Posted by Mike on April 04, 2006 at 09:12:35:
“So what I think your saying (according to what is determined ‘ethical’) is that I really cannot MENTION that there is a monetary benefit ($2500) or value of substance (weekend for 2 to Hawaii) for the attorney that refers their client to me? Is that right?”
It would be unethical to encourage someone to violate a law that applies to them.
So, a nonlawyer offering a referral fee to a lawyer would be similar, from an ethical perspective, to offering a truck driver a $500.00 bonus to get a load from Florida to Pennsylvania in 16 hours. He would have to drive longer and faster than he is allowed to by law, so you would be paying him to violate laws that apply to him.
While the referral fee may seem like a good way to help out the lawyer’s client, it places the lawyer in a position of giving advice that benefits himself. A similar situation would exist in the medical profession, if physicians prescribed drugs knowing they will get a kickback from the drug company for every prescription they write. The professional would find himself in a position of considering his self-interest in addition to, or instead of, what is in his patient’s best interest.