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Professional Responsibility Multiple Choice
Terms in this set (40)
A lawyer is prohibited from charging which of the following fees?
A A contingent fee in a breach of contract case.
B A fee that is nonrefundable in whole or in part.
C A flat fee.
D A fee contingent upon securing a divorce.
Contingent fees are prohibited in: (i) domestic relations matters in which the payment or amount of the fee is contingent upon the securing of a divorce or upon the amount of alimony, support, or property settlement collected; and (ii) criminal cases. Otherwise, contingent fees are generally permitted in civil cases. Thus, D. is correct and A. is wrong. Flat fees are allowed subject to reasonableness, so C. is wrong. D. is wrong because a lawyer also may charge a fee that is nonrefundable in whole or in part (e.g., a retainer paid so that the lawyer will be available to represent the client). However, a nonrefundable fee must be agreed to in a writing that is signed by the client, and that explains the intent of the parties as to the nature and amount of the fee.
The Rules of Professional Conduct specifically prohibit a lawyer from charging an ____________________ fee.
Of course, if a lawyer cannot charge an unreasonable fee, the lawyer obviously cannot charge an excessive, exorbitant, or unconscionable fee. But the RPC specifically prohibit "unreasonable" fees. Reasonableness is determined based on such factors as the time, labor, and skill required to perform the work; the customary fee within the locality for similar work; the amount involved and result obtained; and the experience, ability, and reputation of the attorney.
Which of the following statements regarding fee agreements is correct?
A A contingent fee agreement must be in writing and signed by the client.
B All fee agreements must be in writing and signed by the client.
C A fee agreement must always be communicated to the client before the start of the representation.
D A contingent fee agreement need not be in writing if the client waives the right to review it.
Contingent fee agreements are held to a heightened standard; they must be in writing and signed by the client. Therefore, A. is correct. D. is wrong because this requirement cannot be waived by the client. The RPC recommend that all other fee agreements be in writing, but it is not required; thus, B. is wrong. C. is wrong because the fee agreement may be communicated before or within a reasonable time after commencing the representation.
A lawyer working as a solo practitioner represents a plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit for a period of two years. The lawyer withdraws from the case and joins the law firm that represents one of the defendants in the same personal injury case. If the plaintiff objects, under what circumstances may other attorneys at the lawyer's new firm continue to represent the defendant in the personal injury case?
A Only if the lawyer is screened from the matter.
B Under no circumstances; this is prohibited.
C Regardless of the circumstances; there are no restrictions because the lawyer no longer represents the plaintiff.
D Only if the lawyer is apportioned no part of the fee from the matter.
In Tennessee, if a lawyer leaves one law firm and joins another firm that is representing a client with interests materially adverse to a client of the new lawyer's former firm, the lawyer's personal disqualification generally will not be imputed to lawyers at the new firm if screening is implemented and the disqualified lawyer's former client is notified. However, screening will not remove the imputation when the disqualified lawyer had "substantial responsibility" in representing her former client in a proceeding that is directly adverse to the interests of a current client at the new firm, and the proceeding is still pending at the time the lawyer changes firms. (Note that these rules also apply to paralegals, law clerks, etc.) Here, it is clear that the lawyer had substantial responsibility in representing the plaintiff in the personal injury case because she was a solo practitioner and handled the case for two years. Thus, B. is correct and the other choices are wrong.
In which of the following situations is there a concurrent conflict of interest?
A Where the lawyer represents two clients whose interests are materially aligned in substantially related matters.
B Where the representation of one client in a matter will be directly adverse to another client who the lawyer represents in unrelated matters.
C Where the representation creates the appearance of impropriety.
D Where a reasonable person would conclude the lawyer has a conflict.
According to the Rules of Professional Conduct, a concurrent conflict of interest exists when: (i) the representation will be directly adverse to another client's interests (even if the matters are unrelated), or (ii) there is a significant risk that representation will be materially limited by the lawyer's personal interests or responsibilities to a current or former client or third person. Thus, B. is correct because the representation of one client will be directly adverse to another. A. is wrong because the parties interests are not directly adverse to one another and there is no evident risk that the lawyer's representation of either client would be materially limited. C. and D. are wrong because the appearance of impropriety or what a reasonable person might conclude are not relevant to the determination.
Despite a concurrent conflict of interest, a lawyer may proceed with the representation of a client if certain conditions are met. Which of the following is NOT required for the lawyer to properly proceed?
A The client must be given the opportunity to seek independent legal counsel who can advise the client as to whether to waive the conflict.
B The lawyer must reasonably believe that he will be able to provide competent and diligent representation to each affected client despite the conflict.
The representation must not involve the lawyer simultaneously representing opposing parties in the same litigation.
D Each affected client must give informed consent, confirmed in writing.
A. is correct because the lawyer is not required to advise the client to seek independent counsel when a concurrent conflict exists. B., C., and D. describe requirements for an effective client waiver of a concurrent conflict.
A lawyer who formerly represented Former Client in a matter may not thereafter represent Current Client adverse to Former Client in:
A Any matter, regardless of whether Former Client consents.
B The same matter or a substantially related matter, unless Former Client consents.
C Any matter, unless Former Client consents.
D The same matter or a substantially related matter, regardless of whether Former Client consents.
A lawyer who formerly represented a client in a matter may not thereafter represent another person in the same or a substantially related matter if that person's interests are materially adverse to those of the former client, unless the former client gives informed consent, confirmed in writing. B. is correct because the prohibition applies to the same matter or a substantially related matter, and because the former client's informed consent will cure the conflict.
In which of the following situations is a lawyer permitted to solicit professional employment from a potential client through in-person, live telephone, or real-time electronic contact?
When the person contacted has a family, close personal, or prior professional relationship with the lawyer.
B When a significant motive for the lawyer's solicitation is the lawyer's pecuniary gain.
C When the solicitation does not involve duress, harassment, or undue influence.
D When the solicitation is truthful and not misleading.
The RPC generally prohibit in-person, live telephone, or real-time electronic solicitation when a significant motive for the solicitation is the lawyer's pecuniary gain. Thus, B. is wrong. However, A. is correct because this type of solicitation is allowed when lawyer has a family, close personal, or prior professional relationship with the person contacted. Regarding C., the absence of duress, harassment, and undue influence does not make a solicitation proper—rather, these actions are prohibited regardless of whether the lawyer has a prior relationship with the person contacted. D. is wrong because the fact that a solicitation does involve a false or misleading communication (the standard regulating lawyer advertising) does not permit real-time contact.
A lawyer who has formerly represented a client in a matter or whose present or former firm has formerly represented a client in a matter is:
A Permitted to reveal information relating to the representation of the former client and to use such information in any manner.
B Permitted to disclose information relating to the representation of the former client, but prohibited from using such information to the former client's disadvantage.
C Always prohibited from revealing information relating to the representation or using such information to the disadvantage of the former client, regardless of the circumstances.
D Prohibited from revealing information relating to the representation or using such information to the disadvantage of the former client, with certain exceptions.
Generally, an attorney is prohibited from revealing information relating to the representation or using such information to the disadvantage of the former client unless (i) the former client consents; (ii) doing so is permitted or required by the Rules of Professional Conduct; or (iii) the information has become generally known. The former client is still entitled to confidentiality even if the revealed information is not used to the client's disadvantage. A lawyer is allowed to disclose information relating to the representation or use it to the client's disadvantage in certain circumstances.
A lawyer employed or retained by an organization represents:
A The organization, acting through its duly authorized constituents.
B The officers of the organization, and the organization itself.
C All employees of the organization.
D The officers of the organization.
When representing an organizational client, the attorney represents the organization acting through its duly authorized constituents. Thus, A. is correct. The attorney must act in the best interests of the organization as a separate entity, and not any specific constituents within the organization. Although the lawyer may also represent constituents of the organization (subject to the conflict of interest rules), such representation is not automatic.
If a lawyer for an organization knows that a constituent of the organization is engaged in action that is likely to result in substantial injury to the organization, then the lawyer's first course of action generally is to:
A Withdraw from the representation.
B Disclose to outside authorities whatever information the lawyer reasonably believes is necessary to prevent the organization from suffering injury.
C Refer the matter to a higher authority in the organization, including, if warranted by the circumstances, to its highest authority.
D Disclose to outside authorities whatever information the lawyer reasonably believes is necessary to prevent a third party from suffering financial harm.
C. correctly describes a lawyer's "up-the-ladder" reporting obligation when a constituent commits misconduct. Then, the lawyer may withdraw if the highest authority within the organization fails to take appropriate action. Disclosure of information outside the confines of the organization is only permitted in limited circumstances (e.g., if authorized by RPC 1.6, relating to the duty of confidentiality), and is certainly not required.
The Rules of Professional Conduct state that a lawyer must not make a statement that the lawyer knows to be false or ____________________ concerning the qualifications or integrity of a judge.
B With reckless disregard as to its truth or falsity.
C That the lawyer reasonably should know is false.
D Substantially untrue.
A lawyer must not make a statement that a lawyer knows to be false or with reckless disregard as to its truth or falsity concerning the qualifications or integrity of a judge, adjudicatory or public legal officer, or of a candidate for election or appointment to judicial or legal office.
Generally, if a lawyer knows that his client has committed a fraud upon the court and is unable to convince the client to disclose or otherwise rectify the fraud, what must the lawyer do?
Seek the court's permission to withdraw from the representation, and disclose the client's wrongdoing to the court.
B Seek the court's permission to withdraw from the representation and inform the court, without disclosing the client's wrongdoing, that the lawyer's request to withdraw is required by the Rules of Professional Conduct.
D Promptly disclose the client's wrongdoing to the court.
If a lawyer finds out that his client has committed a fraud upon the tribunal, or intends to do so, and the client refuses to disclose or otherwise rectify the fraud, the lawyer must seek permission to withdraw from the representation of the client and must inform the tribunal, without disclosure of the client's wrongdoing, that the lawyer's request to withdraw is required by the Rules of Professional Conduct. Thus, B. is correct. (If, however, the client's misconduct is against a juror or member of the jury pool, the lawyer's duty of candor to the tribunal prevails over confidentiality and the misconduct must be revealed to the tribunal.)
With certain exceptions, an attorney who ____________________ that another lawyer has committed a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct that raises a ____________________ question as to that lawyer's honesty or fitness as a lawyer in other respects must inform the appropriate professional authority.
A Knows; reasonable.
B Knows or reasonably should know; reasonable.
C Knows; substantial.
D Knows or reasonably should know; substantial.
A lawyer having knowledge that another lawyer has committed a violation of the RPC that raises a substantial question as to that lawyer's honesty or fitness as a lawyer in other respects must inform the appropriate professional authority. (However, this rule does not require disclosure of confidential information or information gained while participating in an approved lawyers' assistance program dealing with substance abuse problems.)
Even when no client-lawyer relationship ensues, a lawyer who has had discussions with a prospective client still owes ALL BUT WHICH of the following duties to the prospective client?
The duty not to use confidential information received during the initial discussions to the disadvantage of the prospective client.
B The duty not to reveal confidential information received during the initial discussions.
C The duty to refrain from representing any future client whose interests are adverse to those of the prospective client.
D The duty to safeguard client property entrusted to the lawyer by the prospective client.
A lawyer owes all of the general duties described in A., B., and D. to prospective clients. C. is too broad, and does not describe the duty of loyalty owed to a prospective client. Instead, a lawyer must not represent a client with interests "materially adverse" to those of a prospective client in the "same or substantially related matter," if the lawyer received information from the prospective client that could be "significantly harmful" to that prospective client in the matter.
A lawyer ____________________ disclose to the tribunal legal authority in the controlling jurisdiction that the lawyer knows is directly adverse to his client's position ____________________.
A Must; that was not disclosed by opposing counsel.
B Must; regardless of whether it was disclosed by opposing counsel.
Should; that was not disclosed by opposing counsel.
Must not; regardless of whether it was disclosed by opposing counsel.
A lawyer must disclose to the tribunal legal authority in the controlling jurisdiction known to the lawyer to be directly adverse to the position of the client that was not disclosed by opposing counsel.
During a proceeding, a lawyer comes to know that a non-client witness has perpetrated a fraud upon the tribunal in connection with the proceeding (and the client is not implicated in the fraud). What is lawyer required to do?
Seek permission of the tribunal to withdraw and inform the court, without further disclosure of confidential information related to the representation, that the lawyer's request to withdraw is required by the Rules of Professional Conduct.
Seek permission of the tribunal to withdraw from the representation, and disclose the witness's conduct only if the court denies permission to withdraw.
D Promptly report the witness's conduct to the tribunal, even if doing so would require the disclosure of confidential information relating to the representation.
If a lawyer comes to know, before the conclusion of the proceeding, that a person other than the client has testified falsely, the lawyer must promptly report the improper conduct to the tribunal, even if so doing requires the disclosure of information protected by RPC 1.6 (relating to confidentiality).
A lawyer who is participating or has participated in the investigation or litigation of a matter must not make an extrajudicial statement that the lawyer knows or reasonably should know will be disseminated by means of public communication and ____________________ an adjudicative proceeding in the matter.
A Has any potential to prejudice.
B Will have a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing.
C Will adversely impact.
D Will impact.
A lawyer in this situation must not make an extrajudicial statement that will have a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing an adjudicative proceeding.
In the course of representing a client, a lawyer must not ____________________ make a false statement of ____________________ to any third person.
A Knowingly or negligently; fact or law.
B Knowingly; material fact or law.
C Knowingly or negligently, material fact or law.
D Knowingly; fact or law.
A lawyer is prohibited from knowingly making a false statement of material fact or law to a third person. (A lawyer is prohibited from knowingly making any false statement of fact or law to a court.)
The Rules of Professional Conduct list several general prohibitions on a lawyer's conduct, the violation of which may lead to disciplinary measures. Under these prohibitions, a lawyer who commits a ____________________ act is NOT necessarily subject to discipline.
The RPC specifically state that a lawyer may not engage in any conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation. Thus, A., C., and D. are wrong because these acts on their own are enough to subject a lawyer to discipline. However, a lawyer is subject to discipline for a criminal act only where the act reflects adversely on the lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer in other respects. Some criminal violations (e.g., certain traffic violations) are considered unrelated to a lawyer's fitness to practice.
Which of the following characteristics is NOT specifically included within a lawyer's duty of competence?
A The zeal reasonably necessary for the representation.
B The legal knowledge reasonably necessary for the representation.
The skill reasonably necessary for the representation.
The preparation reasonably necessary for the representation.
"Zeal" is a concept more closely identified with the duty of diligent representation under the RPC. Also included in the duty of competence is the thoroughness reasonably necessary for the representation.
Which of the following statements does NOT accurately describe a lawyer's obligations when dealing with a third person in the course of representing a client?
A A lawyer must not threaten to present a criminal charge on a third person for the purpose of obtaining an advantage in a civil matter unless the lawyer reasonably believes that probable cause exists for the presentment of such a charge.
B A lawyer must not represent her client by means that have no substantial purpose other than to embarrass a third person.
C When communicating with an unrepresented third person, the lawyer must not state or imply that she is disinterested.
D A lawyer must not knowingly make a false statement of material fact to a third person.
A. is the correct answer because threatening to present criminal or disciplinary charges to gain an advantage in a civil matter is always prohibited; there is no probable cause exception. B., C., and D. are all accurate statements.
Under what circumstances may a lawyer draft a will that reflects the client's intent to leave a large financial gift to the lawyer?
A None; this is always forbidden.
B If the lawyer and the client are family members.
C If the client is also a lawyer.
D If the client understands the inherent conflict of interest in the representation and provides informed consent, confirmed in writing.
A lawyer must not solicit a substantial gift from a client or prepare an instrument giving the lawyer, or a person related to the lawyer, any substantial gift from a client except when the client is related to the donee. Thus, B. is correct and A. is wrong. C. is wrong because there must be a family relationship; whether the client is also a lawyer makes no difference. D. is wrong because consent will not cure the conflict.
Which of the following truthful descriptions of a lawyer's practice in an advertisement violates the Rules of Professional Conduct?
A "Child custody specialist."
B "Patent Attorney, admitted to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office."
"Exclusively handles real estate cases."
"Certified as a trademark law specialist by [accredited Tennessee organization]."
A. is correct because a lawyer may not state or imply that she is certified as a specialist in a particular field of law. However, this is permitted if the certifying organization is identified in the communication and accredited by Tennessee to make such certifications—thus, D. is wrong. C. is wrong because a lawyer may communicate the fact that she does or does not practice in particular fields of law. B. is wrong because a lawyer who is admitted to patent practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office may use the designation "Patent Attorney" or a substantially similar designation.
Generally, in the event of an accident or disaster, a lawyer must wait more than ____________________ days after the accident or disaster before soliciting professional employment from the victim or his family.
D. correctly states the rule; the waiting period is 30 days. Note that the waiting period does not apply when the lawyer has a family, close personal, or prior professional relationship with the person solicited.
A subordinate lawyer who violates a Rule of Professional Conduct while acting at the direction of his supervising lawyer:
A Is subject to discipline regardless of the circumstances.
B Is subject to discipline, unless he acted pursuant to a reasonable resolution of an arguable question of professional duty.
C Is not subject to discipline.
D Is subject to discipline only if it can be established that he knew he was acting unethically.
As a general rule, a subordinate lawyer does not escape sanction by violating the rules of professional conduct at the direction of a supervising attorney. However, a subordinate lawyer is not subject to discipline for acting at the direction of a supervising attorney when the direction was a reasonable resolution of an arguable question of professional duty—even if ultimately the action is determined to be unethical. Thus, B. is the correct answer.
In which of the following situations is a lawyer required to reveal information relating to the representation of a client?
To prevent the client from committing a fraud that is reasonably certain to result in substantial injury to the financial interests or property of another, and in furtherance of which the client has used or is using the lawyer's services.
To prevent reasonably certain death or substantial bodily harm.
To establish a claim or defense on behalf of the lawyer in a controversy between the lawyer and the client.
D To prevent the client from committing a crime.
B. is correct because a lawyer must disclose the client's information as is reasonably necessary to prevent reasonably certain death or substantial bodily harm. Answers A., C., and D. are wrong because they describe situations in which a lawyer may (but is not required to) disclose information.
A lawyer is prohibited from requesting that a person (who is not her client) refrain from voluntarily giving relevant information to another party:
A Unless the lawyer believes in good faith that doing so is in the client's best interest.
Unless the lawyer is directed by the client to do so.
C Unless the person is a relative or agent of the lawyer's client.
D Regardless of the circumstances.
A lawyer is generally prohibited from requesting that a person other than a client refrain from giving information to another party unless the person is a relative or employee or other agent of the client.
Under the Rules of Professional Conduct, in which of the following situations is lawyer specifically permitted—but not required—to reveal information relating to the representation of a client?
To prevent reasonably certain death or substantial bodily harm.
When the client has committed any fraud that has resulted in substantial financial injury to another.
C To prevent the client or any other person from committing a crime.
When the lawyer reasonably believes it is in the client's best interest to do so.
C. correctly states an exception to the confidentiality rule that permits disclosure. A. is wrong because a lawyer is required (not merely permitted) to reveal information in order to prevent death or substantial bodily harm. B. is wrong because a lawyer may only disclose such information in such cases where the client has used the lawyer's services to commit the fraud. D. wrong because it is too broad—a lawyer may disclose the client's information if the client consents, or if disclosure is "impliedly authorized" to carry out the representation. It is not enough that the lawyer reasonably believes that disclosure is in the client's best interests.
A lawyer represents a criminal defendant. Despite the lawyer's best efforts to convince him otherwise, the defendant insists that he plans to testify falsely at trial. At this point, what must the lawyer do?
Nothing; the lawyer must allow the defendant to testify as planned.
B Seek the court's permission to withdraw.
Disclose the defendant's intended perjury to the court.
D Allow the defendant to testify by way of an undirected narrative.
If lawyer knows that his client intends to testify falsely even after trying to convince the client otherwise, the lawyer must seek to withdraw. Thus, B. is the correct answer, and A. is wrong. If the court does not allow the lawyer to withdraw and the client is a criminal defendant, the lawyer may allow the client to testify by way of an undirected narrative or take such other action as is necessary to honor the defendant's constitutional rights in connection with the proceeding. Thus, D. is wrong because the lawyer must first seek to withdraw—the undirected narrative option is available only if the court declines the request. C. is wrong because when requesting to withdraw based on misconduct of the client, the lawyer must only state that withdrawal is required by the Rules of Professional Conduct—further disclosure of the client's information is generally not allowed unless ordered by the court.
Generally, a lawyer must not act as an advocate at a trial in which the lawyer is likely to be a necessary witness. Which of the following is NOT a recognized exception to this rule?
A The testimony relates to an uncontested issue.
B The testimony relates solely to the nature and value of legal services rendered in the case.
C The lawyer has personal knowledge of a material, disputed issue.
D Disqualification of the lawyer would work substantial hardship on the client.
C. is correct because it describes a typical situation in which the lawyer-witness would be prohibited from acting as an advocate at trial. A., B., and D. describe the recognized exceptions to the prohibition.
Which of the following is required under a lawyer's duty of reasonable communication with a client?
A Responding to all client communication within 48 hours of contact.
B Informing the client of all possible strategic options related to the case.
C Keeping the client reasonably informed about the status of the case.
D Seeking the client's approval before taking any course of action.
A lawyer must keep a client reasonably informed about the status of a matter and promptly comply with reasonable requests for information. A lawyer also must explain a matter to the extent reasonably necessary to permit the client to make informed decisions regarding the representation. There is no duty to respond within a set amount of time, as what is reasonable depends on many factors. Furthermore, lawyers have no duty to explain every possible path a case could take when they are advising their client. Attorneys make many minor strategic decisions throughout a case (e.g., whether to call, e-mail, or send a letter to opposing counsel) that are not significant enough to go over in detail with a client.
Under the Rules of Professional Conduct, the client must ultimately make all of the following decisions, EXCEPT:
A What plea to enter.
B Whether to waive a jury trial.
C The content of the opening statement.
D Whether to settle a matter.
A lawyer must abide by a client's decisions concerning the objectives of the representation, and must consult with the client as to the means by which the objectives are to be pursued. In a criminal case, the lawyer must abide by the client's decision, after consultation with the lawyer, as to what plea to enter, whether to waive a jury trial, and whether the client will testify. Thus, A., B., and D. are wrong. The lawyer generally is responsible for legal and strategic matters, e.g., the content of the opening statement. Therefore, C. is. correct.
An associate at a law firm commits an act that is a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct. In which of the following situations would the associate's supervising partner NOT necessarily be subject to discipline for the associate's act?
A The partner failed to make reasonable efforts to ensure firm employees would not commit such an act.
B The associate was ordered by the partner to commit the act.
C The associate was working as an agent of the firm when he committed the act.
D The partner ratified the associate's act after learning about it.
A partner in a law firm, and a lawyer who individually or together with other lawyers has comparable managerial authority, must make reasonable efforts to ensure that the firm has in effect measures giving reasonable assurance that all lawyers in the firm conform to the RPC. Thus, A. is wrong. B. and D. are wrong because a lawyer will be directly responsible for another lawyer's violation of the RPC if: (i) the lawyer orders or, with knowledge of the specific conduct, ratifies the conduct involved; or (ii) the lawyer is a partner or similar manager in the law firm in which the other lawyer practices, or has direct supervisory authority over the other lawyer, and knows of the conduct at a time when its consequences can be avoided or mitigated but fails to take reasonable remedial action. However, a partner or other supervisory lawyer will not be subject to discipline merely because the associate was working as an agent of the firm when he committed the misconduct—there is no "vicarious liability" for disciplinary purposes except in the situations listed above—so C. is correct.
The Rules of Professional Conduct govern conflict situations in which a lawyer enters into a business transaction with her client. Under this rule, ALL BUT WHICH of the following conditions must be satisfied for the lawyer to properly enter into the transaction?
A The client seeks the advice of independent legal counsel.
B The client gives consent in a signed writing.
C The terms of the transaction are fair to the client.
D The terms of the transaction are transmitted to the client in writing.
A lawyer must not enter into a business transaction with a client unless: (i) the transaction and terms under which the lawyer acquires the interest are fair and reasonable to the client and are fully disclosed and transmitted in writing to the client in a manner that can be reasonably understood by the client; (ii) the client is informed in writing of the desirability of seeking, and is given a reasonable chance to seek, the advice of independent legal counsel on the transaction; and (iii) the client understands the lawyer's role in the transaction, including whether the lawyer is representing the client, and the client gives informed consent in a signed writing. It is not required that the client actually seek advice from independent counsel. (Note that the rules regarding business transactions with clients not apply to standard commercial transactions for products or services that the client markets to others.)
Sharing a legal fee with a nonlawyer is permitted in which of the following situations?
A A lawyer shares a court-awarded legal fee with the nonprofit organization that recommended his employment in the matter.
B A law firm pays its private investigator portions of the legal fees obtained in cases where the private investigator's efforts contributed substantially to the outcome.
C A client selects the law firm based on an advertisement in a newspaper, and the law firm shares a portion of the resulting legal fee with the newspaper.
D An accountant refers a case to a lawyer, and the lawyer splits the legal fee with the accountant in exchange for the successful referral.
The general rule is that a lawyer or law firm must not share legal fees with a nonlawyer. However, there are certain exceptions, including the situation described in A.
Which of the following statements regarding the safekeeping of client property is FALSE?
A A lawyer must hold client funds and property that are in the lawyer's possession in connection with a representation separate from the lawyer's own funds and property.
B The interest on a client trust account may be used to pay the account's overdraft fees.
C Fees paid by a client in advance must be put into a client trust account, and withdrawn by the lawyer only as fees are earned.
D If a dispute arises between a lawyer and client regarding the client's funds, the lawyer must keep the disputed portion in the client trust account until the dispute is resolved.
A., C., and D. accurately describe a lawyer's obligations with respect to safekeeping a client's property. B. is false because while interest on non-IOLTA accounts generally may be used to pay bank charges, it cannot be used to pay overdraft fees. All client trust accounts must participate in an overdraft notification program.
A lawyer who represents a client in a matter speaks with a person who is represented by counsel in relation to that same matter. The lawyer will be subject to discipline EVEN IF:
A The person is not an actual party to the matter.
B The person's attorney has permitted the lawyer to speak with the person.
C The lawyer has no reason to believe that the person is represented by counsel.
D The communication is unrelated to the matter.
In the representation of a client, a lawyer generally must not communicate about the subject of the representation with a person he knows to be represented by counsel in the matter unless the other counsel has granted permission or he is otherwise authorized by law or court order to make such direct communication. This prohibition on communications with a represented person applies only to matters relating to the representation, and only if the lawyer knows that the person is represented in the matter to be discussed (or if knowledge can be inferred from the circumstances). Note that this prohibition applies to any person represented by counsel concerning the matter to which the communication relates, even if the person is not formally a party to the matter.
Under the Rules of Professional Conduct, a lawyer is specifically permitted to withdraw from a matter in all of the following situations, EXCEPT:
A A client insists on taking an action that the lawyer finds to be repugnant.
B The client has used the lawyer's services to perpetrate a fraud.
C Withdrawal can be accomplished without material adverse effect on the interests of the client.
D The client failed to pay his last bill.
A., B., and C. are all grounds for permissive withdrawal. The situation in D. is not a ground for withdrawal on its own. It is true that a lawyer may withdraw when the client fails substantially to fulfill an obligation to the lawyer regarding the lawyer's services (e.g., paying legal fees); however, the client must be given reasonable warning that the lawyer will withdraw unless the obligation is fulfilled. Without taking this step to protect the client's interests, a lawyer cannot withdraw based on an overdue payment.
If a third person intends to pay for a client's legal fees, specific conditions must be met for the lawyer to accept compensation from the third person. Which of the following is one of those conditions?
A The client must be made aware that information relating to the representation may be shared with the third person.
B The third person must give informed consent to the arrangement.
C The lawyer must keep the third person informed of developments in the case.
D The third person must not interfere with the lawyer's professional judgment.
A lawyer must not accept compensation for representing a client from someone other than the client unless: (i) the client gives informed consent, (ii) there is no interference with the lawyer's independence of professional judgment or with the lawyer-client relationship, and (iii) information relating to the representation of the client is protected as required by RPC 1.6 (relating to confidentiality of information). Note that consent is required only from the client, not the third person. Also, the lawyer has a duty to keep the client's information confidential; thus, the lawyer is not required (and may not be allowed) to communicate developments to the third person.
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