Five for Friday #258

Welcome to Friday and the 258th legal ethics quiz.

A few years ago, I used the intro to a June quiz to urge readers to take advantage of summer sooner rather than later. Too often, it seems that I don’t get my summer started until waking up on Bennington Battle Day only to realize that Labor Day is just around the corner. This week, a few thoughts combined to remind me of that post.  As the thoughts have marinated, they’ve caused me to wonder if summer, or at least a northern summer, is but a metaphor for life.  Hopefully, I can explain.

Earlier this week, my mom shared a story of having recently called a childhood friend.  The friend lives in a care home now, her memory not what it once was.  She’s happy, and remembered my mom, but she also thought that it was August.  Watching and listening, I sensed that my mom was torn — glad to have talked with her friend, but sad that the person she spoke with was no longer the same person as the person my mom had been friends with all these years.

Oddly, the next day, I read an essay by a person whose college friend recently passed while in his mid-30s. The author described how the two didn’t see each other much after graduation, but always vowed to “stay in touch.”  They did, if only getting together once a year.  The author expressed joy and gratitude at having stayed in touch, because even though the logistics were difficult at times, the memories made by finding and making time to get together are now the only thing he has to remember his friend.  Unstated, but stated well, was the point that while we frequently tell old friends “Let’s stay in touch,” we don’t.

Which brings me to Dave Laberge.

I met Dave in 2nd grade.  We’ve been best friends ever since. Dave’s that friend with whom I experienced so many “firsts.”  Communion, bike ride to the quarry, varsity game, night in a bar with (and without) a legal ID.  I’m sure there are many others.  I could go on & on about Dave and our adventures, like I did for too long during my best man speech a few years ago, but I won’t.  Those adventures aren’t the point.

The point is that this week, I realized that I haven’t seen or heard from Dave in a few years.  He lives in the Kingdom, where he and his brother own & operate Will-O-Wood Campground. I used to go up at least once a year, and Dave would always text or call when he was in town to visit family.  I’m not sure how we let that stop.  Thinking about it, I resolved that this summer will include a trek to the campground.

And that gets me back to my idea that, perhaps, summer is a metaphor for life.

Like the summers at Will-O-Wood, life is short.  Soon enough, our longest friends won’t be in our lives anymore — whether a bit too far away to visit, in a home not really knowing who we are, or gone.  Our relationships with those friends will become memories, like summer does once Labor Day passes.

So, maybe in addition to making sure to get out and do “things” this summer, another idea might be to seek out that old friend with whom you assumed you’d always be in touch but aren’t.  Because no matter your season in life, there’s still time to make summer memories.

Oh, and by the way, it’s June 24th.  Which means happy birthday to my old friend Dave Laberge!

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.  Hashtag it – #fiveforfriday

Question 1

According to the Rules of Professional, which of the 7 Cs of Legal Ethics is implicated when a lawyer provides “financial assistance to a client in connection with pending or contemplated litigation?”

Question 2

Attorney called me with an inquiry. I listened, then responded:

“Be wary of disclosing too much. I think it’s best to cite to the specific provision of the rule that either requires it or allows it. Then, if the court asks for additional detail, provide it. I’ll send you a case from Tennessee in which a lawyer was publicly reprimanded for disclosing too much information in a motion, even though the trial court granted the motion.”

What did Attorney call to discuss?  Filing ______

  • A.  a motion to withdraw.
  • B.  an ex parte motion.
  • C.  a motion to disqualify the judge.
  • D. motion to disqualify opposing counsel.

Question 3

There’s a rule that governs “pooled interest-bearing trust accounts.”  Nobody I know calls such accounts by their formal name.  Anyhow, what is a pooled interest-bearing trust account?

  • A.  unethical and prohibited by the rule.
  • B.  an account that’s better known as an “operating account.”
  • C.  an account that generates interest that a lawyer must remit to the client.
  • D.  an account that generates interest that a lawyer must remit to the Vermont Bar Foundation.

Question 4

 In honor of the presentation I’m giving later today at the Defender General’s Annual Training.

While I don’t plan to address this rule, there’s a rule that states that a criminal defense lawyer “may nevertheless so defend the proceeding as to require that every element of the case be established.”  Generally, what does the rule prohibit?

  • A.  Representing a client at a trial in which the lawyer will be a necessary witness.
  • B.  Frivolous claims and contentions.
  • C.  Conflicts of Interest.
  • D.  False statements of material fact to a tribunal.

 Question 5

 William Saxbe was born on June 24, 1916. He was a lawyer who served as Ohio’s Attorney General, a United States Senator, and United States Attorney General.

In 1966, while serving as Ohio Attorney General, Saxbe argued before the United States Supreme Court.  The case involved Sam Sheppard, a doctor who had been convicted of murdering his wife.  The US Supreme Court remanded for a new trial, citing, among other things, a “carnival atmosphere” that had permeated the first trial and the trial judge’s bias against the defendant.

In the U.S. Supreme Court and at the retrial, Dr. Sheppard was represented by a well-known lawyer.  During the retrial, the lawyer argued that the prosecution’s case was “ten pounds of hogwash in a 5-pound bag.”  The jury apparently agreed: Dr. Sheppard was acquitted.  Later, in 2001, the lawyer was disbarred in Florida and, in 2014, denied admission to Maine’s bar.

The case inspired a novel and a hit movie starring Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones.

Name the movie and the now disbarred lawyer who represented Dr. Sheppard.

One thought on “Five for Friday #258

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