Welcome to Friday and the 268th legal ethics quiz!
Throughout the week, various ideas for today’s introduction percolated in my mind. A few even led to drafts that I’ve not yet deleted. Then, this morning, I happened upon a French proverb:
“Silence makes no mistakes.”
With that, onto the quiz!
- None. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
- I’ll post the answers & Honor Roll on Monday
- Please consider sharing the quiz with friends & colleagues
- Share on social media. Hashtag it – #fiveforfriday
Below, I’ve listed 3 carve outs in which a rule permits a lawyer to do something that the same rule otherwise prohibits. Which of the 7 Cs of legal ethics does the rule govern?
- 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.
- To respond to allegations in any proceeding concerning the lawyer’s representation of the client.
There is a rule that sets out a lawyer’s duties when, in connection with a representation, the lawyer is in possession of funds in which both the “client and a third person claim interests.” The rule requires the lawyer to promptly distribute all portions that are not in dispute and to keep the remainder “separate” until the dispute is resolved.
Does the rule apply when the lawyer is the “third person” who claims an interest in the funds?
- A. Yes.
- B. No. In this situation, the rule requires the lawyer to disburse the entire portion to the client and then seek to recover the lawyer’s share through “appropriate judicial process.”
Here’s an excerpt from a comment to one of the rules. Fill in the blank.
“The tribunal has proper objection when the trier of fact may be confused or misled by a lawyer servicing as both advocate and ____________. The opposing party has proper objection where the combination of roles may prejudice the party’s rights in the litigation.”
Lawyer called me with an inquiry. I listened, then responded “we just adopted a new rule that applies to your situation. It allows you to disclose otherwise confidential information in order to detect and resolve conflicts of interest, as long as the information you reveal won’t compromise the attorney-client privilege or otherwise prejudice your clients”
Given my response, what is Lawyer’s situation?
- A. Lawyer is changing jobs.
- B. Lawyer is changing malpractice carriers.
- C. Lawyer received a jury summons.
- D. Lawyer was selected for a trust account audit by a CPA firm that does business in Vermont.
One of the jobs in a U.S. President’s administration is that of Pardon Attorney. I’m not positive, but I think that the lawyer who serves as Pardon Attorney must be very busy this time of year.
According to legend, President Lincoln granted clemency one November, as did President Kennedy 100 years later. However, it wasn’t until 1989 that President Bush began an official tradition that continues to this day. Several years ago, President Obama spoke eloquently:
“And it is my great privilege — well, it’s my privilege — actually, let’s just say it’s my job — to grant them clemency this afternoon. As I do, I want to take a moment to recognize the brave [others] who weren’t so lucky, who didn’t get to ride the gravy train to freedom — who met their fate with courage and sacrifice — and proved that they weren’t chicken.”
According to media reports from earlier this week, President Biden is likely to issue pardons next week to two North Carolinians. Assuming that President Biden asks the Pardon Attorney for advice, competent advice will include understanding who is being considered for pardons.
Who is up for presidential pardons this time of year?