Monday Morning Answers

Friday’s quiz is HERE.  The questions weren’t great.  I’ll get back to basics this week.

Anyway, the answers follow this weeks’s HONOR ROLL

  • Andrew Delaney, Martin & Associates
  • Lauri Fisher, Kenney & Fisher
  • Robert Grundstein
  • Keith Kasper, McNamara, Fitzpatrick, Kasper, & Burchard
  • Team Liberty (ACLU OF CT)
  • Hal Miller, First American
  • Kane Smart, Downs Rachlin Martin
  • Ian Sullivan, Office of the Rutland County State’s Attorney

Question 1

Lawyer intends to create a succcesion plan naming Attorney as her successor attorney. One of the first things Lawyer must consider is whether Attorney:

  • A.  Will be paid by Lawyer, or, by Lawyer’s clients.
  • B.   Has any clients whose interests conflicts with the interest Lawyer’s clients.
  • C.  Will step in to represent Lawyer’s clients, or, will inventory the files and notify Lawyer’s clients of lawyer’s death or disability.
  • D.  Is competent to handle the types of cases Lawyer handled.

This one came straight from last Thursday’s blog post on succession plans.

A, B, and D cannot be addressed until C is resolved.

Question 2

Last winter, Lawyer left Office for a new job at Firm.

Last week, Client asked.Firm to represent Client in a dispute with Smith.

Smith is represented by Office.  Smith received legal advice related to the dispute with Client while Lawyer still worked at Office.

Which is most accurate under Vermont’s Rules of Professional Conduct?

  • A.  Lawyer cannot represent Client and the conflict is imputed to entire Firm.
  • B.  Lawyer cannot represent Client but the conflict is not imputed to entire Firm.
  • C.  Firm may represent Client if Lawyer did not participate personally and substantially in the matter while employed at Office.
  • D.  C, as long Firm also screens Lawyer from participation in the matter, notifies Office of the screening procedures, and both Lawyer and Firm periodically certify to Office compliance with the screening procedures.  See, Rule 1.10(a).

This answer might be most helpful to ensure you have an updated version of the Rules of Professional Conduct.  Rule 1.10 was amended in 2012, so if you’re using a green book from prior to 2012, make sure to check the pocket part.

Question 3

Lawyer called me with an inquiry.  I listened, then responded “you could ask A to write a check to B. If B is willing to accept it, you’re good to go.”

Now, I suppose this could come up in a variety of contexts.  However, for me as bar counsel, it usually comes up in one.   It’s most likely that Lawyer called to discuss:

  • A.  Settling a personal injury suit
  • B.  Closing a real estate transaction
  • C.  Settling a property dispute in a divorce.
  • D.  A referral fee with another attorney.

This week’s model answer comes from Hal Miller.  Hal wrote: 

  • “B – An attorney can only accept a personal check in a real estate closing that does not exceed $1,000.00 and run it through his/her Trust Account – but the money can be exchanged directly between the Buyer and Seller.”
  • The key here is the rule on collected funds. It’s Rule 1.15(g) and it prohibits lawyers from disbursing from trust absent collected funds.  The rule sets outs types of instruments that lawyers can reasonably expect to become collected funds and, therefore, against which lawyers can disburse upon deposit.  One such type of instrument is a personal check that does not exceed $1,000.

Question 4

Attorney called me with an inquiry. I responded “Great timing! Just last night I saw something on Twitter about a CLE on what a litigator needs to know about native format.”

Most likely, Attorney called me to discuss the duty of competence insofar as it relates to what general area? (the answer is not “litigation”)

Electronically Stored Information.  For litigators, it usually comes up in connection with discovery. See, Rule 34(b) of the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure.  Here’s a primer from the ABA, and here’s a Lawyer’s Guide to Forms of of Production.

Question 5

Matthew Murdock attended Columbia Law School.  While he was there, his father, Jack, was murdered for refusing to throw a boxing match.  When the legal system failed to bring his father’s killers to justice, Matthew made it his mission to avenge his father’s death and to fight evil that is beyond the law’s reach.  He eventually opened a small firm in New York City with Columbia classmate Foggy Nelson.

Whether from Netflix, the movies, or comic books, who is Matthew Murdock better known as?

Matthew Murdock is Daredevil.

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