Friday’s questions are here.
Before I get to the Honor Roll & answers, don’t forget to submit your Mt. Rushmore of U.S. Supreme Court justices. I’ll reveal the results Wednesday.
Finally, if you missed it this weekend, the latest Was That Wrong? serves as a reminder that it’s never a good sign for a lawyer when the Supreme Court’s discussion of the appropriate sanction begins with “There is, quite thankfully, scant precedent in our disciplinary annals for misconduct such as this.”
- Matthew Anderson, Pratt Vreeland Kennelly & White
- Penny Benelli, Dakin & Benelli
- Alberto Bernabe, Professor, John Marshall Law School
- Andrew Delaney, Martin & Associates
- Mike Donofrio, Striss Maher
- Laura Gorsky, Esq, Law Office of David Sunshine
- Bob Grundstein, Esq.
- Glenn Jarrett, Jarrett & Luitjens
- Keith Kasper, McCormick, Fitzpatrick, Kasper & Burchard
- Patrick Kennedy, First Brother, My Web Grocer
- Kevin Lumpkin, Sheehey Furlong & Behm
- Lon McClintock, McClintock Law Offices
- Jeffrey Messina, Bergeron Paradis Fitzpatrick
- Hal Miller, First American
There is a rule that links an attorney’s duty of diligence to:
- A. Promptness
- B. Thoroughness
- C. Preparation
- D. Skill
Rule 1.3 requires a lawyer to act with reasonable diligence & promptness while representing a client. Comment  begins with “perhaps no professional shortcoming is more widely resented than procrastination.” Choice B, C, D are not linked to diligence, but to Rule 1.1’s duty of competence.
For the purposes of Vermont’s rules, which is different from the others:
- A. A check drawn on the IORTA of a realtor licensed in Vermont
- B. A check drawn on the IOLTA of a lawyer licensed in Vermont
- C. A check in the amount of $2,500 drawn on a client’s personal checking account. See, Rule 1.15.
- D. A check in the amount of $500,001 issued by an insurance company that is licensed to do business in Vermont.
Per Rule 1.15(f), a lawyer shall not disburse from trust absent “collected funds.” However, Rule 1.15(g) lists instruments that will be presumed to constitute collected funds upon deposit. Choices A, B, and D are among those types of instruments. Choice “C” is not because the amount exceeds $1,000.
Attorney called me with an inquiry. I listened, then replied:
“For it to be okay, 3 things have to happen. (1) It has to be in proportion to services you render, or, if not, you have to agree to assume joint responsiblity for the representation; (2) the client has to agree and confirm the agreement in writing; and, (3) the total has to be reasonable.”
What did Attorney call to discuss? Fee Sharing. See, Rule 1.5(e).
There is a rule that prohibits a lawyer from stating a personal opinion as to the justness of a cause, the credibility of a witness, the culpability of a civil litigant, or the guilt or innocence of an accused. It applies:
- A. In trial. Rule 3.4(e).
- B. Only during closing arguments
- C. Only during opening statements
- D. During closing arguments AND to statements made to the press.
There is not enough information in the question to determine whether Rule 3.6 (“Trial Publicity’) applies. The specific prohibitions listed in the question do not appear in Rule 3.6 and, further, that rule only applies to extrajudicial statements that a lawyer knows will be disseminated by public methods of communication and will have a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing a proceeding.
Question 5 – Two parts:
In real life, O.J.’s attorney, Johnny Cochran, argued “if it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.” He was referring to the so-called “bloody gloves.”
Jackie Chiles is a fictional attorney who regularly appeared on Seinfeld. The character is a parody of Johnnie Cochran. In the episode “The Caddy,” Chiles represented Kramer in a suit against Sue Ellen Mischke. Kramer alleged that Mischke’s attire, while walking down the street, so distracted him as to cause him to get into an accident. Chiles’ skillful and eminently competent cross-examination of Jerry Seinfeld delivered Kramer to the brink of a courtroom victory, only to have Kramer ruin it. Against Chiles’ advice, Kramer took his golf caddy’s advice and asked Mischke to try on the piece of clothing that, allegedly, had distracted Kramer and caused the accident. She tried it on, and it didn’t fit. So, Kramer lost.
What was the piece of clothing? A bra. The scene is here.
In an episode of South Park, Chef sued a record company for harassment. The record company hired a cartoon version of Johnnie Cochran. During his closing argument, cartoon Cochran inexplicably asked the jury to consider why a character from a famous series of movies would live on the planet Endor. He argued: “ladies and gentlemen, it has nothing to with this case, it does not make sense! If _____________ lives on Endor, you must acquit!! The defense rests.”
The movie character is 8 feet tall and has a one-word name. His co-pilot and other friends associated with the rebellion often use a shortened-version of the name. Fill in the blank with the movie character’s name.
Chewbacca. The clip to the Chewbacca defense is here.