The Alabama Rules of Professional Conduct govern the behavior of lawyers. Specifically, Rule 7.3 forbids lawyers from directly soliciting prospective clients with whom the lawyer knows may be in need of legal services when the lawyer’s actions are for his own financial gain.
This situation commonly occurs when a lawyers learns of a bodily injury and attempts to solicit the business of the victim. For example, it is a violation of Rule 7.3 if a lawyer attempts to contact you within thirty days of being injured in an auto collision. Rule 7.3 forbids in-person contact as well as phone calls, mailings, email, etc. unless you are a past client, family member, or initiated contact first. Furthermore, a person associated with an attorney, whether it be an agent, paralegal or secretary, cannot also solicit your business during that thirty-day time frame.
The purpose for Rule 7.3 is clear: to protect the public from abuse, undue influence and intimidation by attorneys trying to take financial advantage of the victim. If you receive a phone call, mail, or are directly approached by a lawyer within the thirty-day window of your accident, you should be aware that the lawyer is violating the Alabama Rules of Professional Conduct. Likewise, you should know that an attorney desperate and/or unethical enough to willfully break the rules governing his conduct will likely not treat you with the honesty and integrity you deserve.
If you or someone you know has been involved in an accident and need legal help, take control of the attorney selection process and do not allow yourself to be bullied by attorneys who are violating the Rules of Professional Conduct. An experienced personal injury attorney, who has the honesty and integrity to follow the rules governing the behavior of lawyers, will treat you with the same regard.