I was injured in a car wreck and have been out of work for months. Money is very tight. I spoke with a lawyer and he told me he could loan me $1000 a month until my case settles. He also said that I do not have to pay interest. That seems like a good deal to me, but another lawyer I spoke with refused to do it, saying it was not ethical. What’s the story?
The second attorney you spoke with was correct. In Tennessee it is unethical for an attorney to loan you money while he or she is representing you in a case. An attorney who promises to do so or actually does so should be reported to the Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility at 800.486.5714. This sort of conduct can result in discipline against the attorney, including the loss of his law license.
Why should you care about the ethical failings of an attorney? If the attorney is willing to risk his or her law license to get your case, do you really think you can trust them to represent you with your best interests in mind?