ADVOCATING FOR VICTIMS OF UNETHICAL LAWYERS
Do not let unethical lawyers, service providers or healthcare providers illegally take advantage of you. Whether it is a car accident, work injury, or explosion, if you are approached and persuaded to hire a particular attorney or health care provider, you may be a victim of illegal solicitation or barratry. Oftentimes, people in certain occupations will work with unethical attorneys and health care providers to force you to sign a contract:
- Tow-truck drivers
- Body shop employees
- Funeral home personnel
- News reporters
- Hospital employees
- Insurance agents
- Law firm “investigators”
In exchange for your case, you may be offered gifts, money or other promises. If these individuals persuade you to hire a particular person, they may get paid referral fees for sending you to that company or law firm. This money comes out of the victim’s pocket. Millions of dollars are paid to these people each year – money that should have gone to the victims!
Deciding which lawyer to hire is an important decision and should not be forced on you by unethical attorneys when you are most vulnerable.
WERE YOU SOLICITED BY AN ATTORNEY AFTER AN ACCIDENT?
In some cases, barratry may be hard to notice. If you believe you may have been the victim of barratry, ask yourself the following questions.
- Did you receive phone calls from individuals who told you a family member had asked them to talk to you about hiring an attorney when you never told your family you wanted to hire an attorney? Did they know your family members names, but your family had never spoken to them before or made any calls whatsoever?
- Were you approached by an attorney or someone acting on behalf of an attorney at the funeral home following the death of a loved one? Did a tow truck driver or body shop employee try to force you to hire a particular attorney?
- Did a police officer at the scene of your accident persuade you to call an attorney? Did you receive a call from a police officer or someone claiming to be an officer who tried to pressure you to hire a specific attorney?
- Did your attorney or service provider bribe you with money, gifts or “free” items in exchange for signing a contract?
- Did a lawyer, “investigator”, or someone acting on behalf of a lawyer go to your home or hospital uninvited to try to obtain a signature on a lawyers’ contract for legal services?
If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, you may have been wrongfully and illegally solicited.
WHAT ARE ILLEGAL SOLICITATION LAWS?
Under Texas illegal solicitation laws, as stated by the Texas Penal Code §38.12(d):
“A person commits an offense if the person: is an attorney, chiropractor, physician, surgeon, or private investigator licensed to practice in this state or any person licensed, certified, or registered by a health care regulatory agency of this state; and with the intent to obtain professional employment for the person or for another, provides or knowingly permits to be provided to an individual who has not sought the person’s employment, legal representation, advice, or care a written communication or a solicitation, including a solicitation in person or by telephone, that: concerns an action for personal injury or wrongful death or otherwise relates to an accident or disaster involving the person to whom the communication or solicitation is provided or a relative of that person and that was provided before the 31st day after the date on which the accident or disaster occurred.”
CAN YOU GET YOUR MONEY BACK AFTER BEING SOLICITED ILLEGALLY?
You may be entitled to a refund of fees you have already paid to the attorney who solicited your case.
The law recognizes that your attorney has a fiduciary duty to act in your best interests. If an attorney or someone acting on behalf of an attorney approaches you when you are physically injured or emotionally distraught, he or she is not acting in your best interests. Pressuring you to hire an attorney at a difficult time in your life is a serious violation of your personal rights. Attorneys or people acting on behalf of an attorney who illegally solicit you may be sued for a refund of attorney’s fees, and you may also be entitled to money damages for the mental and emotional suffering you have gone through as a result of their solicitation.
CONTACT AN EXPERIENCED TEXAS BARRATRY LAWYER
If a legal professional or service provider solicit you to represent you legally following an accident, contact Thomas J. Henry immediately. Thomas J. Henry has been fighting barratry and illegal case solicitation in South Texas for more than two decades. In 2007, Thomas J. Henry made headlines when he helped to bring down Mauricio Celis, a high-rolling case runner who falsely represented himself as an attorney (read more about this case in Texas Monthly.)
Our firm has offices in Corpus Christi, San Antonio, and Houston, serving clients across Texas and nationwide. Let us help you get your money back from dishonest and unethical lawyers. Call us today for a free case review.