OPINION 41
June 1951

INTERMEDIARIES—Furnishing the regional attorney for the Legal Aid Department of an employee's union with a form containing a history of an employee's accident, whether an attorney has been employed, and similar data, is improper.

 SOLICITATION—STIRRING UP LITIGATION—The regional attorney for the Legal Aids Department of an employee's union may not write an injured employee, advising him that he has a good case and not to hesitate to call upon him for assistance.

INTERMEDIARIES—The regional attorney for the Legal Aid Department of an employee's union may not report to the manager of the Department that a response to a letter by the attorney, advising the employee not to hesitate to call upon the attorney for assistance, has not been received.

Canons 24, 25, 27, 28, 32. A.B.A. Canons 27, 28, 35.

Question

Is the following course of procedure in violation of the Canons of Ethics of the State Bar of Texas?

An attorney becomes regional counsel for the Legal Aid Department of the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, and is furnished with a form by, or on behalf of, an injured employee giving a complete history of his accident, the nature of his injuries, the medical treatment received, his present physical condition, his earnings, whether or not the claim agent has interviewed him, whether or not a release has been executed, whether or not a lawyer has been employed, and, if so, who, and similar data.

The regional attorney then writes such injured employee advising him that he has a good case, and should have no difficulty in recovering, but if he is unable to do so, not to hesitate to call upon such regional attorney for assistance.

If a response is not received from the injured employee, the regional attorney reports that fact to the manager of the Legal Aid Department of the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen.

Opinion

It is the unanimous view of this committee that the first step of the above procedure makes the regional attorney a party to the efforts upon the part of a lay agency to bring cases to him, that the second step is a clear attempt upon the part of such regional attorney to solicit business and to stir up litigation, and the third step constitutes an obvious attempt to have such lay agency exert its influence to have the regional attorney employed. Hence, this procedure clearly violates Texas Bar Canons 24, 25, 27, 28 and 32, and American Bar Canons 27, 28 and 35. (10-0).