Answers (Late!)

Very belatedly, here are the answers to last Friday’s quiz.  I apologize for the delay.

Tough crowd this week.  Entrants needed to get at least 4 correct to make the honor roll.


Question 1

Builder is a plaintiff in a suit vs. Developer.  Attorney represents Builder. The case is pending in Chittenden Superior Court.

Builder also owns property in Addison County.  He’s asked a local zoning board to rezone the property.   Neighbor opposes the request.

Builder is represented by zoning lawyer in the zoning case.  Neighbor wants to hire Attorney.

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

  • A.   Attorney may not represent Neighbor.
  • B.  Since the two cases are not substantially related, Attorney may represent Neighbor.
  • C.   Attorney may represent Neighbor if Attorney complies with the waiver provisions in the rule on concurrent conflicts of interest.  See, Rule 1.7.
  • D.   Attorney may represent Neighbor if Attorney complies with the waiver provisions in the rule on communicating with a represented party.

Question 2

Which is the more accurate statement?

  • A.  Vermont’s rules require lawyers to charge reasonable fees.
  • B.   Vermont’s lawyers prohibit lawyers from charging unreasonable fees.  See, Rule 1.5.

Several of you correctly pointed out that Rule 1.5 was amended in 2009 because while requiring reasonable fees, Rule 1.5 did not specifically prohibit unreasonable fees.  In addition, Allison and Kane correctly observed that a lawyer is not required to charge a fee at all.  Yes, lawyers being lawyers, in the old days, lawyers actually wondered if a rule requiring reasonable fees prevented lawyers from charging low (or no) fees.


Question 3

Fill in the blank.  Four words.

“In the course of representing a client, a lawyer shall not knowingly make a false statement of material fact or law to a third person.”

Hint: size doesn’t matter.  The length of the blanks is irrelevant.

Question 4

Lawyer called me with an inquiry.  I listened, then answered:

“The rules don’t reference ‘standby counsel.’  I worry for lawyers who agree to do it.  At the very least, I urge them to review an advisory opinion that the NH Bar issued in April. The opinion states that serving as standby counsel isn’t per se unethical.  However, it goes on to suggest that the first thing standby counsel should do is to clarify what’s expected of her. I agree with that suggestion.”

Most likely, what area of law does Lawyer practice?

Criminal law. See my post on Standby Counsel.

Question 5

Another fill in the blank (kind of).

Earlier this week, the Second Circuit issued this order:

“_____________________, filed a petition for panel rehearing, or, in the alternative, for rehearing en banc. The panel that determined the appeal has considered the request for panel rehearing, and the active members of the Court have considered the request for rehearing en banc.

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the petition is denied.”

Given the 2nd Circuit’s Order, whose unethical behavior may finally be behind us once and for all?

Tom Brady.

We must live in New England, because everyone who entered got it right.

Technical answer:  the NFL Players Association and Tom Brady.

No credit to my brother for his addendum that, as phrased, the question’s answer should be Roger Goodell.

This question was asked on behalf of Steeler fans everywhere, including Allison Wannop and me.