Five for Friday #23

Last week, I suggested that you look at this post in the ABA Journal. I indicated that I intended to post a blog asking whether the PRB should recommend that the Court amend the Rules of Professional Conduct so as to allow nonlawyers to have ownership interests in law firms.

I didn’t get to it this week. I will next week.  In the meantime, many of you probably received an email from attorney licensing this week reminding you that you renew this year.  I’ve outlined the renewal process HERE

Today, I’m in Charlotte, North Carolina.  My awesome cousin Michelle, who grew up in Milton, is married to the equally awesome Paul Tesori.  Paul caddies for PGA  Tour golfer Webb Simpson. This week, the PGA plays in Charlotte.  My dad lives NC, and he and I are going to the tourney today, where we’ll get to see Michelle, Paul, and their even more awesome son Isaiah.  (i’m never sure if Isaiah is my second cousin or if if he’s my first cousin once removed. If you know, send it in with your answers to the quiz).  Anyhow, for an inspiring story on Michelle, Paul, and little Isaiah, go HERE.

Finally, as most of you know, I’m an ex-basketball coach and huge hoops fan. So, I think it’s awesome that Five fro Friday #23 is written from Michael Jordan’s home state of North Carolina.  For those of you who aren’t quite as interested in basketball as I am, he wore #23 at UNC and when he played for Chicago.

Quiz rules: open note, open source, call/text/email as many friends as you’d like.  Email answers to  and please share the link to the quiz with as many friends and colleagues as possible.

Question 1:   Fill in the bank.   In 1997, the Vermont Bar Association issued an advisory ethics opinion indicating that the ethics rules did not require lawyers to __________.  At the time, the opinion was consistent with the ABA’s, as well as with several that had been issued by other state bars. The thing about times?  They are a changin’. Now, the ABA and some other states have indicated that the ethics rules might require lawyers to ____________:

  • A.   Inform defendants of the potential collateral consequences of a conviction.
  • B.    Encrypt electronic communications.
  • C.   Reduce contingent fees to writing
  • D.  Inform potential clients whether the lawyer carries liability insurance

Question 2: Oh those pesky clients.  According to a comment to one of the rules, what will minimize a client’s need to request information from his or her lawyer?

  • A.  Regular communication from the lawyer
  • B.  A well-crafted retainer agreement
  • C.  Reasonable fees
  • D.  Expeditious resolution of the matter entrusted to the lawyer

Question 3:  Attorney called me with an inquiry. I listened.

I responded “remember, the case law from all over the country makes it clear that there is a difference between information that is ‘generally known’ and information that is ‘public record.’ ”  So, be wary.

Given my response, it is most likely that Attorney called to discuss what general area of legal ethics?

Question 4:  Lawyer called me with an inquiry.  I listened.

I responded “your only duty is to let her know you have it.  The comment to the rules indicate that what you do with it now is left to your professional duty.  You should also review the discovery rules to see how they might apply.”

Given my response, what did Lawyer call to tell me that he had?

Question 5:  For the past several weeks, ESPN has been airing “Fantastic Lies,” a documentary in the network’s acclaimed “30 for 30″series. A central figure in “Fantastic Lies” is a lawyer who was both convicted of crime and disbarred as a result of his involvement in the event/scandal that the documentary chronicles.

Name the event/scandal that “Fantastic Lies” chronicles.

Since I’m feeling kind today, here’s a hint: the lawyer was disbarred by disciplinary authorities who work in the very state in which I am sitting as I post this blog. And you wonder why I bored you with the story earlier in this blog!