Monday Morning Answers – #159

Happy Monday!  Friday’s questions are here.  The answers follow today’s Honor Roll.  Congrats to all on it, with a special s/o to first-timer Melinda Siel!

Honor Roll


Question 1

By rule, a lawyer shall not make an agreement for, charge, or collect an unreasonable fee.

True or False: if a client confirms a fee agreement in writing, it is presumed reasonable.

FALSE – Rule 1.5 speaks for itself.  Also see this blog post.  Finally, as the Vermont Supreme Court said here: attempting to justify a fee by arguing that the client agreed to it

  • “. . . demonstrates [the lawyer’s] failure to comprehend the effect of Vermont Rules of Professional Conduct 1.5(a);  lawyers, unlike some other service professionals, cannot charge unreasonable fees even if they are able to find clients who will pay whatever a lawyer’s contract demands.”

Question 2

By rule, which other rule or rules are relaxed:

“When a lawyer, under the auspices of a program sponsored by a non-profit or court, provides short-term legal services to a client without expectation by the lawyer or client that the lawyer will provide continuing representation  in the matter.”

  • A.  The rules on conflicts of interest.  Rule 6.5
  • B.  The rule that requires competent representation
  • C.  The rule that requires candor to the court
  • D.  The rules on safekeeping client property

Question 3

By rule, there are two exceptions to a general prohibition on contacting certain people.  The exceptions are:

  • 1.  if the person is a lawyer; or,
  • 2.  if the person has a family, close personal, or prior professional relationship with the lawyer.

These are the exceptions to the rule that prohibits a lawyer from contacting a:

  • A.  represented person
  • B.  juror
  • C.  former constituent of a represented organization
  • D.  prospective client, by in-person, live telephone or real-time electronic contact, when a significant motive for doing so is the lawyer’s pecuniary gain.  Rule 7.3(a)

Question 4

Lawyer has a conflict.  Therefore, Lawyer moves to withdraw.  Trial court denies the motion and orders Lawyer to continue the representation, notwithstanding that good cause exists to terminate the representation.  By rule, Lawyer must:

  • A.  Appeal
  • B.  Continue the representation.  Rule 1.16(c).
  • C.  Self-report to disciplinary counsel
  • D.  The rule is silent

Question 5

Speaking of how things were different way back when, there was a time when law schools were not required to teach professional responsibility/legal ethics.  Identify the event that resulted in the American Bar Association deciding that legal ethics/professional responsibility should be a required course in law school.


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