Not many entries this week – which must mean people are enjoying summer. So, that’s a good thing. What we lacked in quantity, we made up for in quality. Every single entrant answered each of the first 4 questions correctly.
Friday’s questions are HERE. Answers are after the honor roll.
- Matt Anderson — Pratt Vreeland Kennelly Martin & White
- Keith Kasper – McCormick Fitzpatrick Kasper & Burhcard
- Team Liberty* – Jenna, Brandon, and Dan of the ACLU of Connecticut
- Hal Miller – First American
- Josh O’Hara* – Appellate Defender, Office of the Defender General
- Kane Smart – Downs Rachlin Martin
Lawyer represents Debtor in a dispute with Creditor. The matter settles with Debtor agreeing to make monthly payments of $500 to Creditor. The payments are to be made on the 15th of the month for the next 24 months.
Debtor doesn’t want to deal with Creditor at all. So, Debtor proposes to send monthly payments to Lawyer and have Lawyer forward them to Creditor. Lawyer is interested in helping Debtor not have to deal directly with Creditor, but doesn’t want to do all that work. So, Lawyer agrees to Debtor’s plan, but with a twist.
Lawyer decides he will deposit Debtor’s monthly payments into his trust account and authorize Creditor to direct debit the account on the 15th of each month.
Under Vermont’s Rules of Professional Conduct, this arrangement:
- A. Violates the rule on business transactions with a client
- B. Is a violation of Lawyer’s duties to his other clients. Rule 1.15(f), In re Toscano, PRB Decision 126 (Vt. 2009)
- C. Is not a violation unless Creditor takes more than $500 in any given month.
- D. Is not a violation unless Creditor accesses the account before the 15th of any given month.
Rule 1.6(a) prohibits a lawyer from disclosing information relating to the representation of a client absent client consent or unless disclosure is impliedly authorized to carry out the representation.
Attorney represents Client in a matter involving Client’s sale of a business to X. Client’s son has been angling to stop the sale.
Client dies. The transaction has not yet closed. Son asks Attorney to produce all documents related to the sale.
Which is the most accurate?
- A. Rule 1.6 no longer applies because Client is dead.
- B. Rule 1.6 continues to apply. Generally, Rule 1.6 continues to apply after a client’s death, albeit through Rule 1.9(c). Thus, an attorney may not disclose information relating to the representation of the deceased client unless impliedly authorized to do so. See THIS from the DC Bar.
- C. Son stands in the shoes of Client and Attorney may share the file with Son.
Lawyer represents Bird in a matter in which Bird’s interest are materially adverse to Johnson’s. Lawyer used to represent Johnson in a matter that is substantially related to the instant matter.
By rule, Lawyer may continue to represent Bird if:
- A. All information Lawyer received from Johnson is public.
- B. Lawyer works in a different firm now than she did when she represented Johnson
- C. Johnson gives informed consent
- D. Johnson gives informed consent, confirmed in writing. Rule 1.9(a). And this was Larry Bird and Magic Johnson.
Lawyer called me with an inquiry. I listened, then replied:
“I’m not so sure that the rule carries the blanket prohibition that most lawyers associate with it. Both the Comment and the Reporter’s Notes suggest that the rule prohibits malicious conduct designed to get the other party to do something against her will, essentially to coerce her into resolution. I don’t know that it prohibits a valid report.”
What rule (or general topic) did Lawyer call to discuss?
Threatening criminal prosecution and Rule 4.5. The ABA deliberately omitted the rule from its 1981 re-write of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, concluding the conduct it intended to prohibit could be dealt with under other rules. Several states followed suit, including North Carolina. NC’s rationale is HERE.
Jennifer Walters graduated from the UCLA School of Law and eventually practiced law at the firm of Goodman, Lieber, Kurtzman, and Book. There, she represented Arthur Moore, a client who had been charged with robbery. The charge was dismissed after Walters successfully argued that all of the evidence against Moore had been seized during a traffic stop & search that violated the 4th Amendment.
Shortly thereafter, Moore disclosed information to Walters that caused her to go green with anger. She was so angry that she punched him in the face, knocked him through the wall into the street, and disclosed his confidences to the crowd that gathered after he went crashing through the wall. As a result, she was disbarred.
No matter, for Jennifer Walters, law was just a side job. Her true calling is as as super hero.
Who is Jennifer Walters when she transforms into her super hero alter ego?
Jennifer Walters is She Hulk
This week’s model answer goes to Josh O’Hara for his answer to this question. Josh wrote:
“She-Hulk, who received a blood transfusion from Bruce Banner, and has a milder form of his condition than he does. This allowed her to speak to the crowd after tossing her client through a wall. It’s arguable that, since she retains her faculties when she transforms, she’s really still Jennifer Walters.”