PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY: HEROES AND VILLAINS
The final examination will be a two hour, closed book multiple choice examination. There will be 40 questions. (Note: the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) consists of 60 multiple choice questions to be answered in 125 minutes.) Some of the questions will be MPRE type questions that ask you to apply the Model Rules to a hypothetical fact pattern; see for example sample questions 1 and 2, below. (You will need to know the content of the Model Rules assigned for the course but are not expected to identify them by rule number.) Some questions will test knowledge and comprehension of court decisions and other materials assigned for reading, for example sample question 3. Many of the questions will be based on fact patterns from the Exercises and Case Studies and will focus on ethical issues related to them discussed in class and in the writing assignments. In terms of the exercises, complete review of the "Exercises" section of the course web site is an excellent method of preparation; by "complete" I mean all the background information, specific instructions, videos, B+ papers, and instructor comments. Sample question 4 is an example of a question that requires both a good understanding of the Model Rules and one of the Case Studies.
The use of the word "proper" is characteristic of the MPRE, which defines "proper" as asking "whether the conduct referred to or described in the question is professionally appropriate in that it would not subject the lawyer to discipline, is not inconsistent with the Preamble, Comments or text of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, and is not inconsistent with generally accepted principles of the law of lawyering."
I suggest that you first practice answering the following questions under exam conditions: limit yourself to about 2 minutes per question and do not refer to any materials ("closed book"). Then go back and review the questions by referring to relevant assigned readings and exercises. Do not be discouraged if you conclude that your initial answer was incorrect; this just will give you some idea of the amount of preparation you need for the exam. In class I will review the correct answers, which will then be posted on the web site and linked below where indicated.
SAMPLE MULTIPLE CHOICE EXAM QUESTIONS
1. Attorney Alpha currently represents Builder, a building contractor and the plaintiff in a suit to recover for breach of a contract to build a house. Builder also has pending before the zoning commission a petition to rezone property Builder owns. Builder is represented by Attorney Beta in the zoning matter. Neighbor, who owns property adjoining that of Builder, has asked Alpha to represent Neighbor in opposing Builder’s petition for rezoning. Neighbor knows that Alpha represents Builder in the contract action. Is it proper for Alpha to represent Neighbor in the zoning matter?
A. Yes, if there is no common issue of law or fact between the two matters.
B. Yes, because one matter is a judicial proceeding and the other is an administrative proceeding.
C. No, because Alpha is currently representing Builder in the contract action.
D. No, if there is a possibility that both matters will be appealed to the same court.
2. Client carried automobile liability insurance with Insco, an insurance company. Client, while driving his car, was involved in a collision with Driver. Driver filed suit against Client. Pursuant to the contractual provision that it would furnish a lawyer to defend its insured, Insco employed Attorney to handle Client’s case. Attorney found evidence that Client had intentionally run into Driver. Intentional torts are excluded from coverage under Client’s policy with Insco. If Client intentionally ran into Driver, Insco has a “no coverage” defense to all claims against Insco by Driver and by Client. Attorney must:
A. inform Insco of the evidence that raises the possibility of “no coverage”
B. withdraw as lawyer for Client and represent Insco in an action against Client for a declaration of “no coverage.”
C. not inform either Insco or the court of the possible “no coverage” defense without Client’s consent
D. inform the court, but not Insco, of the possible “no coverage” defense.
3. Even though the Schlesinger law firm in Nissan Motor Corporation v Orozco had hired Paul Buechele, whose prior firm had represented the defendant in the same case, it was not disqualified from representing the plaintiff because:
A. The court believed Buechele's affidavit that he had not discussed any aspects of the case at his prior firm other than taking routine depositions to obtain hospital records.
B. After joining the Schelesinger firm, Buechele was screened from any participation in the Orozco case.
C. Because the Schlesinger firm fired Buechele after the disqualification motion was filed.
D. All of the above.
4. This question refers to the Baby Jessica case. John Monroe, who handled the adoption in Iowa, made the following decision that was consistent with the Model Rules:
A. To withdraw when it appeared that he would be a witness.
B. To advise Cara to seek independent legal advice before signing the adoption paperwork in the hospital
C. To preserve as confidential Cara's statement to him about the identity of the real father
D. All of the above
Click here for answers to the sample exam questions