Of Coaches & Kennedys: Five For Friday Answers

In soccer, a goalie who posts a shutout is sometimes termed to have earned a “clean slate.”  This week, three entrants, including former BHS varsity soccer coach Scott Mapes, registered perfect scores, or clean slates, in the #FiveforFriday quiz.  As some of you might know, I have an affinity for high school coaches.

And, do we have another Kennedy dynasty on our hands?  David & Patrick earned spots on the honor roll.  David is a co-worker, but not related to me.  Meanwhile, Patrick is my little brother and IS NOT EVEN A LAWYER!  Congrats to Pat for being the first non-lawyer, non-paralegal to make the honor roll.

Spoiler – Answers are below the Honor Roll.  If you want to take the quiz first, it’s HERE.


5 for 5

4 for 5 (* = perfect in ethics)


Question 1:

Bar counsel receives approximately 900 ethics inquiries per year, with 80% coming from lawyers.  What ethics issue/topic do lawyers most often raise when they call me?


Inquiry stats last 3 fiscal years, top 3 topics, (as of May 31, 2015)

Inquiry Chart


Question 2:

Rule 8.4(c) states that a lawyer shall not engage in conduct that involves dishonestly, deceit, misrepresentation or fraud.  Per an opinion of the Vermont Supreme Court, to violate the rule, must also:

  • A.    induce reliance upon the conduct;
  • B.    adversely reflect on the attorney’s fitness to practice law; In re PRB Dkt. No. 2007-046, 2009 VT 115, 187 Vt. 35, 989 A.2d 523 
  • C.    have been intended to deceive (no negligent violations of Rule 8.4(c))
  • D.    have occurred while the attorney was acting in his or her capacity as a lawyer.

Question 3:

There is a rule that prohibits an attorney from disclosing information relating to the representation absent client consent.  The rule includes several exceptions.  Nationally, and over the past few years, attorneys have argued that a particular exception allows them to disclose information related to the representation in response to a negative online review from  a client.  Courts, disciplinary authorities, and bar associations have disagreed.

So called “self defense” exception in Rule 1.6(c)(3)

Question 4:

Two days ago, Plaintiff’s attorney won a jury verdict.  That night, Plaintiff’s attorney updated her Facebook status to “Million dollar win against big bad insurance company!  Who wants to be next?”  According to at least one state bar, for the purposes of the ethics rules, the attorney’s status update should be treated as an ADVERTISEMENT.  See, California State Bar, Formal Advisory Opinion 2012-186

Question 5:

Jury tampering is unethical.  (call me crazy).  In addition, some courts have held that there is an ethical duty to report juror misconduct, even if the case is going your client’s way. The Runaway Jury involves lawyers who, at the very least, should have suspected juror misconduct in a tort suit in which many millions of dollars were at stake.

The subject of the trial was different in the book than it was in the movie.  For one point each, identify the industries on trial in, respectively, the book & movie versions of The Runaway Jury.

  • Book:    Tobacco
  • Movie:   Firearms (guns)