Monday Morning Answers: #68

Friday’s questions are HERE. Answers follow the Honor Roll.

Congrats to Allison Wannop & Nicole Killoran.  Their responses suggest familiarity with Goldbach’s Conjecture!

Oh, and on this topic, I’m pleased to announce that my good friend Jeff Davis (@jdavismmus) has been named the Official Mathematician of Ethical Grounds.  Think I won’t be able to figure out 33.3% of  a contingent fee?  With JD on the case, think again!

Finally, congrats to Liz Kruska & Wesley Lawrence for recognizing Galen & Meb in Question 4!

Honor Roll

  • Penny Benelli, Esq., Dakin & Benelli
  • Beth DeBernardi, ALJ, VT Dept. of Labor
  • Laura Gorsky, Law Offices of David Sunshine, Newly Minted Passer of the Bar
  • Keith Kasper, Esq., McCormick, Fitzpatrick, Kasper & Burchard
  • Patrick Kennedy, First Brother, Dealer.Com,
  • Nicole Killoran, Esq., Vermont Law School, J.D. Externship Program
  • Elizabeth Kruska, Esq., Law Offices of Elizabeth Kruska
  • Wesley Lawrence, Esq., Theriault & Joslin
  • Jordana Levine, Esq., Marsicovetere & Levine
  • Jeffrey Messina, Esq., Bergeron, Paradis, Fitzpatrick
  • Hal Miller, Esq., First American, Oceanside Branch
  • Kane Smart, Esq., Agency of Natural Resources
  • Allison Wannop, Esq., Vermont Superior Court


Questions 1 & 2

There is a rule that prohibits an act, but only if the act is done to gain an advantage in a certain type of case.

Your mission: identify the act & the type of case.

  • 1.  Rule 4.5 prohibits presenting, participating in presenting, or threatening to present criminal charges; 
  • 2.  To gain an advantage in a civil case.

Question 3

There is a rule that requires a lawyer to “take steps to the extent reasonably practicable to protect a client’s interests . . ..”

You’ll find the specific language that I quoted in the rule that applies:

  • A.  upon the termination of a representation.  Rule 1.16(d).
  • B.  when the client suffers from a diminished capacity
  • C.   when the client has submitted false testimony or evidence to a tribunal
  • D.   when the client fails to communicate with the lawyer

Question 4

Galen & Meb are contemplating a lawsuit.  They asked Attorney to represent them both in the matter.  Attorney had inkling that a conflict would arise down the road.

Attorney shared his concerns with both Galen & Meb.  Then, sitting with both, Attorney asked Galen & Meb to agree in advance to waive any conflict that might arise.  Both Galen & Meb agreed to waive any future conflict.

Which is most accurate?

  • A.   Attorney violated the rules – VT doesn’t allow advanced waivers
  • B.   Attorney violated the rule on client confidences
  • C.   Attorney violated the rules by failing to provide Galen & Meb an opportunity to seek independent legal advice.
  • D.   If a conflict arises, the rules might require Attorney to withdraw despite the waiver.  Rule 1.7, Comment 22

Question 5

Several years ago, a PRB case resulted in a debate about Rule 4.1.  In particular, the extent to which it applied to undercover investigations supervised by government attorneys.

Which gives me a hook to this question.

Earlier this week, the New York Attorney General announced that an undercover operation had resulted in the arrest of man named “Newman.”  Newman is alleged to have spent many years defrauding businesses by pretending to be an architect.

In a tweet announcing the arrest of the fake architect, New York’s Attorney General acknowledged the obvious Seinfeld connections.  In fact, the NY AG tweeted that the undercover operation had been given a code name that reflected its Seinfeld ties.

What’s the code name?

“Operation Vandelay Industries.”  The New York Times had the story HERE.  As you’ll see, as funny as the reference is, the NY AG didn’t exactly comply with the duties of competence  & diligence when it comes to Seinfeld references. It’s almost like he has no Seinfeld experience whatsoever.  That’s what makes this so difficult.

Thank you Debbie Emerson, my fake doctor, for the tip!!

Vandelay Industries