Monday Morning Honors #226

Happy Monday!

Friday’s questions are here. The answers follow today’s Honor Roll.

And, as it turns out, the key to picking the Kentucky Derby winner may have been the quiz number.  It was quiz 226.  The winning horse, Medina Spirt, went off at 12-1, which means a $1 bet to win paid $26.20.



Honor Roll


Question 1

Lawyer called me with an inquiry related to Matter 2, a matter in which Lawyer was considering whether to represent Spring.  Our discussion focused on whether Matter 1 was “the same as or substantially related” to Matter 1.

It’s most likely that Matter 1:

  • A.  also involved Lawyer representing Spring.
  • B.  involved another attorney in Lawyer’s firm representing Spring.
  • C  resulted in a disciplinary complaint being filed against Lawyer.
  • D  involved Winter, a former client of Lawyer’s whose interests are materially adverse to Spring’s in Matter 2.

This is Rule 1.9(a), the rule that applies when assessing conflicts involving former clients. A conflict exists when a current or prospective client’s interests are materially adverse to a former client’s in a matter that is the same as or substantially related to the matter in which the lawyer represented the former client.

Question 2

What is the main difference between how the rules treat hourly and contingent fees?

  • A.  a contingent fee agreement must be in a writing that is signed by the client.  Meanwhile, the rule states that it is “preferable” that an hourly fee agreement be in writing.  NOTE: while not required by V.R.Pr.C. 1.5, it’s best practice to confirm even an hourly fee agreement in writing.
  • B.  an hourly fee agreement must be in a writing that is signed by the client.  Meanwhile, the rules states that it is “preferable” that a contingent fee agreement be confirmed in writing.
  • C.  hourly fees are presumed reasonable, contingent fees are not.
  • D.  Trick question.  Both fees must be reasonable. Other than that, the rules draw no distinction between them.

Question 3

At a CLE, I said:

“the specific definition is ‘the isolation of a lawyer from any participation in a matter through the timely imposition of procedures within a firm that are reasonably adequate under the circumstances to protect information that the isolated lawyer is obligated to protect under these rules or other law.’”

Which more general topic(s) is it most likely that the CLE focused on?

  • A.  The relationship between a lawyer and law firm when the lawyer is “of counsel.”
  • B.  Conflicts & Confidences.  The question quotes Rule 1.0(k)’s definition of “screened.”
  • C.  Issues associated with accessing electronically stored information while working remotely.
  • D.  A firm’s response when a lawyer is sanctioned and put on disciplinary probation.

Question 4

Attorney called me with an inquiry.  I listened and responded, “your ethical obligation is to notify the sender that you received it.  Depending on the circumstances, the rules of civil procedure might impose additional duties.”

What did Attorney receive?

  • A. information that Attorney knows or should know was inadvertently sent.  See, V.R.Pr.C. 4.4(a).
  • B.  a last-minute change to previously arranged wiring instructions.
  • C.  a subpoena to produce confidential information related to the representation of a current or former client.
  • D.  a request to meet with a prospective client with whom Attorney knows there exists a conflict of interest.

Question 5

48 years ago today, Lawyer was fired from his job by Person.  Person fired Lawyer after learning that Person had been secretly cooperating with an investigation of Person and Others.

Lawyer had been cooperating with the investigation as part of deal related to his own conduct, conduct that eventually resulted in a criminal conviction and disbarment.

In fact, Person was also an attorney, but was not actively practicing when he fired Lawyer.  Still, Person was eventually disbarred too.

The firing was part of a larger incident that is widely deemed to have resulted in legal ethics and professional responsibility becoming required courses in law school.

Name Lawyer, Person, and the job from which Lawyer was fired 48 years ago today.

Lawyer:                John Dean

Person:                Richard Nixon

Job:                      White House Counsel

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