Build your Bankruptcy Business Newsletter #2
Welcome to the Second installment of my new free weekly short newsletter to give you tips, tools and techniques on how to build your bankruptcy practice.
Cal. Rules of Professional Responsibility 1-400
Last week I wrote about contacting prior clients who filed before the Bankruptcy Law changed in 2005, to remind tell them that the “eight year” prohibition against filing another Chapter 7 runs eight years after they filed their first case (11 U.S.C. 727 (a)(8).
I heard a few comments from some people that there may be an ethical violation against solicitation in contacting a former client?
The California Rules of Professional Responsibility prohibit solicitation of new clients, however an attorney is not prohibited from contacting a “former client”.
Rule 1-400 Advertising and Solicitation
(A) For purposes of this rule, “communication” means any message or offer made by or on behalf of a member concerning the availability for professional employment of a member or a law firm directed to any former, present, or prospective client, including but not limited to the following:
(1) Any use of firm name, trade name, fictitious name, or other professional designation of such member or law firm; or
2) Any stationery, letterhead, business card, sign, brochure, or other comparable written material describing such member, law firm, or lawyers; or
(3) Any advertisement (regardless of medium) of such member or law firm directed to the general public or any substantial portion thereof; or
(4) Any unsolicited correspondence from a member or law firm directed to any person or entity.
(B) For purposes of this rule, a “solicitation” means any communication:
(1) Concerning the availability for professional employment of a member or a law firm in which a significant motive is pecuniary gain; and
(2) Which is:
(a) delivered in person or by telephone, or
(b) directed by any means to a person known to the sender to be represented by counsel in a matter which is a subject of the communication.
(C) A solicitation shall not be made by or on behalf of a member or law firm to a prospective client with whom the member or law firm has no family or prior professional relationship, unless the solicitation is protected from abridgment by the Constitution of the United States or by the Constitution of the State of California. A solicitation to a former or present client in the discharge of a member’s or law firm’s professional duties is not prohibited.
As the anniversary of the October 17, 2005 new law comes this October 17, 2013, the California Rules of Professional Responsibility allow you to contact former clients.