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Stopping “ambulance chasing” lawyers is an issue everyone should support

August 16, 2013 by Steven M. Gursten

An opinion editorial from attorney Steve Gursten in Michigan Lawyers Weekly legal newspaper on HB 4770-71


Michigan Lawyers Weekly, the state’s largest legal newspaper, recently ran my opinion editorial on why we need to stop “ambulance chasing” lawyers. Right now.

You can read the full article here.

I realize this is not making me very popular with the dozen or so Michigan personal injury law firms that are sending out solicitation letters to people involved in car accidents around the state.  I started my op ed by saying:

“Accident victims and their families deserve to be protected against intrusive and insensitive attorney solicitation letters. These letters start arriving almost immediately after a family member has been involved in a car accident. These letters are increasingly being accompanied by aggressive phone calls and even by people knocking on the door. Thankfully, two courageous members of the Michigan House of Representatives have stepped forward to provide some protection.”

The hope is that two proposed bills will stop much of the attorney solicitation in Michigan.

They are HB 4770-71, and these bills would prohibit injury attorneys and related groups (such as the chiropractors and non-lawyers hired by these lawyers to get around the barratry laws on direct solicitation) from contacting crash victims within the first 30 days, and make such behavior punishable with up to a felony and $30,000 in fines.

I’m speaking out on this issue because it is damaging and demeaning to the legal profession – a profession that I deeply care about.  And I’m speaking out because it’s wrong to hassle people who’ve just been involved  in car accidents. They have enough to worry about without being badgered by aggressive lawyers or having someone ringing their doorbells.

Related information:

Passing HB 4770-71 is the next step in halting attorney solicitation

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