Monday Morning Answers: #72

Wow! Huge honor roll this week.  Great job readers!

Last Friday’s questions are here.  Today’s answers follow the Honor Roll.

Honor Roll

  • Matthew Anderson, Pratt Vreeland Kennelly & White
  • Penny Benelli, Dakin & Benelli
  • Beth DeBernardi, ALJ, Dept. of Labor
  • Anne Day, Esq.
  • Andrew Delaney, Martin & Associates
  • Laura Gorsky, Law Office of David Sunshine
  • Robert Grundstein, Esq.
  • Glenn Jarrett, Jarrett & Luitjens
  • Keith Kasper, McCormick, Fitzpatrick, Kasper & Burchard
  • Patrick Kennedy, First Brother, Dealer.Com
  • Nicole Killoran, Vermont Law School
  • Aileen Lachs, Mickenberg, Dunn, Lachs & Smith
  • Jordana Levine, Marsicovetere & Levine
  • Pam Marsh, Marsh & Wagner
  • Lon McClintock, Esq.
  • Jeffrey Messina, Bergeraon, Paradis & Fitzpatrick
  • Hal Miller, First American, Oceanside Division
  • Herb Ogden, Esq.
  • David Sunshine, Esq.
  • Emily Tredeau, Office of the Defender General


  • Easiest – Question 1
  • Hardest – Question 2


Question 1

Attorney called me with an inquiry. I listened. Then, I asked:

  • “Is the new case the same as or substantially related to the old one?”

What general area of legal ethics did Attorney call to discuss?

  • A.   Solicitation
  • B.   File Retention
  • C.   Conflicts of Interest, Rule 1.9(a)
  • D.   Fee Agreements

Question 2

Which does not belong?

  • A.  The client agreed.  
  • B.   The result obtained
  • C.   The lawyer’s experience, reputation, and ability
  • D.   The skill requisite to perform the service properly

Rule 1.5 requires fees to be reasonable.  Rule 1.5(a) lists the factors that go into the analysis of whether a fee is reasonable.  Choices B, C, D are listed. Choice A is not.  It is widely accepted that the fact that a client agreed to a fee does not, standing alone, render the fee reasonable.

Question 3

A law firm deposited its own money into its trust account.  Which is most accurate?

  • A.  Each lawyer in the firm violated the Rules of Professional Conduct
  • B.  The firm’s partners (or equivalent thereof) violated the Rules of Professional Conduct
  • C.  It depends whether the deposit exceeded $1000
  • D.  It depends whether the deposit was in an amount reasonably necessary to pay bank charges to the account.  See, Rule 1.15(b).  The rule allows lawyers to deposit their own funds into trust in an amount reasonably necessary to pay bank charges on the account.  The fact that the question asked about a firm does not change the analysis.

Question 4 (Fill in the blank)

Lawyer called me with an inquiry.   I listened.  Then, I said

“As of now, there’s no duty to ENCRYPT routine electronic client communications. But, it won’t be long until the failure to do so is deemed ‘unreasonable’.”  See, Last Thursday’s Post: Encryption & The Evolving Duty to Safeguard Client Information

Question 5

This week’s question 5 is dedicated to a long-time reader.

John Luther Long was born on New Year’s Day in 1861.   He was admitted to the Philadelphia Bar in 1881.

I have no idea if Attorney Long was a competent or ethical lawyer.  However, it seems that he was a competent writer.

In 1898, Attorney Long published a short story about a journey of U.S. Naval Officer Benjamin Franklin Pinkerton.  The story caught the attention of Giacomo Puccini. In turn, Puccini wrote an opera based on Attorney Long’s story.

Puccini’s opera is one of the most famous operas of the 20th century.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to identify the short story/opera.

Madame Butterfly.   Attorney Long’s wiki entry is here.  Puccini’s is here.

Madame Butterfly