Monday Morning Answers: Mix Tape Edition

Friday’s questions are here.

Before I get to the Honor Roll & answers, kudos to the VBA’s Young Lawyers Division for putting together (yet another) fantastic Thaw in Montreal.  A special thanks to VPR’s Mitch Wertlieb for sharing his thoughts on (and obvious love for) radio with us Saturday morning.  From the “Vermont is a small but awesome world” department, I had an opportunity to meet Mitch’s wife Erin.  As we chatted, I learned that they live in the neighborhood where I grew up, in the house in which my elementary school principal lived.

Oh yeah, my readers make this world pretty awesome too.  I received not 1, but FOUR offers to borrow a tape player.  Also, I love the fact that a few of you reacted to my DC 101 post with declarations of undivided loyalty to WHFS.  HFStival rocked! But not quite as much as did DC101.

Finally, Hal Miller earns special mention this week.  In between surf breaks outside The Point, he was the only reader to remark upon the not-so-hidden Wagon Wheel  (Darius Rucker version here) references  in Friday’s column. Per tradition, Friday night at The Thaw included many Vermont lawyers enthusiastically, if not competently, singing along to the Solstice version at Hurley’s.

Without further adieu . . .

The Honor Roll

  • #ABFJ
    • Jordan Levine, Audrey Smith, Nikki South, Rachel Thompson
  • Karen Allen, Esq.
  • Andrew DelaneyMartin Associates
  • Deb Emerson, Country Walkers (that’s what makes this so difficult)
  • Bob Grundstein, Esq.
  • Keith KasperMcCormick, Fitzpatrick, Kasper & Burchard
  • Glenn JarrettJarrett & Luitjens
  • Melanie Kehne, Assistant Attorney General
  • Kevin LumpkinSheehey Furlong & Behm
  • Shannon LambPratt Vreeland Kennelly Martin & White
  • Hal Miller, First American
  • Jack McCullough, Project Director, Vermont Mental Health Law Project
  • Herb Ogden, Esq.
  • Nancy Hunter Rogers, Chamberlin Elementary School


Question 1

Which is different from the others and, arguably, does not belong:

  • A.  The amount of the fee and the results obtained.
  • B.  Whether the fee is fixed or contingent.
  • C.  The fact that the client paid the fee.
  • D.  The reputation & ability of the lawyer who performed the services that generated the fee.

See, Rule 1.5.  The fact that a client agrees to pays (or has paid) a fee is NOT one of the listed criteria to determine whether a fee was reasonable.  It is the Court that has the final say on whether a fee was reasonable.  Whether the client agreed or paid is not, in and of itself, dispositive.

Question 2

Fill in the blank.  (two words)

Even if it does not give rise to a conflict under Rule 1.7 or 1.9, I often caution lawyers against taking a case in which it’s likely they’ll have to depose or cross-examine a      ______            _______       .


Question 3

The Vermont Rules of Professional Conduct require:

  • A.   Three-way reconciliation of trust accounts.
  • B.   An actual signature (as opposed to a signature stamp) on trust account checks.
  • C.   Collected funds prior to disbursement. See, Rule 1.15A(f).  For the exceptions, see Rule 1.15A(g). It lists the instruments that are deemed so reliable that lawyers may disburse against them on deposit, before they become “collected funds.”
  • D.   All of the above

Question 4

It’s most likely that “Web Bugs” pose ethical dilemmas for attorneys who:

  • A.  Include them in emails to opposing counsel.  I’ve posted 3 blogs on Web Bugs –
  • B.  Review an adverse party’s social media presence
  • C.  Review a juror’s social media presence
  • D.  Use cloud vendors that do not encrypt data that is at rest

Question 5

I’ve blogged often on licensing paralegals to practice law.

A non-lawyer gained fame for her legal work on behalf of a class of plaintiffs whose drinking water had been polluted with hexavalent chromium.  The defendant was the Pacific Gas & Electric Company.

Part 1:  Name the non-lawyer:  Erin Brokovich

Part 2:  Name the actress who, in ’01, won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of the non-lawyer.   Julia Roberts

Image result for images of erin brockovichImage result for Erin Brockovich Movie