Monday Morning Answers

Happy Presidents’ Day!  Interesting tidbit (or maybe not):  the first President to have a law degree?  Rutherford B. Hayes.  Several of his presidential predecessors were lawyers, but none went to law school.

Ok, if you want to take Friday’s quiz, go HERE.  Spoiler alert: the answers immediately follow the list of those who received honors this week.

Oh, and if you missed my post on the perils of using “cc” and “bcc” in emails, it’s HERE.


  • Andrew Delaney, Martin & Associates
  • Matthew Little, Law Offices of Matthew Little
  • Hal Miller, First American
  • Josh Stern, Law Office Study Candidate, Massucco Law



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.  Rule 1.8(g).
  • 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.

FALSE – Rule 1.8(g)

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?

Settle a claim or potential claim for malpractice.  Rule 1.8(h)

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.  Rule 1.12(a)
  • 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?

AL CAPONE.  Reference to “this weekend” was the Valentine’s Day Massacre of Bugs Moran and his crew.   For further reading, the Mattingly Letter is HERE and the transcript of the point in the trial when it was admitted into evidence is HERE.