Five for Friday #206

Welcome to Friday.

As of 7:05 AM, I had a nearly complete essay on how “206” reminds me of a common marathon strategy. It began by reminding readers that a marathon is 26.2 miles.

  • (Tip:  EVERY marathon is 26.2 miles.  There’s no need to ask a runner “how far is your next marathon?”)

From there, I shared that, in their heads, runners often divide a marathon into two segments: the first 20 miles, and the final 6.2  It’s a mental trick.  Then, I tried to use the so-called “20 & 6” strategy to connect “206” to a lawyer’s professional responsibility to provide clients with competent representation.  Alas, the draft stunk, so it now lives wherever trashed WordPress posts go to spend their days.

Before I deleted it, I considered revising it.  Then, as a new pot of coffee brewed, I made the mistake of browsing the news and stumbled upon this headline:

Study Suggests Bald Men Could Be More At Risk For Severe Coronavirus

As a result of the quarantine, you might not remember what I look like:


The news led me down a rabbit hole of articles from which I returned mere moments before an 8:30 meeting that kicked off a morning of meetings.  Now, I’ve no time to revise my essay on 206, the 20 & 6 strategy, and the duty of competence.  So, today, this is what you get.

Please remember me fondly when you buy shampoo and comb or brush your hair.

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

If a section of the Rules of Professional Conduct requires a “writing,” does an email comply with the rule?

  • A.   Yes.
  • B.   No.

Question 2

Imagine you hear me say this during a seminar:

  • “Depositing your own funds to cover reasonably expected bank charges falls within a safe harbor from the general prohibition on _______________.”

Which of the 7 C’s of Legal Ethics correctly fills in the blank?

Question 3

Attorney serves as a mediator.  The matter does not settle or resolve at mediation.  Going forward, can Attorney represent one of the parties?

  • A.  No.
  • B.  Yes.
  • C.  Yes, if all parties to the matter give informed consent, confirmed in writing.
  • D.  The Rules of Professional Conduct do not address this type of conflict issue.

Question 4

In response to an inquiry, I tell a lawyer “the rule says that you can’t counsel or assist your client to unlawfully alter, conceal, or destroy material that has potential evidentiary value. Most advisory ethics opinions add that you can’t counsel your client to do so if it would constitute spoliation.”

In context, “do so” most likely means that Lawyer asked me if Lawyer could advise a client to:

  • A.   Take down material that the client had posted to social media.
  • B.    Speak directly to a represented opposing party.
  • C.    Surreptitiously record a conversation with the opposing party.
  • D.    Intentionally post false information to social media to deceive the opposing party.

Question 5

Thank you Elizabeth Kruska for the tip!

Tech competence is a thing.

Earlier this year, a relatively famous lawyer was temporarily released from prison due to the COVID-19 crisis.  The lawyer, often mentioned on this blog, was back in the news this week: prosecutors allege that metadata associated with the lawyer’s court filings shows that the lawyer violated his conditions of release.

Name the lawyer.


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