Monday Morning Answers

The answers are in.  For those of you who want to review the questions, they’re here.

Honor Roll (Gold = perfect score)

  • Andrew Delaney, Martin Associates
  • Bob Grundstein
  • Team Liberty (Dan Barrett, Jenna Cutler, Brandon Sadowsky) ACLU of Connecticut
  • Hal Miller, First American
  • Kane Smart, Downs Rachlin Martin
  • Ian Sullivan, Rutland County State’s Attorney’s Office

Question 1

Rule 1.5(e) covers “division of fees,” aka “fee sharing” or “referral fees.”  In April, the ABA issued an advisory opinion concluding that a referring attorney may not be entitled to a referral fee if the case was  referred:

  • A.   Due to a conflict of interest; ABA Formal Opinion 474
  • B.   Because the lawyer was terminated by the client
  • C.   After being accepted for no other reason than to refer it
  • D.  To a former law partner.

Question 2

A CLE I attended earlier this week included a discussion on the different ways that States approach a particular issue.  Essentially, the States fall into two camps:  “end product” states, and “work product” states.

It’s an issue that is the subject of numerous phone calls that I receive from attorneys and one that is not limited to a particular practice area.

Delivering the file to the client upon the termination of the representation.  For an analysis, see ABA Formal Opinion 471

Question 3

In March, the Florida Supreme Court reprimanded  a lawyer for a violation related to his trust account and a “letter of protection.”

What was at issue?

  • A.  A title insurance policy & premium
  • B.  An advance conflict waiver in a flat fee DUI representation
  • C.  Disbursing settlement proceeds to a personal injury plaintiff
  • D.  Escrowing funds at a real estate closing

Question 4

Two word answer.

In a relatively recent opinion that focused on the jury instructions given at a criminal trial, the Vermont Supreme Court stated:

  • “attempting to define reasonable doubt is a hazardous undertaking and [we] continue to discourage trial judges from trying such a definition.”

Question 5

There is a high-profile case pending before the US Supreme Court in which 26 states are suing the federal government.  Last week, the federal judge in the court where the case was filed issued an order in which he sanctioned not only the DOJ attorneys working on the case:

  • but every DOJ attorney based in DC, even those not involved with the case,
  • who appears in any proceeding, whether related to the case or not,
  • in any court, whether state or federal,
  • in any of the 26 plaintiff states.

The sanction: 3 hours of ethics training per year for the next 5 years.

The case’s general subject matter a hotly debated political issue.  What is the general subject matter?

IMMIGRATION.   The order is HERE.  DOJ’s response to the order is HERE.

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