Monday Morning Answers

Friday’s quiz is HERE.  The answers follow the Honor Roll.

Honor Roll

  • Beth DeBernardi, Esq.
  • Andrew Delaney, Esq.
  • Robert Grundstein, Esq.
  • Jackie Chiles’ Lewd-Lascivious-Salacious-Outrageous Fun Bunch
  • Keith Kasper, Esq.
  • Patrick Kennedy, First Brother
  • Hal Miller, Esq.
  • Herb Ogden, Esq.
  • Team Pegasus
  • Jim Runcie, Esq.

Question 1

Today I’m dong a CLE for the Workers’ Compensation bar. Let’s take a question from their world.

Wood represents Plaintiff.  Wood has actual notice from Plaintiff’s health insurer that the insurer has a lien on any recovery.

Richards represents liability carrier.  In connection with settlement, Richards ask Wood to execute an agreement that Wood will personally indemnify and hold harmless the liability carrier for any of Client’s unpaid liens.

Wood agreed.

Which is most accurate?

  • A.   Wood violated the Rules of Professional Conduct
  • B.   Richards violated the Rules of Professional Conduct
  • C.   They both violated the Rules of Professional Conduct
  • D.  Neither violated the Rules of Professional Conduct

See, VBA Advisory Ethics Opinion 2013-01; Wood by creating a conflict of interest & providing financial assistance to a client; Richards by inducing Wood to violate the Rules.

Question 2

Lawyer called me with an inquiry involving Client and  Other. I listened.  Then, I said

  • “It’s ok as long as Client gives informed consent, there’s no interference with your professional judgment or your relationship with Client, and you don’t share any information about the representation with Other absent Client’s consent.”

What is Other’s involvement with this situation?

Other is paying for Lawyer to represent Client.  See, Rule 1.8(f)

Question 3

Large Firm represents Brady in the matter Brady v. Ryan.  Small Firm represents Ryan.

Associate leaves Small Firm to take a job at Large Firm.    Which is most accurate?

  • A.   Large Firm must withdraw from representing Brady.
  • B.   Large Firm may continue to represent Brady.
  • C.  Large Firm may continue to represent Brady if Associate is screened from participation.
  • D.  Large Firm may continue to represent Brady only if Associate did not participate personally & substantially in Small Firm’s representation of Ryan , and, Large Firm screens Associate from participation in the matter.

This is Vermont’s Rule 1.10(a)(2).  The Vermont rule is more broad than the ABA Model Rule.  When a lawyer changes jobs, the ABA rule allows the new firm to screen the attorney even if the attorney participated personally & susbstantially in the matter while at the old firm.  Also, Vermont Rule 1.10(a)(2)(ii) and (iii) impose significant requirements beyond mere screening.

In that Vermont’s rule is more broad than the ABA’s, there is some concern that it limits job opportunities in a small state.  The counter-argument is that client loyalty and confidences are paramount.

Question 4

Nationally, which is most common with respect to  Electronically Stored Information?

  • A.   Discovery sanctions for failure to preserve ESI; See, This Study
  • B.   Discovery sanctions for producing ESI  in an improper format
  • C.   Disciplinary sanctions for failure to preserve ESI
  • D.   Disciplinary sanctions for failing to request ESI in discovery

For more, the California State Bar’s advisory ethics opinion on handling Electronically Stored Information is HERE.  Last week, the Wisconsin Bar published this post on ethics, professionalism, and E-Discovery.

Question 5

Identify the event that resulted in the American Bar Association deciding that legal ethics/professional responsibility should be a required course in law school.

Watergate.  See, ABA Journal, “Watergate’s Lasting Legacy is to Legal Ethics Reform, Says John Dean.” (that’s the Watergate complex, front left, on the banks of the Potomac, next to the Kennedy Center)