If at first you don’t succeed….

So, some of you know that I used to coach a high school basketball team.  In that capacity, I ran scores of clinics and summer camps for elementary  and middle school kids.   Players that age are reluctant to try new moves, worried that coaches will hold it against them if they fail.

Example: being able to make both left-handed and right-handed layups is a skill that high school players need to have.  Young players, though, often don’t like to shoot lay-ups with their weak hands – it’s hard, they aren’t good at it, and it often leads missed shots taken with terrible form.  This, in turn, leads to chuckles from their friends.  So, they don’t try.  The upshot is that they never learn how to make layups with their weak hands. Kids who can’t make lay-ups with both hands have a tough time making varsity teams.

They don’t realize that success only comes through failure.

What’s this got to do with ethics?  I’ll tell you.

Last Friday, 193 unique visitors combined for 444 visits to the Five For Friday quiz.  Only 22 submitted answers.   Please don’t be deterred by what you perceive to be a lack of knowledge. I don’t share the answers with anyone, and I certainly DO NOT CARE if you go 0-5 100 weeks in a row.  In fact, that’s part of the point.  The ones you get wrong are the ones you will remember and won’t get wrong when it matters  in real life!  So, please consider entering.

Now, for the answers:

1.  Next Saturday, Lawyer intends to provide short-term limited legal services to clients, under the auspices of a walk-in clinic sponsored by a nonprofit organization.  Assume that neither Lawyer nor her walk-in clients will expect Lawyer to provide continuing representation in the matters they discuss.  By rule, which set of ethics will be (somewhat) relaxed, insofar as they apply to Lawyer’s work at the clinic?

The rules on Conflicts of Interest are relaxed.  See, Rule 6.5(a).  

2.  When a lawyer or law firm opens a pooled interest-bearing trust account, an ethics rule requires the lawyer or firm to:

  • B.  Direct the bank to remit the interest to the Vermont Bar Foundation.  That’s Rule 1.15B(b)(1).

3.  Lawyer called me with an inquiry.  I listened, then asked “has the clerk certified that the term of service is complete?”   What did Lawyer ask me if it would be okay to do?

  • The lawyer asked me if it was okay to communicate with a juror.  See, Rule 3.5(c).

4. Lawyer called me with an inquiry about a client and Mr. Jones.  I listened, then I said “yes, it’s ok, as long as your client consents. Also, don’t give Mr. Jones information that is protected by Rule 1.6 or let him affect the advice that you give to your client. If you do, you’ll be in for a long December.”   What did Lawyer ask me?

  • First, kudos to Bob Grundstein, Mary Parent, Sam Lednicky, and Sue McManus for getting the Counting Crows reference.  Second, the answer is that Lawyer asked me whether Mr. Jones could pay for Lawyer’s representation of the client.  See, Rule 1.8(f).  Several people guessed that Mr. Jones wanted to go on a date with Lawyer’s client.  No, this was not a case in which Mr. Jones and Lawyer’s client were accidentally in love.

5.  And, in what proved to be the easiest Question 5 to date, Seinfeld ended with a finale in which the main characters were arrested, tried, and convicted of violating “The Good Samaritan Law.”

This week’s honor roll:

5 for 5

4 for 5


3 thoughts on “If at first you don’t succeed….

  1. […] Last week, we had a record number of entrants and a record number of lawyers who made the honor roll, thereby earning silver and gold.  Please continue to enter & to share this with your colleagues.  For those of you whose pride makes you reluctant enter, we’ll survive with or without you.  But, why not enter and live on the edge?!?  Or, read THIS. […]


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