What the Client Decides in a Case Self-Quiz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Donny Defense Lawyer believes his client. He is sure that the victim was already dead when his client walked in on the murder scene. The prosecutor and Donny had a discussion at the courtroom cafeteria. The prosecutor said he was willing to reduce the charge to manslaughter if Donny’s client plead guilty. Donny was angry because he knew the client was innocent. Donny tells the prosecutor, “No way! We’ll see you in court!” Any problem here?
Choice 1 The lawyer shouldn’t make the decision.
Choice 2 The lawyer may make the decision.
Choice 3 The client may make the decision.
Choice 4 The client could make the decision.
Your client insists on taking the witness stand in his defense, even though you believe he will convince the jury that he is guilty. He’s a mean guy who has no respect for authority. You’re sure he’ll blow it and end up rotting in jail. Can you tell the judge your client is not going to testify?
Yes
No
Say you’re representing the plaintiff in a civil action regarding an environmental hazard. The plaintiff is a woman of modest means, a single mother with three kids to feed. You’re excited about the prospects of winning a tremendous sum in damages for your client, and you know that a third of her damage award would serve as a good down payment on that mansion you’ve been eyeing. So you decide to go “all out” and bring in the best of the best as advisers on the case – a Harvard Medical School professor, a top-flight engineer from M.I.T., and the most famous expert on groundwater who ever lived. Your client doesn’t have the funds to pay for these experts, and she is unwilling to foot the expense without 100% assurance that they will win the case for her. You cannot provide her that type of assurance. Can you hire the experts anyway, figuring your client will be so rich when she wins the case that paying for the experts will be a “bag of shells?”
Yes
No
You really don’t want to press for punitive damages in your trespassing suit against your neighbors, the McCoys, but your lawyer thinks the jury will be very generous with you. You think your relationship with the McCoys would be irreparably harmed if you “socked it to them” for trespassing over your property. You’re also concerned that the McCoys have little children to feed, and you know they’re not the richest folks on earth. Your lawyer says, “Are you nuts? They ran over your beautiful orchids with their greasy tractor! You have to press for punitive damages!” Is this a matter of strategy on which you must defer to your lawyer?
Yes
No
Your client is a proud and hardworking mother of two. She is going through a rough divorce, but is strong and has many friends and family members to help her get by. The client insists that she wants her husband out of her life completely. She does not even want alimony checks from him, even though she would probably be entitled to them. You have seen this many times before, and know that sometime down the road your client will regret not having a little extra cash to help with expenses. You now insist your client accept alimony checks – she’s not thinking clearly, you assume, because she’s so angry with her husband. Is this your decision to make?
Yes
No
You finally found the perfect personal injury plaintiff – a wrongful death suit that you know you can win. You’ll probably be able to retire on the percentage you take as a fee from the expected settlement. We’re talking about the kind of damages figure that would get attention on CNN, not to mention all of the lawyer periodicals in the state. Your client does not feel the same as you do about prospective damages – he just wants to demonstrate to the world that the opposition was at fault for his brother’s death. You sit down with the opposition at the negotiating table. They throw out a figure that makes you laugh. You think it’s a damages figure that one could be awarded for a first-degree burn – certainly not for a wrongful death. You tell the opposing lawyers to go back to their client and have him give you something to chew on. Were you acting ethically?
Yes
No

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