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Why accident attorneys must refer a serious personal injury cases to an expert

Michigan Lawyers Weekly interviews Steve Gursten on proposed court rule change that would govern lawyer referral fees – at the expense of clients

Steve Gursten was featured as an expert accident attorney in Michigan Lawyers Weekly, on a proposed Michigan Supreme Court amendment to rules governing referral fees between lawyers.

If passed, MRPC 1.5 would limit referral fees to 25 percent. It would also require that attorneys disclose to clients how the fees would be split, and the client would have to approve the arrangement in writing.

Here’s a portion of the  story, explaining how the client benefits when a car accident case is referred to an expert lawyer:

More than 80 percent of Gursten’s cases come to him by way of referrals.

And he said he wants to pay more than 25 percent for the referrals, in order to give other lawyers a direct incentive to give him their biggest personal injury cases.

Changing the rule would only hurt the plaintiffs, he said.

“Let’s say I take a case, and I get a $1 million recovery. I get a third, and pay the referring attorney one-third of that,” Gursten said. “To make the same amount, that lawyer could take the case, but only have to win a $500,000 recovery and keep one-third. The only person who was hurt by that was the client.”

You can read the full Michigan Lawyers Weekly story here: It’s okay to share – but not too much

May 13, 2011

Related information:

Michigan Auto Law legal leadership

Michigan Supreme Court blogs

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