Dream of: 26 June 1985 "Duty Of Inquiry"

While I was living and working in Waco I went to Dallas to visit Vaughn and Lynn (Waco attorneys) who had moved to Dallas from Waco. I hadn't seen either Lynn nor Vaughn in quite some time. When I met them we began talking and Vaughn told me he had a proposition for me.

He said he had a car which someone wanted to buy. He wanted me to first buy the car from him and then sell it to the person who wanted to buy it. I was supposed to make a profit on the transaction. I thought about it and told him I saw no problem with the idea and thought I should be able to do it.

But I realized something must not be entirely legitimate because Vaughn himself wasn't selling the car directly to the purchaser. I thought Vaughn might be trying to avoid paying income taxes.

Vaughn and Lynn went into the next room and I began reflecting about whether I should go through with the scheme. I thought the central question was whether I had a "duty of inquiry." I decided if I had no duty of inquiry, then I wouldn't be breaking any ethical rules or other laws. However if I did have a duty of inquiry and I didn't in fact inquire about the nature of the transaction, then I would be breaking the rules.

Lynn walked back into the room and I began explaining to him what I thought about the "duty of inquiry." I began trying to figure out ways of avoiding the duty. Vaughn came back into the room and I said, "Well what about the possibility of just if something did happen later explaining that I had simply bought the car and then I had sold it to you at a profit later because I had just been able to buy it cheap and then sell it high."

Vaughn agreed that that would be the best story. But it bothered me because I was already fabricating a lie in advance. I knew there was something wrong with what I was doing. I continued to hesitate about entering into the transaction.

Vaughn continued talking and asked me if I knew Perkins (a former fellow law student). I told him I did know Perkins. After Vaughn had moved to Dallas, Perkins had moved onto the same floor where my office was. He was even occupying the same office I used to occupy when Vaughn had still been on my floor. I was now occupying the office which Vaughn used to occupy.

Vaughn and I agreed that Perkins wasn't very intelligent. Perkins had won the practice court competition at Baylor Law School when I had been at Baylor. But he had barely passed the bar exam.

Vaughn seemed to think Perkins might be able to help us in the car transaction if it were necessary.

While we had been talking I had prepared and drunk a drink made of a mixture of milk and orange juice. I put down my glass and picked up another glass which had some water in it. I was going to prepare some orange juice and water in it. I poured some orange juice into the water and took a drink. I realized then it hadn't been water in the glass but rather some kind of pop which had lost its carbonation.

I poured the mixture out and began looking for something better to drink.

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