100 years + of collective legal malpractice experience

Defining unethical solicitation of services

by | Jan 25, 2019 | Legal Malpractice |

You and very other potential consumer in Florida likely knows what it is like to be inundated with contact from professional providers attempting to sell their services to you. In fact, such communication may be so frequent that you view it as completely normal. Yet clients have often come to us here at St. Denis & Davey with complaints regarding contact from a unique type of solicitor: attorneys. This may strike you as odd due to the fact that you often see billboards or television commercials advertising the services of local attorneys. Such professionals, however, have a stricter code of conduct when it comes to securing new business. 

Rule 7.3 of the American Bar Association’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct state that attorneys cannot solicit their services via person-to-person contact when the sole purpose of the solicitation is their own pecuniary gain. For the purposes of this rule, “solicit” is defined as communication made by or on behalf of an attorney to you soliciting their services when they know (or should reasonably know) that you are in need of such services. An example of this may be a scenario where you were injured in an incident that stirred up local notoriety. If in the immediate aftermath of such an event an attorney contacted you soliciting their services, such contact would be considered unethical. 

There are three scenarios in which the aforementioned standard does not apply: 

  • If you are yourself an attorney and another is contacting you in regards to their services
  • If you already have an established personal or professional relationship with an attorney and/or the members of their law firm
  • If you routinely utilize the services offered by an attorney

You can learn more about evaluating an attorney’s professional conduct by continuing to explore our site.