Monday Morning Answers #110

Welcome to Monday!  Especially all of you who picked Loyola to go to the Final Four!

By the way, the Kansas v. Duke game was the best of the tournament.  As my buddy Gary texted with about 3 minute remaining in regulation, “I feel like I’m watching the title game.”  I agree.  We’ll see.

Friday’s questions are here.  The answers follow today’s honor roll.

Honor Roll


Question 1

Rule 1.9(c) permits a lawyer to use information to a former client’s disadvantage if the information is “generally known.”

True or False: information that is “public record” is considered to be “generally known.”

False.  See, this post, and, this post.  However, the tide is turning (and has been for several years.) I’ll blog more on this issue later this week.  The post will focus on a decision from the Virginia Supreme Court: Hunter v. Virginia State Bar.

Here’s a preview.  This weekend, Josh King, Avvo’ chief legal officer, posted this comment to my most recent blog post on the “generally known” v. “public record” debate:

“Having hired lots of lawyers over the last 20+ years, of course I wouldn’t want them blabbing about my matters without my consent. But there’s a difference between a best practice and what the law can prohibit. I’m quite sure that Rule 1.6 can’t constitutionally be applied to discipline a lawyer for stating something that is in the public record.”

Question 2

For the purposes of the Rules of Professional Conduct, which is different from the others?

  • A.  Client files disciplinary complaint against lawyer
  • B.  Client leaves negative online review for lawyer
  • C.  Client sues lawyer for malpractice
  • D.  Client files petition for post-conviction relief that makes allegations about the lawyer’s representation of client.

Question 3

Referring back to question 2, provide a short-explanation.  That is, what makes your choice different?

A, B, and D fall under Rule 1.6(c)‘s “self-defense” exception to the general rule against disclosing information related to the representation of the client absent the client’s consent.  Rule 1.6(c) permits a lawyer to disclose otherwise protected info “to establish a claim or defense . . . in a controversy between the lawyer and the client, to establish a defense to a criminal or civil claim against the lawyer based upon conduct in which the client was involved, or to respond allegations in any proceeding concerning the lawyer’ representation of the client.”  A negative online review does not invoke the exception.  I’ve blogged on this issue here. (scroll to the bottom for a list of decisions and opinions).

Question 4

A client asks whether you use “cold storage” or a “hot wallet.”

What is it that the client is asking how you hold?

Most likely, cryptocurrency.  For example, bitcoin. Here’s an advisory opinion from Nebraska on cryptocurrency.  Coindesk ran this story on the advisory opinion.

Question 5

Fill in the blank.  It’s the same word for each blank.


Witness: “The car that made these two, equal-length tire marks had POSITRACTION.  You can’t make those marks without POSITRACTION, which was not available on the ‘64 Buick Skylark!”

Lawyer:    “And why not?  What is POSITRACTION?”

The scene is here.

And, courtesy of Hal Miller, here’s the pic for today’s post:


One thought on “Monday Morning Answers #110

  1. But you need to root for the Villanova Wildcats!


    Thomas G Wilkinson,Jr.
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