Monday Morning Honors #255

Happy Memorial Day!

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

Honor Roll

Answers

Question 1

A comment to a rule states that “information acquired in a prior representation may have been rendered obsolete by the passage of time, a circumstance that may be relevant in determining whether two matters are substantially related.”

Which two of the 7 Cs of Legal Ethics does the rule address?

This Rule 1.9 – Duties to Former Clients.  It addresses both Conflicts and Confidences.

 Question 2

 There is a rule that prohibits lawyers from charging or collecting an unreasonable fee.  Which is most accurate? The rule ___________________:

  • A.  also prohibits a lawyer from agreeing to an unreasonable fee. Rule 1.5 – Fees
  • B. includes an exception that allows a lawyer to charge a fee that is otherwise unreasonable if the client agrees.
  • C. includes an exception that allows a lawyer to charge a fee that is otherwise unreasonable if the client agrees, if the client was afforded a reasonable amount of time to seek independent legal advice about the fee before agreeing to it.
  • D. includes an exception that allows a lawyer to charge a fee that is otherwise unreasonable if the client agrees, if the fee agreement is confirmed in a writing that is signed by the client.

 

Question 3

By rule, a “prospective client” is one who, in good faith, discussed with a lawyer the possibility of retaining the lawyer but, for whatever reason, did not retain the lawyer.  Which is most accurate?

Per the rule, the lawyer shall not represent a client:

  •  A.  with interests materially adverse to the prospective client.
  •  B.  with interests materially adverse to the prospective client in the same or a substantially related matter.
  • C.  with interests materially adverse to the prospective client in the same or a substantially related matter if the lawyer received information from the prospective client that could be significantly harmful to the prospective client. Rule 1.18 – Duties to Prospective Client
  • D  None of the above.  This is a trick question.  Vermont has not adopted the ABA Model Rule that applies to “prospective clients.”

 Question 4

 Lawyer called me with an inquiry. I listened, then replied “one of the exceptions to the general prohibition against disclosure applies.  However, you should limit your response to disclosing only the information that is reasonably necessary to establish a defense or to respond to the allegations.”

Given my response, it’s most likely that the allegations have been made against __________:

  • A.  A current client of Lawyer.
  • B.  A former client of Lawyer.
  • C.  A or B.
  • D.  Lawyer. Here, I was referring to Rule 1.6 – Confidentiality of Information.  Paragraph(c)(3) includes the so-called “self-defense” exception.  Last week, I referenced the rule & exception in this post about the Illinois judge who ordered Drew Peterson’s former lawyer not to disclose information relating to the disappearance of Peterson’s missing wife.

Question 5

Yesterday, testimony finally ended in a defamation trial that has lasted 6 weeks and garnered significant media attention. The trial included disturbing and troubling evidence of physical and emotional abuse. It also included something that is quite rare in trials: while examining a witness, a lawyer objected to his own question.

Name either of the parties to the defamation case.

The parties are Johnny Depp and Amber Heard.  Here’s the moment when the lawyer objected to his own question.  To be fair, media ran with this.  As LegalEagle explains here, the lawyer was more trying to strike the answer more than to object to his own question.

Heard and Depp

Five for Friday #255

Welcome to Friday and the 255th legal ethics quiz.

Readers are in luck.  I’m at a loss for words and behind schedule.  Therefore, no intro today.

Instead, I’ll leave you with this post from Memorial Day weekend in 2018.  In it, I marked the occasion of the Vermont City Marathon by using concepts and phrases associated with legal ethics & professional responsibility to interview several lawyers and judges who run marathons.

Enjoy the long weekend and good luck to readers who are running in the Vermont City Marathon!

Onto the quiz!

the-quiz

Rules

  •  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 michael.kennedy@vermont.gov
  • I’ll post the answers & Honor Roll on Monday
  • Please consider sharing the quiz with friends & colleagues
  • Share on social media.  Hashtag it – #fiveforfriday

Question 1

A comment to a rule states that “information acquired in a prior representation may have been rendered obsolete by the passage of time, a circumstance that may be relevant in determining whether two matters are substantially related.”

Which two of the 7 Cs of Legal Ethics does the rule address?

 Question 2

 There is a rule that prohibits lawyers from charging or collecting an unreasonable fee.  Which is most accurate? The rule ___________________:

  • A.  also prohibits a lawyer from agreeing to an unreasonable fee.
  • B.  includes an exception that allows a lawyer to charge a fee that is otherwise unreasonable if the client agrees to the fee.
  • C.  includes an exception that allows a lawyer to charge a fee that is otherwise unreasonable if the client agrees, but only if the client was afforded a reasonable amount of time to seek independent legal advice about the fee before agreeing to it.
  • D.  includes an exception that allows a lawyer to charge a fee that is otherwise unreasonable if the client agrees, but only if the client was afforded a reasonable amount of time to seek independent legal advice about the fee before agreeing to it and the fee agreement is confirmed in a writing that is signed by the client.

 Question 3

By rule, a “prospective client” is one who, in good faith, discussed with a lawyer the possibility of retaining the lawyer but, for whatever reason, did not retain the lawyer.  Which is most accurate?

Per the rule, the lawyer shall not represent a client:

  •  A.  with interests materially adverse to the prospective client.
  •  B.  with interests materially adverse to the prospective client in the same or a substantially related matter.
  • C.  with interests materially adverse to the prospective client, in the same or a substantially related matter, if the lawyer received information from the prospective client that could be significantly harmful to the prospective client.
  • D.  None of the above.  This is a trick question.  Vermont has not adopted the ABA Model Rule that applies to “prospective clients.”

 Question 4

Lawyer called me with an inquiry. I listened, then replied “one of the exceptions to the general prohibition against disclosure applies.  However, you should limit your response to disclosing only the information that is reasonably necessary to establish a defense or to respond to the allegations.”

Given my response, it’s most likely that the allegations have been made against __________:

  • A.  a current client of Lawyer.
  • B.  a former client of Lawyer.
  • C.  A or B, the rule doesn’t distinguish between them.
  • D. Lawyer.

 Question 5

Yesterday, testimony finally ended in a defamation trial that has lasted 6 weeks and garnered significant media attention. The trial included disturbing and troubling evidence of physical and emotional abuse. It also included something that is quite rare in trials: while examining a witness, a lawyer objected to his own question.

Name either of the parties to the defamation case.

The duty of confidentiality to former clients: judge orders Drew Peterson’s lawyer not to reveal information related to Peterson’s missing wife.

I like to use to imagery to make points related to legal ethics & professional responsibility. Here’s one of the images I use when discussing a lawyer’s duty of confidentiality:

1.6

What follows in today’s post invokes an image that’s similar, but with a critical distinction.  Imagine a picture in which it’s not me keeping me from disclosing confidential information. Rather, it’s a judge ordering me not to follow through on a threat to disclose a former client’s confidential information.

Last week, an Illinois judge ordered a lawyer not to disclose information related to the whereabouts of a former client’s missing wife.  Among others, the ABA Journal, WGN 9, NBC5, and the Chicago Sun-Times covered the story.

Many readers might have heard of the lawyer’s former client:  Drew Peterson.  Peterson is a former police officer who gained national attention in 2007 when his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, disappeared. Stacy has never been found.

Stacy’s disappearance refocused attention on the 2004 death of Kathleen Savio, Drew’s third wife. Savio’s death was originally ruled an accident. Then, after Stacy’s disappearance, Savio’s body was exhumed. Following a forensics examination, Savio’s cause of death was changed to homicide.

In 2012, a jury convicted Drew of the premeditated murder of Savio. He was sentenced to 38 years in prison.  In 2016, he was sentenced to an additional 40 years after being convicted of soliciting the murder of the prosecutor in the Savio case.

Joel Brodsky represented Drew in the Savio trial. Last week, and as reported here, Brodsky told WGN Investigates that “maybe it’s time” to reveal Stacy’s whereabouts.  Referring to Drew, Brodsky added:

  • “It’s something that weighs on my conscience. I would never do anything that would hurt a former client, but he’s in prison, he’s never getting out.  So, if he’s a man, he’d say ‘I’m done, here’s what happened,’ so people can have closure.”

Brodsky went on:

  • “I know everything about both of his wives – everything. I feel bad about Drew still not taking responsibility and Stacy still being missing.  I’m thinking about maybe revealing what happened to Stacy and where she is.”

According to WGN 9, Brodsky’s statements came in response to Drew Peterson’s recent request for post-conviction relief in which he argues that Brodsky failed to provide effective assistance of counsel. Drew’s lawyer requested an order prohibiting Brodsky from revealing the information. A judge granted the order, stating “[t]his may be the most vile crime in the U.S. but [defendants] still have a right to speak in confidence with their attorney.”

Brodsky appears not to agree with the judge’s decision. During the hearing, Brodsky argued that Drew’s allegations of ineffective assistance allowed Brodsky to disclose client confidences.  Following the hearing, WGN reports that “Brodsky said the question of whether he’ll reveal what happened to Peterson’s former wives is not ‘if’ but ‘how.’ He said: ‘That’s going to happen.’”

Wow.

I don’t suppose it’s likely that a Vermont attorney will find themselves similarly situated to Brodsky.  Still, I’m going to use the Brodsky story as a segue to review the duty of confidentiality that Vermont lawyers owe to former clients.

You are a lawyer admitted to practice law in Vermont.  Let’s assume you represented me in a trial in which I was convicted of the 2014 murder of X, my first wife.  Let’s also assume that Y, my second wife, has been missing since 2015 and that some suspect me to have been involved in Y’s disappearance. Finally, let’s assume that when you represented me in X’s matter, I told you what happened to Y.

The duty of confidentiality that you owe to me is set out in V.R.Pr.C. 1.9(c).  The rule states that a lawyer shall not:

“(1) use information relating to the representation to the disadvantage of the former client except as these rules would permit or require with respect to a client, or when the information has become generally known; or

(2) reveal information relating to the representation except as these rules would permit or require with respect to a client.”

As I interpret the rule, my statement about Y is information related to your representation of me in X’s matter.  If my interpretation is correct, I’m entitled to the protection afforded by Rule 1.9.

Indeed, Brodsky does not seem to argue that Drew isn’t a former client to whom he owes a duty of confidentiality.  Rather, he argues that the gag order violates his First Amendment rights and, further, that Drew’s claims of ineffective assistance of counsel authorize Brodsky to disclose otherwise confidential information.

Returning to the hypo in which you represent me in Vermont, if you were to make an argument like Brodsky’s, you’d argue as follows:

  • Rules 1.9(c)(1) and (2) allow you to use or reveal my confidential information as permitted by other rules; and,
  • Rule 1.6(c)(3) permits you to disclose information related to your representation of me.

Now, I know what you’re thinking:  what’s that Mike? How does Rule 1.6(c)(3) permit me to disclose information about you, my former client?

Short answer:  if you’re thinking of disclosing my involvement in Y’s disappearance, I’m not sure that it does.

V.R.Pr.C. 1.6(c)(3) sets out Vermont’s so-called “self-defense” exception. It permits a lawyer to disclose information related to the representation of a client if the

  • “lawyer reasonably believes that disclosure is necessary to establish a claim or defense on behalf of the lawyer in a controversy between the lawyer and the client, to establish a defense to a criminal charge or civil claim against the lawyer based upon conduct in which the client was involved, or to respond to allegations in any proceeding concerning the lawyer’s representation of the client.”

So, your argument would be:

  • Mike is a former client to whom I owe a duty of confidentiality.
  • Rule 1.9(c) prohibits me from using or disclosing information related to my representation of Mike, except as authorized by other rules.
  • Mike alleges that I provided ineffective assistance of counsel while representing him in the matter in which he was charged with the murder of X.
  • In that Mike has made allegations about my representation of him, Rule 1.6(c)(3) authorizes me to disclose his involvement in the disappearance of Y.

Here’s why I, as your former client, would beg to differ.

Comment 14 to Rule 1.6 states that paragraph (c) permits disclosure “only to the extent the lawyer reasonably believes the disclosure is necessary to accomplish one of the purposes specified.”  It also states that “a disclosure adverse to the client’s interest should be no greater than the lawyer reasonably believes necessary to accomplish the purpose.”

I get it.  Yes, I’m alleging that you didn’t know what you were doing when you represented me in the case in which I was convicted of murdering X.  But what I told you about Y has nothing to do with what you did for me in X’s case. The fact that I’m in jail for life isn’t an exception to the duty of confidentiality you owe to me.  That is, “what’s one more life sentence” isn’t among the exceptions listed in Rule 1.6.  You can defend against my allegations without mentioning a single thing about Y.

I’ve made this point often in different contexts. For example, it’s not uncommon for someone convicted of a crime to allege that their lawyer failed to explain the collateral consequences of a conviction before the client agreed to a plea deal. Assuming the client pled guilty to something other than possession of child porn, I’ve explained to lawyers that it’s possible to respond to the allegation without adding “oh, and by the way, my client once told me that he has child porn on his phone.”

Finally, and back to the hypo in which you represented me, I’d likely file a disciplinary complaint against you for even suggesting that you might disclose what happened to Y. In so doing, you’re basically stating that I know what happened to Y, and that I admitted my involvement in confidence.

In closing, I’ll repeat what I’ve often stated at CLEs and in response to ethics inquiries.  Yes, V.R.Pr.C. 1.6(c)(3) authorizes lawyers to respond to certain allegations related to their representation of a former client. The response, however, should be limited to the disclosure(s) necessary to respond to the allegations.  That is, I do not view the rule as license to reveal the entire basket of a former client’s dirty laundry.

For some, the Brodsky/Peterson matter might ring familiar.  Indeed, it wasn’t far from here that, almost 50 years ago, two New York lawyers learned in confidence the location of two of their client’s victims.  You can read more about the so-called “dead bodies case” in the ABA Journal’s 2007 article The Toughest Call. The New York lawyers took a different approach than Brodsky.

Finally, given today’s environment, I wonder how far we are from the day when certain clients are deemed unworthy of the protections of Rule 1.6 and the attorney-client privilege.  I understand that each of us must do what allows us to sleep at night. That’s fine.  As long as we understand that a consequence of sleeping might be waking up without a license to practice law.**

As always, let’s be careful out there.

legal ethics

** Caveat 1: To be clear, I don’t know what the rules are in Illinois.  I have no idea whether Stacey’s disappearance was an issue in the Savio trial or whether Stacy’s disappearance is related to Drew’s allegations that Brodsky provided ineffective assistance in the Savio matter.  My thoughts on the duties that Vermont lawyers owe to their former clients are limited to the application of the Vermont Rules of Professional Conduct to the hypo involving X, Y, and me.

** Caveat 2: Brodsky’s license to practice law in Illinois has been suspended since 2019 as a result of misconduct in unrelated matters.

A quick recap of the 7 Cs of Legal Ethics

Welcome to Friday!

I’m taking a week off from the quiz. Still, I don’t want to leave anyone without their weekly refresher in legal ethics & professional responsibility!  So, motivated by last night’s huge win by the Cs, I’m sharing a video in which I provide a brief (9:39) overview of the 7 Cs of Legal Ethics.

  • Competence
  • Communication
  • Confidentiality
  • Conflicts
  • Candor
  • Commingling
  • Civility

Enjoy the weekend!

Take time to thank a paralegal.

Many of you who work in Vermont’s legal profession should take a timeout.

timeout_161424062

No, not because it’s such a beautiful sunny afternoon, although that would be a good idea too. Rather, take a moment – actually, more than a moment – to thank a paralegal!

Earlier this week, Governor Scott proclaimed today as Paralegal Day.  The proclamation acknowledges paralegals’ “vital role” in delivering legal services both in Vermont and throughout the country. It concludes by stating that today presents “an opportunity to recognize paralegals across Vermont for their efforts to ensure that quality, efficient and affordable representation is provided in Vermont.”

Please take advantage of the opportunity.  Take time out of your day to recognize a paralegal.

2022 Paralegal Day Proclamation

Related post

Paralegal licensure: let’s not let perfect be the enemy of the good.

Monday Morning Honors #254

Happy Monday!

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

ps: heeding superstition Friday’s intro worked.  I ran a marathon in Maine yesterday and qualified for the 2023 Boston Marathon.

IMG_6868

Honor Roll

Answers

Question 1

 I often mention the 7 Cs of Legal Ethics. In my opinion, conceptualizing the 7 Cs is easier than trying to memorize the specific rules and as likely to lead to the most important C, compliance.

Which of the 7 Cs includes the following?

  • Situations in which an act that is otherwise prohibited is mandatory.
  • Situations in which an act this is otherwise prohibited is permissive.
  • Among the situations in which an act is permissive, the so-called “self-defense” exception.

Confidentiality.  Paragraph (a) sets out the prohibition against disclosing information relating to the representation of a client.  Paragraphs (b) and (c) outline the exceptions.   Rule 1.6 – Confidentiality of Information

Question 2

 There’s a rule that includes the following language:

  • “A lawyer shall not enter into a business transaction with a client or knowingly acquire an ownership, possessory, security or other pecuniary interest adverse to a client . . .”

True or false?   The only exception to the rule is when entering into a fee agreement with the client.

FALSE.  V.R.Pr.C. 1.8(a) sets out the requirements that must be met for a lawyer to enter into a business transaction with a client. It is not limited to fee agreements.  See, Rule 1.8 – Conflict of Interest – Current Clients – Specific Rules

Question 3

 At a CLE, I said “the rule states that a ‘lawyer shall, as far as reasonably possible, maintain a normal client-lawyer relationship with the client.’ ”  I was discussing the rule that applies when:

  • A.  a client files a motion to discharge their lawyer.
  • B.  a client’s capacity to make adequately considered decisions in connection with the representation is diminished.  Rule 1.14 – Client with Diminished Capacity
  • C.  a client fails to substantially comply with the terms of a fee agreement.
  • D.  a lawyer learns that the client has used the lawyer’s services to commit a crime or fraud that is not likely to cause significant bodily or financial injury to another.

Question 4

 In honor of Pam L:

Most of the Rules of Professional Conduct apply to all lawyers.  There’s one, however, that applies only to a lawyer in a specific practice area. The rule includes a requirement that is similar to the constitutional mandate announced by the United States Supreme Court in Brady v. Maryland.  The rule applies to:

  • A.  a lawyer who represents a criminal defendant who has not attained the age of majority.
  • B.  a prosecutor in a criminal case.  Rule 3.8 – Special Responsibilities of a Prosecutor
  • C.  a lawyer who is admitted to practice in a U.S. state and a foreign country.
  • D.  a lawyer who represents a publicly held corporation whose primary purpose is to engage in interstate commerce.

Question 5

 Larry Zerner is an entertainment lawyer in Los Angeles.  He uses Twitter to update movie fans on a long-running copyright dispute.  The dispute is between the producer and screenwriter of a movie that was released in 1980.  Since then, Paramount has released 11 more films in the franchise.

Zerner’s interest in the dispute stems from more than working as a lawyer.  In 1982, Zerner appeared in one of the sequels.  In cabins at Crystal Lake, Zerner’s character and the character’s friends were attacked by the franchise’s main character. Zerner’s character’s death allowed the main character to acquire an item that Zerner’s character had used to scare his friends in a prank.  The item has since become iconic in movie lore and pop culture.

Last fall, an appeals court upheld a trial court’s decision to award the screenwriter a copyright for the original script and the characters associated with the original film.  That hasn’t ended the dispute.  The producer contends that the copyright does not include content from the sequels, including the adult version of the franchise’s main character and the iconic item that the main character acquired after dispatching the character played by Attorney Zerner.

Name the movie franchise.                         FRIDAY THE 13th

Bonus: name the iconic item.                     Jason’s hockey mask

CNN has the story of the legal battle here.

 

Five for Friday #254

Welcome to Friday and the 254th legal ethics quiz!

On Friday the 13th, I’d be remiss not to open with Michael Scott:

Unlike Michael, and as has been well-chronicled in this space over the years, I’m infinitely more than a just a little stitious.  Therefore, I’m not going to share my weekend plans or endeavor to tie this intro to the number “254.”  Doing either would be bad luck, with sharing my plans certain to ruin them. Indeed, it’s likely a bad omen that I’ve written even this much.

As such, onto the quiz!

Rules

  •  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 michael.kennedy@vermont.gov
  • I’ll post the answers & Honor Roll on Monday
  • Please consider sharing the quiz with friends & colleagues
  • Share on social media.  Hashtag it – #fiveforfriday

Question 1

 I often mention the 7 Cs of Legal Ethics. In my opinion, conceptualizing the 7 Cs is easier than trying to memorize the specific rules and as likely to lead to the most important C, compliance.

Which of the 7 Cs includes the following?

  • Situations in which an act that is otherwise prohibited is mandatory.
  • Situations in which an act this is otherwise prohibited is permissive.
  • Among the situations in which an act is permissive, the so-called “self-defense” exception.

Question 2

There’s a rule that includes the following language:

  • “A lawyer shall not enter into a business transaction with a client or knowingly acquire an ownership, possessory, security or other pecuniary interest adverse to a client . . .”

True or false?   The only exception to the rule is when entering into a fee agreement with the client.

Question 3

At a CLE, I said “the rule states that a ‘lawyer shall, as far as reasonably possible, maintain a normal client-lawyer relationship with the client.’ ”  I was discussing the rule that applies when:

  • A.  a client files a motion to discharge their lawyer.
  • B.  a client’s capacity to make adequately considered decisions in connection with the representation is diminished.
  • C.  a client fails to substantially comply with the terms of a fee agreement.
  • D.  a lawyer learns that the client has used the lawyer’s services to commit a crime or fraud that is not likely to cause significant bodily or financial injury to another.

Question 4

In honor of Pam L:

Most of the Rules of Professional Conduct apply to all lawyers.  There’s one, however, that applies only to a lawyer in a specific practice area. The rule includes a requirement that is similar to the constitutional mandate announced by the United States Supreme Court in Brady v. Maryland.  The rule applies to:

  • A.  a lawyer who represents a criminal defendant who has not attained the age of majority.
  • B.  a prosecutor in a criminal case.
  • C. a lawyer who is admitted to practice in a U.S. state and a foreign country.
  • D. a lawyer who represents a publicly held corporation whose primary purpose is to engage in interstate commerce.

Question 5

Larry Zerner is an entertainment lawyer in Los Angeles.  Zerner uses Twitter to update movie fans on a long-running copyright dispute.  The dispute is between the producer and screenwriter of a movie that was released in 1980.  Since then, Paramount has released 11 more films in the franchise.

Zerner’s interest in the dispute stems from more than working as a lawyer.  In 1982, Zerner appeared in one of the sequels.  In cabins at Crystal Lake, Zerner’s character and the character’s friends were attacked by the franchise’s main character. Zerner’s character’s death allowed the main character to acquire an item that Zerner’s character had used to scare the friends in a prank.  The item has since become iconic in movie lore and pop culture.

Last fall, an appeals court upheld a trial court’s decision to award the screenwriter a copyright for the original script and the characters associated with the original film.  That hasn’t ended the dispute.  The producer contends that the copyright does not include content from the sequels, including the adult version of the franchise’s main character and the iconic item that the main character acquired after dispatching the character played by Attorney Zerner.

Name the movie franchise.

Bonus: name the iconic item.

Supreme Court seeks comments on proposed amendments to the Vermont Rules of Professional Conduct

Earlier this week, the Supreme Court published for comment proposed amendments to the Vermont Rules of Professional Conduct. The full text of the proposals is here.  The summary is on this page.

I don’t want to waste my time or yours by drafting a post that restates the proposals and summary.  So, I won’t.  For those who prefer content delivered in a different format, here’s a video in which I walk through the proposed amendments.  Comments should be emailed to me.  The comment period closes on July 11, 2022.

And – don’t forget! As I blogged here, the Court is also considering a proposal to amend the licensing statement to require lawyers on active status to disclose whether they carry professional liability insurance.  The proposal, which exempts government lawyers and in-house counsel, is here.  Scroll down under the heading “Proposed Order Amending A.O. 41 § 4 and adding § 18.”.  Comments should be emailed to me.  The period to comment on this proposed rule closes on June 20, 2022.

legal ethics

The Wellbeing Week Wrap-up and my self-report of significant bread making violations.

Last week was Wellbeing Week in Law (WWIL). One of the goals was to encourage legal professionals to take action to improve their well-being. I’m here today to recognize the members of Vermont’s legal community who did exactly that.  And, sadly, I’m also here to self-report significant violations of the bread making code of conduct.

But first, I want to share a comment that, to me, perfectly captures the importance of tending to our own well-being.

Patty Turley is General Counsel for the Vermont State Colleges. I met Patty many years ago when we served together on the Board of Bar Examiners. Here’s part of Patty’s reply to the email I sent encouraging participation in WWIL:

  • “Hi Mike – This was such a good reminder for wellness!  It was a crazy busy week; they are all busy but this one was exceptionally crazy.   At first I thought: “It is such a busy week, I don’t have time to take this on.”  Then I decided to switch my thinking: “It is such a busy week, it is more important than ever to make time for wellness.”  It worked.  I often did 2-3 shorter activities (walks, yoga, strength-training, meditation, reading for pleasure) each day.”

Let me repeat Patty’s words:

  • “It is such a busy week, it is more important then ever to make time for wellness.”

Patty – you nailed it! Our new catchphrase should be “Busy? Then now’s the time to make time for wellness.”

Okay, turning to the bread.

During WWIL, Wednesday’s theme was Intellectual Wellbeing. The focus was on the importance of continually challenging ourselves to engage and grow intellectually. To mark the day, I shared this video of myself making bread.

The video ends before I sliced or tasted the bread. So, it fails to reveal that the final product was not fit for consumption. Therefore, this morning I recorded this video in which I self-report multiple violations of the culinary canons. In mitigation, and as this picture proves, my second attempt went much better than the first.

IMG_6838

Finally, here’s a list of the members of Vermont’s legal community who let me know that they participated in WWIL. If I forgot to include you, I apologize. Message me and I’ll update the list.

To wrap up Wellbeing Week in Law, here’s to hoping that our participation continues beyond the confines of the week itself.

Indeed, let’s make well-being a habit.

2022 Wellbeing Week in Law Participants