Regulatory Information for Attorneys Impacted by the California Fires1
The fires in California have touched many people, including lawyers and law firms. Attorneys should consider their ethical obligations if their practice is affected or forced to close due to a natural disaster or other catastrophic event. Attorneys with questions or concerns about their ethical obligations should contact the State Bar of California’s free and confidential Ethics Hotline: 800-2-ETHICS or 800-238-4427.
The State Bar has warned the public2 to watch out for and report potential fraud by lawyers.3 California law4 prohibits lawyers or others acting on behalf of a lawyer from:
- Soliciting clients at an accident scene, at a hospital, or on the way to a hospital
- Soliciting clients who, due to their physical, emotional, or mental state, may not be able to have reasonable judgment about the hiring of an attorney
- Seeking clients by mail unless the letter and envelope are clearly labeled as an advertisement
- Promising a particular outcome from the legal representation.