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

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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Answered on 4/06/11, 10:15 pm

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