Monday Morning Answers #106

Welcome to Monday!

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

My team had a busy weekend.  We won our quarterfinal game Friday night.  Then, Saturday afternoon, the guys held off Edmunds, 25-23, in a semi-final thriller. That proved to be the end of the line, however, as Albert D. Lawton steam-rolled us in Saturday night’s championship.  Despite the loss, I’m super proud of the players.  They’ve grown so much since November and, even though defeat was apparent by halftime, they competed their tails off until the final buzzer.

And, yes, I already miss them and their questions.


Honor Roll

  • Karen AllenKaren Allen Law
  • Matthew AndersonPratt Vreeland Kennelly & White
  • Alberto Bernabe, Professor, John Marshall Law School
  • Andrew Delaney, Martin & Associates
  • Robert Grundstein
  • Keith Kasper, McCormick Fitzpatrick Kasper & Burchard
  • Jeanne Kennedy, My MomJB Kennedy Associates
  • Deb KirchweyLaw Office of Deborah Kirchwey
  • Shannon LambPratt Vreeland Kennelly Martin & White
  • Kevin LumpkinSheehey Furlong & Behm
  • Lon McClintockMcClintock Law Offices
  • Jack McCullough, Project Director, Mental Health Law Project
  • Jeffrey MessinaBergeron Paradis Fitzpatrick
  • Hal Miller, First American
  • Herb Ogden
  • Jim Runcie, Runice & Ouimette
  • Robert Tyler, Associate General Counsel, University of Virginia
  • Thomas Wilkinson, Jr., Cozen O’Connor



Question 1

There’s a rule that applies only to a specific type of lawyer.  Per a comment to the rule, it’s a type of lawyer who “has the responsibility of a minister of justice and not simply that of an advocate.”

What type of lawyer?

Prosecutor in a criminal case.  Rule 3.8.

Question 2

(this one keeps happening, so I’m going to keep asking)

Attorney called me with an inquiry.  Attorney said “Mike, I represent a witness.  The defendant’s attorney keeps contacting my client directly. I asked him to stop.  He said he doesn’t need my permission because my client is only a witness, not a party.  Is he right?”

What was my response?

  • A.   Yes, he’s right.
  • B.   The rule is unclear.
  • C.   The rule is unclear, but, by case law, no, he’s wrong.
  • D.  He’s wrong. The rule applies to any person represented in a matter.  

Rule 4.2 applies whenever a lawyer knows that a person, party or not, is represented in a matter.

Question 3

How long do the rules require lawyers to keep copies of advertisements?

  • A.   2 years
  • B.   6 years.
  • C.   Wait, what? We have to keep copies of advertisements?
  • D.  They don’t.  The 2-year retention requirement was repealed in 2009.

Question 4

True or false.

If a lawyer sells her practice, the rules require her to cease the private practice of law in the geographic area in which she practiced.

True.  I don’t know that I understand the rationale, but it’s in the rule.  It’s Rule 1.17(a).

Question 5

Monday is Presidents’ Day.

25 U.S. Presidents have been lawyers.

Name the most recent U.S. President to have argued a case before the United States Supreme Court prior to becoming president.

Richard Nixon.  In 1966, Nixon argued on behalf of the Hill family in Time, Inc. v. Hill.

See the source image


Monday Morning Answers #105

I’m not positive, but methinks this week’s is the largest Honor Roll ever!

Friday’s questions are HERE.  Thanks to all who sent in responses.   I especially enjoyed hearing & reading so many wonderful stories of grandmothers & grandfathers who sound so similar to mine.  Today’s answers follow the honor roll.


Honor Roll


Question 1

Each of the following words is in the name of its own rule. Three of the rules involve the same type of ethics issue.   Which is associated with a different ethics issue than the other three?

  • A.  Prospective
  • B.  Meritorious
  • C.  Current
  • D.  Former

Rule 3.1 governs meritorious claims.  Prospective, Current, and Former are types of clients for the purposes of the conflicts rules.

Question 2

Attorney called me with an inquiry.  She said “Mike, I have some questions about mental impressions, as well as internal notes and memoranda.”  Most likely, what issue did Attorney call to discuss?

  • A.  The duty to report a client’s fraud
  • B.  The duty to act competently to safeguard client data stored in the cloud
  • C.   Duties to a client who suffers from a diminished capacity
  • D   File delivery & the question of “what is the file?”

I might have phrased this one poorly.  Option “A” certainly could happen, as a lawyer’s mental impressions and notes might include information that must be revealed pursuant to Rule 1.6(b).   However, here, I was getting at whether an attorney’s notes and mental impressions are part of “the file.”  For more on this topic, including a link to an ABA Formal Advisory Opinion, see this post.

Question 3

Fill in the blank. (two words)

Lawyer called with an inquiry.  Lawyer said “client said she’s fine with it, so do you think that I have ________  ___________?”

I replied “Well, ‘she’s fine with it’ isn’t exactly the definition of _________   _________.  Per the rules, it’s an agreement to a proposed course of conduct after you’ve adequately communicated & explained the material risks, and reasonably available alternatives to, the proposed course of conduct.”

Informed Consent, Rule 1.0(e).

Question 4

Attorney called me with an inquiry.  Attorney was concerned that her she and her firm had been “pwned.”  What did we discuss?

Whether Attorney & Firm had:

  • A.   suffered a breach of electronically stored client data.
  • B.   fallen for a trust account scam.
  • C.   violated the rules while responding to a negative online review.
  • D.  been duped by an adversary who intentionally posted “fake evidence” on a social media platform.

Hello gamers! I wasn’t familiar with the term “pwned” until I read the ABA Journal’s cybersecurity tips.

Question 5

Hint: in honor of my grandfather’s Chicago roots, and in anticipation of a blog I intend to post next week . . .

Lawrence Mattingly practiced law in Illinois.  Once, he arranged a meeting between a client and federal agents/prosecutors who were trying to build a tax evasion case against the client.  During the meeting, the client claimed “I’ve never had much of an income.”

Later, Attorney Mattingly provided Treasury agents with a letter in which he conceded that his client had, in fact, earned a substantial income over the previous 4 years. The “Mattingly Letter” was admitted at trial and used as evidence against the client.  The client was convicted and sent to prison.

Who was the client?

Al Capone

Monday Morning Answers: #103

Friday’s questions are here.  The answers follow today’s honor roll.

But first, one of my favorite things about this blog is using the intro to the #fiveforfriday quizzes to forge connections with readers  Here are a few reader responses to my post on Route 103, country stores, and corner markets:

  • 103 was Papa & Nanny’s P.O. Box their entire time in Bradford! (guess who sent that one)
  • I know the Vermont Country Store in Rockingham very well – in fact, my lovely and talented wife was employed there until giving birth to our first son.
  •  I know that 5 and 10 in Bradford (I think if just closed a year or 2 ago) – One of our favorite farms is just up the road called 4 Corners.

  • Yes, the Vermont country stores are awesome.  We visit the Warren store with some regularity on our way to or from Rochester, VT.  
  •  On 103 in Chester, in addition to a bunch of small stores, there is Lisai’s–a grocery store which somewhat fits your description of the Fruit Store, but without such a slope to its uneven wooden floor: low ceilings, narrow (but not constricted) aisles, one door in and one door out that seem reversed, a little bit of a lot of things, and great meat.  

Honor Roll


Question 1

At a seminar, you’re checking your phone when you hear me say “knowledge of the violation raises a substantial question as to the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness or fitness.”

What rule am I discussing?

The rule on mandatory reporting.  Rule 8.3

Question 2

Which is associated with a different rule than the other 3?

  • A.  A single source for identification
  • B.  Records showing running account balances
  • C.  Timely reconciliation
  • D.  Lateral transfers

Per Rule 1.15(A)(a), each of A, B, C, must be part of your trust accounting system.  “Lateral transfers” involve conflicts of interest.

Question 3

The civil matter James v. Irving is pending in the Vermont Superior Court.  Attorney represents James.  Lawyer represents Irving.

Attorney filed a motion for summary judgment.  Lawyer reviewed the motion and realized that Attorney failed to cite to an opinion of the Vermont Supreme Court that supports Attorney’s argument.  Lawyer knows that the opinion is directly adverse to Irving’s position.

Lawyer explained Attorney’s oversight to Irving.  Irving instructed Lawyer not to cite to the Supreme Court opinion in their cross-motion for summary judgment.

Which is most accurate?

  • A.  Lawyer must report Attorney to disciplinary authorities
  • B.  Lawyer must abide by Irving’s instruction not to cite to the opinion
  • C.  It’s up to Lawyer whether to cite to the opinion
  • D. Lawyer must disclose the opinion to the trial court.  Rule 3.3(a)(1)

Question 4

A lawyer called me with an inquiry. I listened, then said “it seems that you qualify as ‘necessary.’  Therefore, you can’t do it unless (1) it’s about an uncontested issue; (2) it relates to the value of legal services you provided; or (3) disqualifying you would cause substantial hardship to your client.”

What is “it“?

Testifying during a trial in which the lawyer is also acting as an advocate.  Rule 3.7

Question 5

Velma Kelly is a celebrity showgirl who was charged with murdering her husband & sister.

Roxie Hart is a would-be celebrity who was charged with murdering a lover who falsely promised to have connections that would make her as big a star as Velma.

Billy Flynn is the media-loving lawyer who represented them both.  He did so despite the fact that, in exchange for leniency, Velma testified against Roxie.  Specifically, Velma read to the jury incriminating excerpts from Roxie’s diary.

That’s right: Billy represented a murder client in a case in which one of the witnesses against her was another of his murder clients.

Both Velma and Roxie were acquitted.  Mainly because Billy Flynn knowingly introduced false evidence that the prosecution had authored the incriminating diary entries.

In 2003, Catherine Zeta-Jones won the Academy Award for Best Actress for playing Velma.  Renee Zellweger and Queen Latifah also received Oscar nominations for their roles in the same movie.

I don’t know whether Billy Flynn was charged with an ethics violation.  If he had been, his defense might have been to ask the disciplinary prosecutors why they were bothering with “all that jazz.”

Name the movie.

See the source image

Monday Morning Answers: Monday’s blue.

Friday’s questions are HERE.  The answers follow today’s honor roll.


  • Karen AllenKaren Allen Law
  • Matthew AndersonPratt Vreeland Kennelly Martin & White
  • Alberto BernabeProfessor, John Marshall Law School
  • Bob FletcherStitzel Page & Fletcher
  • Bob Grundstein, Esq.
  • Anthony Iarrapino, Wilschek Iarrapino Law Office
  • Keith KasperMcCormick, Fitzpatrick, Kasper & Burchard
  • Jeanne Kennedy, King Mum, JB Kennedy Associates
  • Aileen Lachs, Mickenberg Dunn Lachs & Smith
  • Shannon LambPratt Vreeland Kennelly Martin & White
  • Michael Lipson, Esq.
  • Kevin LumpkinSheehey Furlong & Behm
  • Pam MarshMarsh & Wagner
  • Lon McClintockMcClintock Law Offices
  • Jack McCullough, Project Director, Mental Health Law Project
  • Hal Miller, First American
  • Herb Ogden, Ogden Law
  • Robyn SweetCORE Registered Paralegal, Cleary Shahi  & Aicher


Question 1

Which is doesn’t belong with the others?

  • A.   Substantially related matter
  • B.   Materially adverse interests
  • C.    Informed consent, confirmed in writing
  • D.  Whether to waive a jury trial, enter a plea, or testify

A, B, C are associated with Rule 1.9 and conflicts of interest involving former clients.  D, are the choices that Rule 1.2(a) leaves to the criminal defendant, not the defense lawyer.

As I mentioned, Rule 1.2(a) is at the core of a case that the U.S. Supreme Court heard last week. I will blog about it tomorrow.

Question 2

Lawyer represented Client.  Once the representation ended, Client gave Lawyer a gift.  Which is most accurate?

  • A.  Lawyer must not accept the gift
  • B.  Lawyer may accept the gift, but only if Lawyer handled the matter pro bono
  • C.  Lawyer may accept the gift, especially if it’s a simple gift such as a holiday present or token of the client’s appreciation.  See, Rule 1.8, Comment [6].
  • D.  Mike, objection.  The premise of this question is pure fantasy.

Question 3

Lawyer also works as a mediator.   Lawyer mediated a dispute between Brady & Bortles.  The mediation did not resolve the dispute. Now, Bortles wants to hire Lawyer in the matter.

True or False: even with Brady’s informed consent, the rules prohibit Lawyer from representing Bortles.

False.  To my surprise, see Rule 1.12(a).  I’d urge caution here.

Question 4

It is not uncommon for me to receive an inquiry in which a lawyer asks what can be included in a particular type of motion.  For example:  “Mike, I’m thinking of filing a motion __  _______________, but don’t want to disclose any confidences.”

Typically, I reply with something like: “I think it’s best to cite one of the reasons that appears in the rule, then, if asked for more by the court, answer, but only by providing the information necessary to respond to the court’s specific question. And, even then, the motion doesn’t give you license to start blabbing about the case.”

What type of motion?

A motion to withdraw.  See, Rule 1.16.

Question 5

For purposes of this column, #102 is sufficiently close to ’02, as in 2002.

This week, the United States Supreme Court heard an appeal of a criminal case in which defense counsel conceded a client’s guilt over the client’s objection.  Now, the client is on death row.  Although styled as a 6th Amendment, effective assistance case, it also involves ethics.  Rule 1.2(a) makes it very clear that the decision whether to plead guilty belongs to the client.  I intend to blog on the case, either tomorrow or next week.

In any event, in 2002, Halle Berry won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role as the widow of a man who had been executed for his crime.  The movie also starred Billy Bob Thornton, Heath Ledger, Peter Boyle, Sean Combs, and Mos Def.

Yes, I realize that I just broke last week’s promise never again to reference Puffy.

Anyhow, name the movie.

See the source image


Monday Morning Answers: Mix Tape Edition

Friday’s questions are here.

Before I get to the Honor Roll & answers, kudos to the VBA’s Young Lawyers Division for putting together (yet another) fantastic Thaw in Montreal.  A special thanks to VPR’s Mitch Wertlieb for sharing his thoughts on (and obvious love for) radio with us Saturday morning.  From the “Vermont is a small but awesome world” department, I had an opportunity to meet Mitch’s wife Erin.  As we chatted, I learned that they live in the neighborhood where I grew up, in the house in which my elementary school principal lived.

Oh yeah, my readers make this world pretty awesome too.  I received not 1, but FOUR offers to borrow a tape player.  Also, I love the fact that a few of you reacted to my DC 101 post with declarations of undivided loyalty to WHFS.  HFStival rocked! But not quite as much as did DC101.

Finally, Hal Miller earns special mention this week.  In between surf breaks outside The Point, he was the only reader to remark upon the not-so-hidden Wagon Wheel  (Darius Rucker version here) references  in Friday’s column. Per tradition, Friday night at The Thaw included many Vermont lawyers enthusiastically, if not competently, singing along to the Solstice version at Hurley’s.

Without further adieu . . .

The Honor Roll

  • #ABFJ
    • Jordan Levine, Audrey Smith, Nikki South, Rachel Thompson
  • Karen Allen, Esq.
  • Andrew DelaneyMartin Associates
  • Deb Emerson, Country Walkers (that’s what makes this so difficult)
  • Bob Grundstein, Esq.
  • Keith KasperMcCormick, Fitzpatrick, Kasper & Burchard
  • Glenn JarrettJarrett & Luitjens
  • Melanie Kehne, Assistant Attorney General
  • Kevin LumpkinSheehey Furlong & Behm
  • Shannon LambPratt Vreeland Kennelly Martin & White
  • Hal Miller, First American
  • Jack McCullough, Project Director, Vermont Mental Health Law Project
  • Herb Ogden, Esq.
  • Nancy Hunter Rogers, Chamberlin Elementary School


Question 1

Which is different from the others and, arguably, does not belong:

  • A.  The amount of the fee and the results obtained.
  • B.  Whether the fee is fixed or contingent.
  • C.  The fact that the client paid the fee.
  • D.  The reputation & ability of the lawyer who performed the services that generated the fee.

See, Rule 1.5.  The fact that a client agrees to pays (or has paid) a fee is NOT one of the listed criteria to determine whether a fee was reasonable.  It is the Court that has the final say on whether a fee was reasonable.  Whether the client agreed or paid is not, in and of itself, dispositive.

Question 2

Fill in the blank.  (two words)

Even if it does not give rise to a conflict under Rule 1.7 or 1.9, I often caution lawyers against taking a case in which it’s likely they’ll have to depose or cross-examine a      ______            _______       .


Question 3

The Vermont Rules of Professional Conduct require:

  • A.   Three-way reconciliation of trust accounts.
  • B.   An actual signature (as opposed to a signature stamp) on trust account checks.
  • C.   Collected funds prior to disbursement. See, Rule 1.15A(f).  For the exceptions, see Rule 1.15A(g). It lists the instruments that are deemed so reliable that lawyers may disburse against them on deposit, before they become “collected funds.”
  • D.   All of the above

Question 4

It’s most likely that “Web Bugs” pose ethical dilemmas for attorneys who:

  • A.  Include them in emails to opposing counsel.  I’ve posted 3 blogs on Web Bugs –
  • B.  Review an adverse party’s social media presence
  • C.  Review a juror’s social media presence
  • D.  Use cloud vendors that do not encrypt data that is at rest

Question 5

I’ve blogged often on licensing paralegals to practice law.

A non-lawyer gained fame for her legal work on behalf of a class of plaintiffs whose drinking water had been polluted with hexavalent chromium.  The defendant was the Pacific Gas & Electric Company.

Part 1:  Name the non-lawyer:  Erin Brokovich

Part 2:  Name the actress who, in ’01, won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of the non-lawyer.   Julia Roberts

Image result for images of erin brockovichImage result for Erin Brockovich Movie





Monday Morning Answers

Go Dawgs!


Friday’s questions are here.  Today’s answers follow the honor roll.



Question 1

How long are lawyers required to keep records of funds held in trust?

  • A.   The rules are silent.  A Supreme Court opinion holds that records must be kept for at least 3 years from the termination of the representation.
  • B.   2 years from the termination of the representation.
  • C.   6 years from the termination of the representation.  Rule 1.15(a)(1).
  • D.   The rules set out different retention periods based on the nature of the case that gave rise to the representation.

Question 2

Obviously, a lawyer should always take steps to protect a client’s interests.

However, there is one rule that specifically states that “_______________________, a lawyer shall take steps to the extent reasonably practicable to protect a client’s interests . . ..”

(This is not a “fill in the blank,” but if I were to fill in the blank, it would give away the answer to the question.)

It’s the rule on:

  • A.  Competence
  • B.  Diligence
  • C.  Client Under a Disability
  • D.  Declining or Terminating Representation (Withdrawal).  Rule 1.16(d).

Question 3

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

“Only if it’s reasonable to believe that you can provide competent & diligent representation to each, it’s not prohibited by law (whatever that means), they aren’t adversaries in the same case, and each provides informed consent, confirmed in writing.”

What general issue did Lawyer call to discuss?

Whether a concurrent conflict of interest can be waivedRule 1.7(b).

Question 4

This week, the Department of Justice made an announcement that, arguably, has ethical implications for Vermont attorneys.  The announcement concerned:

  • A.   Immigration
  • B.   Privacy
  • C.  Marijuana.  Vermont lawyers do not violate V.R.Pr.C. 1.2(b) by providing advice on marijuana-related matters that are legal under Vermont state law.  For more, see this post. Whether providing such advice violates federal law is a question beyond the scope of the Rules of Professional Conduct.
  • D.  Electronically Stored Information

Question 5

Even if you’ve never heard of Ted Buckland, Dr. Kelso, The Gooch, or New Sacred Heart Hospital, if you know a of clothing that’s common in a hospital, you can make an educated guess at this question.

Ted Buckland is in-house counsel at New Sacred Heart Hospital. He’s also one of the most pathetic and least competent lawyers in TV history.  Among other things,

  • Ted lived at home with his mother well into his adult life;
  • Although a lawyer, Ted’s mother thinks that he is a doctor;
  • He failed the bar exam 5 times, before passing it in Alaska;
  • Ted’s low self-esteem & chronic anxiety often leave him unable to provide Dr. Kelso, the hospital’s Chief of Medicine, with any legal advice, not to mention competent legal advice;
  • Once, a patient slipped & fell at the hospital.  Ted is so incompetent that his immediate response was to blame the fall on the patient’s slippers . . . not realizing that the patient was wearing hospital-supplied booties.
  • Ted is in a band.  It’s name is The Worthless Peons.
  • The Gooch broke Ted’s heart.
  • In one episode, Ted warned the hospital’s staff:

Finally, doctors, if there is a mistake, don’t admit it to the patient. Of course, if the patient is deceased – and you’re sure – you can feel free to tell him or her… anything.

The reason Ted’s mother thinks that he is doctor is because, once, he came home from work wearing a type of clothing that’s common in a hospital.  He told her he’d saved someone’s life that day.

Name the show on which Ted Buckland is in-house counsel at New Sacred Heart Hospital.




Monday Morning Answers: #98


Jesse James

Congrats Patriots fans.

Friday’s questions are here.  The answers follow the honor roll.

Honor Roll


Question 1

Which is different from the others?

  • A.  Prospective Clients
  • B.  Related Clients
  • C.  Current Clients
  • D.  Former Clients

There are specific rules that deal with A, C, and D (1.18, 1.7, 1.9).  The rules do not mention “related clients.”  

Question 2

A lawyer shall not practice in a for-profit professional corporation or association if:

  • A.  A non-lawyer owns any interest therein.
  • B.  A non-lawyer is a corporate director or officer.
  • C.  A non-lawyer has the right to direct or control the professional judgment of the lawyer.
  • D.   All of the above.  See, Rule 5.4(d)

Question 3

There’s a rule that prohibits a particular act.  There are 4 exceptions.  Per the exceptions, a lawyer may:

  1.   pay the reasonable costs of advertisements;
  2.   pay the usual charges of a legal service plan or a not-for-profit qualified lawyer referral service;
  3. pay to buy a law practice; and,
  4. enter into a referral agreement with another lawyer (or non-lawyer professional) that is not otherwise prohibited by the rules.

What’s the act that the rule prohibits?

  • A.   Sharing fees with a lawyer in another firm.
  • B.   Giving something of value to a person for recommending the lawyer’s services.  See, Rule 7.2(b).
  • C.   Disbursing trust funds in reliance upon deposits that have not yet cleared.
  • D.  Advertisements targeted by area code.

Question 4

Partner and Associate worked together on a case.  Partner asked Associate to prepare a pleading.  Associate did, but expressed concern that the pleading was frivolous.  Partner disagreed and instructed Associate to file the pleading.  Associate signed and filed the pleading.

Later, the trial court determined that the pleading was, in fact, frivolous.  The trial court referred the matter to disciplinary counsel for an investigation into whether Associate’s filing of the pleading violated Rule 3.1 of the Rules of Professional Conduct.

On these facts, which is most accurate?

  • A.   The trial court’s finding creates a rebuttable presumption that Partner & Associate violated Rule 3.1.
  • B.  The trial court’s finding operates to estop Partner & Associate from arguing that they did not violate Rule 3.1.
  • C.  Associate did not violate Rule 3.1.
  • D. Associate did not violate Rule 3.1, so long as Associate acted in accordance with Partner’s reasonable resolution of an arguable question as to whether the pleading was frivolous.

See, Rule 5.2(b).   Note: nothing in Vermont’s rules of disciplinary procedure create rebuttable presumptions of misconduct that lawyers must overcome.  Rather, disciplinary counsel bears the burden of proving a violation by “clear and convincing evidence.”  That is especially key in this question, where the standard applied by the trial court may not necessarily have been “clear and convincing.”

Question 5

Little did you know that a movie renowned for math could involve law.

One of the most competent pro se litigants in movie history was a character in a film that was nominated for Best Picture in 1998.  Despite having no formal education or training, Character was pretty damned competent.  Here’s the script for the scene where, at his arraignment on a charge that he had assaulted a police officer, Character argued his own motion to dismiss,

  • Character:  There is lengthy legal precedent, your honor, going back to 1789, whereby a defendant can claim self-defense against an agent of the government, if that act is deemed a defense against tyranny, a defense of liberty.
  • Prosecutor:  Your honor. . .
  • Character Henry Lloyd Beecher in Proverbs from the Plymouth Pulpit, 1887 says, and I quote . . .
  • Prosecutor:  1887? This is the 20th century, your honor.
  • Character:  Excuse me, excuse me.
  • Prosecutor:  You’re making a mockery of the Court!
  • Character:  I’m afforded the right to speak in my own defense, sir, by the Constitution of the United States.  This is the same document that guarantees my liberty.
  • Prosecutor:  Hey, don’t tell me about the Constitution of the United States.
  • Character:  Now, liberty, in case you’ve forgotten, is the soul’s rights to breath.  And when it cannot take a long breath, laws are girded too tight.  Without liberty, man is a syncope.
  • Prosecutor:  Man is a what?
  • Character:  Ibid,  your honor.
  • Judge:  Son, my turn. I’ve been sitting here 10 minutes now looking over this rap sheet of yours.   I just can’t believe it.  June ’93, Assault.  September ’93, Assault. Grand Theft Auto in February ’94, where you apparently defended yourself by citing Free Property Rights of Horse and Carriage from 1798.  January ’95, Impersonating an Officer, Mayhem, Resisting. All overturned.  I’m also aware that you’ve been through several foster homes.  The State removed you from three due to physical abuse.  You know, another judge might care, but you hit a cop.  You’re going in. Motion to dismiss is denied.  $50,000 bail.
  • Character:  Thank you your honor.

Character didn’t post bail, but didn’t stay in long either.  Soon after the arraignment, he was released to the supervision of an MIT professor who had been at the arraignment.  The professor had attended after having been intrigued by Character’s math skills.  In particular, the professor was impressed with Character’s ability to solve a proof that the professor’s  students couldn’t.

Character’s conditions of release required him to attend therapy sessions with the professor’s college roommate, a psychology teacher at a local community college.  In 1998, the actor who played the psychology teacher won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

Name the movie.


Hint: the theme of #fiveforfriday #75 was Pudge Fisk’s home run in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series. In the movie that is the subject of today’s question 5, Character’s court-ordered therapist/psychologist recounts giving up his ticket to Game 6 because he had “to go see about a girl.”

Monday Morning Answers

Happy Monday!

A goal this week: W.I.N. you 3 feet of influence.

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

Honor Roll

  • Karen Allen, Esq.; Karen Allen Law
  • Matthew AndersonPratt Vreeland Kennelly & White
  • Linda Baccki, Law Office Study Program, Law Office of Cristina Mansfield
  • Penny Benelli, Dakin & Benelli
  • Andrew DelaneyMartin & Associates
  • Bob Grundstein, Esq.
  • Tammy Heffernan, Esq.
  • Keith KasperMcCormick, Fitzpatrick, Kasper & Burchard
  • Jeanne Kennedy, Queen Mum, JB Kennedy Associates
  • Kevin LumpkinSheehey Furlong & Behm
  • Lon McClintockMcClintock Law Offices
  • Jack McCullough, Vermont Legal Aid, Project Director – Mental Health Law Project
  • Hal Miller, First American
  • Nancy Hunter Rogers, Chamberlin Elementary School
  • Kane Smart, ANR, Office of General Counsel, Enforcement & Litigation Section
  • Robyn SweetCORE Registered Paralegal, Cleary Shahi  & Aicher
  • Thomas Wilkinson, Jr.; Cozen O’Connor


Question 1

Fill in the blank.

Lawyer wonders whether a client’s agreement to waive a conflict complies with the rules.  Researching it, Lawyer learns that ___________________ “denotes a tangible or electronic record of a communication or representation, including handwriting, typewriting, printing, photostating, photography, audio or video-recording, and e-mail.”

  • A.   Informed consent
  • B.   Writing or Written; Rule 1.0(n)
  • C.   Waiver
  • D.  Acceptance

Question 2

The word “remonstrate” appears in comments to ONE rule.  Which rule?

  • A.   Diligence
  • B.   Competence
  • C.   Advertising
  • D.  Candor Toward The Tribunal; Rule 3.3, Comment [10]

Question 3

True or False:

If Attorney sues Client for a fee, Attorney cannot represent herself at trial if her testimony will be reasonably necessary to establishing the nature and value of the legal services that she rendered to Client.

False.  Rule 3.7(a)(2)

Question 4

Attorney called me with an inquiry.  I listened, then replied “over 20 years ago, the rule was changed to make it clear that it not only applies to ‘parties,’ but to any person who is represented in the matter.”

Which rule?

Rule 4.2 Communication with a Person Represented by Counsel.  See, Comment [2]

Question 5

I am an actress.

On TV, my name is Rachel and I am a summer associate at a law firm.  For many years, I worked as a paralegal at the firm.  I wanted to go to Harvard Law, but never scored high enough on the LSAT.  Thanks to help & encouragement from one of the firm’s lawyers, I kept trying and, eventually, scored high enough to get into Columbia Law, which I’m currently attending.

The lawyer who helped me?  His name is Mike.  Some would say he’s no prince. When the firm hired him as an associate, he neglected to disclose that he had never gone to law school and wasn’t even really a lawyer.  But, what a guy! We fell in love and, now, on the show, we’re engaged.

In real life, I also just got engaged.  And not to some lawyer with a sketchy background.

Who am I?

Meghan Markle.  The show is Suits.  If you haven’t heard of her, in real life, she and Prince Harry recently engaged.