Monday Morning Answers

Spoiler alert: the answers follow the Honor Roll. To review the questions, go HERE.

Honor Roll

Perfect Score in Red

  • Matt Anderson, Pratt Vreeland Kennelly Martin & White
  • Laura Gorsky, Law Office of David Sunshine
  • Deborah Kirchwey, Law Office of Deborah Kirchwey
  • Elizabeth Kruska, Marsicovetere Law
  • Brian Martin, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
  • Ilerdon Mayer, Mayer & Mayer
  • Hal Miller, First American
  • Scott Rowland, Vermont Law School, Class of 2018
  • Kane Smart, Downs Rachlin Martin
  • Allison Wannop, Law Clerk, Vermont Superior Court


Question 1

Only one of the choices is correct.  What do Vermont’s rules require a lawyer to self-report disciplinary authorities?

  • A.  Discipline imposed in another jurisdiction. See, Rule 20(A), Administrative Order 9
  • B.  Criminal charges.
  • C.  Criminal conviction.
  • D.  Failure to file a federal income tax return.

Question 2

Attorney called me with an inquiry. I listened. I responded “well, the general idea is that if you’re reasonably certain that it will result in substantial injury or harm, or a violation of your client’s legal obligation, you’re supposed to go up the chain.”

It is most likely that:

  • A.  Attorney represents an organization. See, Rule 1.13
  • B.  Attorney is not a partner in his firm.
  • C.  Attorney is being paid by someone other than Attorney’s client.
  • D.  Attorney’s client expressed to Attorney an intent to violate a court order.

Question 3

Lawyer called me with an inquiry. I listened.  I responded “you’re supposed to do so as quietly as possible.  I often suggest citing nothing more than which ever of the rule’s specific provisions apply, then answering any questions that the court might have. When you answer, limit your responses to exactly what the court asks.”

In my response, what does “do so” in the phrase “you’re supposed to do so as quietly as possible” refer to?

Withdrawing from representation.  I caution against “noisy withdrawal.”  The applicable rule is Rule 1.16.

Question 4

Attorney called with an inquiry. I listened. I responded “a lot of people think the rule imposes a blanket prohibition. It doesn’t.  It only prohibits conduct that ‘will have a substantial likelihood of prejudicing’ a proceeding.”

In my response, “conduct” refers to:

  • A.  Ex parte communications with a judge.
  • B.  Ex parte communications with a juror.
  • C.  Stating a personal opinion in an opening or closing argument.
  • D.  Extrajudicial statements.  See, Rule 3.6.

Question 5

Bruiser Stone was an attorney who had some ethics issues. His practice was shut down after the FBI raided his offices as part of a racketeering investigation.  Bruiser’s new associate, Rudy, was left to fend for himself in the profession.

Undaunted, Rudy joined forces with Deck Shifflet, a less-than-scrupulous insurance agent who became a paralegal after failing the bar exam six times. The two represented a couple whose son had been denied coverage for medical treatment.  He would eventually die of leukemia.  Against all odds, Rudy won a huge verdict in a bad-faith claim against the couple’s insurance company.

During the med-mal case, Rudy fell for a woman who was a victim of domestic violence.  He convinced her to file for divorce and beat up her abuser with a baseball bat.

The Rainmaker.

Matt Damon starred as Rudy & Mickey Rourke was Bruiser Stone. Danny Devito played Deck Shifflet, whose misguided schemes foreshadowed Devito’s turn as Dennis & Sweet Dee’s dad in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.   Claire Danes had yet to take a job with the CIA and played Rudy’s crush.  Andrew Shue, in what feels like it must have been his only role since Melrose Place, played the abuser who Rudy beat up.