Ethics Committee Formal Opinion #1988/9-17
Fee Arrangements: Union Charge for Case Settlement Services – Workers’ Compensation
May 11, 1989
A labor union may not permissibly bill its members for representation in worker’s compensation settlements.
A lawyer employee of a corporation should not permit the corporation to bill for the lawyer’s services in the corporate name (Rule 5.4(a)).
A lawyer or law firm shall not share legal fees with a non-lawyer, with certain exceptions. (Rule 5.4(a)).
A pre-paid legal service program is permissible as long as the total paid by the client under the pre-paid plan is not clearly excessive, the lawyer’s independence of professional judgment is maintained, and client confidentiality is maintained. (Rule 1.5; Rule 1.8(8); Rule 1.6).
Whether a labor union which offers representation in Worker’s Compensation Claims may charge its members up to 15% for representation in settlement of workers compensation cases?