September 2014 LACBA MCLE Test and Answer Sheet

Test No. 238: The End of the Hour (Legal Ethics Credit)

To access the article related to this test, please click here.
Instructions for Obtaining MCLE Credit

The Los Angeles County Bar Association certifies that this activity has been approved for Minimum Continuing Legal Education legal ethics credit by the State Bar of California in the amount of 1 hour. To apply for credit, please follow the instructions.

1. Study the CLE article.

2. Answer the test questions by marking the appropriate boxes. Each question has only one answer.

3. Photocopies of this answer sheet may be submitted; however, this form should not be enlarged or reduced. Mail the answer sheet and the $20 testing fee ($25 for non-LACBA members) to:

Los Angeles Lawyer
P.O. Box 55020
Los Angeles, CA 90055

Make checks payable to Los Angeles Lawyer.

4. You can also fill in the test form and submit it directly to LACBA by clicking "Submit." To submit your test answers online you will need to pay by credit card. After submitting your answers you will be presented with a screen requesting payment information. This information will be submitted in a secure mode which will allow you to safely transmit your credit card number over the Internet. If you prefer not to pay by credit card, please print this answer sheet and submit your responses by regular mail.

5. Within six weeks, Los Angeles Lawyer will return your test with the correct answers, a rationale for the correct answers, and a certificate verifying the CLE credit you earned through this self-assessment activity.

6. For future reference, please retain the CLE test materials returned to you.


Test Sheet

Mark your answers to the test by clicking next to your choice.  All questions must be answered.  Each question has only one answer. This test is worth 1 hour of credit.*

1. There is no requirement to return an unearned fee that is specified as a true or classic retainer.

2. In California, the primary rule governing attorney fee billing arrangements is California Rule of Professional Conduct 5-100.

3. Contingency fee agreements were first approved by the American Bar Association in 1929.

4. Rule 3-310(F) prohibits lawyers from entering into an alternative fee arrangement in the form of a syndication or litigation financing arrangement because a lawyer "shall not accept compensation for representing a client from one other than the client."

5. Whether a fee for legal services is unconscionable is determined on the basis of all facts and circumstances existing at the time the agreement is entered into unless the parties contemplate that the fee will be affected by later events.

6. If an alternative fee arrangement could be viewed as the lawyer's entering into a business transaction with, or acquiring an ownership or other pecuniary interest in, a client, which of the following is an important requirement?

7. Does a syndication arrangement likely constitute an investment contract requiring compliance with state and federal securities laws?

8. Syndication arrangements are potentially unavailable for personal injury suits because personal injury suits are not assignable.

9. A reverse contingency fee based upon the claims expressly stated in the complaint is always enforceable even if the amount demanded in the complaint is speculative.

10. With reverse contingency fee agreements, the determination of what is a successful defense must be clearly defined for the client.

11. A partial contingency fee arrangement is not subject to the statutory requirements of a full contingency fee agreement.

12. A partial contingency fee arrangement that does not comply with the statutory requirements of a full contingency agreement gives the client an option to void the fee arrangement.

13. A lawyer shall not make any communication or solicitation to a prospective or present client that contains any matter in a manner or format that is false, deceptive, or tends to confuse, deceive, or mislead the public.

14. When fee arrangements seek to limit the tasks that will be performed, the amount that will be paid for certain tasks, or the entire engagement, a larger ethical concern that arises centers around a lawyer's duties and abilities to provide independent advice and competent legal services.

15. Fixed or capped fee arrangements or arrangements using blended or discounted rates, which result in inadequate fees that encourage the use of less experienced and skilled lawyers, is common, acceptable, and raises no ethical concerns.

16. A lawyer's contingent fee is considered a "pecuniary or financial interest in the client's property" within the meaning of the California Rules of Professional Conduct.

17. Contingency fee arrangements are acceptable when representing a client in a dissolution of a marriage or domestic relationship.

18. Once a contingency fee agreement is in place, renegotiating the percentage of terms of the agreement during the course of representation is not permitted.

19. California recognizes a public policy favoring contingent fee arrangements.

20. The financial capacity of the client to pay the fee is not considered in evaluating whether a fee for legal services is unconscionable.

Before clicking the Submit button, please verify that all questions have been answered. An error message will appear if not all questions are answered.

* The Los Angeles County Bar Association has been approved as a continuing legal education provider of Minimum Continuing Legal Education credit by the State Bar of California. This self-assessment activity will qualify for Minimum Continuing Legal Education legal ethics credit by the State Bar of California in the amount of one hour.