Friday, November 7, 2008

Hunting Clients Leads To Permanent Disbarment

The Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board has recommended the permanent disbarment of two attorneys for what the board characterizes as serious violations of client-solicitation rules as well as paying non-lawyers to drum up personal injury business. The board noted that the marketing tools used to solicit business included humor, t-shirts, pens and a rap song. Also unhelpful to one of lawyers was a newspaper comment that quoted him as saying that he viewed his operation as a business first and a law firm second. (Mike Frisch)

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Permanent disbarment for overreaching in marketing, when other forms of marketing are protected free speech? Of course they should be disciplined, but permanent disbarment? As if they could never learn their lesson and change? As if they harmed clients and stole money? For marketing? For doing what Amway people and church members do all the time? I thought this sanctions was reserved for the most serious violations that show such immorality and harm to the public and clients that no redemption is possible. Instead these guys upset the bar by their marketing methods, and by saying law is a business?

Posted by: Alan Childress | Nov 7, 2008 3:20:49 PM

Clearly their real beef was the "business" model. Furthermore, the firm did pay THEIR OWN EMPLOYEES to sign up clients who had ALREADY CALLED THE FIRM TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT- when they went out to their house to sign them up. But the Bar is treating this like the cases where lawyers paid third-party runners to go drum up business on the street.

It's obvious the bar does not like advertising lawyers and is going to do everything it can to drive them out of business. See, e.g., the plainly unconstitutional regulations limiting lawyer advertising. But at least that was a candid approach. Here, we see the bar stretching its concepts of liability for other violations to get at the advertising guys by crook, when they couldn't reach them by hook.

Posted by: Robert | Nov 8, 2008 7:43:26 AM

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