Monday Morning Answers #37

Friday’s questions are HERE.  Thank you to all who entered.

Honor Roll (* = perfect score)


Question 1

With respect to your duty to maintain confidentiality, it’s critical to remember that the Vermont Rules of Professional Conduct specifically prohibit you from disclosing ________.  (I’m looking for the exact phrase used in the rule).

  • A.  “information covered by the attorney-client privilege.”
  • B.  “client confidences”
  • C.   “client confidences and secrets”
  • D.   “information relating to the representation.” See, Rule 1.6, and this post

Question 2

Under the Vermont Rules of Professional Conduct, which type of conflict of interest differs from the others in a critically important way?

  • A.  A “concurrent” conflict of interest, as defined by Rule 1.7
  • B.  A “former client” conflict of interest, as defined by Rule 1.9
  • C.  A conflict of interest based on a “personal interest” of the lawyer; per Rule 1.10, personal conflicts are not automatically imputed to others in the firm.  Conflicts based on rules 1.7 & 1.9 are.
  • D.  A conflict of interest that is created when a lawyer withdraws from representing one of multiple clients in the same matter.

Question 3

With respect to the Vermont Rules of Professional Conduct, the term “compliance review” applies to disciplinary counsel’s review of a lawyer or law firm’s:

  • A.  advertisements
  • B.  financial & trust account records; Rule 1.15A(b)
  • C.  client intake procedures/system to check for conflicts of interest
  • D.  security protocols when storing & transmitting client data electronically

Question 4

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

  • “the comments to the rule say that your first step is to remonstrate with the client. It’s the only rule that includes the word ‘remonstrate‘.  In fact, talking about situations like this is the only time in my life that I’ve used or heard the word ‘remonstrate.’ “

What type of dilemma did Lawyer call to discuss?

The lawyer came to know that a client had lied or offered false evidence.  See, Rule 3.3.

Question 5

Steven Donzinger is a lawyer.  In 2011, he received an $8.6 billion judgment on behalf of a plaintiff-class.  The case was tried in Ecuador.

Earlier this month, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a 2014 ruling that barred any & all attempts to enforce the judgment.  The lower court had concluded that Donzinger and the legal team that he headed procured the judgment through racketeering, bribery, coercion, and corruption. In affirming, the Second Circuit wrote that “even innocent clients may not benefit from the fraud of their attorney.”

The underlying case involved pollution.  Who was the defendant?

The defendant was Chevron.  The ABA Journal posted on the 2nd Circuit Decision HERE. Here’s what some others are saying.