Monday Morning Answers

Last week’s quiz is HERE.

Before we get to the answers, the honor roll:

HONOR ROLL

PERFECT SCORE

  • Matthew Anderson, Pratt Vreeland Kennelly Martin & White
  • William Gardella
  • Robert Grundstein
  • Melanie Kehne, Office of the Attorney General, GCAL Division

PERFECT ETHICS

  • Hal Miller, First American

HONORS

  • Keith Kasper, McCormick, Fitzpatrick, Kasper & Burchard
  • Brendan Scherer, Vermont Law School

ANSWERS

Question 1

An attorney called me with an inquiry. I listened.  To clarify, I asked the following question:

  • “Ok.  I’m not clear.  Will someone other than the person committing the act be harmed?”

Based upon my question, what general ethics topic did the attorney call me to discuss?

WHETHER TO DISCLOSE INFORMATION RELATING TO A REPRESENTATION.  See, V.R.Pr.C. 1.6(b).  

Question 2

True or False?

  • According to a comment to the rules, simultaneous representation in unrelated matters of clients whose interests are only economically adverse, such as representation of competing economic enterprises in unrelated litigation, does not ordinarily constitute a conflict of interest, and thus may not require consent of the respective clients.

TRUE.  See, Rule 1.7, Comment 6.

Question 3

Vermont’s rules on conflicts of interest do not impute a lawyer’s “personal conflicts” to other lawyers in the firm.  The rules are largely silent on what constitutes a “personal” conflict as opposed to a conflict that is imputed (eg: a former client conflict).

Hypo:

  • Lawyer represents Blue.  In the same matter, Attorney represents Red.  Lawyer and Attorney are closely related by blood.  Lawyer and Attorney do not work in the same firm. Which is most accurate under Vermont’s Rules of Professional Conduct?
  • A.  Lawyer and Attorney are disqualified from representing Blue and Red.
  • B.   If the interests of Blue and Red align, neither Lawyer nor Attorney has a conflict.
  • C.  If Lawyer or Attorney has a conflict, the conflict is personal and is not imputed to others in the same firm.  See, Rule 1.7, Comment 11.
  • D.  If Lawyer or Attorney has a conflict, the conflict is not “personal” and is imputed to others in the same firm.

Question 4

For purposes of the Vermont Rules of Professional Conduct, which is not like the others:

  • A.   A money ordered issued by a federally insured bank
  • B.  A cashier’s check issued by a credit union
  • C.  A check in the amount of $101,000 drawn on an IORTA account of a real estate broker licensed in Vermont
  • D.  A personal check in the amount of $1,001.  Each of the other 3 may be considered “collected funds” upon deposit.  See, Rule 1.15(g).

Question 5

In Season 2 of Fargo, attorney Karl Weathers is a ““flowery drunk blessed with the gift of gab and the eloquence of a true con artist.”  Indeed, the very first time viewers see Weathers with a client, Weathers is drunk, having driven straight from the local bar to meet his client in jail.

The actor who plays Weathers is much more widely known for his work on a tremendously popular sit-com that aired from 2009-2015.  On the sit-com, the actor played a deadpan, mustachioed municipal employee who was a staunch libertarian, a strong advocate for privatizing government, and who despised dealing with the public.

For one point each, name the actor and the sit-com on which he starred before portraying a flowery drunk-con-artist-attorney on Fargo.

NICK OFFERMAN, playing Ron Swanson, on Parks & Recreation

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