Monday Morning Answers

Good morning everyone!  Welcome to Thanksgiving week.

Spoiler alert: answers immediately to follow.  To review the quiz before I reveal the answers, go HERE.

Honor Roll

Perfect Scores in Gold

* = permanent honor roll status

Answers

Question 1

“Pretexting” is a violation that can arise in various contexts.  Of those listed below, lawyers are best reminded to avoid pretexting while using:

  • A.  Cell phones
  • B.   Cloud based practice management systems
  • C.  Trust Accounting software
  • D.  Social Media.  (Generally, pretending to be someone else, or a neutral, to access information that is otherwise private)

Question 2

Which is different than the others?

Answer A is allowed by Rule 1.5(d).  The others are prohibited by the same rule.

A fee that is contingent upon:

  • A.   the amount of past due spousal maintenance awarded in a post-judgment action
  • B.   a dismissal, plea to a reduced charge, or not guilty verdict.
  • C.  the amount of a property division in a divorce.
  • D.   the amount of child support awarded in a divorce or custody matter.

Question 3

Someone asked me a question at a CLE I did this week. I responded “well, that’s a violation in & of itself.”  Then I gave on some thoughts on what to do next.

What was the (increasingly common) question?

  • A.  I came into possession of evidence of a client’s crime.  What now?
  • B.  An ACH into my trust account was reversed.  What do I do now?
  • C.  I had a hearing the other day. I guess I’d forgotten, but I’ve been Facebook friends with the judge since well before the judge was appointed to the bench. The opposing party’s lawyer called it to my attention after the hearing. What do I do?
  • D. I have funds in trust and I don’t know who they belong to.  What do I do?

Question 4

For the purposes of the Vermont Rules of Professional Conduct, what do the following people have in common?

  • Bar counsel;
  • A lawyer in an approved lawyer’s assistance program; and
  • A lawyer on the VBA’s Professional Responsibility Committee

Exempt from the rule that requires lawyers to report misconduct of other lawyers.

Question 5

Many years ago, a Vermont lawyer moved to recuse a judge.  The judge declined.  The lawyer filed a motion to reconsider in which he stated that even a “crack whore” would recognize the conflict that the judge had missed. I prosecuted the lawyer for violating the rule that prohibits conduct that is degrading or disruptive to a tribunal.

Last month, Richard Posner, a judge on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, announced that he’s working on a book entitled Strengths and Weaknesses of the Legal System.  Per Posner, one of the weaknesses of the legal system is the federal judiciary, including the U.S. Supreme Court.  At a recent bookstore appearance, Posner said:

  • “I’m very critical. I don’t think the judges are very good. I think the Supreme Court is awful. I think it’s reached a real nadir.”

According to Posner, of the current U.S. Supreme Court, “probably only a couple of the justices are qualified. They’re OK, not great.”  He named two, stating that their opinions “are readable and sometimes quite eloquent.  The others, I wouldn’t waste my time reading their opinions.”

Name the two current justices who Judge Posner said are  qualified to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Justices Ginsberg & Breyer.  An article on Judge Posner’s upcoming book is HERE.

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