Tech Competence: Tips and a Conference

As Olivia might sing, let’s get techical, techical.

Last week, the Professional Responsibility Board voted to recommend a series of amendments to the Vermont Rules of Professional Conduct.  The package will be forwarded to the Supreme Court for publication for comment.

Rule 1.1 requires lawyers to provide clients with competent representation.  Among other things, the Board will recommend that the Court amend Comment [6] to Rule 1.1 so as to add language that is highlighted & underlined:

  • “To maintain the requisite knowledge and skill, a lawyer should keep abreast of changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology, engage in continuing study and education and comply with all continuing legal education requirements to which the lawyer is subject.”

As of September 2017, 28 states have adopted the amendment.

If you’re concerned about tech competence, fear not!

  • On May 16, 2018, the Vermont Bar Association will present its inaugural Tech Day. Save the date! It’s scheduled to take place at the Sheraton-Burlington and will include several practical seminars.
  • Yesterday, Robert Ambrogi’s LawSites blog posted tips related to tech security, including a suggestion to consider client portals.

Finally, I’ve blogged often on this topic.  Related posts include:

As Olivia might sing, let’s get techical, techical.

 

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Don’t Switch Sides.

Last month, I posted The 50 Original Rules.  It’s a post that briefly recaps the history of the conduct rules that apply to lawyers.  Best I can tell, the earliest record of guidelines for attorney conduct in the United States is David Hoffman’s 1836 publication of his Fifty Resolutions in Regard to Professional Deportment.  My post includes each of Hoffman’s 50 resolutions.

181 years later, it’s somewhat fascinating to me how many of Hoffman’s resolutions continue to resonate.  Many are embedded in the current rules and our collective professional conscience.  Given my fascination, I’ve resolved to blog about the continued relevance of Hoffman’s resolutions, taking them one at a time.

I don’t know how long it’ll take me to get through all 50.  No matter, if even one of the resolutions resonates with but one of you, this endeavor will have been a success.

To date, I’ve blogged that Hoffman’s first resolution can be summarized as Don’t be a JerkActually, looking back, the first 6 resolutions fall under that title.  Today I want to focus on Resolution #8.  It addresses conflicts of interest and is simple: don’t switch sides.

Aside –  talk about conflicts! As I write this, I just learned that the Miami Marlins traded Giancarlo Stanton to the New York Yankees. The Marlins executive who greenlit the trade is Derek Jeter who, of course, is Mr. Yankee.  I have a great imagination.  Nevertheless, not even I can imagine a situation in which a lawyer does something akin to retiring from the Yankees, taking a job running the team that has one of the Top 3 players in baseball, then immediately trading that player to the Yankees.  Whatever the scenario, it’d certainly end in disbarment.  Lest I violate the maxim “Don’t Be a Jerk,” I won’t say anything further.

Back to Resolution #8. Here it is:

  • 8.    If I have ever had any connection with a cause, I will never permit myself (when that connection is from any reason severed) to be engaged on the side of my former antagonist. Nor shall any change in the formal aspect of the cause induce me to regard it as a ground of exception. It is a poor apology for being found on the opposite side, that the present is but the ghost of the former cause.

Compare that to Rule 1.9(a):

  • Duties to Former Clients. A lawyer who has formerly represented a client in a matter shall not thereafter represent another person in the same or a substantially related matter in which that person’s interests are materially adverse to the interests of the former client unless the former client gives informed consent, confirmed in writing.

Conflicts can be difficult to assess.  As you work your way through them, try to distill them to the most basic level.  181 years later, Hoffman’s resolution provides excellent guidance: don’t switch sides.

Back to Jeter – I guess he didn’t switch sides.  Indeed, that’s the problem.  As a Marlin, he’s still a Yankee!  Serenity now!

conflict

Paralegal licenses: incremental improvement to access isn’t perfect, but it isn’t bad.

Wrong

In 2013, the Washington Supreme Court adopted a rule authorizing limited license legal technicians to practice.  In 2015, the Legal Education Committee of the Vermont Joint Commission on the Future of Legal Services recommended something similar: authorization for Vermont Certified Paralegals to provide limited legal services.  The recommendation was based, in part, on the staggering number of self-represented litigants in Vermont’s civil docket.

Washington’s LLLT program is here.  The report of the Vermont Joint Commission is here.  The recommendations from the Legal Education Committee begin on page 11.

I chaired the Legal Education Committee.  The idea of a Vermont Certified Paralegal program hasn’t gained much traction.  Which makes me wonder . . .

. . . what if we got it wrong?

To be clear, I don’t think we were wrong to recommend limited licensure for paralegals.  Rather, I wonder if we were wrong to recommend a training & certification program that includes too many barriers to entry.  Did we focus too much on creating mini-lawyers, when far less would be a gargantuan improvement in access to legal services?  In short, did we make “perfect” an enemy of “good?”

These thoughts struck me late yesterday afternoon as I read Mary Juetten’s article in the ABA Journal: The limited license legal technician is the way of the future of law.

Some of Juetten’s key points:

  • “First, access to justice is not limited to low-income Americans. The 80 percent unmet need figure is based on the entire population. Therefore, many families cannot qualify for help and cannot afford an attorney.”
  • “Second, most middle-income citizens carry debt loads commensurate to their earnings, and any unplanned expenses are difficult to cover.”
  • “Third, many family law attorneys charge anywhere from $250 to $400 per hour, which is still more than double that of a LLLT. For example, using a 10-hour matter, a LLLT could charge up to $1,500 but an attorney would be $4,000. That $2,500 is a substantial savings to almost everyone.

Think about that.  $2500.  I’m guessing that even among the demographic reading this blog, $2500 isn’t an amount tossed around casually.

From there, Juetten notes:

  • “As of this month, there are only 26 LLLTs licensed in Washington, mainly concentrated in the Seattle-Tacoma area. The program appears to suffer from barriers to entry including the cost of the classes and the duration of the practical experience requirement. In addition, the classes are not eligible for student aid, so it is also expensive.”

And it’s about when I finished the last paragraph that I said to myself “Self, what if we got it wrong?”

As we consider whether to issue limited licenses to paralegals, we shouldn’t design or require training & certification programs that approximate law school.  The goal shouldn’t be to provide people who can’t afford lawyers with access to something that  walks, talks, and looks like a lawyer.  It should be to provide them with something that is better than they have now – which is nothing.

It’s long past time to think outside the box.  Let’s play “what if.”

What if an 8-week training program is sufficient to provide competent & practical legal services that are better than nothing?  What if it’s 6 weeks?  What if it’s 2?

We didn’t consider those options.  Maybe we should. I mean, we let new lawyers hang their own shingles without requiring liability insurance or any training in trust accounting.

Let’s be honest: right now, there are high-quality Vermont paralegals who, without any additional training, could walk into a courthouse and provide much needed access to the scores of family law litigants without any.  Seriously.  If you were to get divorced tomorrow, who would you choose? A paralegal who has worked for years in a family law practice, or, me?  I’ve been licensed for 23 years and wouldn’t know the first thing to do for you.

I’m not declaring that an 8 (or 6 or 2) week training program is sufficient.  But again, what if it is?  The Vermont Bar Association is more than capable of providing comprehensive and high-quality training.

Some of you might be rolling your eyes and asking “what good would that do in the bigger picture?”   You’re right, it’s not perfect.  There will still be too many people who can’t afford legal services. But, we have to stop looking for the magic bullet that solves the entire problem at once.  The “big picture” gets smaller by providing access to 1 person at a time.

One of my priest’s favorite sermons centers on Loren Eisley’s The Starfish Story.  Here’s the story:

One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed
a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean.

Approaching the boy, he asked, “What are you doing?”

The youth replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean.
The surf is up and the tide is going out.  If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.”

“Son, the man said, “don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish?
You can’t make a difference!”

After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish,
and threw it back into the surf.  Then, smiling at the man, he said
“I made a difference for that one.”

So, maybe we got it wrong.  In a perfect world, a Vermont Certified Paralegal might have thousands of hours of practical work and a semester or two of legal curriculum. For now, however, it might require far less to begin to make a difference.

 

Five for Friday #97

Welcome to #97!

97 is the number of blogs I didn’t write this week.  You see, I’m back into coaching.  In 2014, I retired after having coached varsity basketball for 15 years.  This year, I agreed to help a friend with South Burlington’s middle school teams.  He’s got the “A” team, I’ve got the “B.”  Is it different than varsity? Yes! Is it awesome? Hell yes!!

The “B” squad opened the season yesterday with a 35-15 victory over Essex Middle School.  With the first game out of the way, the jitters are gone and I’ll again use my free time to blog.  And, since I know you’ll be wondering, I’ll be sure to include updates on the squad.  Go Wolves!  #hearthehowl

Ok.  A housekeeping item.  I made a few Netflix recommendations last week.  I’d like to amend one:  Harley Coben’s The Five didn’t turn out as strong as the first few episodes suggested it might.  And, now, I’d like to add one.

As I tried to think of a way to tie 97 to the quiz, I looked at the results from the 1997 Academy Awards.  Fargo received a ton of nominations.   A few years ago, the Coen brothers produced a tv version.  3 seasons have aired.  Out of 5 stars, I give it 8.

The cast changes each season.  My favorite – Season 1, which won the 2014 Emmy and Golden Globe for Outstanding Mini Series.  Billy Bob Thornton starred, with fantastic support from many others, including Martin Freeman.  Freeman has rocked many different roles, but if you try to tell me that his best is anything other than as Tim in the UK version of The Office, well, we can’t be friends anymore.

Tim British Office

Onto the quiz!

Rules

  • None.  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 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
  • Share on social media.  Hashtag it – #fiveforfriday

Question 1

The trust account rules require lawyers to reconcile trust accounts:

  • A.   Timely, with “timely” being no less than monthly
  • B.   Every other month
  • C.   Quarterly
  • D.   The rules are silent as to how often trust accounts must be reconciled

Question 2

Soon, the Professional Responsibility Board will formally recommend that the Court review several proposed changes to the Rules of Professional Conduct.  One recommendation will be to amend the rule that applies to “lateral transfers.”

Generally, a “lateral transfer” raises issues related to:

  • A.  Trust accounting
  • B.  Conflicts that arise when a lawyer changes firms
  • C.  The papers & information that must be in the file when it’s delivered to the client
  • D.  A terminated lawyer’s duty of confidentiality when updating a former client’s new lawyer on the status of the matter

Question 3

Attorney called with an inquiry. I listened, then replied “the rule applies to statements of fact.  The Comment suggests it doesn’t apply in negotiations or to mere ‘puffery’ to opposing counsel.”

What rule?

  • A.    Trial Publicity
  • B.    Client Confidences
  • C.    Advertising
  • D.   Truthfulness in Statements to Others

Question 4

Lawyer called me with an inquiry. I listened, then replied by reading the rule aloud.   Then, I said “here are the exceptions. Among other things, you can state information that’s in the public record, including the claims, defenses, and names of people involved.  You could also request assistance obtaining information or evidence.  Just don’t do anything that will have a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing the outcome.”

What rule?

  • A.    Trial Publicity
  • B.    Client Confidences
  • C.    Advertising
  • D.   Truthfulness in Statements to Others

Question 5

Speaking of the 1997 Academy Awards, Fargo won two of the major awards:  Frances McDormand won Best Actress and Joel Coen won Best Screenplay.

The same year, another movie received nominations for several of the major awards.  It’s a movie that was based on Leigh Steinberg.  In real life, Steinberg is a lawyer and agent who has represented many top athletes.  In ’97, the actor who played Steinberg was nominated for Best Actor, but didn’t win.  However, Cuba Gooding Jr. won for Best Supporting Actor for his role as one of the clients.

Name the movie.

Fargo

 

 

Monday Morning Answers

Happy Monday!

A goal this week: W.I.N. you 3 feet of influence.

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

Honor Roll

  • Karen Allen, Esq.; Karen Allen Law
  • Matthew AndersonPratt Vreeland Kennelly & White
  • Linda Baccki, Law Office Study Program, Law Office of Cristina Mansfield
  • Penny Benelli, Dakin & Benelli
  • Andrew DelaneyMartin & Associates
  • Bob Grundstein, Esq.
  • Tammy Heffernan, Esq.
  • Keith KasperMcCormick, Fitzpatrick, Kasper & Burchard
  • Jeanne Kennedy, Queen Mum, JB Kennedy Associates
  • Kevin LumpkinSheehey Furlong & Behm
  • Lon McClintockMcClintock Law Offices
  • Jack McCullough, Vermont Legal Aid, Project Director – Mental Health Law Project
  • Hal Miller, First American
  • Nancy Hunter Rogers, Chamberlin Elementary School
  • Kane Smart, ANR, Office of General Counsel, Enforcement & Litigation Section
  • Robyn SweetCORE Registered Paralegal, Cleary Shahi  & Aicher
  • Thomas Wilkinson, Jr.; Cozen O’Connor

Answers

Question 1

Fill in the blank.

Lawyer wonders whether a client’s agreement to waive a conflict complies with the rules.  Researching it, Lawyer learns that ___________________ “denotes a tangible or electronic record of a communication or representation, including handwriting, typewriting, printing, photostating, photography, audio or video-recording, and e-mail.”

  • A.   Informed consent
  • B.   Writing or Written; Rule 1.0(n)
  • C.   Waiver
  • D.  Acceptance

Question 2

The word “remonstrate” appears in comments to ONE rule.  Which rule?

  • A.   Diligence
  • B.   Competence
  • C.   Advertising
  • D.  Candor Toward The Tribunal; Rule 3.3, Comment [10]

Question 3

True or False:

If Attorney sues Client for a fee, Attorney cannot represent herself at trial if her testimony will be reasonably necessary to establishing the nature and value of the legal services that she rendered to Client.

False.  Rule 3.7(a)(2)

Question 4

Attorney called me with an inquiry.  I listened, then replied “over 20 years ago, the rule was changed to make it clear that it not only applies to ‘parties,’ but to any person who is represented in the matter.”

Which rule?

Rule 4.2 Communication with a Person Represented by Counsel.  See, Comment [2]

Question 5

I am an actress.

On TV, my name is Rachel and I am a summer associate at a law firm.  For many years, I worked as a paralegal at the firm.  I wanted to go to Harvard Law, but never scored high enough on the LSAT.  Thanks to help & encouragement from one of the firm’s lawyers, I kept trying and, eventually, scored high enough to get into Columbia Law, which I’m currently attending.

The lawyer who helped me?  His name is Mike.  Some would say he’s no prince. When the firm hired him as an associate, he neglected to disclose that he had never gone to law school and wasn’t even really a lawyer.  But, what a guy! We fell in love and, now, on the show, we’re engaged.

In real life, I also just got engaged.  And not to some lawyer with a sketchy background.

Who am I?

Meghan Markle.  The show is Suits.  If you haven’t heard of her, in real life, she and Prince Harry recently engaged.  

Markle

 

Five for Friday #96

Welcome to #96!

If you missed last week’s Thanksgiving-themed quiz, it’s here.

Over Thanksgiving, I binged on Manhunt: UNABOMBERThe title says it all: the show recounts the desperate search for The Unabomber.  It’s link to this column is that the FBI located & arrested Ted Kaczynski in 1996.

Now, let’s spend on second on “binged.”  In the preceding paragraph, I used it to mean that “over Thanksgiving, I ‘watchedManhunt: Unabomber.”   And I watched it like a normal person.  Meaning, I did other things in between episodes.  Like, get off the couch, eat, go outside, and reply to texts & calls.  Unlike seasons 1 and 2 of  The Fallboth seasons of Last Chance U, or my current experience with Harlen Coben’s The Five, Manhunt: Unabomber didn’t present the situation in which I’d watch an episode, check the time, convince myself “just one more tonight will be ok,” then wake up swearing at myself for watching one more one more until well after midnight. Still, it’s pretty good.

And it has several aspects that, I think, will appeal to lawyers.

I’d either forgotten or never known how the FBI tracked down Kaczynski.  The show’s main character is real-life FBI agent Jim Fitzgerald.  “Fitz” was a pioneer in the field of forensic linguistics.  Long story short, painstakingly poring over the Manifesto for years, and apparently without the help of a computer or algorithms, he used words to profile the Unabomber. There’s an interesting scene in which a federal judge has to decide whether a person’s language pattern – “idiolect” – can provide probable cause for a search.

Two other law-related aspects of the show interested me.  First, in one episode there’s a suggestion that the iconic sketch isn’t of Kaczynski at all, but a recalled memory of the sketch artist to whom the witness gave her original description.  If true, it’s (another) interesting comment on the reliability of eye-witness testimony.

The second actually ties into legal ethics.  Rule 1.2(d) makes it very clear that, in a criminal case, the client controls whether to plead, waive a jury trial, and testify.  The show recounts the tension between Kaczynski and his legal team regarding an insanity plea – his lawyer telling him that her duty was to save his life, Kaczynski responding that he’d rather die than plead insanity.  It reminded me of an issue that is pending before the U.S. Supreme Court – whether a criminal defense attorney can concede guilt over a client’s objection.

Ummm, I just got back to my laptop after re-filling my coffee and, now, don’t really remember where I going with this post.  Suffice to say, Manhunt: UNABOMBER is worth checking out.

Plus, I still haven’t fully thought out my inevitable post on East Coast v. West Coast.  When I do, it’ll be the final installment in my trilogy that, to date, includes Beatles v. Stones and Nirvana v. Pearl Jam.  So, even though Tupac was shot in ’96, I’ll have to work my whodunnit into the next episode.

Speaking of forensic linguistics, the preceding paragraph includes exceedingly valuable clues into my position in the East Coast/West Coast debate.

Onto the quiz!

Rules

  • None.  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 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
  • Share on social media.  Hashtag it – #fiveforfriday

Question 1

Fill in the blank.

Lawyer wonders whether a client’s agreement to waive a conflict complies with the rules.  Researching it, Lawyer learns that ___________________ “denotes a tangible or electronic record of a communication or representation, including handwriting, typewriting, printing, photostating, photography, audio or video-recording, and e-mail.”

  • A.   Informed consent
  • B.   Writing or Written
  • C.   Waiver
  • D.  Acceptance

Question 2

The word “remonstrate” appears in comments to ONE rule.  Which rule?

  • A.   Diligence
  • B.   Competence
  • C.   Advertising
  • D.  Candor Toward The Tribunal

Question 3

True or False:

If Attorney sues Client for a fee, Attorney cannot represent herself at trial if her testimony will be reasonably necessary to establishing the nature and value of the legal services that she rendered to Client.

Question 4

Attorney called me with an inquiry.  I listened, then replied “over 20 years ago, the rule was changed to make it clear that it not only applies to ‘parties,’ but to any person who is represented in the matter.”

Which rule?

Question 5

I am an actress.

On TV, my name is Rachel and I am a summer associate at a law firm.  For many years, I worked as a paralegal at the firm.  I wanted to go to Harvard Law, but never scored high enough on the LSAT.  Thanks to help & encouragement from one of the firm’s lawyers, I kept trying and, eventually, scored high enough to get into Columbia Law, which I’m currently attending.

The lawyer who helped me?  His name is Mike.  Some would say he’s no prince. When the firm hired him as an associate, he neglected to disclose that he had never gone to law school and wasn’t even really a lawyer.  But, what a guy! We fell in love and, now, on the show, we’re engaged.

In real life, I also just got engaged.  And not to some lawyer with a sketchy background.

Who am I?

the-quiz

Client Confidences: Again, it’s the simple things.

Rules 1.1 and 1.6 impose a duty to act competently to safeguard against the inadvertent or unauthorized disclosure of information related to the representation of a client.  I’ve blogged often on encryption, cloud storage, and other tech issues that impact the duty.

But I’ve also blogged that the most recent sanctions involving Rule 1.6 have nothing to do with hackers or technology.  As I wrote:

“To wit: the last three sanctions for violations of Rule 1.6 in Vermont were imposed:

My guess is that far more lawyers have put information related to a representation at risk by leaving files or computers in restaurants or airport waiting areas than by sending unencrypted emails or storing information in the cloud.”

The lesson: don’t forget about the “simple” steps you can take to safeguard against the inadvertent disclosure of client information.

Indeed, over the past few months, simple steps may have allowed various lawyers to stay out of the news. For example, the lawyer for the President who could’ve used his “inside voice” at lunch. Or the Big Law lawyer who could’ve disabled autocomplete . . . and avoided sending confidential information to The Wall Street Journal.

Here’s the latest simple step to take to guard against disclosing confidential information: don’t give job applicants confidential information as part of the interview process.

As reported by the Legal Profession Blog and the ABA Journal, a Massachusetts lawyer was sanctioned for providing job applicants with confidential client information.  It appears as if the lawyer wanted to assess applicants’ writing skills and asked for memos based on actual cases being handled by the firm.

Oops.

Again, yes, issues related to the electronic transmission & storage of client information can be daunting.  But it’s often the failure to use simple common sense that leads to a violation of Rule 1.6

Shhh

Related posts:

 

 

Comment Period on Proposed Sex Rule Closes on December 18

In October, the Supreme Court published for comment proposed amendments to Rules 1.7 and 1.8 of the Vermont Rules of Professional Conduct.  The comment period closes on December 18.

The Court published the proposed rule upon the recommendation of the Professional Responsibility Board.  31 states specifically prohibit client-lawyer sexual relationships. Vermont does not.  At least 18 of Vermont’s other licensed professions have adopted rules that specifically ban sexual relationships between a licensee and a client, patient, or person with whom the licensee has a professional relationship.

The Board’s position is that the imbalance of power inherent in the professional relationship between lawyer and client necessitates an absolute ban on a sexual relationship between the two. The Board supports a “bright-line” rule that recognizes the serious risk to a client’s interest in receiving candid, competent, and conflict-free legal advice that is presented when the professional relationship turns sexual.

A quick summary:

  • Proposed Rule 1.8(j) adds a specific prohibition on sexual relations between a lawyer and client unless a consensual sexual relationship existed when the client-lawyer relationship commenced.
  • Proposed Comment [17] to Rule 1.8 clarifies that the rule applies to all sexual relationships formed after the commencement of the professional client-lawyer relationship, including consensual sexual relationships and sexual relationships in which there is no prejudice to the client’s interests in the matter that is the subject of the professional relationship. In such instances, a lawyer would have to withdraw from continued representation.  See, Rule 1.16(a)(1).
  • Proposed Comment [18] provides guidance on sexual relationships that pre-date the commencement of the client-lawyer relationship.
  • If adopted, the conflict created by Rule 1.8(j) is personal and not imputed to other lawyers in the firm.  See, Rule 1.8(k); Rule 1.10(a).

Comments can be emailed to me at michael.kennedy@vermont.gov

For further reading, here are my previous posts on the issue:

Ethics

Monday Morning Answers – Thanksgiving

Welcome to Monday! I hope everyone had a peaceful and relaxing holiday weekend.

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

Honor Roll

Answers

Question 1

Neal Page is a character in a movie that takes place over Thanksgiving.  Indeed, the movie is about Page’s attempt to get home for Thanksgiving.  Del Griffith is another character from the same movie.  Griffith is a shower curtain salesman.  They met in New York City and, eventually, arrived in Chicago via milk truck.

Here’s my imaginary scenario:

In connection with all civil & criminal claims that resulted from their travel adventures, Attorney represents Page and Lawyer represents Griffith.  Talk about complex litigation: depending on the matter, Page & Griffith find themselves as adversaries, co-plaintiffs, co-defendants, and co-victims.  We’re talking arson, credit card fraud, wrong-way driving, a hotel burglary, and an alleged assault on a taxi driver.

Both Attorney & Lawyer are competent, so they understand the value of visual evidence.  Here’s a picture that each used in one of the many trials that dealt with the fallout from their clients’ misadventures – your task, name the movie.

PTA MAP.gif

PLANES, TRAINS & AUTOMOBILES

Planes Trains & Automobiles

Question 2

Lawyer represents Client.  The issue: a dispute related to Opposing Party’s contractual right to slap Client, including whether a slap that took place on Thanksgiving should or should not count towards Opposing Party’s number of contractually allotted slaps.  The most critical witness – Lily, in her role as Slap Bet Commissioner.

Name the TV show.

How I Met Your Mother

Slapsgiving

Question 3

As friends, Monica and Rachel had some interesting Thanksgiving adventures.

One Thanksgiving, Monica invited Will Colbert to dinner.  I always wondered if Rachel ever talked to a competent lawyer about suing Monica for emotional distress. I mean, when they were kids, Will had founded the “I Hate Rachel” club!

Name the actor who played Will in the Thanksgiving episode.

Brad Pitt

Pitt Thanksgiving

Question 4

One Thanksgiving, Arlo and his friend Rick agreed to take some trash to the dump as a favor to some friends who had converted a church into a restaurant.  The dump was closed for the holiday, so they dumped the trash off a cliff.  The next day, they were arrested for littering.  Attorney was assigned to represent them.

Presumably, competent representation will require Attorney to interview the restaurant owner.

What’s her first name?

ALICE, from Alice’s Restaurant by Arlo Guthrie

Question 5

In a speech about Tater and Tot, a famous (and real) lawyer said:

“And it is my great privilege — well, it’s my privilege — actually, let’s just say it’s my job — to grant them clemency this afternoon. As I do, I want to take a moment to recognize the brave turkeys who weren’t so lucky, who didn’t get to ride the gravy train to freedom — who met their fate with courage and sacrifice — and proved that they weren’t chicken.”

Name the speaker.

President Barack Obama

Obama Turkey.jpg