Monday Morning Answers: #208

Welcme to Monday.

Friday’s questions are here.  Today’s answers follow the Honor Roll.  A special congratulations to the member of the Honor Roll who got a sign to read 9 MPH this week.  That’s moving!

Honor Roll

  • Karen Allen, Esq.
  • Matthew AndersonPratt Vreeland Kennelly & White
  • Evan BarquistMontroll Backus & Oettinger
  • Leslie Black, Govoni & Black
  • Beth DeBernardi, Administrative Law Judge, Vermont Department of Labor
  • Benjamin GouldPaul Frank & Collins
  • Mark Heyman, Esq.
  • Robert Grundstein, Esq.
  • Keith KasperMcCormick, Fitzpatrick, Kasper & Burchard
  • Jeanne Kennedy, JB Kennedy Associates
  • Cassandra LaRae-PerezSpecial Counsel, Gravel and Shea
  • Pam Loginsky, Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorneys
  • Jack McCullough, Project Director, Vermont Legal Aid Mental Health Law Project
  • Jesse Moorman, Assistant Attorney General, General Counsel & Administrative Law Unit
  • Hal Miller, First American
  • Jay Spitzen, Esq.
  • Thomas Wilkinson, Jr., Cozen O’Connor


Question 1

Which is most accurate?  Upon the termination of a representation, a lawyer:

  • A.  must keep the original client file for 6 years.
  • B.  must keep a copy of the client file for 6 years.
  • C.  shall take steps reasonably practicable to protect the client’s interests, including surrendering any papers or property to which the client is entitled.
  • D.  All the above.

For more on file delivery and the myth of the 6-year file retention period, see last week’s Twofer: Scams & File Delivery.

Question 2

Fill in the blank.

A change to wiring instructions should put a lawyer on alert to a potential _________:

  • A.  conflict of interest.
  • B   situation in which the client is not competent to make informed decisions about the representation.
  • C.  violation of the rule that prohibits unreasonable fees.
  • D.  trust account scam.

Again, see last week’s post Twofer: Scams & File Delivery.

Question 3

I’ve often stated that there’s one rule that trumps all the others.  Here’s language from a comment to that rule.  Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to identify the “C” of legal ethics that properly fills in the blank.

  • “This rule sets forth the special duties of lawyers as officers of the court to avoid conduct that undermines the integrity of the adjudicative process.  A lawyer acting as an advocate has an obligation to present the client’s case with persuasive force.  Performance of that duty while maintaining client confidences, however, is qualified by the advocate’s duty of ___________.”

Candor to a Tribunal.  The langague is from Comment [2] to Rule 3.3.

Question 4

Attorney contacted me with an inquiry. I replied:

  • “a comment to the rule states Other Lawyer is prohibited from communicating with any of your client’s constituents (1) who supervise, direct, or regularly consult with you on the matter; or (2) who have the authority to obligate your client with respect to the matter; or, (3) whose act or omission in connection with the matter may be imputed to your client for the purposes of civil or criminal liability.”

Given my response, Attorney most likely represents:

  • A.  someone under the age of 16.
  • B.  someone charged with a crime.
  • C.  multiple clients in the same matter.
  • D.  an organization.

That is the langague from Comment 7 to Rule 4.2.

Question 5

It’s rare that discovery disputes result in discipline. As we’ve seen recently, however, when they involve Executive Privilege, they make the news.

On July 24, 1974, the United States Supreme Court issued an order compelling the production of material that had been subpoenaed but not produced.  The underlying matter eventually resulted in 14 lawyers either being suspended or disbarred.

What is the most famous of the items that, 46 years ago today, the Court ordered to be produced in response to the subpoena?

The Nixon White House Tapes

The Watergate tapes' infamous 18.5-minute gap and Nixon's ...

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