Welcome to Friday and the 234th legal ethics quiz.
In February 2020, I used the intro to the 191st quiz to introduce Uncle Edmund. At the time, he wasn’t well and my brother, my father and I had just visited him. It was sad in that my dad knew he was likely seeing his brother for the final time.
Alas, as he had throughout his life, Ed fought the good fight, stubbornly hanging in there until this April. Given the pandemic, the celebration of his life was pushed out until this weekend. It’s tomorrow at Burke Mountain. My brother and I are heading up in the morning. On the eve of gathering in his memory, I’m using this week’s intro to honor him once more.
Hopefully my brother and I will find a store between here and Burke that sells Ballantine Ale. We will damn sure try.
Onto the quiz!
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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
Whether in response to inquiries, in blog posts, or at CLEs, I often say “the rule is broader than the privilege.”
What’s the topic of the rule?
Client files a disciplinary complaint against Lawyer. Lawyer calls bar counsel and asks whether it would be okay to refund Client’s fee in exchange for Client’s agreement to withdraw the complaint. Most likely, bar counsel will reply:
- A. Good idea, as long as you advise Client to seek independent legal advice about the proposal.
- B. Good idea, as long as Client is given a chance to discuss the proposal with disciplinary counsel.
- C. Bad idea, and likely a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct, even if the complaint is wholly without merit.
- D. It depends on the nature of the allegations in the complaint.
Fill in the blank.
According to a comment to one of the rules, an “action is _________ if the lawyer is unable either to make a good faith argument on the merits of the action or to support the action taken by a good faith argument for an extension of, modification, or reversal of existing law.”
Lawyer calls with an inquiry. In my response, I urge the Lawyer to consider “3-way reconciliation.” It’s most likely that Lawyer called to discuss:
- A. A conflict between an insurance company and the insured.
- B. Representing clients in collaborative divorces.
- C. E-mail security.
- D. Trust account management.
A two-part question, in honor of my Uncle Ed and his service in Herrick’s Rangers.
In an argument made during a jury trial that took place in 1770, a criminal defense attorney said:
- “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence . . . It is more important that innocence be protected than it is that guilt be punished, for guilt and crimes are so frequent in this world that they cannot all be punished. But if innocence itself is brought to the bar and condemned, perhaps to die, then the citizen will say, ‘whether I do good or whether I do evil is immaterial, for innocence itself is no protection,’ and if such an idea as that were to take hold in the mind of the citizen that would be the end of security whatsoever.”
Name the lawyer and the event that resulted in the lawyer’s clients being charged.