The 197th Five for Friday Legal Ethics Quiz

I hope you’re all doing well.  Remember: keep rowing the boat.

I don’t have much to say this week.

Wait….are y’all serious?? I can hear the cheers from here! Come on!

Anyhow, I got out for a run yesterday.  During my trek, I pondered “197.”  Initially, my mind fast-forwarded to “200” and whether I should do something special to mark the occasion.  Then I re-wound.  As we’ve learned, 3 weeks is an eternity.  Day by day.

Then, after days of swirling in my clouded mind, a thought crystallized.

Like the rest of you, I haven’t gone anywhere for 2 weeks.  I’ve got my music, TVs, and streaming channels.  I’ve got fish & meat in the freezer, coffee/half & half galore, my Garage Bar, my dart board, the keyboard I’m (still) teaching myself to play, and my bike.  In theory, and likely in the mind of February-me, life is damn good: I’m not at the office and I’ve got all my things.


On a scale of 0-20, 0 being least important, 20 being most, I’ve realized that my things are, at most, 0.3.

I can hear you again: “Mike, what’s the rest?”

The answer came to me during my run.

Spending time with family and friends.  Chatting with the familiar faces working the various stores and businesses that life brings me to every week.  Catching up with the lawyers I bump into at the court house.  Chuckling at the couple that always takes the corner stools, whose names I couldn’t tell you but whose drink orders I know by heart. The option to wait until the morning to text my Dad about the Sox game.

The life experiences that have nothing to do with things.

They are, at the very least, 19.7

This will end.  And, when it does, I hope I remember the appropriate balance between life and things.

Onto the quiz.


  • None.  Open book, open search engine, text-a-friend.
  • Exception:  Question 5.  We try to play that one honest.
  • Unless stated otherwise, the Vermont Rules of Professional Conduct apply
  • Team entries welcome, creative team names even more welcome.
  • E-mail answers to
  • I’ll post the answers & Honor Roll on Monday
  • Please don’t use the “comment” feature to post your answers
  • Please consider sharing the quiz with friends & colleagues
  • Share on social media.  Hashtag it – #fiveforfriday

Question 1

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

What was my response?

  • A.   Yes.
  • B.   The rule is unclear.
  • C.   It depends.  Is your client a material witness?
  • D.  Lawyer is wrong. The rule applies to any person represented in a matter.

Question 2

True or false.

The rule on trial publicity only applies to criminal cases.

Question 3

With respect to legal ethics, the phrase “going up the ladder” is most often used in connection with the duties of an attorney who:

  • A.  is bound to report another attorney to disciplinary authorities.
  • B.  represents an organization.
  • C.  is being paid by someone other than the client.
  • D. paints houses on the side.

Question 4

At one of the Zoom seminars I intend to present, you wake from a brief nap to me discussing conflicts of interest.  If I’m doing my job, it’s unlikely that I will use the word/phrase _____-:

  • A.  material limitation.
  • B.  former.
  • C.  held in connection with a representation.
  • D.  prospective.

And, if I’m doing my job, it’s your resolve that breaks.

Question 5

I’ve been running the Professional Responsibility & Legal Ethics Bracket. It’s based on the NCAA March Madness brackets.  In 3 of the 4 quadrants, the contestants are terms and phrases associated with legal ethics.   To vote in the 2nd round, go here.

The contestants in the 4th quadrant are quotes from My Cousin Vinny.  That’s a hint for question 5!  It’s a “fill-in-the-blank” question.

I’ll give Bill Belichick his due: when it comes to coaching football, the long-time Patriots coach clearly has satisfied the duty of competence.  Of course, as a Steelers fan stuck behind enemy lines in New England, I’ve always suspected Belichik’s team of skirting the ethics rules.  For example, 2015’s notorious Deflategate Scandal that involved Tom Brady and underinflated footballs.

At a press conference, Belichick defended his team’s ethics by blaming the deflated footballs on the weather:

  • “”So the atmospheric conditions, as well as the true equilibrium of the ball, is critical to the measurement.”

Asked further about the air pressure measurements in the footballs, Belichick, normally not one to say anything to suggest he’s aware of pop-culture, replied:

  • “”I’m not a scientist. I’m not an expert in footballs. I’m not an expert in football measurements. I’m just telling you what I know. I would not say I’m _____________ of the football world, as she was in the car-expertise area.”


Again, to vote in the 2nd round of the #prmadness bracket, go here.




3 thoughts on “The 197th Five for Friday Legal Ethics Quiz

  1. Hi, Michael,

    Just a quickie to let you know that I really enjoyed your post yesterday. I confess I don’t always read them . . .

    but, thank you for sharing your “run” yesterday. What a blessed moment. Hope you get some good responses from your readers! Keep on “running”! And STAY SAFE! Much love, Aunt Claire


    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.