Five for Friday: #12

So, 12 hours ago, this was my view:


I was standing on the pier in Hermosa Beach.  I’d just biked to Santa Monica and back, and was about to take a final swim before heading to LAX.

In lawyer ethics terms, one might argue that my subsequent decision to board the flight adversely reflects on my fitness. Evidence supporting that argument? A simple compare and contrast:


At least Tuesday looks good.  Hal Miller, I bet you’re jealous!

  1. This is an open book quiz.
  2. You should try it!
  3. Email answers to
  4. Encourage colleagues to do the same.

Question 1

You represent co-plaintiffs in a civil suit.  The defense proposes an aggregate settlement of your clients’ claims. By rule, you shall not participate in the settlement unless each client:

  • a. Gives informed consent
  • b. Gives informed consent, confirmed in writing
  • c. Is given a reasonable opportunity to seek independent legal advice
  • d.  A&C

Question 2

True or False? The rule on aggregate settlements applies only in civil cases.  In criminal cases, a lawyer may not participate in an aggregate agreement as to guilty or nolo pleas.

Question 3

By rule, what is it that a lawyer may not do with an unrepresented former client, unless the former client is given written notice of the desirability of seeking independent legal advice, and a reasonable opportunity to do so?

Question 4

Lawyer called me to ask if I thought he had a conflict of interest that prohibited Lawyer from representing Wife in a post-judgment child support dispute with Husband. Lawyer explained why he was asking.  I responded by telling Lawyer that it turned on whether his prior particapation in the matter was “personal and substantial.”  If so, I added, he’d need both Wife AND Husband’s informed consent, confirmed in writing.

Under these facts, Lawyer’s prior participation in the matter was most likely as:

  • A.  a fact witness in the couple’s contested divorce hearing
  • B.  the mediator when the couple attempted to mediate the divorce
  • C.  Husband’s attorney in a criminal case that Wife argues warrants a modification of the child support order
  •  D.  a GAL for the couple’s son in the divorce

Question 5

Lawrence Mattingly practiced law in Illinois.  Once, while negotiating with the federal government on behalf of a client, Mattingly gave the government a letter in which he conceded that his client had, in fact, earned income over the previous 4 years.  The “Mattingly Letter” was admitted at trial as evidence against the client.

With this weekend in mind, who was the client?