Welcome to Town Meeting Day week!
Friday’s questions are here. The answers follow today’s Honor Roll.
- Karen Allen, Esq.
- Penny Benelli, Dakin & Benelli
- Anna Black, Stackpole & French
- Stephen Brown, Administrative Law Judge, VT Dept. of Labor
- Beth DeBernardi, Administrative Law Judge, VT. Dept of Labor
- Erin Gilmore, Ryan Smith & Carbine
- Laura Gorsky, Esq.
- Benjamin Gould, Paul Frank & Collins
- Bob Grundstein, Esq.
- Glenn Jarrett, Jarrett & Luitjens
- Jeanne Kennedy, JB Kennedy Associates, Blogger’s Mom
- John J. “Jack” Kennelly, Pratt Vreeland Kennelly Martin & White
- Deborah Kirchwey, Esq.
- Elizabeth Kruska, President-Elect, VBA Board of Managers
- John Leddy, McNeil, Leddy, & Sheahan
- Tom Little, Little & Cicchetti
- Pam Loginsky, Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorneys
- Kevin Lumpkin, Sheehey Furlong & Behm
- Pam Marsh, Marsh & Wagner
- Lon McClintock, McClintock Law Offices
- Jack McCullough, Project Director, Vermont Legal Aid Mental Health Law Project
- Margaret R. Moreland, Lawyer & Law Librarian
- Herb Ogden, Esq.
- Jim Runcie, Ouimette & Runcie
- Jay Spitzen, Esq.
- Robyn Sweet, CORE Registered Paralegal, Cleary Shahi & Aicher
- Jonathan Teller-Elsberg, Vermont Law School, JD Candidate
- Thomas Wilkinson, Jr., Cozen O’Connor
- Zachary York, Vermont Superior Court, Chittenden Civil
In legal ethics, the words “current,” “former,” and “prospective” are most closely associated with the rule or rules on _______________:
- A. trust accounting
- B. advertising
- C. candor
- D. conflicts of interest.
Rules 1.7, 1.9, and 1.18 address, respectively, conflicts involving current, former and prospective clients.
Attorney called with an inquiry. I listened, then responded:
- “the rule says that you may do so to respond to allegations in any proceeding that concern your representation of the client.”
- A. contact a represented person without the consent of the person’s lawyer.
- B. file an ex parte pleading with the tribunal before which the proceeding is pending.
- C. present criminal charges even if it provides an advantage in the proceeding.
- D. Disclose otherwise confidential information related to the representation of the client.
This is the so-called “self-defense” exception to Rule 1.6’s prohibition on disclosing information relating to the representation of a client. Per Rule 1.6(c)(3), a lawyer may disclose otherwise confidential information (a) “to establish a claim or defense on behalf of the lawyer in a controversy between the lawyer and the client;” (b) “to establish a defense to a criminal charge or civil claim against the lawyer based upon conduct in which the client was involved;” or, (c) “to respond to allegations in any proceeding concerning the lawyer’s representation of the client.”
Competence. Communication. Conflicts. Candor.
There’s another word that begins with “C” that is a serious violation of the rules. The word, however, doesn’t appear in any of the rules. It is notably absent from both the trust accounting rules and the rule on safekeeping client property.
What’s the word?
Commingling. My post on commingling is here.
Lawyer and Firm represent Client in Client v. Other.
Last week, Firm hired Paralegal. Paralegal used to work at the law office that represents Other. Paralegal was personally and substantially involved in the law office’s representation of Other.
True or false: paralegal’s conflict is imputed to Lawyer and Firm and they must withdraw from representing Client.
False. Rule 1.10 is the rule that addresses imputed conflicts. Per Comment , the rule on imputed conflicts “does not prohibit representation by others in the law firm when the person prohibited from involvement in a matter is a nonlawyer, such as a paralegal or legal secretary.” It goes on to say, and kudos to so many who alluded to it, that “such persons, however, ordinarily must be screened from any personal participation in the matter to avoid communications to others in the firm of confidential information that both the nonlawyers and the firm have a legal duty to protect.”
Here’s your hint: had I not decided to write about my Uncle and honor him with a Question 5 about the American Revolution, I would’ve used this question on February 14.
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. I blogged about it here.