Monday Morning Answers

Last week’s Five for Friday quiz is here.  The answers follow the honor roll.


Question 1

My view is that Vermont’s rules prohibit “noisy withdrawal.”  What is it that makes “noisy withdrawal” a violation?

  • A.   Lawyer has no grounds to withdraw
  • B.   Lawyer misleads the court as to the reason for withdrawing
  • C.   Lawyer discloses too much information in the process of withdrawing.   
  • D.   Lawyer allows opposing counsel to communicate directly with Lawyer’s client while the motion to withdraw is pending.

Here’s what I suggest:. 

  • Rule 1.6 prohibits disclosure of information relating to the representation absent client consent or unless one of the exceptions is present.
  • Rule 1.16 lists the grounds to withdraw, some mandatory, others permissive.
  • In a motion to withdraw, cite whichever reasons in Rule 1.16 apply, then don’t say anything else unless Rule 1.6 requires or permits you to do so. A court order permits you to disclose.
  • Limit any disclosures of information only to that information necessary to make the point that is either required or permitted to be made.

Question 2

Attorney represents Client.  Shortly before trial, Attorney discovers a conflict and moves to withdraw.  The motion is denied.  Despite the conflict, Attorney represents Client at trial.  Which is most accurate?

  • A.  Attorney complied with the rules. See, Rule 1.16(c).
  • B.  Attorney violated the rules
  • C.  Attorney violatd the rules, but the circumstances mitigate any sanction
  • D.  It depends – did Attorney seek an interlocutory appeal?

Question 3

Which is different than the others?

  • A.   Lawyer raises competency over a criminal defense client’s objection.  
  • B.   Lawyer raises sanity over a criminal defense client’s objection
  • C.   Lawyer refuses to allow a criminal defense client to testify
  • D.   Lawyer disburses trust funds in reliance upon the deposit of a client’s personal check in the amount of $1500

The answer is A.  A is not a rules violations.  B, C, & D are rules violations.

A lawyer may raise competency, but not sanity, over a criminal defense client’s objection.  The reason: competency goes to the fairness & integrity of the trial: we don’t put incompetent people on trial.  

As for testifying in a criminal case, Rule 1.2(d) leaves the decision to the defendant.

Finally, Rule 1.15(g)(4) authorizes lawyers to disburse in reliance upon the deposit of a personal check, so long as the personal check does not exceed $1000.

Question 4

Attorney called with an inquiry.  I listened, then asked “it depends.  are you holding them in connection with a representation?”

Which rules did Attorney call to discuss?

Safekeeping Property/Trust Accounting Rules.  Per rule 1.15, funds “held in connection with a representation” must be held in separate from a lawyer’s and pursuant to Rules 1.15A and 1.15B.

Question 5

Earlier this week, I presented a CLE for the Windham County Bar Association.  (An aside, the CLE preceded the WCBA’s dinner at The Four Columns Inn.  If you’ve never eaten there, add it to your bucket list.)  Anyhow, the WCBA’s esteemed secretary, L. Raymond Massucco, suggested my topic weeks in advance. I obliged, and the title of my presentation was a common pop culture phrase.

My presentation included 3 parts. Here are the slides I used to introduce each part.  From the slides, what was the title of my presentation? (remember – 2 seconds ago I wrote that it’s a common pop culture phrase.)

Update: seems like we need a hint.  Each slide represents a different word or words in the pop culture phrase. That is, each slide introduced a different section of the seminar.

The title of my presentation was “Sex, Drugs & Rock ‘n Roll.”

  1. salt-n-pepa

The first picture is Salt ‘n Pepa.  So, in homage to them, I opened the presentation with these two slides, the second of which references their hit  Let’s Talk About Sex.  From there, I talked about the PRB’s efforts to adopt a specific ban on lawyer-client sexual relationships.