Monday Morning Answers – Update

Answers rolled in today….great participation!  I had to update the Honor Roll to reflect some late submissions.

Week 25’s questions are HERE.

The HONOR ROLL spans the gamut.  

Large firms, solos, government lawyers, and my brother – the systems engineer.

Family law, elder law, title insurance, insurance litigation, labor law, telecommunications law, criminal law, transactional work, trial work.

Bennington County, Chittenden County, Rutland County, Washington County, and Windham County.  Orange County too, but not the one where my grandparents lived for over 50 years. Nope, the one they make television shows about.


  • Matthew Anderson, Pratt Vreeland Kennelly Martin & White
  • Keith Kasper, McCormick, Fitzpatrick, Kasper & Burchard
  • Glenn Jarrett, Jarrett Law Office
  • David Kennedy, JD, GAL Programs Administrator, Office of the Court Administrator
  • Patrick Kennedy, Principal, Systems Engineer, Dealer.Com
  • Brian Martin, Green Mountain Care Board
  • Hal Miller, First American
  • Team Silver & Andrews, Barr Sternberg
  • Kane Smart, Downs Rachlin & Martin



Question 1

In 1977, the United States Supreme Court opined that it is permissible as long as it is not  false, deceptive, or misleading.  In the context of this blog, what is “it”?

“It” is lawyer advertising.  Bates v. State Bar of Arizona, 433 US 350 (1977).  The Court held that lawyer advertising is commercial speech entitled to First Amendment protection.  The upshot is HERE.

Question 2

Lately, I seem most interested in the rule that relates to:

  • A.  Conflicts of Interest – why shouldn’t firms with offices in multiple jurisdictions be allowed to represent clients who are adverse to each other as long as Office A does not share information with Office B?
  • B.  Disclosure of Client Confidences – why shouldn’t information relating to the representation of a former client, and that is in the public record, be fair game?
  • C.  Unauthorized Practice of Law – should paralegals be allowed to represent clients  without being supervised by attorneys?
  • D.  Nonlawyer Ownership – should nonlawyers be allowed to have ownership interests in law firms?

I’m doing a series on Alternative Business Structures. So far, I’m 3 posts in.

Question 3

Lawyer called me with an inquiry. I listened. I replied “you should write to your clients, tell them what’s happening, and give them the option of you, your firm, or someone else. Unless you hear back that it’s you, it’s the firm.”

Based on my statement, what is Lawyer most likely about to do?

Lawyer is most likely about to leave her firm for another (or to go out on her own).

Question 4

Which response best fills in the blank?

Attorney called me with an inquiry. I listened. Then I said “okay, the matters aren’t the same or substantially related.  So you’re okay on section (a) of the rule.  But, don’t forgot about section (c).  Be wary of _____________ :”

  • A.   charging an unreasonable fee.
  • B.   cross-examining or deposing a former client
  • C.  removing funds from trust before you’ve earned them
  • D.  communicating with a represented party

Rule 1.9(a) prohibits an attorney from representing a client in a matter in which the client’s interests are materially adverse to the interests of a former client whom the attorney represented in the same or a substantially related matter.

If the two matters aren’t the same or substantially related (or if the current client’s interests aren’t materially adverse to the former client’s), then Rule 1.9(a) does not apply. Still, Rule 1.9(c) might apply.  Section c requires lawyers to protect information related to the representation of former clients.  So, while a conflict might not exist under section (a), the duties imposed by section (c) should give a lawyer pause if in a position to cross-examine or depose a former client.  The duty to protect that client’s information might create a concurrent conflict under Rule 1.7.  

For more, check out this oldie, but goodie, from the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers on “Conflicts in Cross-Examination.”

Question 5

This 2002 movie is based on a real-life story and is not about lawyers or practicing law.  It featured two megastars. One played Carl, the other Frank.

Frank spent much of the movie trying to avoid Carl.  However, by the end of the movie, Frank was working for Carl.  A scene in their office included this conversation:

  • Carl:   “How’d you do it Frank? How did you cheat on the bar exam in                                               Louisiana?”
  • Frank: “I didn’t cheat. I studied for two weeks and I passed.”

Name the movie.

Catch Me If You Can, starring Tom Hanks as Carl Hanratty and Leonardo DiCaprio as Frank Abagnale.

catch me if you can