Five For Friday: #6

This week, I’ve covered sex and drugs.   So, it’s time to rock ‘n roll into the weekend with another version of Five For Friday.  Speaking of which, by the end of this post, many of you will recognize the band I’m honoring in the “rock ‘n roll” portion of this week’s blog posts. And for those of you who scowl at the references, too bad, because ethics rock.

A few reminders:

  1.  No rules – this is open book, open search engine.
  2. Except for Question 5.
  3. Email your answers to
  4. For those of you who struggle with statutory construction, Rule #3 means “send your answers via email to Mike Kennedy at the address that he provided.”  There is no possible interpretation of #3 that would lead a reasonable person to post his or her answers in the comment section.  In fact, that would be bad. Remember, competence includes tech competence.

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.


There is a rule that applies to any “extrajudicial statement that the lawyer knows or reasonably should know will be disseminated by means of public communication.”  The rule:

  • A.  Applies only in criminal cases.
  • B.  Applies only in cases with the potential for jury trials
  • C.  Applies to any matter that involves an adjudicative proceeding.
  • D. No longer applies, the Vermont Supreme Court having recently deemed the rule an unconstitutional restriction on speech.

QUESTION 2: (fill in the blank)

In a growing number of jurisdictions, there is a tension between state and federal law that has caused bar associations and disciplinary authorities to examine whether a lawyer violates the ethics rules by providing clients with otherwise candid & competent legal advice on issues related to ________________.


Lawyer called me with an inquiry. I listened, then I said “there’s an old VBA advisory ethics opinion, but no guidance in the rules themselves.  But, your carrier probably has some sort of requirement in your policy, so check with them.”

What did Lawyer ask me?

Question 4:

Earlier today, and it was a beautiful day, Client met with Lawyer.  They agreed that Lawyer would represent Client for a flat fee of $2,000.  Lawyer told Client: “I won’t begin working on your case until January 2. I’m on vacation until December 31 and all is quiet on New Year’s Day.”  Client replied ” fine,  all i want is you to take my case” and gave Lawyer a personal check for $2,000. Client and Lawyer did not reduce the representation agreement to writing.

Under the Vermont Rules of Professional Conduct, which is most accurate?

  • A.  Lawyer’s failure to reduce the representation agreement to writing before January 2, 2016, will violate the ethics rules, unless he agrees to represent Client pro bono.
  • B.  Lawyer may deposit the check into her operating account.
  • C.  Lawyer must deposit the check into her trust account.
  • D.  If Lawyer deposits the check into her trust account, Lawyer may disburse funds against the deposit without waiting for the check to clear and constitute “collected funds.”


Question 5:

The first person to win four consecutive Prime Time Emmy Awards did so playing an ethically challenged prosecutor.  Since it’s the holiday season, I’ll give you one full point if you name either (a) the person; OR (b) the character; OR (c) the show.

HINT: the Emmys were in the “outstanding supporting” actor/actress category.

Again, please email your answers to

Also, please consider sharing this post with colleagues, as well as sharing with me your thoughts on whether the PRB should continue to argue for a rule that specifically bans client-lawyer sexual relationships. I outlined the issue HERE, but I still haven’t found what I’m looking for when it comes to responses.



ps: seriously, in a week that included a post entitled Marijuana & Ethics, was there any doubt that I’d hide a reference to Mary J Blige?