Withdrawal and Disqualification Self-Quiz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You are the attorney for Danny Tramp in a real estate dispute. You filed the initial papers with the court, and performed discovery. While the case is pending, there are no deadlines for you to meet. Nonetheless, you’re conscientious and you regularly touch base with Tramp. Unfortunately, however, the client has a terrible mean streak. He’s smart and enjoys tormenting you, figuring either way he’s going to have to pay big bucks for your services. He says nasty things about your heritage. He makes light of your weight. He even goes so far as to say he hopes a mole on your face turns cancerous. A family member recently died from melanoma, and the comment serves as the last straw. You petition the court for a withdrawal. Will the court grant you leave to withdraw?
Probably
Prbably Not
The court appoints you to represent a dangerous gangster on a felony murder charge. Against your advice, he decides he wants to testify on his own behalf – which the U.S. Constitution entitles him to do. Nonetheless, he insists on telling a story about the murder that you know to be perfectly false. It involves something about a magical tooth fairy being abducted by an alien from Cygnus who brainwashes the tooth fairy and makes her a vampire. You don’t buy it and you won’t elicit that kind of testimony on the stand. Can you withdraw from his case with permission?
Yes
No
Say you took on a personal injury case that seemed cut-and-dry from the outset. The case seemed so simple, you agreed to charge your client, Janie Dough, a fee that was extremely low -- so low you might as well have done the case for free. As you performed discovery for the case, it turned out, quite unexpectedly, that matters were much more complicated than you thought. Though you are a highly experienced personal injury attorney, you are forced to spend hours and hours doing sophisticated research. You also have to spend an unprecedented number of hours in discovery. You worry that the fees you are charging are so low, they won’t allow you to meet your own financial obligations. You want to withdraw, but you know your client Dough will be materially prejudiced. Might a petition to withdraw be granted?
Yes
No
Say you represent a local religious organization that changes its mind about performing animal sacrifices when the laws of the land change to allow such practices. The organization builds an altar and invites its faithful congregants to a ritual slaughter for the beginning of the third week of the next month. You’re an animal lover – you have two cats, a dog, numerous beautiful saltwater fish, and you’re an active member of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. You find the concept of animal sacrifice repugnant. The organization will suffer material prejudice in a pending case if you withdraw, however. May you withdraw?
Yes
No
Say you are called in by another lawyer, Sam Sneeze, to work on the sale of a company to a multinational conglomerate. Tensions are high, in part because the company you represent is putting tremendous pressure on you and your co-counsel to complete the sale as soon as possible. These tensions impact negatively on your relationship with Sneeze. You can’t bear being in the same room with the guy anymore. You decide to withdraw. Your withdrawal means the sale will have to be postponed – Sneeze needs more time if he’s to make a go of the transaction himself. This constitutes a material prejudice. Would a court discipline you for violating the ethical rules of withdrawal?
Yes
No

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