Monday Morning Answers #235

Happy Labor Day!

Well, so much for Friday’s statement that I was in a college football mood. Nothing ruins a mood as quickly as your favorite team managing 3 paltry points in its opener.  And the game was so boring that I can’t even say that the season was fun while it lasted!

Anyhow, while the calendar continues to indicate that it’s “summer,” I’ve also felt like Labor Day moves us from a summer vibe to one that isn’t so summery.  With that in mind, may today include something other than work to refresh & reinvigorate you as we transition to a new season.

Honor Roll

  • Evan Barquist, Montroll Oettinger & Barquist
  • Beth DeBernardi, Administrative Law Judge, Vermont Department of Labor
  • Jennifer Emens-Butler, Director of Education & Communication, Vermont Bar Association
  • Benjamin Gould, Paul Frank + Collins
  • Robert Grundstein
  • Anthony Iarrapino, Wilschek & Iarrapino
  • Keith Kasper, McCormick, Fitzpatrick, Kasper & Burchard
  • Deb Kirchwey, Law Office of Deborah Kirchwey
  • John Leddy, McNeil, Leddy & Sheahan
  • Jack McCullough, Vermont Legal Aid, Project Director, Mental Health Law Project
  • Hal Miller, First American Title Insurance, Hawaii Agency State Counsel
  • Keith Roberts, Darby Kolter & Roberts
  • Jonathan Teller-Elsberg, Sheehey, Furlong & Behm
  • The Honorable John Valente, Vermont Superior Judge
  • Thomas WilkinsonCozen O’Connor

Answers

Question 1

By rule, how often must a pooled interest-bearing trust account be reconciled?

  • A.  Timely, with “timely” meaning no less than monthly.
  • B.  Regularly.
  • C.  Quarterly.
  • D.  Trick question.  A pooled interest-bearing account is the operating account, not the trust account.

I ask this question often.  My harping is intentional.  Last week’s post Back to (trust account) School highlights the risks of failing to reconcile.

Question 2

I speak and blog often on civility. In fact, I did so this week.  Arguably, a lawyer who manifests extreme incivility while representing a client violates the rule that specifically prohibits using means that:

  • A.  “embarrass or harass a third person.”
  • B.  “have no substantial purpose other than to embarrass, delay, or burden a third person.”
  • C.  “constitute overzealous representation.”
  • D.  “are repugnant to contemporary standards of the profession.”

It’s V.R.Pr.C. 4.4(a).  For one of the more outrageous examples of how not to comply with the rule, check out last week’s post Well now, this answer isn’t boring.

Question 3

Vermont’s rule on withdrawal from representation _____________:

  • A.  includes situations in which withdrawal is permitted, but none in which withdrawal is required.
  • B.  only includes situations in which withdrawal is required.
  • C.  includes some situations in which withdrawal is required, and others in which withdrawal, while not required, is permitted.
  • D.  mandates withdrawal when “the differences between lawyer and client are irreconcilable.”

V.R.Pr.C. 1.16 governs withdrawal. Paragraph (a) sets out the situations in which withdrawal is required.  Paragraph (b) lists those in which withdrawal, while not required, is permitted.

Question 4

Vermont’s rule on the confidentiality of information relating to the representation of the client _______:

  • A.  includes situations in which disclosure is permitted, but none in which disclosure is required.
  • B.  only includes situations in which disclosure is required.
  • C.  includes some situations in which disclosure is required, and others in which disclosure, while not required, is permitted.
  • D.  doesn’t apply when a lawyer is moving to withdraw from the representation.

V.R.Pr.C. 1.6 prohibits disclosure of information relating to the representation of a client.  Paragraph (b) sets out the situations in which disclosure is required.  Paragraph (c) lists those in which disclosure, while not required, is permitted.

Question 5

A lot to choose from this week!  Lately, the law has leaked into several pop culture stories.  Today, I’ll go with music, saving a question about blood-testing for another week. Mainly because the question reminds me of law school and an album that caused great debates between me and my friends.

On August 25, the New York Times ran an article that began with the following sentence:

  • “Spencer Elden was 4 months old when he was photographed by a family friend in 1991 drifting naked in a pool.”

The NYT article goes on to report on how Elden recently sued 15 defendants, including a record label, the estate of a band’s deceased lead singer, the lead singer’s widow, and the still-living members of the band.  According to the NYT, the complaint, which seeks $150,000 from each defendant, alleges:

  • “Defendants knowingly produced, possessed, and advertised commercial child pornography depicting Spencer, and they knowingly received value in exchange for doing so.”

Name the album and the band.

Nevermind.  Nirvana.   The New York Times article is here.   And here’s a picture of my copy.   To me, it’s crazy to think how Dave Grohl has gone on to become such a megastar that some people might not even remember or realize that he was in Nirvana.

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