Wellness Wednesday: Legal Acts of Kindness

Last night, I posted about a lawyer who engaged in disturbing conduct.  I hope that today’s post serves as an anti-dote of sorts.

2Civility is an arm of the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism.  Its focus is to advance “the highest standards of conduct among lawyers to better serve clients and society.”

Last month, 2Civility’s deputy director, Stephanie Vilinski, posted Let’s Talk about Legal Acts of Kindness.  Stephanie’s post ran in conjunction with World Kindness Day.  I’m a bit late in calling attention to Stephanie’s message.

And it’s an important message.

Early on, Stephanie writes:

  • “Attorneys don’t typically talk about legal acts of kindness. So, let’s begin to change that.”

From there, Stephanie shares 5 ideas for change. I’ll list them, but the post itself is worth reading for the additional info that Stephanie provides with each idea.  The ideas:

  • “Be fair and empathetic.”
  • “Agree that it’s okay to disagree, but not to be mean.”
  • “Thank another attorney.”
  • “Take care of yourself.”
  • “Work for improved access to justice.”

Great ideas!

Implicit in the post – and, I think, in all 2Civility’s work – is that wellness and civility aren’t one-offs. Runners don’t increase their speed & distance by running once on a Wednesday.  They get faster & gain endurance by make running part of their routines.

Wellness and civility are no different.  Sure, it’d be nice if, on occasion, you mix-in to your day 1 of  Stephanie’s ideas.  It’d be nicer if you work to make them part of your routine.

Let’s begin.

Image result for kindness

Don’t Be This Guy.

Two topics I’ve covered before are civility & puffery.  As to the former, my thoughts are best summed up by my post Don’t Be A Jerk.  As to the latter, well, puffery in negotiations isn’t necessarily unethical.  Assuming, of course, that the conduct at issue can legitimately be described as “puffery in negotiations.”  More on that in a moment.

Over the past 21 years, I’ve seen some incredibly bad behavior by lawyers.  I’ve never seen anything like the story I’m about to recount, a story covered by Above The Law and Professor Bernabe’s Professional Responsibility Blog.  I’m not the only one. Indeed, the story is one of  behavior so bad as to cause opposing counsel to file a request for relief that ended with:

  • “In a collective 75 years of legal practice, [defense] counsel have never seen
    behavior that even comes close to that of [plaintiffs’ counsel] here. It is unlikely that the Court has either.”

I can hear you now: “Mike, tell us more! What was this behavior?”

Here’s what I’m willing to share.

Water damaged a house.  A contractor hired by the homeowners’ insurance company estimated the damage at $150,000, which is the amount that the insurance company paid on the claim.  The homeowners sued, contending that they incurred $350,000 in covered damages.

Negotiations (and discovery) weren’t pleasant. So unpleasant that, last month, the insurance company’s lawyers asked a federal court to dismiss the complaint or, in the alternative, to disqualify plaintiffs’ attorney.  They also requested a restraining order against plaintiffs’ attorney and a protective order preventing plaintiffs’ attorney from deposing defense witnesses. A memorandum in support of the request opened with:

  • “Plaintiffs’ attorney . . . has embarked on a campaign of abusive and intolerable conduct that began with profanity-laced emails, escalated to discriminatory slurs, and culminated in repeated threats of physical violence against Allstate’s witnesses, Allstate’s attorneys, and their families.”

This is where my job as tour guide ends.  To continue the journey, the insurance lawyers’ memorandum in support of the request is here and a declaration from one of the lawyers is here.  I suspect the odds that you’ve seen conduct as egregious are greater than the odds that I will win next year’s Boston Marathon.

The Above The Law post includes an excerpt of plaintiffs’ attorney’s response:

 

Umm, that’s not the kind of puffery I blogged about.  Also, the attorney’s apology and promise not to do it again make me think of Costanza: was that wrong?  Perhaps the lawyer will soon join those who learned the hard way that the answer is “yes.”

For now, and per an update on Above The Law, the court ordered the plaintiffs’ attorney to appear and show cause why the insurance company’s requests for relief should not be granted.  The hearing is set for December 16.

Stay tuned.

costanza

 

 

 

 

Monday Morning Answers #184

Welcome to Monday!  Friday’s questions are here.  Today’s answers follow this week’s honor roll.

Honor Roll

  • Karen Allen, Esq.
  • Matthew AndersonPratt Vreeland Kennelly Martin & White
  • Evan BarquistMontroll Backus & Oettinger
  • Alberto Bernabe, Professor, John Marshall Law School
  • Anna BlackStackpole & French
  • Andrew DelaneyMartin & Delaney
  • Laura Gorsky, Esq.
  • Bob Grundstein, Esq.
  • Tammy Heffernan, Esq.
  • Glenn Jarrett, Jarrett & Luitjens
  • Keith KasperMcCormick, Fitzpatrick, Kasper & Burchard
  • Thomas Kester, Assistant General Counsel, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Vermont
  • John LeddyMcNeil, Leddy, & Sheahan
  • Tom LittleLittle & Cicchetti
  • Pam Loginsky, Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorneys
  • Lon McClintockMcClintock Law Offices
  • Jack McCullough, Project Director, Vermont Legal Aid Mental Health Law Project
  • Hal Miller, First American
  • Jim Runcie, Ouimette & Runcie
  • Kristen ShamisMonaghan, Safar, Ducham
  • Jonathan Teller-Elsberg, Vermont Law School, JD Candidate
  • Jack Welch, Esq.

Question 1

If Lawyer’s continued representation of a client will result in a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct, Lawyer _____________.

  • A.    may withdraw.
  • B.    shall withdraw.  V.R.Pr.C. 1.16(a)(1)
  • C.    oddly, this situation is not mentioned in the Vermont Rules of Professional Conduct.

Question 2

Lawyer called me with an inquiry involving Client and Other.  I listened.  Then, I said:

“it’s ok as long as:

  1. Client gives informed consent;
  2. Other doesn’t interfere with your professional judgment or your relationship with Client; and,
  3. you don’t share any information about the representation with Other absent Client’s consent.”

What is Other’s involvement with this situation?

Other is paying for Lawyer’s representation of Client.  V.R.Pr.C. 1.8(f).

Question 3

Later today at the Bankruptcy CLE, I’m going to mention “the 6 Cs of Legal Ethics.”  Competence, Communication, Confidentiality, Conflicts, Candor, and Civility.

There’s actually a 7th “C”, but the word does not appear anywhere in the rules.  Rather, it’s the word we use to refer to a violation of the duty to hold property of clients and third persons separate from the lawyer’s own property.

What’s this 7th “C”?

Commingling

Question 4

Lawyer represents Kennedy.   This morning, Kennedy gave Lawyer a bank check for $6,000 to pay for various expenses related to the representation, including legal fees owed to Lawyer.  Lawyer did not have time to make it to the bank today but intends to deposit Kennedy’s check on Monday.

Honestly, Kennedy is a pain.  He hasn’t paid in a long time and has a hefty outstanding bill.

Lawyer’s trust account holds funds that belong to clients other than Kennedy. This afternoon, Lawyer wants (finally) to pay herself for legal services provided to Kennedy by transferring funds from the trust account to her operating account.  Then, on Monday, Lawyer intends to replace those funds by depositing Kennedy’s bank check into trust.

Which is most accurate?

  • A.   Good plan, but only because it’s a bank check, not a personal check.
  • B.   Good plan, if Lawyer charges Kennedy a reasonable fee.
  • C.   Bad plan, because the bank check is for more than $5,000.
  • D.   Bad plan, because the disbursement would take place before Lawyer deposits Kennedy’s bank check into her trust account.  V.R.Pr.C. 1.15(f).

Question 5

Today is the 154th anniversary of the ratification of the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution, the amendment that abolished slavery.

One of the members of Congress who was instrumental in drafting and passing the 13th Amendment was a “radical republican” who was born & raised in Vermont.  After leaving Vermont, he practiced law in Pennsylvania.  As a trial lawyer, legend has it that he responded to a judge’s warning that he was “manifesting contempt” by saying “Sir, I’m doing my best to conceal it.”

In 2012, Tommy Lee Jones played him in a movie about Abraham Lincoln and won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor .

Name the lawyer who was born & raised in Vermont and who played a critical role in drafting, passing, and ratifying the 13th Amendment.

Danville’s own Thaddeus Stevens

Image result for images of thaddeus stevens vermont"

Five for Friday #184

Happy Friday!

I’m about to hit the road to speak at two CLEs: the VBA Bankruptcy Section’s Holiday CLE in Killington, followed this afternoon by the Defender General’s training in Montpelier. Last night, I had visions of rising early and using today’s introduction to weave for you a magical story tying this week’s number (184), to today’s date, and, eventually, to The Irishman.  

I said “visions.”  I did not say – or do anything to indicate – that I had managed to transform my visions to a draft, not to mention a final product.

But you know what that makes me?

A visionary.

Onto the quiz!

Rules

  • 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 michael.kennedy@vermont.gov
  • I’ll post the answers & Honor Roll on Monday
  • Please don’t use the “comment” feature to post your answers
  • Please consider sharing the quiz with friends & colleagues
  • Share on social media.  Hashtag it – #fiveforfriday

Question 1

If Lawyer’s continued representation of a client will result in a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct, Lawyer _____________.

  • A.    may withdraw.
  • B.    shall withdraw.
  • C.    oddly, this situation is not mentioned in the Vermont Rules of Professional Conduct.

Question 2

Lawyer called me with an inquiry involving Client and Other.  I listened.  Then, I said:

“it’s ok as long as:

  1. Client gives informed consent;
  2. Other doesn’t interfere with your professional judgment or your relationship with Client; and,
  3. you don’t share any information about the representation with Other absent Client’s consent.”

What is Other’s involvement with this situation?

Question 3

Later today at the Bankruptcy CLE, I’m going to mention “the 6 Cs of Legal Ethics.”  Competence, Communication, Confidentiality, Conflicts, Candor, and Civility.

There’s actually a 7th “C”, but the word does not appear anywhere in the rules.  Rather, it’s the word we use to refer to a violation of the duty to hold property of clients and third persons separate from the lawyer’s own property.

What’s this 7th “C”?

Question 4

Lawyer represents Kennedy.   This morning, Kennedy gave Lawyer a bank check for $6,000 to pay for various expenses related to the representation, including legal fees owed to Lawyer.  Lawyer did not have time to make it to the bank today but intends to deposit Kennedy’s check on Monday.

Honestly, Kennedy is a pain.  He hasn’t paid in a long time and has a hefty outstanding bill.

Lawyer’s trust account holds funds that belong to clients other than Kennedy. This afternoon, Lawyer wants (finally) to pay herself for legal services provided to Kennedy by transferring funds from the trust account to her operating account.  Then, on Monday, Lawyer intends to replace those funds by depositing Kennedy’s bank check into trust.

Which is most accurate?

  • A.   Good plan, but only because it’s a bank check, not a personal check.
  • B.   Good plan, if Lawyer charges Kennedy a reasonable fee.
  • C.   Bad plan, because the bank check is for more than $5,000.
  • D.   Bad plan, because the disbursement would take place before Lawyer deposits Kennedy’s bank check into her trust account.

Question 5

Today is the 154th anniversary of the ratification of the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution, the amendment that abolished slavery.

One of the members of Congress who was instrumental in drafting and passing the 13th Amendment was a “radical republican” who was born & raised in Vermont.  After leaving Vermont, he practiced law in Pennsylvania.  As a trial lawyer, legend has it that he responded to a judge’s warning that he was “manifesting contempt” by saying “Sir, I’m doing my best to conceal it.”

In 2012, Tommy Lee Jones played him in a movie about Abraham Lincoln and won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor .

Name the lawyer who was born & raised in Vermont and who played a critical role in drafting, passing, and ratifying the 13th Amendment.

Leaving a Law Firm – Update

In September, I posted Leaving A Law Firm: Breaking Up Is Hard To Do.  The post highlights the duties that a departing lawyer and firm owe to clients. It’s based (mostly) on a formal advisory opinion that the ABA issued in 1999.

Yesterday, the ABA’s Standing Committee On Ethics And Professional Responsibility issued Formal Opinion 489: Obligations Related to Notice When Lawyers Change Firms.  The entire opinion is worth reading.  Here’s an outline of the key duties owed to clients.

Which Clients?

The duties flow to clients with whom the departing lawyer had “significant client contact.”

Per the ABA Opinion, ‘” ‘significant client contact’ would include a client identifying the departing lawyer, by name, as one of the attorneys representing the client.”

By contrast, the opinion is clear that “a departing attorney would not have ‘significant client contact,’ for instance, if the lawyer prepared one research memo on a client matter for another attorney in the firm but never spoke with the client or discussed legal issues with the client.”

Most Important – Prompt Notice 

The clients with whom the lawyer had “significant client contact” must promptly receive notice that the lawyer is leaving.  While the lawyer and firm may notify clients independently of each other, they should try to agree to a joint notification.  If the departing lawyer notifies clients of a pending move, the lawyer must provide contemporaneous notice to the firm.

Telling Them What?

That the lawyer is leaving and that clients can choose to go with the lawyer, remain with the firm, or choose new counsel altogether.  The key lines here:

  • “Clients are not property.  Law firms and lawyers may not divide up clients when a law firm dissolves or a lawyer transitions to another firm. Subject to conflicts of interest considerations, clients decide who will represent them going forward when a lawyer changes firm affiliation.”

Also, no matter who informs the clients that the lawyer is leaving, no lawyer may make “false or misleading statements to clients.”

Orderly Transitions

Firms should adopt policies & procedures aimed at “orderly transitions.”  Among other things, an “orderly transition” includes:

  • ensuring that clients continue to receive competent and diligent representation up until the lawyer’s departure.  This necessarily means that the departing lawyer “have access to adequate firm resources needed to competently represent the client during any interim period.”
  • coordination between the lawyer and firm to ensure that the file is “organized and up to date” upon the lawyer’s departure.
  • protecting “client information from inadvertent disclosure or misuse.”  In particular, “the duty of confidentiality requires that departing attorneys return and/or delete all confidential information in their possession, unless the client is transferring with the departing attorneys.”
  • following the lawyer’s departure, monitoring the lawyer’s email and voice mail to ensure prompt responses to client matters.

Again, this post is but an outline.  I tried to highlight the portions of the opinion that respond to the inquires I typically receive from lawyers and firms when a lawyer departs.

As mentioned in my prior post, breaking up is hard to do.  But whatever you do while breaking up, do no harm to clients.

Image result for breaking up

Wellness Wednesday: No obection to “no thank you.”

Another rerun, but with the holiday & office party season upon us, an important message.

Three years ago, I posted No Objection to “No, Thank You.”  The upshot: there’s no need to shame someone who doesn’t want a drink at a holiday party.

A regular reader responded to the post with a fantastic idea: when the reader hosts parties or dinners, the reader uses the same types of cups for all drinks, whether alcoholic or not.   That way, someone who isn’t drinking, but who is self-conscious about holding a glass that’s obviously soda, juice or water, need not feel uncomfortable.

(Now that I think about it, the reader might use tinted glasses.  Whatever the reader uses, you get the point.)

It’s a great tip.

Enjoy the season and the parties.  And let others do the same.

wellness

 

Internet Use Leads To Disciplinary Sanction

The headline you just clicked on is misleading.  And intentionally so.

In this space and at seminars, I’ve noted the profession’s willingness to blame technology for attorney misconduct.  Specifically, our willingness to attribute bad behavior to technology when, in fact, technology did nothing but reveal conduct that was unethical long before it made it to the interwebs.  To wit:

The posts involved lawyers who, respectively,

  • failed to communicate with a client;
  • lied to a court; and,
  • stole money from a youth soccer league,

In none of the three did tech cause or really have much to do with the misconduct.

Anyhow, on Sunday, Professor Bernabe blogged about a disciplinary case in which a lawyer’s use of technology and the internet eventually resulted in a sanction being imposed against the lawyer’s license.  The post is here.

To be clear, Professor Bernabe DID NOT use a misleading headline that attributed a lawyer’s dishonesty to technology.  But it wouldn’t surprise me to learn that, somewhere, someone did. In reality, technology was not the problem.

The facts.

In 2017, a Kansas lawyer reported to the CLE office that he had completed 760 minutes of CLE in a single day.  Specifically, 400 minutes of “live” credit, and 360 minutes of watching online, on-demand CLE courses.

Upon noticing that the lawyer had claimed more than 12 hours of CLE in one day, the Executive Director of the CLE Commission called the lawyer.  The ED asked the lawyer if he had watched the online presentations while sitting in the “live” seminar.  The lawyer answered “no.”  Rather, he told the ED that, while sitting in the “live” seminar, he logged into the online site to print out certificates of attendance.  The ED asked the lawyer to contact the online provider and obtain & produce records that would show the times at which he had logged in & out.

Time to make a long story less long.

In fact, the lawyer watched 360 minutes of online CLE while attending 400 minutes of “live” CLE.  Thus, the Kansas Supreme Court concluded that the lawyer violated the rule that prohibits dishonest, deceit, and misrepresentation by answering “no” when asked if he’d watched the videos while sitting in class.  In September, the Kansas Court publicly censured the lawyer.**

Technology certainly provides more opportunity to get caught.  For example, if, 15 years ago, a had a lawyer reported attending 8 hours of CLE and then returning home to watch 6 more on VHS, nobody would’ve been able to prove that the lawyer didn’t actually watch the VCR that night.  Yet, a false certification as to having done so would have been no less dishonest than the false denial that today’s lawyer made to the ED of the CLE Commission.

Today’s story isn’t about tech or the internet.  It’s about dishonest conduct.  In short, if you show up for a date with someone who listed their hair color as “brown” and their head looks like mine, it’s not the dating site’s fault.

Age group champ baby!

Race

ps: what a difference 30 days makes: running in shorts, short sleeves, and warm sunshine.

** the Court also dinged the lawyer for not knowing that the Kansas CLE rules don’t allow double-dipping.  Watching one CLE while attending another appears to violate the Kansas requirement to view online CLE in a setting suitable for learning.

Rerun: #GivingTuesday & Pro Bono

Sometimes it pays to listen to that nagging voice.

When I awoke, I resolved to blog on Giving Tuesday & pro bono.  As lawyers, Rule 6.1 asks us to give our time to those who desperately need it.  Then, I went for a run, intending to clear my mind before posting.

As I ran, my brain kept telling me that something was wrong.  “Yes,” I answered, “it’s that %^$@$% north wind that is freezing our face off!”  My brain disagreed.

Turning south back towards to the office, warmed (relatively) by the rising sun, I realized that my brain was right: something was wrong, and it wasn’t the weather.  It was my idea for a blog post.  The subject area isn’t wrong, but had I written it as if the thought just struck me today, I’d have been very wrong.

Why?

Because the idea that popped into my head this morning is exactly what I wrote last year!

The post is here.  It’s on #GivingTuesday and pro bono.

I understand — and think it’s terrific – that many of you have likely given money to many of the causes being promoted with today’s trending hashtag. But, don’t forget, there are other ways to give.  One is to give your time.  To your family, to your friends, to yourself and, yes, to people who cannot afford to pay for a lawyer’s time.

The hashtag won’t be trending tomorrow.  But, those it’s intended to help will still need your time.  Tomorrow and many tomorrows to follow.

Thank you.

For more information, here’s an excerpt from last year’s blog:

Image result for pro bono images

 

Monday Morning Answers #183

Welcome to Monday!  Friday’s questions are here.  So many readers miss Bove’s!  The answers follow today’s Honor Roll.

Image result for bove's logo

Honor Roll

  • Karen Allen, Esq.; Karen Allen Law
  • Evan BarquistMontroll Backus & Oettinger
  • Penny Benelli, Dakin & Benelli
  • CeCe ConradCostello, Valente & Gentry
  • Honorable John M. Conroy, United States Magistrate Judge, District of Vermont
  • Corinne DeeringPACE Registered Paralegal®.  Paul Frank & Collins
  • Erin GilmoreRyan Smith & Carbine
  • Robert Grundstein, Esq.
  • Glenn Jarrett, Jarrett & Luitjens
  • Keith KasperMcCormick, Fitzpatrick, Kasper & Burchard
  • Thomas Kester, Assistant General Counsel, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Vermont
  • Elizabeth KruskaPresident-Elect, VBA Board of Managers
  • John LeddyMcNeil Leddy & Sheahan
  • Tom LittleLittle & Cicchetti
  • Pam Loginsky, Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorneys
  • Hal Miller, First American
  • Herb Ogden, Esq.
  • Kristen ShamisMonaghan, Safar, Ducham
  • Jonathan Teller-Elsberg, Vermont Law School, JD Candidate
  • Thomas Wilkinson, Jr., Cozen O’Connor

Answers

Question 1

Consider the following: (1) the time & labor required; (2) the results obtained; (3) the lawyer’s experience, reputation and ability.

Each is mentioned in the rule that governs:

  • A.   Competence
  • B.   Diligence
  • C.   Conflicts
  • D.   Fees  V.R.Pr.C. 1.5

Question 2

At a CLE, I give the following short answer to a question: “(1) the client gives informed consent; or (2) it’s impliedly authorized to carry out the representation.”  Most likely, it was a question on the rule that governs:

  • A.  Conflicts of Interest – Concurrent Clients
  • B.  Conflicts of Interest – Former Clients
  • C.  Confidentiality of Information V.R.Pr.C. 1.6(a) (my comments are two of the exceptions to the rule against disclosing information relating to the representation.)
  • D.  Disbursed funds from trust in reliance upon a deposit that does not yet constitute “collected funds.”

Question 3

Attorney called me with an inquiry. I listened, then said “the rule says that you can’t approach her in person, by phone, or by real-time electronic communication unless she’s (1) a lawyer; or (2) someone with whom you have family, close personal, or prior professional relationship.”

Who is the “she” I referred to in my response?

  • A.  a prospective client from whom Attorney wants to solicit employment.  V.R.Pr.C. 7.3
  • B.  a juror.
  • C.  a represented witness in a matter in which Attorney represents a party.
  • D.  an employee of an organization that is represented in a matter in which Attorney’s client is adverse to the organization.

Question 4

Last month, Lawyer served as a mediator in Oswald v. Ruby.  The matter did not resolve at mediation. Now, Ruby wants to retain Lawyer in the same matter.

Which is most accurately states the rule? Lawyer:

  • A.  may not represent Ruby.
  • B.  may represent Ruby if both Oswald & Ruby give informed consent, confirmed in writing.  V.R.Pr.C. 1.12(a)
  • C.   may represent Ruby if Oswald did not disclose in the mediation any information that could be “significantly harmful” if used against Oswald.
  • D.  B & C.

Question 5

Yesterday, I blogged about lawyers convicted of crimes. Today, speaking of lawyers convicted of crimes, conspiracy theories and JFK . . .

. . . Jim Garrison gained fame as the District Attorney for New Orleans.  In 1962, he accused several judges of racketeering and conspiring against him.  The judges charged him with criminal defamation. He was convicted. However, on appeal, the United States Supreme Court overturned the conviction, concluding that the statute Garrison was charged with violating was unconstitutional.

Years later, Garrison began his own investigation into the JFK assassination.  The investigation culminated with the arrest and trial of Clay Shaw for his alleged participation in a conspiracy to assassinate President Kennedy.  After a trial that took over a month, a jury needed less than an hour to acquit Shaw.

Garrison and the trial were featured in the Oliver Stone movie JFK.  Kevin Costner starred as Garrison. Garrison himself appeared in the movie, playing a famous judge.  The judge was involved in both the criminal defamation case against Garrison and an investigation of the JFK assassination.

Name the judge.

Chief Justice Earl Warren.  He was Chief Justice when the Court issued Garrison v. Louisiana and, later, chaired the Warren Commission.

Image result for earl warren images

Five for Friday #183

Today always makes me think of Bove’s.

Image result for bove's vermont

For those of you who don’t know, Bove’s was a Burlington institution; an Italian restaurant in the Old North End that opened on December 7, 1941, and closed in 2015.  While the restaurant is no longer, Mark’s sauces, meatballs, and recipes remain among my favorites.  Although the kid in me (and I’m guessing in my brother) longs for that bread that came with every meal at the restaurant itself.  Oh, that bread.

Alas, I digress.

The fact that I think of the restaurant on November 22 has nothing to do with this week’s number, 183, or legal ethics.  Today is the anniversary of the JFK assassination.  I have no idea why I remember this, but Bove’s is where my mom and some of her friends went to watch news coverage of the event.

Generally, I don’t believe in conspiracy theories.  I have 2 exceptions:

  1. The NFL’s obvious conspiracy to prop up the Patriots over the past 18 years; and,
  2. JFK.

When it comes to the JFK assassination, I cannot get enough conspiracy theory.  At times, I think I’ve believed in every single one of them.  I’m obsessed with the smallest of details.

I’m also struck by the lack of emotion I attach to such a tragic event.  Time is funny.  Almost frivolous.

Back then, my mom was still a few years away from even meeting my dad.  For her and her friends, as college-aged kids, the event must have been one of the most significant of their lives, at least up until that point.  In the moment, I’m guessing they never could’ve conceived that it ever would be perceived as anything but crushing.

Then there’s me.

Yes, I know all about the day.  Nevertheless, it takes about two seconds for my thoughts to progress from wondering how terrified Jackie must have been & what really happened in Mexico City, to the magic loogie of Seinfeld fame & a mental note that I really should watch 11.22.63.  It’s why I subscribed to Hulu in the first place.

Related image

Isn’t that bizarre? An event that left my mom at an abject loss in Bove’s, she and her friends questioning their faith in the world that any children they might have would grow up in, leads one of those children to thinking of streaming options.

I’ve no idea what to make of that.  Perhaps it’s a reminder that no matter what it is that gets you in a crazy world  — JFK dying too young, Bove’s closing, the Patriots winning —  this too shall pass.

Onto the quiz!

Rules

  • 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 michael.kennedy@vermont.gov
  • I’ll post the answers & Honor Roll on Monday
  • Please don’t use the “comment” feature to post your answers
  • Please consider sharing the quiz with friends & colleagues
  • Share on social media.  Hashtag it – #fiveforfriday

Question 1

Consider the following: (1) the time & labor required; (2) the results obtained; (3) the lawyer’s experience, reputation and ability.

Each is mentioned in the rule that governs:

  • A.   Competence
  • B.   Diligence
  • C.   Conflicts
  • D.   Fees

Question 2

At a CLE, I give the following short answer to a question: “(1) the client gives informed consent; or (2) it’s impliedly authorized to carry out the representation.”  Most likely, it was a question on the rule that governs:

  • A.  Conflicts of Interest – Concurrent Clients
  • B.  Conflicts of Interest – Former Clients
  • C.  Confidentiality of Information
  • D.  Disbursed funds from trust in reliance upon a deposit that does not yet constitute “collected funds.”

Question 3

Attorney called me with an inquiry. I listened, then said “the rule says that you can’t approach her in person, by phone, or by real-time electronic communication unless she’s (1) a lawyer; or (2) someone with whom you have family, close personal, or prior professional relationship.”

Who is the “she” I referred to in my response?

  • A.  a prospective client from whom Attorney wants to solicit employment.
  • B.  a juror.
  • C.  a represented witness in a matter in which Attorney represents a party.
  • D.  an employee of an organization that is represented in a matter in which Attorney’s client is adverse to the organization.

Question 4

Last month, Lawyer served as a mediator in Oswald v. Ruby.  The matter did not resolve at mediation. Now, Ruby wants to retain Lawyer in the same matter.

Which is most accurately states the rule? Lawyer:

  • A.  may not represent Ruby.
  • B.  may represent Ruby if both Oswald & Ruby give informed consent, confirmed in writing.
  • C.   may represent Ruby if Oswald did not disclose in the mediation any information that could be “significantly harmful” if used against Oswald.
  • D.  B & C.

Question 5

Yesterday, I blogged about lawyers convicted of crimes. Today, speaking of lawyers convicted of crimes, conspiracy theories and JFK . . .

. . . Jim Garrison gained fame as the District Attorney for New Orleans.  In 1962, he accused several judges of racketeering and conspiring against him.  The judges charged him with criminal defamation. He was convicted. However, on appeal, the United States Supreme Court overturned the conviction, concluding that the statute Garrison was charged with violating was unconstitutional.

Years later, Garrison began his own investigation into the JFK assassination.  The investigation culminated with the arrest and trial of Clay Shaw for his alleged participation in a conspiracy to assassinate President Kennedy.  After a trial that took over a month, a jury needed less than an hour to acquit Shaw.

Garrison and the trial were featured in the Oliver Stone movie JFK.  Kevin Costner starred as Garrison. Garrison himself appeared in the movie, playing a famous judge.  The judge was involved in both the criminal defamation case against Garrison and an investigation of the JFK assassination.

Name the judge.