Happy Monday! Last full week before the holidays. Make the most of it!
Friday’s questions are here. The answers follow today’s Honor Roll.
- Karen Allen, Karen Allen Law
- Evan Barquist, Montroll, Oettinger & Barquist
- Alberto Bernabe, Professor, UIC School of Law
- Sue Buckholz, Law Offices of Susan M. Buckholz
- Rich Cassidy, Rich Cassidy Law, Vermont Bar Association Board of Managers
- Doug Disabito, State’s Attorney, Grand Isle County
- Erin Gilmore, Ryan Smith & Carbine
- Robert Grundstein
- Glenn Jarrett, Jarrett/Hoyt
- Keith Kasper, McCormick Fitzpatrick Kasper & Burchard
- Jeanne Kennedy, Mother (of the) Blogger, JB Kennedy Associates
- John T. Leddy, McNeil, Leddy, Sheehan
- Mick Leddy, McNeil, Leddy, Sheehan
- Jack McCullough, Project Director, Mental Health Law Project, Vermont Legal Aid
- Jeffrey Messina, Messina Law
- Herb Ogden
- Keith Roberts, Darby Kolter & Roberts
- Nikki Stevens, Firm Administrator, Langrock Sperry & Wool
- Honorable John Valente, Vermont Superior Judge
- Eva Vekos, Marsh & Wagner
- Jason Warfield, J.D.
- Lucia White, Another Way Mediation
- Thomas G. Wilkinson, Jr., Cozen O’Connor
- 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 email@example.com
- I’ll post the answers & Honor Roll on Monday
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- Share on social media. Hashtag it – #fiveforfriday
Consider the following:
- Thoroughness, preparation, legal knowledge, and skill.
- Staying abreast of developments in the law, including the risks and benefits of technology.
Each is an aspect of the duty of ________.
COMPETENCE. V.R.Pr.C. 1.1 sets out the duty of competence and defines it to include the thoroughness, preparation, legal knowledge, and skill required for the representation. Comment 8 addresses the duty to stay abreast of the risk and benefits of relevant technology, while Comment 9 discusses well-being as an aspect of competence.
Here’s a comment to one of the rules:
- “A lawyer entitled to a fee is permitted by paragraph (c)(3) to prove the services rendered in an action to collect it. This aspect of the rule expresses the principle that the beneficiary of a fiduciary relationship may not exploit it to the detriment of the fiduciary.”
Which of the 7 Cs of Legal Ethics is the subject of the rule that this comment accompanies?
CONFIDENTIALITY. The quoted language is from Comment 13.
Fill in the blank.
There’s a rule that prohibits ex parte communication with two groups of people. One group includes judges and any “other person acting in a judicial or quasi-judicial capacity in a pending or impending adversary proceeding.” The other group includes current and prospective _____________.
JURORS. V.R.Pr.C. 3.5(b)(2).
I rarely receive inquiries about this rule, but the topic it addresses is one that many lawyers find frustrating in opposing counsel. A comment to the rule suggests that a violation likely turns on “whether a competent lawyer acting in good faith would regard the course of action as having some substantial purpose other than delay.”
What’s the name of the rule?
- A. Expediting Litigation. V.R.Pr.C. 3.2
- B. Conflicts of Interest: Current Clients: Specific Rules.
- C. Declining or Terminating Representation.
- D. Meritorious Claims and Contentions.
Today’s question is about a movie that is 30 years old. However, the lead role was played by an actor who is going to finish as Hollywood’s top paid star of 2022, reportedly earning more than $100 million for a movie that was released this spring.
The 1992 movie included several memorable courtroom scenes. In one, a member of the 3-lawyer defense team objected to testimony and asked that it be stricken from the record. The following exchange ensued:
- Judge: The objection is overruled counsel.
- Lawyer: Sir, the defense strenuously objects and requests a meeting in chambers so that his honor might have an opportunity to hear discussion before ruling on the objection.
- Judge: The objection is overruled counsel.
A few moments later, the court went into recess. Annoyed with the lawyer, co-counsel asked:
- “I strenuously object? Is that how it works?”
Then, to drive home the point, co-counsel pretended to be both lawyer and judge in this scenario:
- Lawyer: Objection.
- Judge: Overruled.
- Lawyer: No, no, no, no I strenuously object.
- Judge: Oh, well if you strenuously object, let me take a moment to reconsider.
Later, in the movie’s famous climactic scene, the leading character – and leader of the defense team — asked a key witness “did you order the ____ ____?” The judge told the witness that the witness did not have to answer. The witness answered anyway.
If they were real-life lawyers, the defense team would probably be doing something today to observe Veterans Day.
What had the witness ordered? A CODE RED (The movie is A Few Good Men)
Bonus: name the 2022 movie that starred the 1992’s movie’s lead, albeit not as a lawyer. It’s another movie whose characters likely observe Veterans Day.
TOP GUN – MAVERICK. Tom Cruise starred in both.