Updated Poll – with working links

I’m trying something new this week.  It’s a simple poll, but with a name. And who doesn’t like catchy (or not so catchy) names?

I call it “WSYW”, which stands for “What Say You Wednesday.”

I’ll give you the facts, I’ll give you some law, and I’ll let you vote.   A poll will appear at the end of the blog.

This one came to my attention via Samson Habte at Bloomberg ABA/BNA Lawyers’ Manual on Professional Conduct.

Facts

  • Lawyer is admitted to practice law in Vermont
  • Lawyer represents Plaintiff in civil suit
  • Plaintiff resided at Property owned by Defendant
  • Plaintiff’s civil suit alleges that Defendant’s negligent management of Property caused Plaintiff to suffer injury due to toxic mold poisoning
  • In April 2015, mediation was scheduled for August 22, 2015
  • In July 2015, Plaintiff died of cancer
  • On August 21, 2015, mediator called Lawyer to discuss mediation. By then, Lawyer knew Plaintiff had died
  • Lawyer told mediator
    • Plaintiff has been sick with cancer
    • Plaintiff will not be at mediation
  • Mediator asked Lawyer if Lawyer would be able to contact Plaintiff if an acceptable offer was made
  • Lawyer replied “maybe”
  • Mediation commenced on August 22
  • Mediator, Lawyer, Defendant, and Defendant’s Attorney were present
  • Mediator spoken, then sent parties/lawyers to separate rooms
  • Mediator went to speak with Lawyer
  • Lawyer disclosed that Plaintiff had died
  • Lawyer admitted that he had not informed Defendant’s Attorney that Plaintiff had died

HERE’S SOME LAW

Rules

  • Rule 1.6 – confidentiality of information relating to the representation
  • Rule 3.3 – candor toward the tribunal
  • Rule 4.1 – truthfulness in statements to others
  • Rule 8.4(c) – it is professional misconduct to engage in conduct involving fraud, deceit, dishonesty & misrepresentation**
  • Rule 8.4(d) – professional misconduct to engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice.

Case

  • ** The VT Supreme Court has indicated that not “every white lie” violates Rule 8.4(c).  Rather, a violation must be dishonesty/deceipt/misrepresentation that reflects on the attorney’s fitness to practice.

So, what say you?

  1. Did Lawyer violate Rule 1.6?  Answer HERE
  2. Did Lawyer violate Rule 3.3?  Answer HERE
  3. Did Lawyer violate Rule 4.1? Answer HERE
  4. Did Lawyer violate Rule 8.4(c)?  Answer HERE
  5. Did Lawyer violate Rule 8.4(d)?  Answer HERE
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