Legal Question in Legal Ethics in District of Columbia

Is it ethical for a legal secretary to accept a bonus for bringing clients into the firm?

Asked on 4/01/11, 9:38 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Torrance Colvin The Colvin Law Firm
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No. D.C. Bar Rule 5.4 prohibits these types of referral fees. Stems from concern that nonlawyer in firm may attempt to influence the case/matter in order to obtain the bonus (or a larger bonus).

There is, however, no prohibition on tying a non-lawyer employee's bonus to the overall profitability of the firm (e.g. an end of year bonus).

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4/06/11, 10:15 pm

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