Five for Friday #215

Welcome to Friday and the 215th #fiveforfriday legal ethics quiz.

Today’s is a Vanilla Ice intro:  meaning, I’m skipping the intro and going quick to the quiz, to the quiz no fakin.

Oh, but wait!  Speaking of 215, and with the next line of Ice, Ice, Baby in mind, I’d be remiss not to mention Patrick Kennedy.

Not only does he love all things bacon – he once made a bacon-scented candle – Patrick’s birthday is February 15th.  That’s right – 2/15.  So, for readers who enjoy the traditional intro tied to the week’s number, here’s a post that I did in honor my brother’s birthday last year.

Onto the quiz!

Rules

  • 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 michael.kennedy@vermont.gov
  • I’ll post the answers & Honor Roll on Monday.
  • Please don’t use the “comment” feature to post your answersPlease consider sharing the quiz with friends & colleagues.
  • Please consider sharing the quiz social media.  Hashtag it – #fiveforfriday

 Question 1

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.

Question 2

 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.

Question 3

 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.”

Which C?

Question 4

 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.

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.

the-quiz

Five for Friday #161

Alright stop, collaborate and listen.

Today, the fall of 1990 is on my mind.  Here’s why.

October 3, 1990.  That night, the Boston Red Sox won an important game.  I confess, I don’t have the date memorized. I had to look it up for this post.  However, I’ve always known exactly where I watched and with who.

At the time, I was about one month into my first semester at George Washington Law School.  A classmate and friend, Dave Moody, did his undergrad at the University of Washington.  There, Dave was good friends with Tom Lewis.  Tom came to D.C. with Dave.  Not for law school, but to check out the east while he worked for Senator Dole.  Dave introduced me to Tom, and we’ve been friends ever since.

The aforementioned Red Sox game is my earliest memory of doing something with Tom.  We watched at Lindys Red Lion in Foggy Bottom.  My 3 years in the DMV included great adventures with Tom, most of which involved sports.  We watched a Redskins game from the RFK press box, failed miserably at multiple attempts to talk our way (sneak) into an NCAA tournament game at Cole Field House, and, on a crazy day in North Carolina, set the Durham Athletic Park record for the fastest run from the third base dugout to the center field fence.

I think there were others, but Tom’s kids (see below) are old enough to read and ask questions now.

We also played sports.  One team of ours was a coed flag football team sponsored by a bar.  Led by Suzanne Dickey, a fleet-footed & sure-handed receiver, our team won the league championship.

Today, Suzanne & Tom are married and, with their sons Zach & Sam, live outside of Indianapolis.  I’m visiting them this weekend.  The boys have baseball games that I’m excited to watch and I’m running the Indy Mega Mini Challenge.  The challenge consists of two races: a 5K followed immediately by a half marathon.

Image result for indy mini logo

I don’t know how I’ll do in the challenge.  However, three things about his weekend’s trip are for certain:

Which brings me back to the fall of 1990.

At the time, one of the country’s hottest songs was Vanilla Ice’s Ice Ice BabySo hot that exactly one month after Tom and I watched that Sox game together, the song reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Ummm, yes.  #1.

Image result for images of vanilla ice

I was part of the problem.  I could sing every word.  A few months later, our friend Dirk put up fliers around the law school advertising his Super Bowl party.  Back then, I had red hair.  Dirk’s fliers promised halftime entertainment “featuring Mike ‘Strawberry Ice’ Kennedy.”

Long story short, my alter ego never performed.  I don’t remember why not.  I probably chickened out.  But, let’s go with this:  I was smart enough not to try anything musical a scant hour or so after Whitney Houston had delivered the greatest performance of a national anthem in the history of performances, nations, and anthems.

Yet, the nickname stuck.  Tom shortened it and, ever since, has called me “Ice.” This weekend will be no different.

I know what you’re thinking.  You’re wrong.  Nobody is ever too old to have a friend who calls them by a nickname.

Here’s to those friends.  They’re the best.

Word to your mother.

Onto the quiz!

P.S.  If you’re a fan of Game of Thrones AND Ice Ice Baby, this mashup is a must.

Rules

  • None.  Open book, open search engine, text/phone/email-a-friend.
  • Exception – but one that is loosely enforced – #5 (“loosely” = “aspirational”)
  • 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

Question 1

True or false.

Whenever a subordinate lawyer acts at the direction of a supervisor, the subordinate is relieved of responsibility for a violation of the rules.

Question 2

If revealed in a compliance or trust account audit, which is most likely to be dealt with differently than the other findings?

  • A.  records showing that the lawyer has regularly deposited the lawyer’s own funds into the account to cover service charges and fees, albeit only in amounts necessary to pay those charges and fees.
  • B.  records documenting that the lawyer has reconciled the account on a quarterly basis.
  • C.  They’ll be dealt with the same, both are violations.
  • D.  They’ll be dealt with the same, neither is a violation.

Question 3

Which type of conflict is not imputed to other lawyers in the same firm?

  • A.  a conflict that arises under Rule 1.7.
  • B.  a conflict that arises under Rule 1.9.
  • C.  a conflict that arises under 1.7 or 1.9, as long as the conflict is based on a personal interest of the lawyer and does not present a significant risk of materially limiting the representation of the client by the other lawyers in the firm.
  • D.  Trick question.  Vermont imputes all conflicts.

Question 4

Which is found in a different rule than the others?  A lawyer shall:

  • A.   as far as reasonably possible, maintain a normal client-lawyer relationship with the client.
  • B.   keep the client reasonably informed about the status of a matter.
  • C.   promptly comply with reasonable requests for information.
  • D.   consult with the client about any relevant limitation on the lawyer’s conduct when the lawyer knows that the client expects assistance not permitted by the Rules of Professional Conduct.

Question 5

I’m going to Indiana this weekend.  I’m also a former high school basketball coach.

Jury tampering is unethical.  In every state.

Name the actor or actress who starred:

  • as a high school basketball coach in a movie set in Indiana; and,
  • as a consultant who specialized in tampering with juries in a movie that put the firearms industry on trial.

 

 

Monday Morning Answers: #90

Friday’s questions are here.  Spoiler alert – today’s answers immediately follow the honor roll.

Honor Roll

  • A1A – Beachfront Avenue!
    • Kane Smart, Office of General Counsel, Agency of Natural Resources
  • Ed AdrianMonaghan Safar Ducham
  • Karen AllenKaren Allen Law
  • Matt AndersonPratt Vreeland Kennelly Martin & White
  • Penny Benelli, Dakin & Benelli
  • Alberto Bernabe, Professor of Law, John Marshall Law School
  • Robert Grundstein, Esq.
  • Glenn JarrettJarrett & Luitjens
  • Jim Johnson, Chittenden South Supervisory Union
  • Kevin LumpkinSheehey Furlong & Behm
  • Hal Miller, First American
  • Herb Ogden, Esq.
  • Daron Raleigh, Deputy State’s Attorney, Windsor County
  • Nancy Hunter Rogers, Chamberlin School, South Burlington
  • Jack Welch, Esq.

Answers

Question 1

If you attend a CLE and I discuss “puffery,” what ethics issue am I most likely addressing?

  • A.   Whether a  lawyer violates federal law by using marijuana
  • B.   The extent to which the rules on candor & honesty apply during negotiations.
  • C.   Dishonest trust accounting practices
  • D.   Viewing an adverse party’s social media posts

Here’s my post on whether “puffery” constitutes dishonesty or a false statement of material fact to a third person.

Question 2

In legal ethics, the word “imputed” is most often associated with:

  • A.   The advertising rules
  • B.   Interest earned on lawyer trust accounts
  • C.  Conflicts of Interest.   Vermont’s rule on imputed conflicts is V.R.Pr.C. 1.10.
  • D.  Technology & The Duty of Competence

Question 3

I spoke at CLE yesterday.  One point I emphasized was:

“If it’s yours, get it out.”

When I made the statement, what general topic was I discussing?

Trust accounting.  Leaving your own money in trust is “commingling.”  If it’s yours, get it out of trust.

Question 4

By rule, “a lawyer employed or retained by an organization represents the organization acting through its duty authorized constituents.”  Do the rules allow the lawyer who represents an organization to represent its individual directors, officers, employees, members, or other constituents?

  • A.   No
  • B.   Yes
  • C.   Yes, subject to Rule 1.7 (the rule on conflicts of interest).  See, V.R.Pr.C. 1.13(g).
  • D.   The rules are silent on this issue

Question 5

And speaking of lawyers who represent organizations . . .

. . . in 2008, Tilda Swinton won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of corporate lawyer Karen Crowder.  Crowder was in-house counsel for U-North, a giant manufacturer of agro-chemical products.  U-North was the defendant in a class action lawsuit involving allegations that U-North manufactured, marketed, and distributed a carcinogenic weed killer.

Crowder retained an outside law firm to handle the defense.  The firm’s leading litigator, Arthur Edens (Tom Wilkinson), discovered an internal memo that Crowder and U-North had intentionally withheld from the plaintiffs.  The move proved that, in fact, U-North continued to sell its product despite knowing that it would kill people in addition to killing weeds.

On the horns of the ethical dilemma of whether to blow the whistle on Crowder and U-North, Edens cracked.  During a deposition, he stripped naked and ran outside into a snowstorm.  Fearful that Edens would disclose the memo, Crowder did what any self-respecting in-house counsel would do – brought the matter to the attention of U-North’s CEO, then had Edens killed.

Shocked, Edens’ firm brought in George Clooney to figure out what happened.  It didn’t take Clooney long to determine that the firm’s client and its general counsel had been up to no good.  And it didn’t take Crowder & U-North long to attempt to send Clooney to the same fate as his law partner, Arthur Edens.

Your task: identify this movie, a film replete with legal ethics issues, including the duty to disclose a client’s fraud and crimes.  Oh yeah, and the duty not to have outside counsel murdered.

MICHAEL CLAYTON

Michael_clayton

 

 

 

Five for Friday #90

Alright, stop.  Collaborate and listen.

Actually, I should stop there.

As many of you know, I use the introduction to the #fiveforfriday legal ethics quiz to talk about something related to the week’s number.  I’ve found that intros related to music generate the most interest.  Indeed, there’s a county bar president who continues to take great umbrage over my preference for The Rolling Stones over The Beatles.

Unlike 89 in last week’s ode to Taylor Swift, 90 evokes little for me.  So, I’ll foreshadow two upcoming intros with these teasers:

  • 1990 was the year that Chris Cornell formed Temple of the Dog in response to the death of Andrew Wood, lead singer for Mother Love Bone; and,
  • 1990 was the last full calendar year before Dr. Dre left NWA.

I want to keep this week’s intro quick and to the point.  That’s an intentional reflection of the unfortunate fact that 1990 was the year that Robert Van Winkle scored a number 1 hit with a song whose lyrics included:

“Quick to the point, to the point no fakin’
I’m cookin’ MC’s like a pound of bacon.”

Finally, compounding the misfortune, it was 1990 when, as a 1L at GW Law, a friend nicknamed me “Strawberry Ice.”  For years, another friend never called me anything but “Ice.”

And the story behind the nickname is exactly why I started this post by saying  “actually, i should stop there.”  Heeding my own advice . . .

. . . onto the quiz.  Word to your mother!

 

vanilla_ice

Rules

  • 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 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 with the hashtag #fiveforfriday

Question 1

If you attend a CLE and I discuss “puffery,” what ethics issue am I most likely addressing?

  • A.   Whether a  lawyer violates federal law by using marijuana
  • B.   The extent to which the rules on candor & honesty apply during negotiations
  • C.   Dishonest trust accounting practices
  • D.   Viewing an adverse party’s social media posts

Question 2

In legal ethics, the word “imputed” is most often associated with:

  • A.   The advertising rules
  • B.   Interest earned on lawyer trust accounts
  • C.  Conflicts of Interest
  • D.  Technology & The Duty of Competence

Question 3

I spoke at CLE yesterday.  One point I emphasized was:

“If it’s yours, get it out.”

When I made the statement, what general topic was I discussing?

Question 4

By rule, “a lawyer employed or retained by an organization represents the organization acting through its duty authorized constituents.”  Do the rules allow the lawyer who represents an organization to represent its individual directors, officers, employees, members, or other constituents?

  • A.   No
  • B.   Yes
  • C.   Yes, subject to Rule 1.7 (the rule on conflicts of interest)
  • D.   The rules are silent on this issue

Question 5

And speaking of lawyers who represent organizations . . .

. . . in 2008, Tilda Swinton won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of corporate lawyer Karen Crowder.  Crowder was in-house counsel for U-North, a giant manufacturer of agro-chemical products.  U-North was the defendant in a class action lawsuit involving allegations that U-North manufactured, marketed, and distributed a carcinogenic weed killer.

Crowder retained an outside law firm to handle the defense.  The firm’s leading litigator, Arthur Edens (Tom Wilkinson), discovered an internal memo that Crowder and U-North had intentionally withheld from the plaintiffs.  The move proved that, in fact, U-North continued to sell its product despite knowing that it would kill people in addition to killing weeds.

On the horns of the ethical dilemma of whether to blow the whistle on Crowder and U-North, Edens cracked.  During a deposition, he stripped naked and ran outside into a snowstorm.  Fearful that Edens would disclose the memo, Crowder did what any self-respecting in-house counsel would do – brought the matter to the attention of U-North’s CEO, then had Edens killed.

Shocked, Edens’ firm brought in George Clooney to figure out what happened.  It didn’t take Clooney long to determine that the firm’s client and its general counsel had been up to no good.  And it didn’t take Crowder & U-North long to attempt to send Clooney to the same fate as his law partner, Arthur Edens.

Your task: identify this movie, a film replete with legal ethics issues, including the duty to disclose a client’s fraud and crimes.  Oh yeah, and the duty not to have outside counsel murdered.

 

 

the-quiz