Monday Morning Answers #85

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

I’d be remiss, though, if I went straight to the answers without recognizing the day.

When I was a kid, I remember my mom telling my brother and me that she’d always remember where she was when she learend the JFK had been assasinated.  Similarly, so many of us will never forget where we were on September 11.

It’d be a disservice to get into my personal memories of the day.  Especially with so many in Texas, Florida, and the Gulf states having a new reason never to forget to the date.

That being said, one thing I’ll always remember about September 11 is that so many so selflessly ran towards danger to help.  And, lately, we’ve seen stories of people doing the same in the wake of Harvey and Irma.

So, maybe one way to remember the day is to help, however we can.  Whether by winning your 3 feet of influence or answering a legal question.   An act of helping is never too small.  Even the smallest act makes a difference.

Honor Roll


Question 1

By rule, and at a minimum, an attorney’s trust accounting system must have 4 features.  Three of the required features are:

  • a system showing all receipts & disbursements from the account;
  • records showing all receipts & disbursements for each client;
  • records documenting timely notice to clients of all receipts & disbursements.

What’s the 4th?

  • A.  A list of authorized signatories on the account
  • B.  Records documenting timely reconciliation of the account.   V.R.Pr.C. 1.15A(a)(4).  The rule defines “timely” as no less than monthly.
  • C.  Records documenting three-way reconciliation of the account
  • D. An approved credit card processing system

Question 2

Complete this analogy

By rule, Lawyer is to a representation’s means, as Client is to a representation’s ___________.

I guess it would’ve looked like this on the SAT:

Lawyer: Means ::  Client: objectives.  V.R.Pr.C. 1.2(a).  Answers like “ends” or “goals” counted as well.  

Question 3

Lawyer is an associate at Firm. Tomorrow, Lawyer intends to provide short-term limited legal services to clients at a walk-in clinic sponsored by a nonprofit organization.  Neither Lawyer nor her walk-in clients will expect Lawyer or Firm to provide continuing representation to the clients.  By rule, which set of rules will be (somewhat) relaxed, insofar as they relate to Lawyer’s work at the walk-in clinic?   The rules on:

  • A.  Conflicts of Interest.  V.R.Pr.C 6.5.  Conflict-checks aren’t required at the clinic.  But, a lawyer remains prohibited from providing advice to a walk-in with whom the lawyer KNOWS there’s a conflict.
  • B.  Malpractice Insurance
  • C.  Diligence & Competence
  • D.  Client Confidences

Question 4

In a dispute between Plaintiff and Organization, Plaintiff’s counsel has actual knowledge that Attorney represents Organization.  Without providing notice to Attorney or asking permission, Plaintiff’s counsel interviews a former employee of Organziation about the matter that is the subject of the dispute.

Which is most accurate under Vermont’s Rules of Professional Conduct:

  • A. Plaintiff’s counsel did not violate the rules.  I get this phone call about once a month and it seems to be a misunderstood rule  See Comment 7 to Rule 4.2 (“Consent of the organization’s lawyer is not required for communication with a former constitutent.”)
  • B. Plaintiff’s counsel violated the rules.
  • C. Whether Plaintiff’s counsel violated the rules turns on whether the former employee was in “the control group.”
  • D. Whether Plaintiff’s counsel violated the rules depends on whether Plaintiff has filed and served a lawsuit in which Attorney has entered an appearance.

Question 5

Hint: even if you didn’t see this in the news, you can figure this one out by paying close attention to the question.

Earlier this week, a federal appellate court rejected a proposed settlement in a class action lawsuit.  In so doing, the court noted that a “class action that seeks only worthless benefits for the class and yields only fees for class counsel is no better than a racket and should be dismissed out of hand.”

I have no idea whether the class’s attorneys violated Rule 1.5.  However, I do know that the proposed settlement called for:

  • each of the 10 lead class members to receive $500 and a promise that, going forward, the defendant’s restaurants’ buns would be at least 12 inches long; and,
  • the attorney representing the class to receive $525,000.

Name the defendant.  The ABA Journal has the story here.