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Thursday, January 08, 2015

THE MORE THINGS CHANGE...

We received this comment and removed the attorney's name and decided to post this on the blog as a post. 
Of course it's unethical. Attorneys cannot solicit business in this matter.  Plus it violates the code of the shark to work for reduced rates.  Of course, as thousands of defendants serving lengthy prison sentences can attest to, you get what you pay for. 

Dear Rumpole,

I am curious as to whether you will post this question and, more importantly, your opinion on the practice.

I have had several clients over the past year or so tell me that XYZ ESQ has been sending his associates unsolicited to visit clients in the jails to get hired. Most of these inmates are represented by the PD's office and are handed a stack of  XYZ ESQ business cards to pass around to other inmates. The clients tell me that  XYZ ESQ offers to represent inmates for very reduced rates if they recruit other clients for his firm. He asks them for a list of all PD clients in their cell and then they go and visit them to do the same thing. Many of my clients (more than five) have independently told me this over the past year and have been recruited by these inmates. And one of my clients was actually visited by one of his associates recently and asked to switch firms.

Do you think it is legal/ethical to send associates unsolicited to the jails to attempt to get PD clients to hire him?
Wednesday, January 07, 2015 4:19:00 PM

Don't attempt to leave a comment with the attorney's name. We believe the comment to be true, but we won't print the name without attribution from clients and then giving the attorney a chance to respond.  If you leave a comment with an attorney's name, it will NOT be published, so don't waste your time and ours. 




16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Manner.

Anonymous said...

If true, you should leave the attorney's name. Such unethical practices must be stopped

Terrible TGK said...

Rump, this kind of crap has been going on for years. There are some real bottom feeders out there. There are also some corrupt corrections officers and a bunch of crooked bondman's who have hookups with booking personel at TGK. Then there are the bondmen who want to refer us cases for a fee. I have had some ask as high as 35%, thanks but no thanks.

Anonymous said...

I have had numerous clients in jail handed a business card of a particular lawyer and the person handing it over was in a green uniform. I reported it to SAO investigators who do nothing.

When was the last time corrections IA made an arrest? 1954?

Anonymous said...

So much for Rumpoles first trial rule of the year:

Congratulations to APDs Ashley Askari and Lauren Krasnoff for getting their client acquitted on Tuesday of Domestic Battery by Strangulation (F3), Witness Tampering (F2), Aggravated Assault with Deadly Weapon (F3) and 2 Counts of Simple Battery (M1) before Judge Yvonne Colodny.

Anonymous said...

Rumpole,

About once a year or so there is talk on this blog about bondsman referrals, unethical solicitation, etc...We rally the troops for a day and then nobody cares.

We all know this goes on, and we all know who does it. Every one of us has had clients given attorneys' names by their bondsmen. I always ask clients if their bondsman has asked them to contact a lawyer, and most of them say yes.

There are a ton of bottom feeders out there who will take a felony for a few hundred, do nothing but ask for continuance and continuance, and then withdraw.

You make fun of Broward and other counties but I am willing to be that these practices are far less rampant north, south, and west of Miami-Dade County.

Stop talking about it and let's do something. It's hurting the business of the honest practitioners.

Anonymous said...

What a great idea. I'll start my own personal marketing program immediately.

Anonymous said...

This is nothing. A few years ago, I had a client get arrested on a minor matter in the middle of the night while I was out of town. The officer told him that would spend the night in jail since he couldn't see the bond judge until morning. But, the officer "offered" to call a bondsman who could pull some magical powers and release him immediately. The officer called the bondsman from the station and handed the phone to the client. The bondsman stated that he would bond the guy out immediately, but only if his parents came by before he was booked to pay the bond. Then after bonding out, the client HAD to go to a certain lawyer. The client, of course agreed. The officer then offered to hold the defendant at the station until the parents went to the bondsman so that he wouldn't have to sit at the jail. The officer finally took the guy to TGK, but called the bondsman before entering TGk to make sure everything was set. The bondsman said the parents hadn't arrived yet, so the officer sat outside the gates of TGK, handed a cell phone to the client and made sure the parents went to the bondsman. Once everything was confirmed, the officer took him inside. Of course, he still spent time in jail and got out at the same time as if he had hired any other bondsman. Once released, of course he came to me as opposed to the recommended lawyer. I still have the bondsman's card with the lawyer's name on it.
The funny part of it is that it was only a 1k bond, so the premium was only $100. I'm sure the officer made a kickback, but how much could a bondsman pay an officer on a $100 premium. $25? $50?
A few days later, the bondsman called client and "suggested" that he go to the lawyer or he would be in violation of the bond and he would seek to surrender the bond and have the client put back in jail. I, of course called the bondsman and told him to file the motion to surrender and that I'd file my response, listing all the relevant happenings, along with the officer's name. I never heard back.
I called the SAO Public Corruption unit about this and told the whole story. They really didn't seem to give a shit. I also called the IA of the police dept, but they didn't give a shit either.
Anyone who is in the REG bldg knows the lawyer whose name I have, but he is a nice guy and I wouldn't want to divulge it. But this shit happens all the time.

Anonymous said...

The attorney who wrote you has an ethical obligation under Florida Bar rules to report what they know. If the attorney does not do that then I auestion their credibility on the story.

Anonymous said...

You know it's hard out here for a pimp

When he tryin' to get this money for the rent

For the Cadillacs and gas money spent

Because a whole lot of bitches talkin' shit

You know it's hard out here for a pimp

When he tryin' to get this money for the rent

For the Cadillacs and gas money spent

Will have a whole lot of bitches jumpin' ship
_________________________

Desperation does not suit anyone.

Keep classy, guys.

Kissimmee Kid said...

What is the harm in solicitating PD clients? The APDs have more time to devote to the remaining clients? Lower taxes?

Anonymous said...

I don't see how this is the same as giving kickbacks to bondsman or those related shenanigans. How is this different from sending out mailers? Properly done this appears to be a more sincere approach to sell oneself. The jails are packed with people who complain about never seeing lawyers.

Anonymous said...

RULE 4-8.3 REPORTING PROFESSIONAL MISCONDUCT
(a) Reporting Misconduct of Other Lawyers. A lawyer who knows that another lawyer has committed a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct that raises a substantial question as to that lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer in other respects shall inform the appropriate professional authority.


"Shall" means must; reporting is compulsory.

"Knows" here means "actual knowledge of the fact in question." But also note that "[a]person's knowledge may be inferred from circumstances."

So if you are a Florida lawyer, and you KNOW this misconduct has occurred, you have an absolute obligation to report it. Failure to do so is its own violation.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone complained to the Bar?

Anonymous said...

Has anyone complained to The Florida Bar? I would but I don't know the offending attorney's name.

Anonymous said...

Yes - it is clearly a Bar matter. But why does the SAO get a free pass? So the person answering the phone in the Intake Unit doesn't "get it"....or can't comprehend how to investigate....or their sup. is uneasy with it. That's what DCs are for - or KFR. Surely the bondsmen and corrections are not big time campaign contributors.