Monday Morning Answers: #66

The questions for the 66th #fiveforfriday are HERE.   The answers & Honor Roll follow today’s bonus Honor Roll.

Today’s bonus edition of Honor Roll recognizes the lawyers who finished Saturday’s RunVermont Half Marathon Unplugged.  It was great to see so many lawyers on the course.  I apologize in advance for missing anyone, but as best as I could tell, the following Vermont lawyers finished the race:

#fiveforfriday Honor Roll


Question 1

True of false.

For the purposes of the rule that prohibits conduct that is degrading or disruptive to a tribunal, a deposition is not a tribunal.

FALSE.  V.R.Pr.C. 3.5, Comment 5 (“the duty to refrain from degrading or disruptive conduct applies to any proceeding of a tribunal, including a deposition.”) See, Rule 1.0(m).

Question 2

Attorney called me with an inquiry.  I listened.  I responded “well, i understand why you’re concerned, but I’m not sure that Opposing Counsel committed a violation.  The general consensus is that the rule is less stringent during negotiations.”

What rule?  The rule on:

  • A.  Communicating with a Represented Person
  • B.  Conflicts of Interest when Representing Co-Defendants
  • C.  Truthfulness in Statements to Others.  I’ve blogged about “puffery” and the Ethics of Negotiations.
  • D.  Notifying Counsel of an Inadvertent Production

Question 3

Later today I’m doing a CLE for the Vermont Association for Justice.  Let’s see if they’re paying attention this morning.

By rule, in matters where a lawyer charges a contingent fee:

  • A.    The fee must be calculated before expenses are deducted
  • B.    The fee must be calculated after expenses are deducted
  • C.    The rule is silent as to whether the fee is to be calculated before or after           expenses are deducted
  • D.    The fee agreement must specify whether the fee will be calculated before or after expenses are deducted.  V.R.Pr.C. 1.5(c) (Contingent fee shall be in writing & shall state whether expenses will be deducted before or after the contingent fee is calculated.)

Question 4

Fill in the blanks.  The same word goes in each blank. Since we’re all lawyers here, credit only for filling in the correct word, not just any old word 3 times.

GHOSTWRITING.  I’ve blogged on the arguments for & against.

I appeared at a CLE. I made an argument in favor of interpreting the rules so as to permit ghostwriting.   Some people disagreed with me. They responded that ghostwriting should be considered a violation for two reasons:

  1.   It’s misrepresentation by omission; and,
  2.  It gives “unrepresented” litigants an unfair advantage in the form of a liberal interpretation of their pleadings.

I countered with arguments from an ABA formal advisory opinion, as well as with an argument that permitting ghostwriting will increase access to legal services.

Question 5

I’ll start with the question.  Then, after the question, there’s a discussion and a hint.

Milton A. Rudin was a lawyer in Beverly Hills.  “Mickey,” as he was known, represented Famous Client from the mid-50’s thru the late 80’s.

In 1991, author Kitty Kelley released “Nancy Reagan: The Unauthorized Biography.” In it, she suggested that Mrs. Regan had many private luncheons and long afternoons alone with Famous Client at the White House.  Also, in the book, she thanked several “sources,” including Rudin.

Rudin sued for Kelley and her publisher for libel.  He denied that he had disclosed any information relating to his representation of Famous Client.  (there’s the hook to get this into an ethics blog!) Interestingly, years earlier, and on behalf of Famous Client, Rudin had sued Kelley to prevent her releasing a book about none other than Famous Client.

Who was Mickey Rudin’s most Famous Client?

Frank Sinatra.


Discussion & Hint

Whether at one of my CLEs or in response to a #fiveforfriday quiz, nothing generates discussion like the pop culture questions.  Often, people urge me to use pop culture questions that don’t involve tv, movies, music, or fictional attorneys   In other words, pop culture questions that don’t involve pop culture.  I’ve heard “Mike, I don’t ________:”

The blank is often filled in with:

  • go to the movies
  • watch tv
  • watch sports
  • listen to music
  • listen to _____ (insert musical genre)
  • know anything about history
  • know anything about pop culture after the year 2000
  • know anything about pop culture before the year 2000
  • know anything about pop culture

I get it.  I promise, I try to do my best to vary the questions.  Some hint’s for today’s:

  • For those of you who’ve heard me warn about 3 types of clients, each named after a pop star, Famous Client is one of the 3.  And Famous Client is not Blondie or Taylor Swift.
  • For you old-timers, Famous Client was world famous before World War II ended
  • His daughter had a #1 hit in 1968
  • For you millennials, Famous Client was the original Timberlake, right down to the fact that he rose to fame as part of band before embarking on a mega-successful solo career.
  • Jessica Simpson covered his daughter’s #1 hit in the 2005 movie version of The Dukes of Hazzard.
  • If you are reading this quiz, I’d be shocked if you haven’t heard of Famous Client