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MPRE Sample Answers





1. /B/  A lawyer shall abide by the client's decision whether to accept an offer of settlement as well as the plea to be entered. [MRPC 1.2(a)] Since a plea bargain is an offer of settlement, it must be communicated to the client, and the client must make the decision. The plea to be entered is also a client decision. It was improper for Nancy to make the decision without consulting her client. (A) is incorrect because a good or bad outcome does not excuse Nancy's violation. (C) is incorrect because the fact that the client would probably reject the offer does not excuse Nancy from communicating the offer to her client. (D) is incorrect because zealously advocating for her client has nothing to do with her failure to communicate the offer and abide by the client's decision..

2. /C/ The general rule of MRPC 1.6 is the evidentiary attorney-client privilege prohibits revealing information received from a client; Terry's Porsche theft would qualify. An exception applies allowing disclosure if necessary to establish a defense to a criminal charge or civil claim against the lawyer. (A) is incorrect; while the rationale is correct - ordinarily, only future crimes may be revealed - the exception of alternative C is a better answer. (B) is incorrect because whether criminal charges had been commenced against the client is irrelevant to the issue of revealing client's information; Deloris may respond to avoid complicity. (D) is incorrect; while the nonpayment of the bill is probably not protectable confidential information, it does not provide a justification for revealing the underlying substantive confidence or secret.

3. /C/ Funds belonging in part to a client and in part to the lawyer are properly deposited into the trust account. The portion belonging to the lawyer may be transferred to the lawyer's regular account unless the client disputes the billing. The disputed amount shall not be withdrawn until the dispute is resolved. [Comment 3 to MRPC 1.15] (A) is incorrect because it is not necessary to give all the funds to the client; only the difference between the total recovery and the fees the attorney asserts is due. (B) is incorrect since the disputed amount must be withheld. (D) is incorrect since the uncontested amounts do not have to be withheld.

4.  /B/  While MRPC 3.6 might prohibit such statements if made extrajudicially, here the statement is being made in court. MRPC 3.5 might apply if the lawyer's conduct was intended to disrupt a tribunal. MRPC 3.4, in comparison, prohibits a lawyer from stating a personal opinion on the culpability of a civil litigant. This is the best answer. Badgering the witness is also present, and Gary's attorney could object; the court likely would sustain the objection and direct the attorney to move on. (A) is incorrect because the lawyer's raised voice does not of itself violate the MRPCs. (C) is incorrect because a natural reaction may explain why the violation occurred; it does not, however, justify the violation. (D) is not the best answer because while the lawyer could put in evidence of Gary's false testimony, he cannot state his personal opinion on the witness' credibility.

5.  /C/  MRPC 8.3 specifies that a lawyer having knowledge that a judge has committed an act violating an applicable rule of judicial conduct that raises a substantial question as to the Judge's fitness for office shall promptly inform the appropriate authorities unless the information is protected by MRPC 1.6. The client's participation in the kickback to the Judge was potentially criminal fraud, but the client said "don't tell anyone," and thus, to reveal this confidence would violate MRPC 1.6. (A) is incorrect because the report involves the confidential information of the client and thus must not be revealed. (B) is incorrect because the report involves the confidential information of the client and thus must not be revealed. (D) is not the best answer because "may not" indicates improper behavior, but a failure to comply does not necessarily subject an attorney to discipline. An attorney who discloses a client's past is subject to discipline.

6.  /C/  The best and broadest answer because a judge or candidate for judgeship should not make a pledge, promise, or commitment about a matter likely to come before her court. (A) is incorrect because the public comment prohibition applies to matters before any court, not just that particular judge. (B) is incorrect because while attendance in front of the committee might have been compelled, the judge should have declined to answer that question. (D) is not the best answer since the topic of political philosophy is different from a public comment about a matter in litigation pending before any court..

Last updated on 8/22/2011 4:51:05 PM