Five For Friday #15

If you haven’t already, please read yesterday’s post on mental health & substance abuse.  It’s HERE.  The post references a study released last month by the ABA and the Hazeldon Betty Ford Clinic.  The study is a bit “clinical.”  For an easier read, check out this article from a recent edition of the New Hampshire Bar News.  The headline says it all.

Special “thank you” to the reader from southeastern Vermont who forwarded the NH article to me yesterday.

As for today, happy birthday Erin Gilmore! Erin was one of the first Five for Friday superstars.  I didn’t meet Erin until after each of us had been admitted to the bar, but it turns out our families go way back. Erin, as they say in the old country, la breith sona duit!

Reminder on the Five For Friday rules:

  • email your answers to
  • you can do whatever research you want for questions 1-4.  Question 5 is closed book, closed note, no search engine, no phone-a-friend.
  • please forward this post to colleagues & co-workers and ask them to consider entering
  • for those of you still too shy to enter, please take a look at this post.

Question 1

Yesterday, a lawyer and I discussed whether funds that are in the lawyer’s possession are being held “in connection with a representation.”  It is most likely, then, that the lawyer called me to ask whether:

  • A.   the trust accounting rules apply
  • B.   she may disburse the funds in reliance upon a deposit that has not cleared & does not yet constitute “collected funds”
  • C.   the funds are subject to trustee process
  • D.   “referral fees” are allowed in Vermont

Question 2

By rule, a lawyer currently serving as a public employee may not negotiate for private employment with any person who is involved as a party or an attorney for a party in a matter in which the lawyer is participating personally & substantially.

There is an exception.  It is for a lawyer who is serving as a ___________.

Fill in the blank. Hint: it’s not just one word.

Question 3

Lawyer is representing Business Owner in a civil suit filed by Smith.

You’re bar counsel for a day.  Lawyer calls and asks “is it okay if I tell Employee of Business Owner to refrain from voluntarily giving information to Smith’s attorney?”

What say ye?

  • A.   that’s not a violation of Vermont’s rules
  • B.   it’s okay since it’s civil case. It wouldn’t be okay if you were representing Business Owner in a criminal case.
  • C.   it’d be okay if you were defending Business Owner against criminal charges, but it’s not okay in a civil case.
  • D.  the only advice you can give to Employee is the advice to seek counsel

Question 4

This happened on Wednesday.

Attorney called me with an inquiry. I listened. Then, I responded by saying:

  • “The rule draws a distinction between things like phone calls & real-time communications, and things like letters & emails.  The former are subject to more restrictions than the latter.”

Given that my responses to inquiries are based on the Vermont Rules of Professional Conduct, what was the most likely topic of this inquiry?

Question 5


Irving Kanarek represented a notorious client in a criminal trial that began in 1971.  The client was charged with conspiracy to commit multiple murders.  During the trial, Kanarek:

  • objected 9 times during the prosecutor’s opening statement;
  • was found in contempt 4 times;
  • spent 2 nights in jail for contempt;
  • gave a 7 day closing argument; and
  • had the judge tell him he was “totally without scruples, ethics, and professional responsibility.”

Who was Kanarek’s notorious client?