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"

Monday Morning Answers #135

Welcome to Monday!

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

Honor Roll

 

Answers

Question 1

Fill in the blanks.  The same phrase goes in each blank.

When providing pro bono legal services, a substantial majority of the 50 hours should be provided to persons of limited means or certain organizations designed to serve persons of limited means.

That’s the phrase in Rule 6.1  For a definition, see Comment [3].

Question 2

This is a “what am I” question:

  • In Bar Counsel Universe, I’m often referred to as “unbundled legal services;”
  • I am a way to help provide access to legal services for those who might not be able to afford a lawyer.
  • I am specifically authorized by Rules for Family Proceedings and the Rules of Civil Procedure
  • I am specifically authorized by the Vermont Rules of Professional Conduct
  • Under the Rules of Professional Conduct, I am allowed only if (a) I am reasonable under the circumstances, and (b) the client gives informed consent.

What am I?

I ama limited representation.  See, Rule 1.2(c).

Question 3

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. there’s no interference 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 Lawyer.  See, Rule 1.8(f).

Question 4

Later today, I’m speaking to the New Hampshire Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

For a criminal defense lawyer, which rule should spring to mind if a plea deal is conditioned upon the lawyer’s client waiving claims of ineffective assistance of counsel?  The rule on:

  • A.   Candor to the Tribunal
  • B.    Meritorious Claims & Contentions
  • C.    Client Confidences
  • D.   Conflicts of Interest

Several advisory opinions have reached the same conclusion: the criminal defense lawyer’s personal interests conflict with the client’s and, in addition, implicate the rule that prohibits a lawyer from asking a client to agree to limit the lawyer’s liability unless the client is represented by counsel.  See, Rules 1.7(a)and 1.8(h). For more, see Pennsylvania Bar Association Formal Opinion 2014-100, provided by Thomas Wilkinson, a regular member of the honor roll.

Question 5

Speaking of Vermont & New Hampshire . . .

In 2012, Tommy Lee Jones was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. The nomination was for his role in Lincoln.  He played a Pennsylvania lawyer who was elected to Congress as a “Radical Republican,” chaired the Ways & Means Committee during the Civil War, and whose fierce opposition to slavery was instrumental in the passage of the 13th and 14th Amendments.

My favorite quote attributed to him? As a trial lawyer, and in response to a judge who warned that he was manifesting contempt: “Sir, I am doing my best to conceal it.”

Oh, by the way, the Pennsylvania lawyer was born and raised in Vermont, then attended college in New Hampshire.

Thaddeus Stevens.

Monday Morning Answers #120

Good morning! Welcome to Monday!

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

Honor Roll

Answers

Questions 1

Two things are missing from this list.  What are they?

  • free speech
  • free exercise of religion
  • right to petition the government for the redress of grievances
  • no establishment of religion

The language is from the First Amendment.  The missing items are:  freedom of the press, and right to peaceably assemble.

Question 2

Which came first?

  • A.  Voting age lowered to 18 (1971)
  • B.  Prohibition repealed (1933)
  • C.  Women given the right to vote – 1920

Question 3

In October, the VBA’s Pro Bono Conference will include a “TED-Talk” on due process & municipal boards.  The phrase “due process” appears in two amendments.  Which two?

  • A.   1st and 5th
  • B.   5th and  8th
  • C.   5th and 14th
  • D.   8th and 14th

Question 4

Delaware was the 1st state to ratify the Constitution.  Very recently, and in response to a U.S. Supreme Court decision that involves states’ rights, Delaware became the 2nd state to allow what?

Commerical Sports Betting.  The decision was Murphy v. NCAA.  The New York Times covered it here.  The over/under “correct answers” for this question was “67% of respondents.”  It went over.

Question 5 & Bonus

Thaddeus Stevens was born in Vermont.  He practiced law in Pennsylvania and, eventually, was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.  In Congress, Stevens played a critical role in the drafting & passage of what has been called both a “mini-Constitution” and the Constitution’s most important amendment.

Which amendment? And, who played Stevens in the movie Lincoln?

The 14th Amendment.  Last year, the ABA Journal posted: The 14th. A Civil War era amendment has become a mini-constitution for modern times For a bit on Stevens’ involvement, see this morning’s postthis morning’s post from Lancaster Online.

Tommy Lee Jones

Image result for images of thaddeus stevens

Five for Friday #120

Welcome to #120!

Very simply – I’ve got nothing for you on 120.  Couldn’t find a way to connect this intro to the number.  I tried.  I failed.  But, in the process, I learned a few things.

First, today is Kanye’s birthday!  As some of you might know, I’ve often used Kanye in my pub quizzes.  Not to mention, thinking of Kanye, I was reminded of one of my favorite albums:  Late Registration.  

And, Late Registration reminded me that some of you have yet to renew your law licenses.  For information on how to renew, click here.  Questions? E-mail Andy Strauss.  Andy is the Licensing Attorney.

Don’t be late!

Happy Birthday Kanye!

Second, on this date in 1789, James Madison introduced the Bill of Rights.  Lately, I’ve included the Constitution in several of my seminars.  Over the past few years, the Vermont Supreme Court and the VBA have done a great job promoting civics, and I think it’s important for lawyers to have, at least, a basic understanding of the Constitution.

Anyhow, that’s all I’ve got for you today. No tie, clever or otherwise, to 120.  Just Happy Birthday shoutouts to Kanye & the introduction of the Bill of Rights.

Onto the quiz!

  • None.  Open book, open search engine, text/phone/email-a-friend.
  • Even question 5!
  • 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
  • Please consider sharing the quiz on social media.  Hashtag it – #fiveforfriday

Questions 1

Two things are missing from this list.  What are they?

  • free speech
  • free exercise of religion
  • right to petition the government for the redress of grievances
  • no establishment of religion

Question 2

Which came first?

  • A.  Voting age lowered to 18
  • B.  Prohibition repealed
  • C.  Women given the right to vote

Question 3

In October, the VBA’s Pro Bono Conference will include a “TED-Talk” on due process & municipal boards.  The phrase “due process” appears in two amendments.  Which two?

  • A.   1st and 5th
  • B.   5th and  8th
  • C.   5th and 14th
  • D.   8th and 14th

Question 4

Delaware was the 1st state to ratify the Constitution.  Very recently, and in response to a U.S. Supreme Court decision that involves states’ rights, Delaware became the 2nd state to allow what?

Question 5 & Bonus

Thaddeus Stevens was born in Vermont.  He practiced law in Pennsylvania and, eventually, was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.  In Congress, Stevens played a critical role in the drafting & passage of what has been called both a “mini-Constitution” and the Constitution’s most important amendment.

Which amendment? And, who played Stevens in the movie Lincoln?

Image result for images of thaddeus stevens

 

Monday Morning Answers: Constitution Day

Welcome to Monday! Hope you enjoyed the fantastic weekend weather.  As fantastic as the weather? The fact that a quiz on the Constitution results in one of the largest Honor Rolls in recent memory!

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

Honor Roll

  • Matthew Anderson, Pratt Vreeland Kennelly Martin & White
  • Penny Benelli, Dakin & Benelli
  • Andrew Costello, Leeds Brown Law
  • Nicholas Daigle, Community Correctional Officer, Agency of Human Services
  • Andrew Delaney, Martin & Associates
  • Robert Grundstein
  • Gregg Harris, Assistant Attorney General, Buildings & General Services
  • Keith Kasper, McCormick Fitzpatrick Kasper & Burchard
  • Glenn Jarrett, Jarrett & Luitjens
  • John Leddy, McNeil Leddy & Sheehan
  • Jeffrey Messina, Bergeron Paradis Fitzpatrick
  • Hal Miller, First American
  • Herb Ogden
  • Robyn Sweet, Paralegal, Cleary, Shahi, Aicher
  • Tech Competence Rules!
  • Emily Tredeau, Prisoners’ Rights Office

Answers

Question 1

The 1st Amendment to the United States Constitution lists 6 things about which “Congress shall make no law.”   1 point for each you can name.

  • establishing religion
  • prohibiting the free exercise of religion
  • abridging the freedom of speech
  • abridging the freedom of the press
  • abridging the right of the people peaceably to assemble
  • abridging the right of the people to petition the government for redress of grievances

Question 2

On May 1, 2017, the ABA marked “Law Day” by celebrating an amendment that it called “a mini-constitution for modern times.”   The amendment is the longest, and per the ABA, “arguably the most important.”  Name the amendment.

The 14th Amendment.

Question 3

Which is different from the others?

  • A.  right to be secure from unreasonable searches & seizures
  • B.  right not to be compelled to self-incriminate in a criminal matter
  • C.  right not to be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law
  • D.  right not to have private property taken for public use without just compensation

Answer “A” is the answer I had in mind when I crafted the question.  The right to be secure from unreasonable searches and seizures is in the 4th Amendment, while the others are in the 5th.  However, some readers pointed out that “C” is also different from the others in that it appears in two amendments: the 5th and the 14th. So, credit for “C” as well.

Question 4

The “Great Compromise” reached at the Constitutional Convention likely saved the Constitution and, by extension, the fledging Union.

What are the two things that the “Great Compromise” called for?

  • proportional representation in the House
  • equal representation in the Senate

Question 5

In 1792, a boy was born in Danville, Vermont.  Later, he attended Burlington College at UVM, but transferred to Dartmouth after the federal government took over UVM during The War of 1812.  After graduating from Dartmouth, he became a lawyer and was admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar.  For many years, he had very successful practice in Gettysburg.

This Vermont-born lawyer eventually was elected to the United States Congress as a “radical republican” from Pennsylvania.  During the Civil War, he served as the chair of the House Ways & Means Committee.  His work as chair was key to the Union’s efforts to fund the war.

A staunch abolitionist, this Vermont-born lawyer played a critical role in the passage of the 13th and 14th Amendments to the United States Constitution.  In response to the House vote to authorize the 13th Amendment, he said:

  • “I will be satisfied if my epitaph shall be written thus, ‘Here lies one who never rose to any eminence, and who only courted the low ambition to have it said that he had striven to ameliorate the condition of the poor, the lowly, the downtrodden of every race and language and color.’ ”

In 2013, Tommy Lee Jones received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of this Vermont-born lawyer in the movie Lincoln.

Name the lawyer.

Thaddeus Stevens

Thaddeus Stevens