Children’s Miracle Network
Our law firm is proud to be a sponsor of the Children’s Miracle Network & Camp Amistad-a free camp for children recovering from burns. On Saturday, June 2nd three of our employees volunteered in the phone bank to help raise money during the CMN Celebration Broadcast. Kevin Glasheen also presented a $5,000 check to CMN on behalf of Glasheen, Valles & Inderman Injury Lawyers.
Rolling Into Summer…
This May, Glasheen, Valles & Inderman, LLP partnered with Wolffarth Elementary School in Lubbock to reward five students for being on the honor roll the entire year. “This is a great achievement for these 4th & 5th graders.” said Noe Valles. “We know the power of education and rewarding these five students with bikes was a great way to recognize their achievements.”
It is a FELONY for attorneys, absent limited circumstances, to solicit cases for professional employment or even to have another person solicit on the attorney’s behalf. Such conduct is also a clear violation of State Bar of Texas ethical rules governing attorney misconduct. However, weak enforcement by the authorities has allowed “case runners” to run rampant across Texas.
It would seem that with these laws and rules forbidding illegal solicitation, such conduct would be rare. However, that is far from reality. Documented reports of Texas case runners with no legal training making tens of millions of dollars has led to a few convictions and even a book. Yet some authorities continue to tell us that “this just doesn’t happen around here.” In our firm’s experience, we can count on having to run-off one or more attorneys or their case runners who are improperly seeking employment when we are contacted on newsworthy cases.
We have had countless clients recount the same or similar stories. “I had a loved one who was severely injured (or killed) in an accident and a “grief counselor” came to my home (or the hospital or funeral home) and offered to help.” The “grief counselor” then proceeds to solicit the client for a particular attorney and offers to immediately pay money to “help the family out” or to pay for funeral expenses. This same type of scenario has been repeated by individuals fraudulently posing as priests and clergy or officials with certain civic organizations. Whatever the situation, it is wrong for any attorney to participate in a scheme to illegally solicit cases.
In 2011 the Texas Legislature created a CIVIL CAUSE OF ACTION for “barratry” or illegal case running against any attorney found to have illegally solicited a case. Specifically, Texas Government Code §82.0651 sets forth that a person who was illegally solicited by an attorney can recover actual damages caused by the solicitation, attorney’s fees and court costs, a $10,000.00 penalty per offending attorney, plus the relinquishment of any fees paid to the attorney.
Our firm has been successful in using the new law to help barratry victims recover money damages for the unethical actions of attorneys and their case runners. We are ready to help anyone that may have a claim for this type of conduct. We will also help guide our clients through the process of filing criminal and state bar complaints. It’s time to clean up the profession.