Welcome to Friday and the 249th legal ethics quiz!
You know what? 249 isn’t 250. It’s nowhere near as interesting, exciting, or motivating. In fact, last night, while looking forward to next week’s milestone, I wondered if I’d even find the inspiration to post today.
I like to recognize occasions. So much so that I tend to lose track of what happens leading up to them. And by “lose track,” I mean that I often get so caught up in what I consider to be a notable event, occasion, or milestone, that I don’t enjoy the moments along the way.
That’s not good. Too often, I miss too much. Especially when, as can happen, the occasion doesn’t match the anticipation and leaves me regretting what I missed leading up to it.
So therein lies my challenge with the introduction to Quiz 249. Again, 249 ain’t 250. But you know what? I can’t celebrate #250 without posting #249 first. So, last night, I resolved to find something about this moment.
I’m training for a marathon. My current schedule calls for speed work on Thursdays and long runs on Saturdays. For each, I look forward to both the challenge and the sense of accomplishment upon completion. To me, speedwork and long runs are events, occasions worth noting.
Friday runs? Not so much. Right now, Fridays are “recovery runs.” Runs that aren’t fast or long. They’re necessary, but boring. There’s literally nothing remarkable about them.
But maybe that’s the wrong way to approach them. Maybe the challenge of training for the marathon is to find something special in each and every run. After all, marathon day can go bad quickly. So why measure success or appreciation for what happened by the race result instead of by the rewarding moments throughout the training process?
Because I’m not much into mumbo jumbo about journeys, destinations, and smelling roses.
Still, today, I tried.
Yesterday was 8 miles with speed work mixed in. It was one of my best workouts in a while. Tomorrow, I hope to run more than 20 miles, the longest run of the training cycle so far. Today? The plan called for a whole lot of “not much.” Not exactly an occasion. Plus, between having to drop my car off at the garage this morning and today’s work schedule, there wasn’t much time for a run. Especially one that didn’t interest me. So, I considered skipping it altogether.
But I didn’t.
Instead of dropping off my car and then hopping the bus to work, I brought it over early and ran home. Why? To make an otherwise boring “short” run interesting: to turn it into an occasion. So, nearing home, I focused on my GPS, weaving around the neighborhood, purposefully arriving in my driveway exactly at this moment:
Will today’s run make a difference on race day? Nope. But it made a difference today.
Don’t get lost waiting for life’s 250s. There are events, occasions, and opportunities in every moment, even the 249s. Allow yourself to experience as many as you can.
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 email@example.com
- I’ll post the answers & Honor Roll on Monday
- Please consider sharing the quiz with friends & colleagues
- Share on social media. Hashtag it – #fiveforfriday
At a CLE later today, I’ll urge lawyers to set reasonable expectations with clients at the outset of the representation. I’ll also remind them that a lawyer’s duty is to provide candid legal advice, even if it’s advice that the client doesn’t want to receive.
During that portion of the seminar, which 2 of the 7 Cs of legal ethics will I mention?
With respect to legal ethics, the phrase “going up the ladder” is most often used in connection with the duties of an attorney who:
- A. is duty bound to report another attorney to disciplinary authorities.
- B. represents an organization.
- C. is being paid by someone other than the client.
- D. has a side business painting houses.
Prospective Client wants to retain Lawyer for representation in a divorce from Spouse. Spouse’s business deals will be a significant issue in the divorce. Lawyer’s paralegal used to work at the law office that is representing Spouse. While there, Paralegal participated personally & substantially on legal matters related to Spouse’s business deals.
Under Vermont’s rules, which is most accurate?
- A. Lawyer may not represent Prospective Client. Paralegal has a conflict and it’s imputed to Lawyer.
- B. Lawyer may represent Prospective Client. Prospective Client knows all about Spouse’s business deals. Therefore, there’s no risk that Paralegal will share confidential information.
- C. Lawyer may represent Prospective Client, but only if Spouse gives informed consent, confirmed in writing.
- D. Lawyer may represent Prospective Client. Paralegal’s conflict is not imputed to Lawyer. So that Paralegal does not share any confidential information about Spouse, Lawyer should screen Paralegal from any involvement in the divorce.
Attorney called me with an inquiry. I listened, then replied:
- “Notice should come from you and your firm. A few years ago, the ABA issued an advisory ethics opinion that stated that it’s preferable to issue a joint notice. The notice should go to all clients who deal (or who have dealt) directly with you. What the clients do after that is up to them.”
Given my response, what will Attorney soon be doing?
I rarely take requests for Question 5. However, I was recently sitting at McGillicudy’s when Rick, a non-lawyer friend and fellow stool sitter, mentioned that he’d tried a recent quiz and hadn’t gotten any right. I replied that he shouldn’t, because he’s not a lawyer! Then, my brother told him to try another quiz, but only to worry about Question 5.
Still, I was surprised. We were sitting in our regular bar talking, however briefly, about legal ethics and professional responsibility?!?! The word is spreading! So, I asked Rick his favorite fictional lawyer and promised to dedicate Question 5 to that lawyer. Rick replied something to the effect “it’s ironic that on an ethics quiz you’ll basically be telling me the answer ahead of time!”
Aha! I did no such thing! I asked his favorite fictional lawyer. I never said that lawyer would be the answer to Question 5!
How lawyerly of me to ruin the moment.
Anyhow, Rick’s favorite fictional lawyer is Seinfeld’s Jackie Chiles. So, without further ado, here’s to Rick!
In an episode of Seinfeld, Kramer retains Jackie Chiles to sue a woman who Kramer alleges caused him to crash his car. Here’s a snippet of one of their conversations:
Kramer: And she’s the heir to the ________ candy bar fortune.
Jackie Chiles: Could you repeat that?
Kramer: I said she’s the heir to the ________ candy bar fortune.
Jackie Chiles: _________? That’s one of our top-selling candy bars. It’s got chocolate, peanuts, nougat. It’s delicious, scrumptious, outstanding!
Later, at trial, things go awry after Jackie asks the woman to try something on and it doesn’t fit.
Question 5 is a fill-in-the-blank: what candy bar?
Bonus: what did Jackie ask the woman to try on?