PR-Practice Exam Missed Questions Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in PR-Practice Exam Missed Questions Deck (23):
1

An attorney, who was duly licensed and authorized to practice law only in State X, represented a local builder in defending a breach of contract action brought in State X by a corporation that was incorporated in State Y and had its headquarters in State Y. The attorney made arrangements to take the deposition of a vice president of the corporation in State Y. A paralegal from the attorney’s staff accompanied the attorney to the deposition in State Y. Near the end of the deposition, the attorney became ill and left the site of the deposition. Before leaving, the attorney directed the paralegal to finish the deposition, which the paralegal did. The paralegal had worked closely with the attorney on the case and had, subject to the attorney’s supervision, drafted the questions to be asked during the deposition. In State Y, the practice of law includes the taking of a deposition.
Is the attorney subject to discipline for her actions?

Answers:

No, because the attorney was duly licensed and authorized to practice law in State X.

No, because the attorney properly supervised the paralegal in preparing the questions.

Yes, because the attorney was not duly licensed and authorized to practice law in State Y.

Yes, because the attorney directed the paralegal to complete the deposition.

Yes, because the attorney directed the paralegal to complete the deposition.

A lawyer must not assist a person who is not admitted to practice in a jurisdiction in the unauthorized practice of law. MRPC 5.5(a). Here, the attorney directed the paralegal to complete the deposition, which, in State Y, constitutes the practice of law. Answer choice A is incorrect. While a lawyer who is duly licensed and authorized to practice law in one jurisdiction may temporarily engage in conduct in another jurisdiction in which the lawyer is authorized to appear in connection with pending litigation, including taking depositions, a lawyer may not assist a non-lawyer in the practice of law. Answer choice B is incorrect because, while a lawyer is required to properly supervise the work of a non-lawyer on a legal matter, the lawyer may not assist a non-lawyer in the practice of law. Answer choice C is incorrect because, as noted with respect to answer choice A, a lawyer who is not duly licensed and authorized to practice law in a jurisdiction may, under the appropriate conditions, temporarily practice law in that jurisdiction.

2

A lawyer provides both estate planning services and financial planning services to his clients. One client asks the lawyer to draft her will, but first she wants him to provide her with some financial planning advice to optimize her estate.
If the lawyer provides such services to the client, would the lawyer be subject to discipline for providing both legal and non-legal services to the same client?

Answers:

Yes, unless the lawyer provides the financial planning services and the estate planning services in two separate meetings.

Yes, unless the lawyer owns the law-related services entity with others, and not just by himself.

No, unless the lawyer fails to inform the client that the financial planning services are not legal services, and are not protected by the lawyer-client privilege.

No, not under any circumstances.


No, unless the lawyer fails to inform the client that the financial planning services are not legal services, and are not protected by the lawyer-client privilege.

A lawyer must take reasonable measures to ensure that a person obtaining non-legal services knows that the services are not legal services and that the protections of the lawyer-client privilege do not apply.

3

Pursuant to state law, a judge in juvenile court appointed an attorney as guardian ad litem to represent a child who was the subject of a physical abuse investigation. Since the child’s family was indigent, the attorney would be compensated by the state at a rate that was less than half of his normal rate. The attorney declined the appointment on the grounds that, although he was competent to represent the child due to past representations of similarly situated clients, he had recently ceased to practice in the area of juvenile law. In addition, the attorney asserted that he was not required to provide legal services to persons of limited means at a substantially reduced fee from his standard fee and that a member of the firm with which the attorney’s sister is a lawyer had been appointed to represent the alleged abuser.
Is the attorney subject to discipline for his refusal to represent the child?

Answers:

Yes, because the attorney has a duty to accept a court appointment.

No, because the attorney no longer practices in the area of juvenile law.

No, because the attorney’s obligation to provide legal services to persons of limited means without fee or at a substantially reduced fee is aspirational, rather than mandatory.

No, because the member of the law firm with which the attorney’s sister is associated is representing the alleged abuser.


Yes, because the attorney has a duty to accept a court appointment.

A lawyer has a duty to accept a court appointment to represent a client unless a GOOD CAUSE exists. As discussed below with regard to the other answer choices, none of the reasons advanced by the attorney here constitute good cause for declining the appointment.

"Good cause to decline representation exists if: (i) the lawyer could not handle the matter competently; (ii) if the representation would result in an improper conflict of interest (as for example, when the client or the cause is so repugnant to the lawyer as to be likely to impair the client-lawyer relationship or the lawyer’s ability to represent the client); or (iii) if acceptance would be unreasonably burdensome, for example, when it would impose a financial sacrifice so great as to be unjust."

1. Couldn't handle competently
2. Conflict of Interest
3. Acceptance would be UNREASONABLY BURDENSOME.

4

A former employee hires an attorney to represent her in a wrongful termination case against her former employer. The client and the attorney agree in writing that the attorney’s obligations to the client exclude representation with regard to any appeal from a decision by the trial court. Among the instructions that the client gives to the attorney is that she will not accept an offer for less than a specific dollar amount. Subsequently, the lawyer for the former employer conveys a settlement offer to the attorney, which is below that amount. The lawyer for the former employer indicates that the former employer will not make any further settlement offers, but will proceed to trial. Based on past dealings with the former employer, the attorney has reason to believe that the former employer will adhere to that course of action. In the exercise of his professional judgment, the attorney also believes that his client’s case has only a slight chance of success at trial. Consequently, the attorney, reasonably believing that the offer is the best resolution of the case for the client, accepts the offer without consulting her.
Are the attorney’s actions improper?

Answers:

Yes, because the attorney failed to convey the settlement offer to the client.

Yes, because the attorney accepted the settlement offer.

No, because the attorney believed that he was acting in the best interests of the client.

No, because the attorney may reasonably limit the scope of his representation of the client.

Yes, because the attorney accepted the settlement offer.


The ultimate decision as to whether to accept an offer rests with the client. MRPC 1.2(a). The attorney improperly undertook to make this decision on behalf of the client. Answer choice A is incorrect because, while a lawyer must generally communicate all bona fide offers of settlement to the client, a lawyer is not required to do so when the client has given the lawyer specific instructions regarding future settlement offers.

5

An attorney represented a defendant in a personal injury case. Opposing counsel approached the attorney and offered to drop the case in exchange for a $5,000 settlement from the defendant. The attorney, eager to finish the case before trial and honestly believing that the client would be happy with the settlement, agreed on the spot. Opposing counsel asked the attorney if he needed to check with his client first, and the attorney told her that the amount was fine with his client. The two attorneys entered into the settlement agreement. Later that day, the attorney informed his client of the settlement agreement. The client, angry with the attorney’s behavior, categorically rejected the settlement. The attorney informed the client that he was now bound by the settlement agreement and would have to pay.
Is the lawyer correct in telling the client that he is bound by the settlement agreement and has to pay the plaintiff?

Answers:

Yes, because the decision to settle is a procedural tactic and is ultimately left to the attorney.

Yes, because the lawyer acted with apparent authority.

No, because the decision to accept a settlement offer is a decision ultimately left to the client.

No, because the client did not ratify the settlement agreement.

Yes, because the lawyer acted with apparent authority.


While a lawyer who agrees to a settlement without the client’s consent and authorization is subject to discipline, the opposing party may still enforce the settlement agreement if the lawyer acted with apparent authority.

6

Three days ago, an attorney agreed on a contingency fee basis to represent, at an administrative hearing, a claimant who has been denied Social Security disability benefits. Neither the attorney nor the claimant has filed a request for a hearing with the Social Security Administration. Due solely to a backlog in hearing similar challenges, once a request for a hearing is filed, the hearing itself will not take place for at least another six months.
Two days ago, the attorney learned that she had been appointed as counsel by a federal court in a class action lawsuit. The class action lawsuit has the potential for being very lucrative for the attorney, in contrast to the remuneration the attorney may receive for representation of the claimant. Not wanting to be distracted by the disability benefits matter, the attorney discussed the transfer of representation of the claimant with another lawyer in her firm who is as well qualified to handle the matter as the attorney is. The other lawyer was amenable to the transfer. However, the client refused to agree to the transfer or to the attorney’s withdrawal from representation of her claim. Despite the client’s refusal, the attorney has informed the client that the attorney nevertheless is withdrawing. The attorney has returned all papers related to the matter that she had received from the client.
Is the attorney’s withdrawal from representation of the claimant proper?

Answers:

No, because the attorney breached her duty of confidence to the claimant by discussing the matter with another lawyer in her firm.

No, because the attorney may not withdraw from representation of the claimant without the claimant’s permission when a substantial reason for the withdrawal is the potential economic benefit to the attorney.

Yes, because the withdrawal will not materially harm the claimant.

Yes, but only because the attorney found another qualified lawyer to represent the claimant.

Yes, because the withdrawal will not materially harm the claimant.


A lawyer generally may withdraw for any reason when the client’s interests will not be materially harmed, even when the client objects to the withdrawal. MRPC 1.16(b)(1). Here, the hearing will not take place for another six months, and there is no indication that the claimant’s interests would be materially harmed as a result of the withdrawal from representation. As this matter was not in court, no permission of the court would be required for the attorney to withdraw. Answer choice A is incorrect because, unless the client objects, a lawyer may discuss the client’s matter with another attorney in the lawyer’s firm without breaching the ethical duty of confidentiality. MRPC 1.6, cmt. 5.

7

An attorney who practiced in a partnership with another attorney agreed to represent a pedestrian in a personal injury action against the driver of an automobile. The written representation agreement, signed by both the attorney and the client, provided that the attorney’s fee would be contingent on the success of the litigation and spelled out the manner in which the fee would be calculated, the various anticipated expenses for which the client was liable, and that such expenses would be deducted before the contingency fee was calculated. The client’s court costs and litigation expenses were to be paid initially by the attorney, and the client’s reimbursement of the attorney for these items was also made contingent on the success of the litigation. Neither in the agreement itself nor in any communication by the attorney to the client did the attorney reveal that, pursuant to the partnership agreement, her partner was entitled to a share of any fee earned by the attorney.
The attorney won a sizeable judgment for the client. In a timely manner thereafter at a conference in the attorney’s office, the attorney orally explained the amount of the recovery to which the client was entitled pursuant to the contingency agreement and ensured that the client promptly received that amount.
Were the attorney’s actions with regard to her fee improper?

Answers:

No, because a contingency fee is allowed in a personal injury action as long as the fee agreement is in writing.

No, because a client’s payment of court costs and litigation expenses may be made contingent on the success of the litigation.

Yes, because the attorney failed to disclose to the client that the attorney was obligated to share her fee with her partner.

Yes, because, at the conclusion of the case, the attorney failed to provide the client with a written statement stating the outcome and showing the method of determining the client’s portion of the recovery.

Yes, because, at the conclusion of the case, the attorney failed to provide the client with a written statement stating the outcome and showing the method of determining the client’s portion of the recovery.

At the conclusion of a successful contingent fee matter, the lawyer must provide the client with a written statement stating the outcome of the matter and, if there is a recovery, showing the remittance to the client and the method of its determination. MRPC 1.5(c). The attorney in this case failed to provide this information in written form to the client. Answer choice A is incorrect because, while a contingency fee arrangement that is in writing is permitted in a personal injury action, a lawyer must still provide the disclosures required at the conclusion of a contingency fee matter in written format. MRPC 1.5(c). Answer choice B is incorrect, because, although a client’s payment of court costs and litigation expenses may be made contingent on the success of the litigation (MRPC 1.8(e)), the required disclosures were not provided in written form. Answer choice C is incorrect because, while a lawyer is required to disclose a fee-sharing arrangement with another attorney who is not within the same firm as the lawyer, there IS NOT a disclosure requirement with respect to a fee-sharing arrangement between lawyers in the same firm. MRPC 1.5(e).

8

A businessman contacts an attorney, who was a sole practitioner, about representing him before a governmental board. Due to a conflict of interest arising from the attorney’s recent service on the board, the attorney declines to represent the businessman in the current matter. Instead, the attorney offers, for a reasonable fee, to refer the businessman to another lawyer who is experienced in handling such matters. The businessman agrees and pays the attorney the agreed upon fee. The attorney supplies the businessman with the name of the other lawyer, whom the businessman then employs to represent him before the board.
Is the attorney’s action proper?

Answers:

Yes, because the referral fee was reasonable.

Yes, because the attorney did not practice in the same firm as the lawyer to whom he referred the businessman.

No, because an attorney may not pay another person for referring a client.

No, because a referral fee constitutes an impermissible splitting of a fee between lawyers.

Yes, because the referral fee was reasonable.


Answer choice A is correct. A lawyer is prohibited from charging an unreasonable fee for his services. MRPC 1.5(a). The attorney in question charged a reasonable fee to recommend another attorney. While often an attorney provides a referral to another attorney without charge to the person seeking the referral, there is not a prohibition on charging a person for providing a referral. Answer choice B is incorrect because the fact that the two lawyers in question do not practice in the same firm is irrelevant to the issue of whether the fee the attorney charged the businessman for a referral to another attorney was proper. Answer choice C is incorrect because, while it is true that a lawyer may not pay another person, including another lawyer, for referring a client, MRPC 7.2(b), that prohibition does not apply to these facts. Here, it was the potential client, NOT the lawyer, who was paying for a referral. Answer choice D is incorrect because the facts do not indicate that the attorney has shared the fee with the lawyer to whom he referred the businessman.

9

As part of a routine conflict check conducted upon the hiring of new personnel, a law firm learned that an attorney who was joining the firm as a lateral associate had previously represented an insurance company in an ongoing reinsurance contract dispute with another insurance company, the firm’s second biggest client. The firm immediately notified the attorney that she would be subject to the firm’s detailed existing screening procedures with regard to the case and would not be allowed to participate in the matter or share any part of the fee. The firm and the attorney then sent a letter to the attorney’s former client, describing the attorney’s prior representation and stating that the client’s material confidential information had not been disclosed or used and that the attorney and the firm were in compliance with all required confidentiality rules. The letter indicated that the attorney was being screened from the firm’s representation of its client, described the screening procedures used, indicated that judicial review might be available to the former client, and provided that the firm would be willing to respond promptly to any written questions or objections by the client about the screening procedures. In response, the attorney’s former client sent a letter to the firm objecting to the firm’s continued representation of its client on the basis of the attorney’s conflict of interest.
Is the firm’s continued representation of its client proper?

Answers:

No, because the attorney’s former client objected to the representation.

No, because the firm’s current client was not notified about the attorney’s conflict.

Yes, because the firm screened the attorney from its representation of its client and notified the attorney’s former client of what was being done.

Yes, because the attorney is merely an associate and not a partner with the new firm.

Yes, because the firm screened the attorney from its representation of its client and notified the attorney’s former client of what was being done.


If a lawyer switches firms and has a conflict of interest because of the lawyer’s previous representation of a client or the prior law firm’s previous representation of a client, the new law firm will not have the disqualified lawyer’s conflict imputed to it if the disqualified lawyer is timely screened from any participation in the matter, the lawyer is apportioned no part of the fee, and written notice is promptly given to any affected former client so that the client can determine if there has been compliance with the Model Rules. MRPC 1.10(a)(2). If the requirements of the Rule are met, the former client’s consent is not required. Thus, answer choice A is incorrect. Answer choice B is incorrect because only the former client, NOT THE CURRENT CLIENT, must be notified. Answer choice D is incorrect because it is irrelevant whether the attorney was an associate or a partner. The rule limiting imputed disqualification applies to an associate as well as a partner.

10

A partner in a law firm learns that the firm has recently agreed to represent a new client in a personal injury suit for a contingent fee. The partner realizes that she has a conflict with the client from her work at her previous law firm, and she tells the firm’s managing partner about the conflict. The firm then properly screens the partner from the case and provides all required notice regarding the conflict to the client. The firm is eventually successful in its representation of the client and receives a significant fee as a result of the representation. In allocating the annual firm income to each partner under the firm’s partnership agreement, the firm includes the fee earned in the personal injury suit.
Is it proper for the partner to share in the fee from the personal injury suit?

Answers:

Yes, because the partner is obtaining the fee as part of her annual partnership share.

Yes, because the firm properly screened the attorney from the case and provided all required notice regarding the conflict to the client.

No, because the partner is not permitted to receive compensation directly related to a matter from which she was disqualified.

No, but only because the fee was a contingent fee.

No, because the partner is not permitted to receive compensation directly related to a matter from which she was disqualified.

A disqualified lawyer may not receive compensation that is directly related to the matter from which the lawyer is disqualified. MRPC 1.10, cmt. 8. Answer choice A is incorrect because even though a disqualified lawyer may receive a partnership share established by prior independent agreement, she is not permitted to receive compensation that is directly related to the matter from which she has been disqualified. Here, it is clear that the partner would be receiving compensation directly related to the matter from which she was disqualified.

11

A judge nearing the end of her term heard the morning docket calls on behalf of her sick colleague. Among the morning’s items was a motion to extend the time for discovery. An attorney for each party was present, and each attorney had signed the motion, agreeing to the extension of time. The judge granted the extension. The following month the judge’s term expired, and shortly thereafter the judge secured a position as a managing member of the law firm that represented one of the parties who had sought the discovery extension. The judge was not assigned to work on that party’s case, was screened from receiving information about the case or participating in discussions about its handling, and did not receive any portion of the fee received by the firm from the client. Several months later, upon learning from an independent source of the judge’s association with the firm, the other party to the case moved to have the firm’s attorneys removed from the case.
Is it proper for the firm’s attorneys to continue representation of the client?

Answers:

Yes, because the former judge was timely screened from participation in the matter and did not receive any portion of the fee from it.

Yes, because the former judge had not substantially participated in the case as a judge.

No, because the former judge had personally participated in the case as a judge.

No, because the firm did not give written notice to the other party in the case of the former judge’s employment by the firm.

Yes, because the former judge had not substantially participated in the case as a judge.


The fact that a former judge exercised administrative responsibility in a court would not prevent her from acting as a lawyer in a matter in which the judge had previously exercised remote or incidental administrative responsibility that did not affect the merits of the case. MRPC 1.12, cmt. 1. The judge’s participation in this matter was administrative and did not affect the merits of the action. Since the judge herself would not be disqualified, her firm would be allowed to continue representation.

12

An attorney brought an action to recover fees for services rendered to a client in a complex civil litigation matter involving the ownership of a business. The client filed a counterclaim against the attorney alleging negligent malpractice in the prior litigation. The client contended that the attorney failed, in the prior trial, to introduce into evidence documents obtained by the client as to the value of the business. Although the documents were relevant and favorable to the client, the documents were not produced in response to a court discovery order due to having been misfiled by the attorney’s otherwise competent, and properly supervised, paralegal. As a sanction, the court prohibited the documents from being introduced into evidence, even though they were subsequently located. In the prior action, the court found, based on other evidence, that the value of the business exceeded the amount supported by the documents, but the court reduced the amount that the client expected to receive for other reasons.
Is the attorney subject to civil liability for the inability to introduce the documents into evidence?

Answers:

Yes, because the documents were relevant and favorable to the client.

Yes, because the attorney is responsible for acts and omissions committed by the paralegal within the ordinary course of business.

No, because the client did not suffer a harm.

No, but only because the attorney did not commit a violation of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct.

No, because the client did not suffer a harm.


For a lawyer to be subject to civil liability for malpractice based on negligence, the client must suffer harm; damages are not presumed. Since the value of the business as determined by the court was greater than the amount supported by the documents, the client did not actually suffer harm from the inability to introduce the documents. Answer choice A is incorrect because, although the fact that the documents were relevant and favorable to the client suggests that the failure to introduce such documents harmed the client, the client was not adversely affected by the prohibition on the introduction of the documents into evidence, as noted with respect to answer choice C.

13

An attorney prosecuted a former state official on criminal charges stemming from conduct by the former official while in office. Late one afternoon, after the trial in state court had been recessed for the day, the attorney was waiting in a light rain in front of the courthouse to catch a cab back to his hotel, which was approximately one mile away. A juror in the trial drove by and recognized the attorney. The juror stopped and offered the attorney a ride. Upon getting into the car, the attorney thanked the driver and then realized that the driver of the car was a juror in the criminal case. The attorney requested that the juror stop the car and let the attorney out. The juror stopped the car, but indicated that she had no motive other than being a Good Samaritan and asked where the attorney was attempting to go. The attorney, conscious of the fact that it had begun to rain hard, indicated the hotel at which he was staying. The juror drove the attorney to the hotel. During the short trip, they discussed the foul weather. At the hotel, the attorney got out of the car and thanked the juror for the ride.
Subsequent to the conviction of the former state official, the encounter between the attorney and the juror came to light. The former state official filed a habeas corpus petition in federal court seeking a new trial due to prosecutorial misconduct based on the encounter. The federal court ruled that, after questioning the juror, the encounter did not result in juror bias and therefore did not violate the fair trial guarantee of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Is the attorney subject to discipline for his conduct?

Answers:

Yes, because the attorney failed to report the encounter to the court.

Yes, because the attorney engaged in an ex parte communication with a juror.

No, because the attorney did not initiate the contact with the juror and did not have the intent to improperly influence the juror.

No, because the encounter did not result in a mistrial.

Yes, because the attorney engaged in an ex parte communication with a juror.

lawyer is prohibited from ANY out-of-court communication with a juror during the trial, even when the communication is UNRELATED to the trial. MRPC 3.5(b), cmt. b.

14

An attorney with many years of experience in family law matters was serving as a mediator selected by a husband and a wife in an effort to help them agree on the terms of a joint custody agreement regarding their children. After several days, an agreement could not be reached. The parties indicated that they would be giving up on mediation and turning to the court for a decision on the terms of custody. In front of the wife, the husband asked the attorney to represent him in the litigation. The attorney told the wife that her informed consent was needed in order for him to represent the husband in the matter and carefully explained the material risks and reasonably available alternatives to her. In response, the wife said “I give my informed consent to you representing this pig.”
Is it proper for the attorney to now represent the husband in the matter?

Answers:

No, because the attorney served as a joint mediator in the dispute and is never permitted to thereafter represent one of the parties in the same matter.

No, because the consent given to the representation was insufficient to allow the attorney to represent the husband.

Yes, because the wife specifically gave her informed consent to the representation.

Yes, because this is a family law matter.

No, because the consent given to the representation was insufficient to allow the attorney to represent the husband.

A lawyer who serves as a third-party neutral in a matter may not thereafter serve as a lawyer representing a client in the same matter, unless all parties give their informed, WRITTEN consent. Here, the wife’s consent was only oral and would be insufficient. In addition, the husband did not give his consent in WRITING.

15

A local school board is considering the purchase of new equipment. At a public meeting during which the purchase is discussed, an attorney speaks in favor of the purchase. The attorney truthfully states that she is the parent of a student who attends one of the schools that would receive the new equipment. The attorney, acting in accordance with her client’s instructions, does not reveal that she has been employed by a manufacturer of the equipment to speak on behalf of the purchase at the meeting.
Is the attorney subject to discipline with regard to addressing the board?

Answers:

No, because the attorney has been instructed by her client not to reveal the representation.

No, because the proceeding was not an adversarial one.

Yes, because the attorney failed to reveal that she was representing the client.

Yes, because the attorney’s action, while not improper, has the appearance of impropriety.

Yes, because the attorney failed to reveal that she was representing the client.


A lawyer who represents a client before a legislative body or administrative agency in a non-adjudicative proceeding MUST disclose that the appearance is in a representative capacity. MRPC 3.9.

16

An attorney who specializes in estate planning entered into a written agreement with an insurance agent. Under the terms of the agreement, the attorney agrees to recommend that his clients use the insurance agent to acquire life insurance whenever the attorney advises a client to have life insurance as a part of the client’s estate plan. Similarly, the insurance agent agrees to recommend the attorney to her clients whenever they need the services of an estate planning lawyer. The agreement provides that the attorney and the insurance agent must each disclose to a client the existence and nature of the agreement. The agreement also provides that the attorney will not recommend another insurance agent to provide life insurance and the insurance agent will not recommend another lawyer to provide estate planning services.
Was it proper for the attorney to enter into this agreement?

Answers:

No, because the attorney gave something of value to the insurance agent for recommending the attorney’s services.

No, because the agreement was exclusive.

Yes, because the agreement required both the attorney and the insurance agent to disclose the existence and nature of the agreement to their clients.

Yes, because a lawyer may enter into a referral agreement with a non-lawyer.

No, because the agreement was exclusive.

A lawyer may enter into a reciprocal referral agreement with another lawyer or a non-lawyer professional, but such an agreement MAY NOT BE EXCLUSIVE. MRPC 7.2(b)(4).

17

Looking to earn extra money, an attorney with personal injury defense expertise signed up to participate as a legal services provider for a pre-paid legal plan administered by a local insurance company. Under the terms of the contract that the insurance company and the attorney signed, the company agreed to telephone all persons who were known to need personal injury defense representation as a result of claims filed with the company’s accident insurance division and provide the attorney’s name and contact information and information about joining the pre-paid plan to them.
Is the attorney subject to discipline for participating in the plan?

Answers:

Yes, because participation in a pre-paid legal services plan is not permissible.

Yes, because the company would be engaging in improper telephone contact to solicit memberships in the plan from persons known to need specific services covered by the plan.

No, because an attorney is permitted to participate in a pre-paid legal services plan.

No, because there would be no solicitation of persons known to need specific legal services by the attorney.

Yes, because the company would be engaging in improper telephone contact to solicit memberships in the plan from persons known to need specific services covered by the plan.


While a lawyer may participate in a pre-paid or group legal services plan under certain circumstances, the plan may only solicit from persons who are not known to need legal services in a particular matter covered by the plan. Here, the insurance company would be engaging in telephone solicitation on behalf of the attorney with specific persons known to need the kind of legal services the attorney would provide.

18

An attorney whose practice includes legal malpractice regularly reviews the published disciplinary actions taken by the highest court of the state against lawyers. He sends an e-mail to each lawyer who has been disciplined, offering his services to represent the lawyer in any future legal malpractice action brought against the lawyer. The e-mail does not state that it is an advertisement. In some circumstances, the attorney also calls the lawyer’s office, properly identifies himself, and indicates that his purpose is to solicit business. If permitted to speak directly to the disciplined lawyer, the attorney briefly explains his practice and offers his services.
Are the attorney’s actions proper?

Answers:

Yes, because the prospective clients are all lawyers.

Yes, because the attorney may use targeted electronic communication that does not involve real-time contact to solicit professional employment.

No, because the attorney made live telephone contact with an individual in order to solicit the individual to utilize the attorney’s legal services.

No, because the attorney’s e-mail failed to state that it is an advertisement.

Yes, because the prospective clients are all lawyers.

A lawyer is generally prohibited from solicitation of professional employment from a prospective client that is done by live telephone. However, an exception exists when the prospective client is ANOTHER LAWYER.

19

An attorney is properly certified as a specialist in family relations law by a national organization accredited by the American Bar Association. On his website, the attorney identifies himself as a “Certified Specialist in Elder Law,” but he does not identify the certifying organization. In addition, on the website, the attorney states that he does not provide representation in criminal law matters.
Is the attorney subject to discipline for his website?

Answers:

No, because the attorney is a certified specialist.

No, because the attorney may exclude areas of the law from his practice.

Yes, because the attorney does not practice in patent, trademark, or admiralty law.

Yes, because the attorney failed to identify the certifying organization.

Yes, because the attorney failed to identify the certifying organization.

A lawyer who is certified as a specialist in a field of law by an accredited organization that has been approved by an appropriate state authority or by the American Bar Association may state that fact, but he must also clearly identify the name of the certifying organization. MRPC 7.4(d)(2). Since the attorney here failed to identify the name of the certifying organization, the attorney has not complied with the Model Rules and is subject to discipline.

20

Hoping to gain favorable judicial appointments, a law firm made campaign contributions to the campaign committees of all of the state trial court judges up for re-election. After one of these judges was re-elected, the judge appointed an attorney from the firm as an uncompensated special master in a property dispute.
Is it proper for the attorney to accept the appointment from the judge?

Answers:

No, because the attorney’s firm made a monetary contribution to the judge’s re-election campaign for the purpose of securing judicial appointments.

No, because the firm made contributions to the campaigns of all of the state trial judges up for re-election.

Yes, because the campaign contribution was made to the judge’s campaign committee.

Yes, because the appointment is uncompensated.

Yes, because the appointment is uncompensated.


Although a lawyer or law firm may not accept an appointment by a judge if the lawyer or law firm makes a political contribution for the purpose of obtaining or being considered for such an appointment, an appointment to provide substantially uncompensated services is excluded from this prohibition.

21

A judge underwent an operation for a medical condition at a local hospital. After the operation, which was successful, the surgeon who performed the operation approached the judge about appearing in a television commercial. The purpose of the commercial was to encourage others in the community who required such an operation to have the operation done by the surgeon at the local hospital. The judge only briefly appeared in the commercial as one of three patients of the surgeon, all of whom had had the same type of operation. In the commercial, the judge truthfully stated that she was pleased to have her medical problem solved by the operation. While the judge was on-screen, she was visually identified by name and profession (i.e., “Judge ______”) in a manner similar to the other two patients who appeared in the commercial. The judge did not receive compensation in any form for appearing in the commercial.
Was the judge’s participation in the commercial proper?

Answers:

No, because the judge abused the prestige of her office to advance the economic interests of the surgeon and the hospital.

No, because, by revealing that the judge had the operation, the commercial reflects adversely on the judge’s fitness to serve as a judge.

Yes, because the judge was not compensated for appearing in the commercial.

Yes, because the information about the judge, as well as the information conveyed by the judge in the commercial, was truthful.

No, because the judge abused the prestige of her office to advance the economic interests of the surgeon and the hospital.


A judge must not abuse the prestige of judicial office to advance the personal or economic interests of the judge or others. CJC Rule 1.3. In this instance, the judge’s appearance in the commercial was intended to directly advance the economic interests of the surgeon and the hospital. Moreover, the judge not only personally appeared in the commercial, but also allowed herself to be identified as a judge, thereby lending the prestige of her office to advance those interests.

22

A trial court judge serves as the president of a not-for-profit charitable organization that provides relief to victims of natural disasters. It is unlikely that the organization will be engaged in proceedings that would ordinarily come before the judge or the court of which the judge is a member. As president, the judge receives reasonable compensation that is commensurate with the judge’s service as president. Following a spate of natural disasters that have depleted the organization’s funding, the organization decides to seek additional funding through a grant from a charitable trust. The grant application requires the president of the organization to sign the grant application on behalf of the organization. The judge signs the application, indicating that she is president of the organization, but does not indicate that she is a judge.
Are the judge’s actions with regard to the not-for-profit charitable organization improper?

Answers:

No, because the judge fully complied with the Code of Judicial Conduct with regard to participation in charitable organizations and activities.

Yes, because a judge may never receive compensation for extrajudicial activities.

Yes, because a judge is not permitted to serve as an officer of a not-for-profit organization.

Yes, because the judge may not engage in the fundraising activities on behalf of the not-for-profit organization as described in these facts.

Yes, because the judge may not engage in the fundraising activities on behalf of the not-for-profit organization as described in these facts.

A judge generally may not engage in fundraising activities on behalf of a not-for-profit charitable organization. The limited exceptions that permit a judge to solicit contributions to such an organization from members of the judge’s family or from other judges over whom the judge does not have supervisory or appellate authority do not apply to this judge.

23

Upon learning that a judge on the local trial court is retiring, an attorney decides to run for election to the position that the judge is vacating. In this state, the judgeship is determined by a local partisan election. In accordance with the timing restrictions imposed by state law, the attorney announces his intent to seek the endorsement of a particular political party by running as a candidate in the primary of that political party. In addition, the attorney actively seeks the endorsement of various elected local officials, including seeking the endorsement of the judges who are currently up for re-election on the local trial court.
Are the attorney’s efforts to be elected to the judgeship proper?

Answers:

Yes, because the attorney, as only a candidate for judicial office rather than a sitting judge, is not subject to the Code of Judicial Conduct.

Yes, because the attorney, as a candidate for judicial office, has adhered to the Code of Judicial Conduct.

No, because the attorney, as a candidate for judicial office, may not seek the endorsement of a political party.

No, because the attorney, as a candidate for judicial office, may not seek the endorsement of judges who are running for re-election to the same judicial office.

Yes, because the attorney, as a candidate for judicial office, has adhered to the Code of Judicial Conduct.


The lawyer, as a candidate for judicial office, is subject to Canon 4 of the Code of Judicial Conduct, which relates to political and campaign activities. A candidate for a judicial office that is determined by a partisan election may seek the endorsement of a partisan political organization, such as a political party. CJC Rule 4.2(C), cmt. 3. In addition, a candidate for any elective judicial office may seek, accept, and use an endorsement from any person, including candidates for the same office, which encompasses judgeships on the same court. CJC Rule 4.1, cmt. 4; 4.2(B)(3), (5), cmt. 6.