Bad law BY erik2408 Bad Law/Lawyers Introduction: Law is a term which does not have a universally accepted definition, but one definition is that law is a system of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior. What is bad law you may ask? Bad law ties in with quite a few things, as a matter of fact it’s a very big subject but I would like to break it down to Just a few certain topics. The topics that I would like to discuss are what is and makes a bad lawyer in general, the morality of some lawyers.
You could be a great lawyer but if you have horrible morals by my definition I would have to abel you as a bad lawyer. But my most important topic is on lawyers and ambulance chasing which is frowned upon. There are two great movies that explain both of these topics. One of the movies is “My cousin Vinny’ which shows you an example of an overall bad lawyer. The other movie is a bit more popular “The Verdict” which portrays a morally bad lawyer that is an ambulance chaser. Discussion: Let’s get started! The first thing I’d like to discuss is a bad lawyer Just in general.
I don’t know if a lot of people seen the movie “My Cousin Vinny’ but that movie is a great example of a bad lawyer. For the people that are unfamiliar with it let me tell you a little bit about it. The movie starts off by two boys driving across the country and get arrested and trailed for murder, for the killing of the clerk at a gas station they had Just been into. The two boys were innocent and but there were witnesses saying they saw them. They were broke and in big trouble. So one of the boys called his uncle Vinny who was a lawyer.
This was Vinnie’s first case ever as a lawyer and was completely clueless. Vinny did not know the rules and regulations on how to behave in a courtroom to say the least. Somehow he convinced the kids to let him represent them. Vinny was learning as we went along, and with the help of his girlfriend he actually won the case. But if I was being trailed for murder I for sure know I would not want him representing me. If you are in need of a lawyer here’s some tips you may need to know to avoid the bad ones. For one don’t go for a general practitioner when you need a specialist.
Two, do some legwork to find a good attorney. Three, don’t sign up unless you’re completely comfortable with the fee arrangement and relationship. Four, understand what an attorney is doing for you. Last but not least be wary of the “slam dunk” claim. Any lawyer who says you got a slam dunk case is not a very good lawyer (Collins). Hopefully that information gives you a better understanding ofa bad lawyer. Now to talk about my main issue, which are lawyers with bad morals. What do I consider a morally bad lawyer? An attorney that is an ambulance chaser would be considered a morally bad lawyer in my eyes.
An ambulance chasing is a form of barratry, refers to a lawyer using an event as a lawyers that follow ambulances to the emergency room to find clients. Ambulance chasing is prohibited in the US. Such conduct violates Rule 7. 3 of the American Bar Association Model Rules of Professional Conduct. Some bar associations strongly enforce rules against barratry. For example, the State Bar of California dispatches investigators to large-scale disaster scenes to discourage ambulance chasers, and to catch any who attempt to solicit business from disaster victims at the scene.
Ambulance chasing is also illegal in Australia, in accordance with clauses 20 and 22 of the Legal Profession Regulation of 1987 (Wikipedia). Lawyers aren’t supposed to solicit their clients directly, at least in theory (Toothman). But of course that would be in a perfect world, but as right now the reality is that there are always some lawyers cutting deals with ambulance drivers, nurses, and funeral homes so on and so forth just to get tips on finding victims that might have a legal case (Toothman).
When there’s a big event, like an explosion or a train wreck or even a bus crash, how do the random victims find their way to the hungry lawyers? In the good old days, plaintiff lawyers chartered planes to fly to Bhopal, India, for example (Toothman). In Toothman’s article he writes about Lawyers fake press release to sign up clients. What these lawyers did was send out a bizarre press release, announcing that, without even having a single client so far, they are “investigating” or “looking into” the disaster du Jour, which they have ripped from the headlines (Toothman).
Du Jour is a magazine by the way. That wasn’t intended to get a local paper to run a story about that, the goal was to reach out to any victims or their families who might be looking around for hope, or a lawyer, will stumble upon these press releases using Google or yahoo and rush to sign up with the hungry lawyer (Toothman). In other recent rticles about ambulance chasing an attorney in Texas was arrested for doing this. The event took place in May of 2012 only a year and half ago. Ronald Reynolds was a state representative and former municipal Judge.
He was arrested for barratry which is a fancier term for ambulance chasing. Texas, it’s not Just prohibited by legal ethics rules it’s also flat out illegal (Rabiner). This was such a widespread problem at the Harris County Courthouse near Houston, officials recently erected signs warning attorneys that barratry is a crime (Rabiner). The legislator was caught soliciting otential clients soon after they had been in car accidents. It was also reported that he founds some clients with the help of a local chiropractor. This is something you would not expect from a state representative.
It’s very sketchy and illegal in the state of Texas which I did not know until reading this article. In Texas, attorneys arent permitted to send unsolicited offers of representation until 31 days after the underlying incident. Or when they know the individual already has legal representation (Rabiner). In addition to breaking these rules, the District Attorney has also accused Rep. Reynolds of tricking an undercover investigator he never met into signing an attorney-client agreement that gave him part of any settlement. “Any settlement” included insurance monies (Rabiner). What I found to be humorous in the article was the Rep.
Ronald Reynolds even voted for the barratry law back in 2011. You would think someone who votes for a certain law would not be dumb enough to break that very law. Especially someone with a stature of being a state representative. I was appalled and in shock after reading this how can somebody be I was unaware that ambulance chasing was so common, I ran into another article here a lawyer was accused of offering kickbacks to two local insurance agents for referring accident cases to him, challenging the legality of the state statute that makes such practices a crime (Smith).
Scott Jeffrey Jontiff, 33, of Miami, was charged with two counts of unlawful solicitation by an attorney after insurance agents he contacted turned him in to the Florida Division of Insurance Fraud in West Palm Beach (Smith). It was stated in the police report that there was a recorded and videotaped conversation where Jontiff offered to give the insurance agents $100 for ach personal injury case referred to him or $1 50 if the agents waited until the insurance companies paid up (Smith). The charges that Scott Jeffery faced were 3rd degree felony which is punishable by 5 years in prison and 5000 dollar fine.
What I don’t understand is why put yourself in such danger by committing such a crime to me it seems stupid. You’re eventually going to get caught sooner or later. To get a better understanding on ambulance chasing and actually have a visual aid I strongly recommend watching the movie “The Verdict”. “The Verdict” came out in 1982 it’s an ld movie but very popular back in the day and still is, and yes it’s in color. The movie portrays a lawyer who is down-on-his luck, reduced to drinking and ambulance chasing.
The down on his luck lawyer is Frank Galvin. Former associate Mickey Morrissey reminds him of his obligations in a medical malpractice suit that he himself served to Galvin on a silver platter (The Verdict). All parties were willing to settle out of court, until Frank suddenly realized that perhaps after all the case should go to court, to punish the guilty and get a decent settlement for his clients, nd to restore his standing as a lawyer (The Verdict). Conclusion: Bad lawyers are not Just in movies are not Just in movies.
As you can see by the few example articles that I talked about ambulance chasing is a real thing and happens more often than you think. It practically happens on a daily basis there are always lawyers or somebody out there trying to take advantage of you. As I read in a few articles ambulance chasing attorneys are viewed as bottom chasers, theyre not very well liked. “The Verdict” does a really good Job portraying an ambulance chasing attorney. Those types of lawyers are always trying to get a lawsuit on something to get an easy buck.
When you go as far as go to funerals and such right after a family has had a death in the family to try to catch a case in my eyes that’s having low morals and its frowned upon. As far as having a bad lawyer in general you Just have to be careful on that and take all the necessary precautions to avoid them. The tips I stated above are a few helpful hints to spot a bad attorney. As society grows and changes I hope lawyers won’t be as hungry and try to have a little sympathy for others and reevaluate their morals.