Attention PI Lawyers: Do you ever advance living expenses to poor clients?

If not, and if you can afford it, what’s wrong with you? Don’t you care about your clients as people? Unfortunately things are not that simple.

Take a quick look at this post from the Legal Profession Blog about a Nebraska lawyer who was suspended for 60 days because he advanced expenses on “humanitarian grounds” to a poor client. Punishment seems harsh. On the other hand, all hell would break lose if lawyers were permitted to offer to subsidize clients until their cases were over. One can imagine the ads: “Room and Board provided until case settles!! Get what you need NOW and what you DESERVE after the case is over.”

Rumor has it that some lawyers in fact do offer “advances” to clients in order to lure them away from other lawyers. Have you ever heard of such a thing? Would you report it to SWG? But there’s always the fundamental question: do you “know” that a particular lawyer has done such a thing? Rumors are a dime a dozen and they are rotten.