Five for Friday #17

Going to try to sneak this post in after all…..I can’t handle anymore emails expressing disappointment!

  1. Rules:  there aren’t any.  You can look up answers or ask friends for help. 
  2. Exception:  Question 5
  3. Please email answers to
  4. I’ll post the answers on Monday

Question 1:

This one has come up a few times this month.  Attorney called me with an inquiry. I listened, then responded “If it’s about a fee or an uncontested issue, you can handle the trial.  If not, you can’t, but the rules do not categorically prohibit another lawyer in your firm from  handling the case.”

Attorney called me because she is likely to be a _________________.


Question 2:

There’s a rule that prohibits lawyers from “engaging in conduct that is disruptive or degrading to a tribunal.”  The rule applies:

  • A.  By rule, only to hearings before the tribunal
  • B.  By case law, to hearings and “all activity within the umbrella of the court room . . . and the courthouse hallway is within that umbrella.”
  • C.  Per a comment to the rule, to any proceeding of the tribunal, including depositions.
  • D.  Per a comment to the rule, to hearings and any ancillary in which a judge or third-party neutral (eg: a mediator) is present, but not to depositions.

Question 3:

There’s a rule that prohibits a lawyer from making false statements of material fact or law to third persons while representing a client.  As I’ve blogged, what constitutes a “material fact” depends on the circumstances.  Indeed, some ethics gurus interpret a Comment to the rule as suggesting that the rule might be less stringent in:

  • A.   criminal cases
  • B.   negotiations
  • C.   the advertising context

Question 4:

Earlier this week, the Vermont Supreme Court approved the Professional Responsibility Board’s recommendation to amend the rules so as to authorize lawyers to:

  • A.   Deposit fees paid in advance into an operating account instead of a trust account;
  • B.   Have paralegals appear on behalf of tenants at hearings on motions to pay rent into court;
  • C.  Have paralegals appear on behalf of divorce clients at case manager conferences.
  • D.  share profits and managerial responsibilities with nonlawyers.

Question 5:

College basketball seems to be in the news this week.  As such, a famous college basketball coach led his college team to multiple national championships, led the USA to an Olympic gold medal, and often landed in hot water with NCAA enforcement authorities.  He once skipped an NCAA-mandated ethics seminar, stating:

“I would have rather listened to Saddam Hussein speak on civil rights than to have listened to some of the people who have spoken on ethics to this point.”

Who is the coach?