostalgic, maybe I’ll dig out the parachute pants.

Image result for images of mc hammer can't touch this

 

 

 

 

Wellness Wednesday: Family Time

It warms the cockles of my heart to use the word cockles in a sentence.

Whoops, what I meant was that it warms the cockles of my heart to hear from lawyers on wellness!

I’ve often encouraged lawyers to find time for non-lawyerly pursuits that tend to improve emotional & physical health. One such pursuit: spending time with family.

I can hear you now:  “Mike! Family??  Surely you can’t be serious!  Aren’t the holidays enough?”

I am serious. And don’t call me Shirley.

Last week, the Vermont Commission on the Well-Being of the Legal Profession met.  The legal employers committee presented an update on its work.  The update include mention of different ways to encourage firms to foster workplace environments that allow employees to tend to their emotional and personal well-being.  Or, at the very least, environs that don’t penalize or stigmatize proactive wellness.  A thought that emerged: what if lawyers left work a bit earlier every now & then to spend time with family?

The next day, I posted a blog about Judge McCaffrey.  Yes, he was committed to helping others.  But he was also extraordinarily dedicated to his family.  It made me think.

Yes, I’m all about lawyers finding non-lawyerly hobbies.  Running, yoga, whittling, a book club, an instrument . . . you get the picture.  But, don’t forget family.  The hour you spend with family might not be billable, but it’s worth far more than any hour you’ll ever bill.

On that note, a big thank you to Chris Pelkey and Nicole Killoran for sharing family moments!

Chris is an attorney at Valsangiacomo Detora & McQuesten.  An example of  his ability to persuade? Bucking the Tide and somehow convincing Rusty to hire a U-32 kid.

Anyhow, Chris and his wife, Kristin, ran the Heady Trotter 4-Miler. I failed to notice and, as a result, failed to include Chris in my post that featured pictures of lawyers and our Heady Trotter hats.

No, I don’t have a picture of Chris in his hat. Likely because he never gets to wear it!

Chris reports that their kids have commandeered the hats he & Kristin received. Indeed, if any of you spotted a teenage mutant ninja turtle sporting a Heady Trotter hat on the Halloween Express, it was Chris’s kid!  Talk about family wellness!

Pelkey

Nicole is a professor at Vermont Law School.  She’s also a regular member of this blog’s #fiveforfriday legal ethics honor roll.

Nicole and her family make time for what matters by finding adventures on the rivers, meadows, and woods that surround their house.  Per Nicole, their adventures include “bugs, turkeys,martens, hawks, crows, deer, wildflowers, and blackberries by the bundle.”

That’s perfect!  And perfect proof that wellness need not be complicated. Here are Nicole and her kids on one of their adventures:

Killoran

 

I love the pictures that Chris & Nicole sent.  Each reflects time well spent.  And time well spent is what wellness is all about.

Monday Morning Answers – #136

Welcome to Monday!

By the way, in my opinion, the foliage is sneaky good late in the season.

Friday’s questions are here.  The answers follow today’s honor roll.

Honor Roll

Answers

Question 1

There’s a type of representation that most lawyers believe is mandated by the Rules of Professional Conduct.  It isn’t.

What “Z” word is no longer part of the rules?

Zealous.  In 1999, it was replaced with “competent.”  See, Rule 1.1.

Question 2

There’s a rule that prohibits lawyers from advising or assisting a client to violate the law.  In Vermont, the rule causes concern among lawyers who provide advice related to a particular product.  What’s the product?

Marijuana.  However, see Comment 14 to Rule 1.2.

Question 3

Fill in the blank.  It’s 2 words.

Lawyer called me with an inquiry. I listed, then responded “you can’t state a _________________  __________ as to the justness of the cause, credibility of a witness, culpability of a civil litigant, or guilt or innocence of an accused.”

Personal Opinion.  Rule 3.4(e)

Question 4

Which is associated with a different rule than the others?

  • A.   Single source
  • B.   Overdraft notification
  • C.   ACH transfers
  • D.   Lateral transfers

Lateral transfers are associated with the conflict rules.  The others are associated with trust accounting.

Question 5

The rules prohibit affirmative misstatements of material fact.

70 years ago tomorrow, at least one US newspaper (in)famously ran a headline that, in gigantic type, contained the same affirmative misstatement of a material fact.  The misstatement referred to a lawyer who’d first made a name for himself by prosecuting mafia figures, including Charles “Lucky” Luciano.

Believe it or not, this ties to the Red Sox.  The lawyer died in 1971. One of the very last things he did before dying was play a round of golf with Red Sox legend Carl Yastrzemski.

Name the lawyer.

Thomas Dewey.  And the famous headline is here:

See the source image