Five for Friday #244

Welcome to the 244th #fiveforfriday legal ethics quiz.

My friends, today is a day to celebrate.  We made it to the end of January!

Trust me, I’m well-aware that January is not the only month that has 31 days.  I also understand that each day of each month is 24 hours long and, therefore, that no 31-day month is longer than any other.

But, to me, January is the longest month.

It’d be long any year.  The cold, the dark, the dissipation of holiday good will.

Even longer this year, right? And I’m not just talking about Omicron.

I’m talking about FIVE Mondays.  We’d be better off extending December to 35 days than allowing January 5 Mondays.

Aha, I can hear some of you now: “Mike, it makes more sense to extend February. It only has 28.”

Wrong!  I love February!  And I love it exactly as it is.

What’s not to love about February?

The sun is warmer, out more often, and still up after 5.  Running conditions are great: far better than January’s ice and March’s puddles.  There’s Groundhog Day, Valentine’s Day, the Super Bowl, and the First Brother’s birthday.  Plus, the whole “I only have 28 days, except when I have 29” thing is awesome.  Like the friend who is happier, quirkier, and funnier than the others in your friend group., February is a breath of fresh air who, after 31 days of the sad sack January friend, is gone before you know it.

Not to mention, do you know how out of whack people would be if we had an actual February 30th?  Talk about a disturbance in the force.  I assume it would cause the exact chaos that Y2K didn’t.

So, no, we will not extend February.

Instead, we’ll celebrate having made it through January.  And, befitting of any celebration, a toast:

Here’s to February! May it include days that the temperature gets “2” 44.

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
  • I’ll post the answers & Honor Roll on Monday
  • Please consider sharing the quiz with friends & colleagues
  • Share on social media.  Hashtags #LegalEthics and #fiveforfriday

Question 1

Michael contacts Attorney for representation.  Michael’s matter is substantially related to a matter in which Attorney formerly represented Patrick.

By rule, which is most relevant to Attorney’s consideration of whether to represent Michael?

  • A.  whether Michael’s interests are materially adverse to Patrick’s.
  • B.  whether Attorney remembers anything about Patrick’s matter.
  • C.  whether Patrick’s matter concluded more than 7 years ago.
  • D.  the nature of Michael’s matter: litigation or transactional.

 Question 2

Here’s the first clause of V.R.Pr.C. 4.4(a):

“In representing a client, a lawyer shall not use means that have no substantial purpose other than to embarrass, delay, or burden a third person . . .”

I’ve long argued that as the presence of one of the 7C of Legal Ethics wanes, the well-being of the profession deteriorates.  Which one?  That is, which of the 7Cs, when taken to the opposite extreme, crosses a line and violates the first clause in Rule 4.4(a)?

Question 3


X = the number of annual pro bono hours suggested by the rule.

Y = the number of years that a rule requires lawyers to maintain trust account records following the termination of the representation.

What is X * Y?

  • A.  420
  • B.  360
  • C.  350
  • D.  300

Question 4

Lawyer called me with an inquiry.  My response included “It seems like there are grounds to do so.  But if you do, make sure to avoid noisy ______________.”

Given my answer, it’s most likely that Lawyer called to discuss:

  • A.  withdrawing from representing a client.
  • B.  reporting opposing counsel to disciplinary counsel.
  • C.  a trust account scam
  • D. throwing a Super Bowl party.

Question 5

Earlier this week I posted Espionage, Bribery, and Reinstatement to the Practice of Law. It refers to the story of a lawyer who, last month, sought reinstatement to the D.C. Bar.  The lawyer was disbarred in the 90s after being convicted of espionage.

In 1950, and in a criminal trial that captured the nation’s attention, a lawyer was charged with perjury. The charge was based on an allegation that the lawyer had lied to the House Committee on Un-American Activities by stating that he had not been a communist spy in the 1930s.  Because the statute of limitations had run, the lawyer was not charged with espionage

On one side of the trial, the government’s evidence included the so-called “Pumpkin Papers,” papers that an admitted former spy, who’d hidden them in a pumpkin for years, testified proved that he and the lawyer had committed espionage for the Soviets.

On the other, two sitting justices of the United States Supreme Court testified as character witnesses for the lawyer.

The lawyer was convicted.  As a result, the lawyer was disbarred in Massachusetts.  Then, in 1975, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts reinstated the lawyer, making him the first Massachusetts lawyer ever to be reinstated after having been disbarred.

Name the lawyer.

Bonus: name the member of the House Committee on Un-American Activities who, years later, was disbarred himself.


3 thoughts on “Five for Friday #244

  1. Hi Mike,  I thought I’d take a stab at the quiz questions below. Here goes; 1. Ans. = A. 2. Ans. = Civility. 3. Ans. = D. 4. Ans. = A. 5. Ans. = a. Alger Hiss and b. Roy CohnHave a nice weekend, Jack

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