Introduction 6 results (showing 5 best matches)
- Further, the MPRE exam is not a law school exam. Studying for the MPRE will be easier than studying for the bar exam or a law school essay exam, but you need to attack the exam efficiently. Too many students fail the MPRE one, two or even three times—because they didn’t study effectively. Then test anxiety sets in and it becomes even harder to pass the MPRE.
- The exam is offered nationwide each Spring, Summer, and Fall, and the majority of states allow students to take the MPRE before graduation from law school. Most students take the exam sometime after their second year of law school. A law school course in ethics is not crucial to your success on the MPRE. Unlike with the bar exam, you can take the MPRE in any state and have your score submitted to another state. In fact, you don’t even need to know where you will be taking the bar exam when you take the MPRE. Your score can be transferred at a later date.
- Many law students assume that they will “know it” when they “see it.” In other words, law students think that they will be able to recognize unethical behavior on the MPRE quite easily and, therefore, do not have to study extensively for the MPRE. But the MPRE often tests gray areas—areas where an answer is not necessarily clear. You need to understand the intricacies of the rules.
- You’ve signed up for the Multi-State Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE)—so, now what? The MPRE is a sixty-question, 125-minute, multiple-choice examination administered by the National Conference of Bar Examiners. The MPRE is based on the law governing the conduct of lawyers, including the disciplinary rules of professional conduct currently articulated in the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, the ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct, and controlling constitutional decisions and generally accepted principles established in leading federal and state cases. A passing score on the MPRE is required for admission to the bar in all but four US jurisdictions.
- The purpose of the MPRE is to measure your knowledge and understanding of established standards related to a lawyer’s professional conduct; the MPRE is not a test to determine an individualʼs personal ethical values. Lawyers serve in many capacities: as judges, advocates, and counselors, and in other roles, too. The law governing the conduct of lawyers in these roles is applied in disciplinary and bar admission procedures, and by courts dealing with issues of appearance, representation, privilege, disqualification, and contempt or other censure.
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Chapter 1: The MPRE Exam and Test Strategies for the MPRE 15 results (showing 5 best matches)
- In order to prepare for the MPRE, you need to learn not only the professional responsibility rules, but also how to recognize important themes within the MPRE questions themselves. There are particular statements used in MPRE questions that you will see over and over again, and knowing these statements or patterns will allow to you anticipate correct answer choices more easily. Consider the following pointers:
- Remember that the MPRE is actually very limited in the range of issues it can test. Given that the exam is multiple-choice, the MPRE cannot test gray areas—the facts and rules must point to one and only one correct or best answer. In other words, there cannot be a reasonable argument about which answer is the best answer.
- Further, there is a limited number of fact patterns that the examiners can come up with because they are testing not only you, but every other law student in the country, on knowledge of the professional responsibility rules. Therefore, the more you practice, the more you will be able to recognize similar patterns amongst the questions. You really can stick to the main issues of professional responsibility—the MPRE rarely tests obscure issues. In this sense, the MPRE is easier than a typical law school exam.
- This chapter will discuss a few unique aspects of the MPRE exam and offer several test strategies to help you navigate successfully through the exam.
- A. How Is Your MPRE Score Determined?
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Chapter 2: The Code of Judicial Conduct 3 results
- It may be surprising to you that the MPRE tests the Model Code of Judicial Conduct. Often in law school Professional Responsibility courses, the class will not have discussed the Code of Judicial Conduct. This Chapter will serve to highlight the most important rules and themes that are tested by the MPRE with regard to judges.
- You may see the phrase “avoid the appearance of impropriety” frequently on the MPRE when discussing the behavior of judges. Here are some specific things that judges must
- The MPRE loves to test this aspect of the Code of Judicial Conduct. A judge is not allowed to endorse any candidate publicly. When the judge is the person running for office, the judge is permitted to take a position on issues as long as it is done in a dignified way, even on contested political issues. However, a judge is not allowed to personally solicit funds for his or her political campaign—the campaign committee is required to handle all money and public support.
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Chapter 3: Dishonesty and Misconduct 3 results
- For the MPRE, pick out trigger facts that point to crimes involving dishonesty, breach of a fiduciary duty, violence, or improper sexual behavior. These types of items are seen frequently on the MPRE and usually relate to an issue involving attorney misconduct under Rule 8.4.
- We will talk about each of these individual concepts throughout this book because there is no one rule that fully comprises the duty of candor or honesty. The duty of candor or honesty is found throughout the Rules of Professional Responsibility. As you begin to prepare for the MPRE, it is important to be aware of how honesty and candor come up in numerous ethical rules.
- One interesting thing to note under the misconduct rule is that the misconduct (or moral turpitude) is covered by the rule regardless of whether the conduct happens as part of a lawyer’s practice of law or outside the practice of law. The MPRE loves to test this aspect of the rules: a lawyer violates the misconduct provision even if the misconduct relates to something in the lawyer’s personal life.
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Table of Contents 3 results
Chapter 7: Lawyer Advertising and Solicitation 10 results (showing 5 best matches)
- The main rule governing attorney advertising and solicitation is Rule 7.1, which states that an attorney communication cannot be false or misleading. Most of the MPRE questions relating to advertising deal with this rule. Your job with an advertising MPRE question is to assess if the ad violates Rule 7.1 by determining whether any statements made in the communication are false or misleading. Note that “communication” is broadly interpreted: it can be a paper ad, a letter, a phone call, a website, or even, potentially, an attorney’s blog.
- lawyer advertising that you should keep in mind for the MPRE. Advertising must:
- employment by in-person, live telephone, or real-time electronic contact if the attorney is seeking to make money from the services (as opposed to offering pro bono services). There are three exceptions to the prohibition on direct solicitation of clients, and you need to know these for the MPRE: you can use direct solicitation if the potential client is a lawyer, a family member, or someone with whom the lawyer had a prior professional relationship. For the purposes of the MPRE, you should start with the presumption that direct solicitation of clients is not generally permitted and then look for any exceptions.
- Rule 7.3 has a couple of additional requirements that the MPRE likes to test: first, every advertisement or solicitation must contain the words “Advertising Material.” A typical MPRE question will provide you with an advertisement and ask you if it is acceptable under the rules. You may be focusing on whether the ad is misleading, but do not forget to see if the advertisement has the required disclaimer: “Advertising Material.” Second, remember that Rule 7.2 allows a lawyer to participate in a prepaid group legal service plan. Under Rule 7.3, the plan is permitted to use in-person or telephone contact to solicit memberships. The rules allow solicitation in this situation because it’s not the lawyer making the direct solicitation to the potential client. Instead, the call is being made by an unbiased group legal service plan. So there’s less of a chance for overreaching or harassment of any potential clients.
- Now let’s move to some specific issues under lawyer advertising and solicitation. These areas are ripe for testing on the MPRE because they deal with the more practical realities of online lawyer advertising.
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- communicate to their clients. For example, a lawyer must communicate all offers of settlement made by opposing parties. A lawyer must also respond to a client request for information in a reasonable amount of time. Lawyers failing to communicate with their clients is one of the most frequent complaints that clients have about their lawyers. By failing to communicate, you set yourself up to be the target of a malpractice complaint. The MPRE recognizes the frequency of this problem, so you will see several questions on any MPRE that deal with competency, diligence or communication.
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Chapter 6: Client Trust Accounts 5 results
- This is a favorite question of the MPRE: when a client disputes your attorney’s fee, what do you with the monies you may have in your account that the client already paid? If a client is disputing all or part of a lawyer’s fee, the lawyer must retain the disputed funds in the client trust account and move any undisputed portion to the lawyer’s operating and/or business account. Note that you cannot leave undisputed fees in your client trust account—you’ve earned those fees and they need to be in your account and not the client’s account. This concept is always tested on the MPRE.
- It may be surprising to you as a law student, but you need to start learning and thinking about client trust accounts—and how you will handle your client’s money. This is an area that leads to a number of ethical issues for new lawyers, so you will always find at least a couple of questions on the MPRE pertaining to client trust accounts.
- When you are a practicing attorney, you will always have two bank accounts: (1) an account for your business funds and any amount of fees that you have earned; and (2) a client trust account where only client money (including unearned fees or retainers) is deposited. The key is that the two types of monies must never be commingled, and it is this concept—i.e., no commingling—that is tested most heavily on the MPRE.
- Client trust accounts must be maintained in a federally insured financial institution located in the state where the lawyer’s office is located. They may be kept in a separate account elsewhere only with the consent of the client. A favorite MPRE question is a fact pattern where the lawyer’s office is in State A but the trust account is in State B. Typically, this is impermissible under Rule 1.15 unless there is specific client consent—so watch out for this question.
- In summary, if the client disputes any amount of the fees, that disputed amount must be left in the client trust account but the undisputed amount should be placed in the lawyer’s business account. Note, too, that the lawyer must then attempt to promptly resolve the fee dispute with the client. If you understand these basic concepts surrounding client trust accounts, you will get the MPRE questions on this topic correct—which is a great way to work towards a passing score.
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- powers. For example, a lawyer cannot offer a document that the lawyer knows is fraudulent as evidence even though the client demands that the lawyer do so. The MPRE likes to test this issue—an MPRE question will present the improper conduct, but will make it seem proper because the client requested the conduct. The fact that the client demands the conduct does not absolve the lawyer of the duty of candor to the tribunal.
- their speech under Rule 3.8. This is a favorite topic in the MPRE, so take note if you see a fact pattern specifically involving a prosecutor. Rule 3.8 prohibits a prosecutor from making extrajudicial comments that have a substantial likelihood of heightening public condemnation of the accused. Rule 3.8 does allow prosecutors to make statements necessary to inform the public of the nature and extent of the prosecutor’s action and that serve a legitimate law enforcement purpose. A prosecutor further must take care to prevent people associated with or employed by the prosecutor from making any statement that Rule 3.8 forbids the prosecutor from making. For example, a prosecutor must caution the police and other associates with whom the prosecutor works not to make inappropriate public statements.
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Chapter 8: Attorney’s Fees 5 results
- Let’s look at some other common MPRE issues involving attorney’s fees.
- One important issue that is tested by the MPRE is whether disputed fees have to be left in the Client Trust Account. The answer is yes. Any disputed amount must be left in the Client Trust Account and should not be placed in the lawyer’s business account unless and until the fee dispute is resolved in favor of the amount moved to the business account.
- . The rule provides various factors that a court will consider in determining the reasonableness of the fee, and you will apply these factors on the MPRE when you are evaluating a fee question. The factors for reasonableness include the following:
- This chapter will focus on the issue of attorney’s fees, which is one of the most important and testable issues on the MPRE. Rule 1.5 governs the ethical issues involved with attorney’s fees. In summary, an attorney should always document the fee arrangement with a client in an attorney-client agreement. In particular, the lawyer must set forth the scope of the representation (i.e., what the lawyer will do for the client), the basis or rate of the attorney’s fee, and the expenses for which the client will be responsible. Each of these things must be communicated to the client before or within a reasonable time after commencing the representation. The only exception to this requirement is when the lawyer charges a regularly-represented client on the same basis or rate as in the past.
- An overarching theme to Rule 1.5 is that a lawyer should not exploit any fee arrangement with a client, particularly when an attorney charges an hourly fee. For example, a lawyer cannot bump up their fees by purposefully using inefficient procedures. Courts scrutinize fee agreements to make sure that the fees are reasonable and that the fees were not inflated. In any fee question on the MPRE, you want to first consider the issue of the reasonableness of fees. But note: just because a fee received by
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Chapter 4: Practicing Without a License and Fee Sharing Among Lawyers 6 results (showing 5 best matches)
- So watch out for MPRE questions that discuss the unauthorized practice of law by attorneys licensed in one state, but doing some sort of legal work in another state. In addition, watch out for fact patterns that discuss a lawyer sharing fees or getting a portion of a fee just for referring the case. These actions may be violations of the rules discussed above.
- addressing attorney advertising, which we will discuss in later chapters.) But Rule 7.2 also deals with the issue of whether an attorney can pay another attorney simply for providing a client lead. Generally, the answer is no. However, the MPRE loves to test the exceptions to this rule.
- . But this issue has actually been highly litigated—it’s not nearly as clear as you might think. For example, what if you are working in a law firm in New York, but you have to take depositions of various client employees in California? When you go to California and take those depositions, are you practicing law? The answer is yes, and there’s likely an exception that allows this particular activity. But oftentimes there are not exceptions even when you think there would be. So let’s address the issue of practicing without a license—a favorite topic of the MPRE.
- Another exception to the general rule against receiving compensation for referring a client is something called a “reciprocal referral arrangement.” Again, this is a favorite concept tested by the MPRE. A reciprocal referral arrangement is where two attorneys agree to mutually refer clients back and forth, for no payment. But the agreement cannot be exclusive. An attorney may enter into a reciprocal referral arrangement with another attorney or a non-attorney professional so long as the arrangement does not violate any other rules, including interference with the an attorney’s professional independence. To comply with Rule 7.2 for a reciprocal referral agreement, the agreement must not be exclusive, and the client must be informed of the existence and nature of the agreement.
- Rule 5.4 generally prohibits sharing fees with non-lawyers. This extends to agreements with non-attorneys to solicit clients in return for a share of the fees (i.e., the use of “runners” or “cappers”). This rule again is a favorite issue of the MPRE to test because it may not seem like such a bad thing for a lawyer to collaborate with a non-lawyer. Here’s the big problem, however. The Professional Responsibility Rules do not want a non-lawyer to direct or control the professional judgment of a lawyer. Note also that non-lawyers cannot own law firms, and a lawyer cannot form a partnership with any individual not licensed to practice law if any activities of that partnership will be the practice of law. So if your accountant friend wants you to set up a tax practice with her, be careful—you likely cannot undertake that sort of partnership if any of it involves the practice of law.
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- These seven (7) exceptions are the most tested issues on the MPRE related to the duty of confidentiality.
- The duty of confidentiality is one of the most important topics to know well for the MPRE. The key is to understand the exceptions, both when a lawyer must reveal confidences and those more common situations where a lawyer may disclose confidential matters.
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- Publication Date: June 17th, 2016
- ISBN: 9781634603478
- Subject: Professional Responsibility/Ethics
- Series: Short & Happy Guides
- Type: Overviews
- Description: This Short & Happy Guide provides students with the essential concepts and overarching themes that are most frequently tested on the MPRE. The Guide covers the rules of professional responsibility giving students the best introduction they can have as they begin their exam preparation.