For the wonderful duration of the first 2 or 3 seconds that I was awake this morning, I thought it was Sunday.
Friday’s questions are here. The answers follow today’s Honor Roll.
- Karen Allen, Esq
- Matthew Anderson, Pratt Vreeland Kennelly & White
- Penny Benelli, Dakin & Benelli
- Geoffrey Bok, Stoneman, Chandler & Miller
- Beth DeBernardi, Administrative Law Judge, VT. Dept. of Labor
- Alberto Bernabe, Professor, John Marshall Law School
- Erin Gilmore, Ryan Smith & Carbine
- Benjamin Gould, Paul Frank + Collins
- Glenn Jarrett, Jarrett & Lutjens
- Elizabeth Kruska, President, VBA Board of Managers
- John Leddy, McNeil, Leddy & Sheahan
- Pam Marsh, Marsh and Wagner
- Jack McCullough, Project Director, Vermont Legal Aid Mental Health Law Project
- Jeffrey Messina, Bergeron Paradis Fitzpatrick
- Herb Ogden, Esq.
- Jay Spitzen, Esq.
- Jonathan Teller-Elsberg, Hershenson, Carter, Scott & McGee
- Thomas Wilkinson, Cozen O’Connor
- Peter Zuk, Gale & McAllister
It happened again. So, fill in the blank.
A change to wiring instructions should put a lawyer on alert to a potential _________:
- A. conflict of interest.
- B situation in which the client is not competent to make informed decisions about the representation.
- C. violation of the rule that prohibits unreasonable fees.
- D. trust account scam.
I’ve blogged often on this. Indeed, it’s been more than two years since this post in which I quoted several industry experts warning lawyers to confirm changes to wire instructions. The post included a quote from Vermont’s own Andy Mikell:
- “We are telling folks that the ONLY appropriate 2nd factor authentication method is for the ‘Wiring Firm’: (a) to initiate the verification call; (b) to a phone number that they independently obtained/verified. In other words, it is NOT acceptable: (a) to receive a confirmatory phone call or (b) to call a phone number in the email which contains the requested wire change.”
Lawyer called with an inquiry. I answered, “you need to make sure to avoid noisy ______________.”
Given my answer, it’s most likely that Lawyer called to discuss:
- A. withdrawal.
- B. clients.
- C. judges.
- D. technology
Last week, I blogged about “noisy withdrawal” here. Note: several readers mentioned that there’d been a problem with noisy technology. That’s not something I knew about.
I often refer to the 7 Cs of Legal Ethics. A rule involving one of the Cs includes a comment that reads:
“A lawyer should adopt reasonable procedures, appropriate for the size and type of firm and practice, to determine in both litigation and non-litigation matters the persons and issues involved. Ignorance caused by a failure to institute such procedures will not excuse a lawyer’s violation of this rule.”
Conflicts. This language appears in Comment  to V.R.Pr.C. 1.7.
When a lawyer holds funds in trust and in which two or more persons claim interests, a rule specifically requires the lawyer:
- A. to resolve the dispute.
- B. to keep the funds separate until the dispute is resolved.
- C. to promptly distribute all portions that are not in dispute.
- D. B & C. V.R.Pr.C. 1.15(d) and (e).
Question 5 & Bonus
There’s a lawyer who has been in the news a lot lately. The news has included reports that disciplinary complaints have been filed against the lawyer in at least five jurisdictions.
A few weeks ago, the lawyer held a press conference in which the lawyer analogized a client’s claims to a famous scene in this blog’s favorite legal movie, My Cousin Vinny.
Name the lawyer.
Bonus: identify the specific issue that both the lawyer and Vinny argued rendered witnesses unreliable.
Rudy Giuliani. The common issue was the witness’s ability to see from distance. The Hill has the story here.