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Sanctioning the Ambulance Chaser


Anita Bernstein


Brooklyn Law School

August 4, 2008

Loyola Law Review, Vol. 41, 2008
Brooklyn Law School, Legal Studies Paper No. 116

Abstract:     
Most scholars of professional responsibility who have written about the ban on solicitation of new clients want to see the prohibition liberalized. This Article offers empirical support for the near-consensus by exploring the two contrary meanings of "sanction." Sanction in the sense of punishment exists in state codes of professional responsibility: Almost every United States jurisdiction deems solicitation a disciplinary offense. The record, however, reveals sanctioning in the sense of condoning. My effort to count every instance of attorney discipline for solicitation reported to the public during 2002-2007 located very few in relation to the 1.3 million licenses held to practice law. The number is apparently only 61, and I argue that, properly understood, this count is much lower - perhaps as low as 1. Purporting to declare a behavior punishable while at the same time permitting it to go on without punishment is a state of hypocrisy that the bar ought to abandon.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 48

Keywords: solicitation, legal ethics, plaintiffs', professional responsbility

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Date posted: August 7, 2008 ; Last revised: November 6, 2008

Suggested Citation

Bernstein, Anita, Sanctioning the Ambulance Chaser (August 4, 2008). Loyola Law Review, Vol. 41, 2008; Brooklyn Law School, Legal Studies Paper No. 116. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1202402

Contact Information

Anita Bernstein (Contact Author)
Brooklyn Law School ( email )
250 Joralemon Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
United States

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