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New rule curbs lawyer solicitation letters in Michigan

May 31, 2011 by Steven M. Gursten

Change is a good start to protecting auto accident victims from predatory injury lawyers, but should go farther

Let’s face it, there is nothing good about an injured auto accident victim being barraged by personal injury attorney solicitation letters in the mail days after a car crash, asking if they need an injury lawyer. It is incredibly demeaning to the legal profession, and especially to Michigan lawyers who practice personal injury law and auto accident litigation with integrity. I’m sure it leaves a very bad taste in the mouths of auto accident victims who received these solicitation letters.

What’s worse, the practice of injury lawyers sending FOIA requests out for police reports and then sending these solicitation letters to accident victims has been quickly spreading in the last couple years. I could easily tick off almost a dozen personal injury law firms that regularly send these solicitation letters out today (because when I meet my clients for meetings, they show me these solicitation letters).

And what is still worse is that many of these solicitation letters are from personal injury lawyers who have no real qualifications or credentials to handle serious auto accident cases. Come to think of it, that’s probably the best explanation of why these lawyers are sending solicitation letters in the first place. But in the last couple years, there were a couple well-known personal injury law firms that were also sending the solicitation letters and engaging in the process. It was becoming a race to the bottom.

Now thankfully, there are some (minor) restrictions on the process. At least it’s a start.

Rule change to MRPC 7.3 on attorney solicitation

The new rule, which amends MRPC 7.3 on attorney solicitation says:
o That an injury attorney must now wait 30 days to contact a potential client by a written communication after a death, injury or accident.
o That the solicitation letters now need to have the words “advertising material” on the outside of the envelope, and at the beginning and end of the letter.
o This requirement applies to any type of brochure, postcard, letter, pamphlet etc., no matter how it is written or delivered.

Tomorrow I’ll be blogging about the need to ban insurance company solicitation of car accident victims.

Steve Gursten is one of the nation’s top injury lawyers handling auto accident lawsuits. He is head of Michigan Auto Law and has received the highest verdict in the state for a car accident or truck accident victim in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

Related information:

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Michigan Auto Law is the largest law firm exclusively handling car accident, truck accident and motorcycle accident cases throughout the entire state. We have offices in Farmington Hills, Detroit, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Sterling Heights to better serve you. Call (248) 353-7575 for a free consultation with one of our personal injury lawyers.

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