Friday’s questions are here. The answers follow today’s Honor Roll.
- Matthew Anderson, Pratt Vreeland Kennelly Martin & White
- Penny Benelli, Dakin & Benelli
- Jennifer Blomback, VATC
- Beth DeBernardi, ALJ, Department of Labor
- Robert Grundstein, Esq.
- Anthony Iarrapino, Esq.
- Keith Kasper, McCormick, Fitzpatrick, Kasper & Burchard
- Patrick Kennedy, First Brother, Dealer.Com
- Aileen Lachs, Mickenberg, Dunn, Lachs, Smith
- Kevin Lumpkin, Sheehey Furlong & Behm
- Hal Miller, Esq.
- Lon McClintock, Esq.
- Herb Ogden, Esq.
- Jim Runcie, Esq.
- Hardest: Question 5. Of the ethics, Question 1.
- Easiest: Question 4
- Hidden Pop Culture Reference: Question 3. Emmit & Ray Stussy are the twin brothers played by Ewan McGregor in this season of Fargo. I highly recommend it. V.M. Varga has quickly become one of my favorite characters in TV history.
Firm represents Client. The matter settles and Firm receives an insurance check for $50,000. Firm notifies Cient and deposits the check into trust.
Firm presents client with an accounting that indicates that Client owes Firm $15,000. Firm is prepared to disburse the remaining $35,000 to Client.
Client contends that she only owes Firm $10,000.
Assume that nobody other than Firm & Client have interests in the settlement. Which is most accurate?
- A. Firm must keep the entire $50,000 in trust until the dispute is resolved.
- B. Firm must disburse $40,000 to Client and keep $10,000 separate until the dispute is resolved.
- C. Firm must disburse $35,000 to Client and keep $15,000 separate until the dispute is resolved.
- D. Firm must disburse $35,000 to Client, disburse $10,000 to Firm, and keep $5,000 separate until the dispute is resolved. See, Rule 1.15.
Section (e) requires a lawyer to disburse funds that are not in dispute. Section (a) prohibits commingling. So, there is $45,000 that isn’t in dispute: Client’s $35,000 and the $10,000 Client agrees is owed to Firm. Those portions must be disbursed, with the disputed $5000 remaining separate until the dispute is resolved.
Attorney called with an inquiry. I listened, then said:
- “The first thing the rule requires is that you not state or imply that you’re disinterested.”
Given my statement, it’s most likely that Attorney called to discuss:
- A. A subpoena to testify about a former client’s matter
- B. A prospective client who met with, but did not retain Attorney
- C. A request from an unrepresented person to meet with Attorney to provide information related to a client’s matter. See, Rule 4.3.
- D. Serving on a jury
Lawyer represents Emmit in a dispute with a government agency. Lawyer learns that the agency interprets a regulation in a particular way.
Lawyer also represents Ray. Ray is involved in a dispute with the same government agency, one that involves the same regulation.
Which is most accurate?
- A. Absent Emmit’s consent, Lawyer may not use the agency’s interpretation to help Ray and, therefore, must withdraw from Ray’s matter.
- B. Unless the agency’s interpretation is a matter of public record, Lawyer may not use the interpretation to assist Ray and, therefore, must withdraw from Ray’s matter.
- C. If the two matters are the same or substantially related, Lawyer may use anything that he learns while representing Emmit to help Ray.
- D. If it would not disadvantage Emmit to do so, Lawyer may use the agency’s interpretation of the regulation to help Ray. See, Rule 1.8, Comment .
Of the following, one has not traditionally been treated as a rules violation, viewed instead as a mistake that does not rise to the level of an ethics violation. In my opinion, that should soon change, and the conduct should be considered a violation of the rules.
- A. Withdrawing because a client calls or e-mails too often
- B. An associate acting at the express direction of a supervising partner
- C. Falling for a common trust account scam. See, this post.
- D. Representing a client who is adverse to a former client on the theory that “I don’t remember anything about the former client’s case.”
Somewhat of a dichotomy given the weekend . . .
This lawyer collapsed and died of a heart attack near his Washington, D.C. home in 1988. He was buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery – in part because of his service in the U.S. Navy World War II, and in part because he once held a cabinet position. The cabinet position: Attorney General of the United States.
In 1976, the lawyer was disbarred by the State of New York as a result of having been convicted of crimes that took place while he served as U.S. Attorney General.
Name the lawyer.
John Mitchell. Mitchell was Attorney General during Watergate.