Articles Tagged with lawyer giving money to clients

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.

I am sure my case is going to settle soon. Can my lawyer lend me money toward the settlement I know I am going to receive?

No.  In Tennessee it is unethical for a lawyer to loan you money while he or she is representing you in a case.   Rumor has it that some lawyers will promise potential clients that they will help them with living expenses and that some lawyers actually do it.   Indeed,  some people say that some lawyers will offer money to clients in an effort to get hired by the clients.  However, this is  wrong, and a lawyer who promises to do so or actually does so should be reported to the Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility at 800.486.5714.