Monday Morning Answers #141

Who knew Larry Bird would resonate so with my readers?!?!

Friday’s column is here.  The answers follow today’s honor roll.  But, first, I’m compelled to share some of the reactions to my post.

Within minutes of posting Friday’s blog, I received a text from a lawyer.  She said “OMG! I love Larry Bird! How did I not know this about you??? I’ve read Drive like a 1000 times.”  She also told me that she puts a special Larry Bird ornament on her Christmas tree every year.

So do I.

She wasn’t the only reader to reply to my post on Larry and the site lines in the old Garden.

Apparently obstructed view seats aren’t that bad.  Especially compared to the reader who bought a ticket to a Grateful Dead concert at the Garden, only to arrive and find that the seat had been removed to make room for the stage.

One reader’s use of obstructed view seats to see the Bird-era Celtics was so much more skilled than mine that she, indeed, is Vermont’s leader on the topic.

Another reader’s wife has converted to her to both basketball and the Celtics. She assures me that the new Garden seats aren’t obstructed and that the pizza is fantastic.

One reader brought me a smile with his memory of using coupons to buy tickets to afternoon games. I remember both the coupons and those glorious things of yesteryear known as “day games.”

Another remembered watching the 1979 NCAA title game (Bird v. Magic) while a law student at Michigan State. Oh the days when tvs were 12 inches  . . . and we thought that was just fine!

Still another mentioned rooting for the Celtics, in no small part due to growing up a fan of the University of Minnesota, the school that produced Kevin McHale.  McHale was Bird’s running mate for years. The reader noted that he will never forget the McHale- Rambis play.

I’m not sure how to relay the story of the reader who spotted Bird in the waiting area at Logan Aiport.  Larry was reading a newspaper.  The headline visible for anyone looking at him was about “The Big Dig.”  As this reader watched, Larry read about the Big Dig, she snapped a photo of him . . . just as he started picking his nose.

And, finally, the reader whose college friend was a bouncer who got into a fight that involved Bird . . . and that some have suggested may have cost the Celtics the NBA title in 1985. I can’t believe I didn’t remember that story!

Oh! And a first in #fiveforfriday history: a lawyer entered by answering “in person” while representing me at a closing.

My readers! I love your stories!  It’s the best part of writing this blog.

Honor Roll


Question 1

(this one happened again this week, so I’m going to keep asking)

Attorney called me with an inquiry.  Attorney said “Mike, I represent a witness.  The defendant’s attorney keeps contacting my client directly. I asked him to stop.  He said he doesn’t need my permission because my client is only a witness, not a party.  Is he right?”

What was my response?

  • A.   Yes, he’s right.
  • B.   The rule is unclear.
  • C.   The rule is unclear, but, by case law, no, he’s wrong.
  • D.  He’s wrong. The rule applies to any person represented in a matter.

Rule 4.2, the so-called “no contact” rule, applies to represented “persons.”  Per the Reporter’s Note to its 1999 adoption, the rule reflects that the fact that the ABA redrafted the rule 1995 to clarify that it “applied to all represented persons, not merely to parties in existing litigation.”

Question 2

Attorney called with an inquiry. I listened, then replied “the rule applies to statements of fact.  The Comment suggests it doesn’t apply in negotiations or to mere ‘puffery’ to opposing counsel.”

What rule?

  • A.    Trial Publicity
  • B.    Client Confidences
  • C.    Advertising
  • D.   Truthfulness in Statements to Others.   

There was a big hint in the intro.  It’s Rule 4.1

Question 3

True or false.

If a lawyer sells her practice, the rules require her to cease the private practice of law in the geographic area in which she practiced.


I spoke at the Bankruptcy Holiday CLE on Friday. I highlighted this rule.  It’s in Rule 1.17(a).  A lawyer who sells her practice or an area of her practice must cease the private practice of law, or cease the private practice of law in the practice area that was sold. The rule doesn’t define “geographic area,” but Comment 4 could be read to suggest that it’s the entire state.  North Carolina has amended its version of Rule 1.17 to specify that a lawyer who sells her practice must cease the private practice of law in the geographic area that is within a 100 mile radius of where the practice was located. 

Per Comment 3, the rule doesn’t prohibit a lawyer who sells her practice from working as a staff attorney in a public agency, or for a legal services entity that provides legal services to the poor, or as in-house counsel.

Question 4

Lawyer called me with an inquiry. I listened, then said “yes, for the sole purpose of paying service charges or fees on the account, and only in an amount necessary for that purpose.”

What did Lawyer call to ask?

Lawyer called to ask whether Lawyer may deposit Lawyer’s own funds into trust . See, Rule 1.15(b).

Question 5

Speaking of Larry Bird and ethics, as I mentioned, Bird went to Indiana State. However, he started his career at a different university.  Recruited to play basketball there, he dropped out of school after a few weeks, overwhelmed by the size.

Had Bird stayed, he’d have played for a very famous coach.  The coach often found himself under scrutiny by the NCAA’s equivalent of “disciplinary counsel.” The coach once skipped an NCAA-mandated ethics seminar, stating:

“I would have rather listened to Saddam Hussein speak on civil rights than to have listened to some of the [NCAA officials} who have spoken on ethics to this point.”

Who is the coach?

Bobby Knight.

Image result for images of bobby knight

Bird dropped out of Indiana University.  He spent the next 9 months working as a garbage collector in his hometown of French Lick, before enrolling at Indiana State.  The rest, as they say, is history.

Had he stayed at IU, he’d have played for Knight.


One thought on “Monday Morning Answers #141

  1. Hi Mike. I hope your in-person attendance at the Garden showed you that pro teams don’t put the ball in their own net.

    Your stories are great. Never stop.

    Liked by 1 person

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