Five for Friday #252

Welcome to Friday and the 252nd legal ethics quiz!

Later today, Andrew Manitsky and I are presenting a CLE at the YLD Thaw in Montreal. Our seminar will focus on the duty of candor. With that in mind, would you believe me if I told you that you could both win a prize and secure internet fame merely by writing a single “thank you” note next week?

Maybe you wouldn’t.  And maybe my statement includes a scoop of puffery and a dash of paltering. But,  the statement includes kernels of truth!

Next week is Well-Being Week in Law. This participation guide includes 187 suggestions, with the suggestions divided among the different themes assigned to each day.  Don’t worry. I’m not asking people to do 187 things or even to do something every day. Indeed, as the guide indicates, Well-Being Week in Law

  • is designed so that people and organizations can participate in any way that fits their goals and capacities. If you want to participate in multiple things every day, that’s great. But also feel free to select only a few things over the entire week that match your priorities.”

So, I’m asking folks to consider finding ONE thing to do during the week. And that one thing doesn’t even have to be from the list of 187 suggestions – choose whatever works for you!

Now, back to the “thank you” note.

Many of the guide’s suggestions can be completed in 20 minutes or less. No amount of participation is too “small” or “inconsequential.” Indeed, as we know too well, when it comes to improving the profession’s well-being, there is no step too small to take. For example, sending a “thank you” note qualifies!

In fact, here’s how easy it is.

Yesterday, I sent notice of Well-Being Week in Law to many who are part of Vermont’s legal community. A friend texted. The friend had recently learned that “expressing gratitude” can improve wellness. So, the friend asked whether thanking me for looking out for their wellness qualifies as participation. I replied that it does. Then I thanked the friend for asking. Boom! We’d both done our one thing!

Oh, yeah. Prizes and internet fame.

The Institute for Well-Being in the Law is offering a chance to win prizes by completing the 2022 Well-Being Week in Law Participation Survey.  Or, you can show your commitment to well-being by participating in the Social Media Challenge.  Finally, I will use my blog and Twitter account to mention any member of Vermont’s legal community who lets me know that they, their co-workers, or their office/firm participated, even if just barely, in Well-Being Week.

With all this in mind, hardly seems that my opening statement was misleading or deceptive!

Finally, and to tie this message to the week’s quiz number, yes, my goal is for as many folks as possible to consider doing 1 thing during Well-Being Week in Law. However, here’s my dream. It’s rooted in the palindromic nature of “252.”

What if you chose 2 things over the week’s 5 days? Then, what if you turned around and did the same the following week?

Here’s to the Vermont legal community making well-being a habit!

For more on Well-Being Week in Law and how to participate, see this blog post.

Onto the quiz!

Rules

  • 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 consider sharing the quiz with friends & colleagues
  • Share on social media. Hashtag it – #fiveforfriday

Question 1

Lawyer works at Firm. If Lawyer has a conflict of interest that prohibits Lawyer from representing Client, which type of conflict is least likely to be imputed to the other attorneys in Lawyer’s firm? A conflict that arises from:

  • A.  Lawyer’s representation of a former client.
  • B.  Lawyer’s current representation of another client.
  • C.  a personal interest of Lawyer’s.
  • D.  trick question. In VT, all conflicts are imputed to others in the same firm.

Question 2

Can a lawyer accept compensation from someone other than the client?

  • A. Yes, but only if the payor is related to the client.
  • B.  Yes, but only if the payor is the client’s insurance company or employer.
  • C.  Yes, if the client gives informed consent, the payor doesn’t interfere with the lawyer-client relationship, and information relating to the representation of the client is not disclosed to the payor except as authorized by the rule on client confidences.
  • D.  A & B.

Question 3

Under Vermont’s rules, if a lawyer reasonably believes that a client intends to commit an act that will result in the death of or substantial bodily harm to the client, the lawyer ____:

  • A.  must disclose the client’s intention.
  • B.  must not disclose the client’s intention.
  • C.  may disclose the client’s intention.
  • D.  It depends on how old the client is.

Question 4

Lawyer called me with an inquiry related to a potential conflict between a prospective client and a former client. We discussed the distinction between the lawyer’s general knowledge of the former client’s policies and practices, versus the lawyer’s knowledge of specific facts gained during the prior representation that are relevant to the new matter.

As such, it’s most likely that Lawyer’s former client is _________:

  • A. a minor.
  • B.  an organization.
  • C.  deceased.
  • D.  represented by a law firm that once employed Lawyer.

Question 5

The Thaw is on my mind.

With “most” defined as “all,” most of my knowledge of the British Commonwealth’s legal system comes from tv and movies. Last week, I binged Anatomy of a Scandal. Set in England, here are the lawyers who appeared in a criminal trial:

Englih Lawyer

A few years ago, I loved the Australian show Rake. Here’s the main character:

Rake

So, if I bump into a Canadian lawyer this weekend, I might ask the lawyer if they have a peruke. It’s altogether possible that the lawyer will have no idea what “peruke” means. If so, what’s the word I’ll use instead? The more common term for a “peruke?”

Negative infinity points for any smart aleck comments that I should get my own a peruke.

 

Consider participating in Well-Being Week in Law. Nothing is too small . . . and there are prizes!

Next week is Well-Being Week in Law. Conceived and promoted by the Institute for Well-Being in Law (IWIL), the event’s goals are “to raise awareness about mental health and to encourage action and innovation across the profession to improve well-being.”

I encourage you, your co-workers, and your colleagues to participate, even if only by doing something that might seem “small” or “inconsequential.”  Indeed, as we know too well, when it comes to improving the profession’s well-being, there is no step too small to help. For example, sending a “thank you” note. Surely, someone at your office has time (and reason) to express gratitude at some point next week!

Of course, Well-Being Week in Law features many additional activities and opportunities to promote well-being. Legal professionals can participate as individuals, with a friend/colleague/co-worker, or as an entire office/firm. There’s something for everyone!

And speaking of everyone, you lawyers, don’t forget to include your non-lawyer staff. They are much a part of the profession as lawyers!

Each day focuses on a different aspect of wellness:

Each Day

IWIL’s participation guide includes dozens of suggestions for each day, breaking the suggestions into things to read, things to watch or listen to, and things to do.  For instance, on Monday, legal professionals might

Or, for the legal professional who has an Apple Watch, Vermont lawyer Tammy Heffernan has offered to host a month-long challenge associated with well-being. Tammy set it up so that there are both team and individual challenges. Instructions on how to sign-up are at the end of this letter.

There are other ways to participate in Well-Being Week.

The event coincides with May being Mental Health Awareness Month. So, next week, you and your co-workers might consider the daily challenges in the 31-Day Mental Health Challenge.

In addition, I plan to host virtual discussions on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. The discussions will begin at noon and focus on the day’s theme. All are welcome. Each morning, I’ll post a link to join that day’s discussion on my blog. The videos I recorded last year provide a flavor of the discussions.

Again, the participation guide is chock full of ideas.

Finally, well-being is not “one size fits all.’  It’s personal. As the participation guide states:

Pick & Choose to Fit Your Needs

WWIL is designed so that people and organizations can participate in any way that fits their goals and capacities. If you want to participate in multiple things every day, that’s great. But also feel free to select only a few things over the entire week that match your priorities.

As I mentioned, there’s something for everyone. I encourage you to find what works for you and to encourage your colleague and co-workers to do the same.

Oh! One last thing. With participation comes reward(s)!

IWIL is offering legal professionals a chance to win prizes by completing the 2022 Well-Being Week in Law Participation Survey.  Or, you can show your commitment to well-being by participating in the Social Media Challenge.  Finally, I will use my blog and Twitter account to mention any member of Vermont’s legal community who lets me know that they, their co-workers, or their office/firm participated, even if just barely, in Well-Being Week.

Thank you for considering ways that you and your co-workers might participate in 2022 Well-Being Week in Law.

**********************************************************************

P.S. – thank you Tammy!

APPLE WATCH TEAM CHALLENGE

”VT Attorney Well Being Team Challenge ”

First, download Challenges: https://challengesapp.app.link/download

Once you have the app, enter invite code: ‘cheu’ or tap on the link below to join:

https://sync.challenges.app/invite?eligibilitycode=cheu

APPLE WATCH INDIVIDUAL CHALLENGE

“VT Attorney Individual Challenge”

First, download Challenges: https://challengesapp.app.link/download

Once you have the app, enter invite code: ‘kfdk’ or tap on the link below to join:

https://sync.challenges.app/invite?eligibilitycode=kfdk

Related Resources

Previous Wellness Wednesday Posts

 

Here’s how Vermont’s legal professionals can plan for Well-Being Week in Law.

Well-Being Week in Law begins on May 2.  Driven by the efforts of the folks at the Institute for Well-Being in Law (IWIL), the week is designed to raise awareness by encouraging all in the profession to engage in activities that promote well-being.

There are many ways to get involved.

Each day has a different theme, with each theme a component of wellness.

WBW-Infograohic-11_2020-300x256

Last year, I hosted daily virtual meetups over the lunch hour.  There was no agenda.  Rather, we shared thoughts and tips related to the day’s theme.  My posts and videos on the project are here.  I intend to reprise the discussions this year.

There’s also A LOT more that folks can do. I encourage legal professionals, legal organizations, and individuals within the profession to get involved.  Here are some resources from IWIL’s website:

I’ve not yet finalized the activities I’ll promote in addition to the daily discussions.  I hope to do so next week.  Until then, if you, your firm, or your organization is interested in planning even a single activity, let me know if you need assistance or want me to stop by.  I will if I can. Also, if you’re interested in learning what others intend to do, IWIL is hosting a series of free planning sessions.  For more information on how to register for the planning sessions, go here.

Let’s continue to promote the well-being of Vermont’s legal profession and its members.

 Related Resources

Previous Wellness Wednesday Posts

Emotional Well-Being: the debrief video

It’s time for Friday’s debriefing.  Today’s discussion was so thoughtful that there’s no way my recap will do it justice.

Again, it’s Well-Being Week in Law.  Today’s topic is Emotional Well-Being.  I focused on the importance of learning to accept that we will experience negative emotions and learning to control our responses to them.  Earlier today, I posted this blog advance of a group discussion that took place at lunch.

As have been the others this week, the discussion was fantastic. Here’s the debrief video with my takeaways.

Thanks to everyone who participated today and this week!

Enjoy the weekend.

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Related Material from the Institute for Well-Being in Law

Related Posts

Emotional Well-Being: W.I.N. your 3 feet of influence.

Welcome to Friday of Well-Being Week in Law.

Today’s topic is Emotional Well-Being.  The focus is on learning to understand and identify our emotions.  Here’s a video (8:36) in which I share some thoughts.  The headlines:

  • It’s okay to feel negative emotions
  • W.I.N.
  • W.I.N. your 3-feet of influence
  • It’s okay to ask for help, and help is available.
  • Be 1 of somebody’s 3 or 4

I’m hosting a Zoom discussion today at noon.  The invite is here.  If you’re interested in sharing your thoughts on emotional intelligence, listening to others share theirs, or both – please join!

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Related Material from the Institute for Well-Being in Law

Related Posts

Communities & Connections: the debrief video

It’s time for Thursday’s debriefing.

Again, it’s Well-Being Week in Law.  Today’s topic is Social Well-Being and the importance of communities and connections.  Earlier today, I posted this video in advance of a group discussion that took place at lunch.

As have been the others this week, the discussion was fantastic.  Here’s the debrief video (7:34) with my takeaways.

Tomorrow’s topic is Emotional Intelligence and the critical role it plays in our well-being. I intend to frame the conversation around an idea (not my own) that I used as a coach:  W.I.N.  Or, “What’s Important Now.”  From there, we’ll talk about how emotional intelligence can help us to W.I.N our three feet of influence.  Feel free to join to share your thoughts, listen to others share theirs, or do both! I’ll include the link in tomorrow morning’s blog post.

Thanks again to everyone who participated today.

Connect!

Related Material from the Institute for Well-Being in Law

Communities & Connections

Welcome to Thursday of Well-Being Week in Law.

Today’s topic is Social Well-Being and the importance of communities and connections.  Here’s a video in which I offer to be your guide as you hunt for connections.

I’m not sure that today’s theme is amenable to discussion as yesterday’s or tomorrow’s, but I’m hosting the noon time chat anyway!  Whether to share your thoughts on communities & connections or to listen to others share theirs, you can join the discussion here.

Connect!

Related Material from the Institute for Well-Being in Law

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Venue, the Electric Slide, and Impostor Syndrome: thoughts on intellectual engagement & growth.

Welcome to Wednesday of Well-Being Week in Law.

Today’s topic is Intellectual Well-Being, with the mantra “Engage and Grow.”  We’re focusing on striving for continuous intellectual engagement and growth in our work and personal lives.

Here’s a video in which I go into more detail.  The video ranges from my personal (and borderline frivolous) engagement and growth – venue in federal criminal cases and mastering the Electric Slide – to a serious discussion of Impostor Syndrome.

I’d love to learn your thoughts & strategies for intellectual growth.  Please consider joining this Zoom discussion at noon to share & listen as others share theirs!

 Links to material referenced in my video are below:

Engage & Grow!

  • An article in Elemental on the connection between curiosity and well-being.
  • An article in Courthouse News about a 9th Circuit opinion that involves an international arms dealer and proper venue in federal criminal cases.
  • Joanna Litt’s letter to The American Lawyer about her husband’s suicide.
  • Neha Sampat’s post in the ABA Journal calling on the profession to address Impostor Syndrome.

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Related Posts:

Align: the debrief video.

It’s time for Tuesday’s debriefing.

This morning I posted Align! It introduced today’s virtual meeting in which we discussed a critical component of wellness: spiritual well-being.  The focus was on striving to align our work lives with our personal values.

Here’s the video debrief.  It’s only 4:31 and includes references to The Office and Star Trek: The Next Generation.  It also goes into more detail on three takeaways from our discussion:

  1. It’s okay if finding meaning in your work is not a core value. Wellness is not one-size fits all. For reasons that could be the topic of their own CLE, there are some among us whose wellness is better served by work that appears rote or boring to others of us.
  2. Just because your work lacks meaning to you doesn’t make it meaningless.  What you do is important to someone, perhaps a client, others with whom you work, or Future You.
  3. A few of us are going to use this exercise to identify & commit to our core values. If nothing else, I like the idea of writing to Future Me.  Probably something I should’ve started doing long ago.

Don’t worry if you missed today’s discussion.  We will reconvene tomorrow at noon to discuss Wednesday’s theme:  Engage & Grow.  The focus will be intellectual well-being, constant curiosity, and striving for growth in both our personal and work lives.  You can join the discussion here.

I’ve not yet finalized the agenda, but it might include me talking about the Electric Slide.

But for now, Align!

Align

Welcome to Tuesday of Well-Being Week in Law.

Before we begin, how about a nod to Disciplinary Counsel’s well-being?  Happy Birthday Sarah Katz!

Onto business.

Today’s focus is Spiritual Well-Being, with the cue being “Align.”  The goal is to consider how we can “foster a sense of meaning and purpose in all aspects of life” so as to “align life and work to serve your values.”

Last year, I posted this video on Spiritual Well-Being.  I tried to make three points.

  1. “Incivility is corrosive” in the profession. It causes stress, anxiety, and burnout. In turn, these corrode a sense of meaning and purpose.
  2. Supervisors should strive to ensure that those who work for them feel a sense of meaning in what they do.
  3. Younger legal professionals should remember Future You. Not every task is what Younger Me expected I’d be doing once I began my career.  Some feel meaningless.  But every task I complete matters to someone.  Most importantly, Future Me is far more likely to find meaning in my future work if I invest in myself now. And treating every task, no matter how small, as if it is the most meaningful is a form of investment.

I’d love to learn how others strive to find meaning & purpose. What are your thoughts and strategies on how align your work and professional live?  Today at noon, I’m hosting a Zoom meeting.  Everyone is invited.  It won’t be a lecture, but a discussion.  The link is here.  Please consider joining!

In the meantime, here are resources on “Align: Spiritual Well-Being” from the Institute for Well-Being in Law.

Align!

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