- Review the preceding case where it says Question 1 Issue. Notice that in this section the court blurs the distinction between “confidential information” and “attorney/client privileged information.” Can you explain to the court what the differences between the two concepts are?
- Review the preceding case where it says Question 2 Issue. The court does not properly address the issue of the complaints as “public record.” What do you know about public records and their effect on the duty of confidentiality?
- Review the preceding case at the Question 2 Issue. What can you tell the court about the status of the SEAR forms information as “confidential” and the effect of possession of confidential information on conflict of interest?
- If there is a lesson to be learned from this case, what is it?
- What was it that triggered Johnson’s necessity for a lawyer in addition to his representation by his insurance carrier’s lawyer (Thomas)? In other words, why did Johnson have to hire Comfort?
- Explain a “reservation of rights” letter. What did it mean when Johnson’s insurance company sent him this letter?
- Why does a reservation of rights letter create a conflict of interest?
- Johnson’s lawyer relied on California law, but the case was in Washington. What is the difference between the law in California and the law in Washington? What was it about this difference that caused Johnson to lose this case?
- Take a look at the U.S. Constitution and specifically the Sixth Amendment. What do you see there that contradicts the actions of the Florida State Court in refusing to appoint an attorney to Mr. Gideon? Why is the Fourteenth Amendment necessary to Mr. Gideon’s argument?
- Why do you think this case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court? Why would Gideon keep fighting? What would motivate Florida to keep fighting?
- The Court discusses Betts v. Brady, another U.S. Supreme Court case but from an earlier time (1942). Why would the Court take up the issue of the right to counsel again, as it had earlier decided the issue? What would possess the Court to overrule its earlier decision?
- What’s the difference between direct, in-person communication with a prospective client and “truthful, restrained advertising concerning the availability and terms of routine legal services”? Why aren’t both activities protected by the First Amendment?
- From the Court’s recitation of the facts, what gives the impression that Ohralik “exerted pressure”or “demanded an immediate response, without providing an opportunity for comparison or reflection”? Did Carol and/or Wanda have an opportunity for reflection before agreeing to Ohralik’s representation? Can you argue the facts from both positions?
- Ohralik gave Wanda a “tip” about the uninsured-motorist clause in the McClintocks’ insurance policy. Did he violate any ethical rules by doing that?
- The Court compares Mr. Ohralik’s behavior to the conduct of Mrs. Primus in In re Primus (1978), 436 U.S. 412, 98 S.Ct. 1893. Take a look at that case, and make your own comparison of the lawyers’ conduct.
- Ohralik argues that the State must prove that Carol or Wanda were harmed but the Court disagrees. What is the Court’s position regarding disciplining Ohralik even if his clients were not harmed?