I got hurt in a truck wreck. I spoke to a Tennessee lawyer and he said I had a really good case. I have lost my job as a result of the wreck and my finances are a complete mess. This lawyer said that if I would hire him to help me on the case he would loan me $1000 per month while the case was pending and that I could pay him back, without interest, when the case was over. Is there any reason I shouldn’t do that?
Yes. You should not do it because the lawyer’s offer of money to you was a violation of Tennessee ethics rules for lawyers. A lawyer can advance the costs of pursing the case, but cannot give a client money for living expenses or a fee for hiring the lawyer for the case.
So, you might ask, why should you care? The lawyer’s ethics are not your problem. You need money. The lawyer is willing to loan it to you. Whether he or she violates ethics rules is really none of your concern.