Ethics Committee Advisory Opinion #1989-90/11
Attorney/Realtor Related Questions
March 8, 1990
The Committee was unable to determine whether a lawyer may participate in a bar-sponsored lawyer referral service when the service imposes on the lawyer a charge based on a percentage of the fee the lawyer earns.
A division of fees between lawyers who are not in the same firm may be made only if: 1) The client consents after full disclosure; (2) The division is made in reasonable proportion; and 3) The total fee is reasonable. (Rule 1.5(f)).
A lawyer cannot share legal fees with a nonlawyer. (Rule 5.4(a)).
A lawyer shall not give anything of value to a person for recommending the lawyer’s services, except that a lawyer may pay the usual charges of a not-for-profit lawyer referral service or other legal service organization. (Rule 7.2(c)).
- May the LRIS program ethically charge, and may a participating attorney ethically pay, a fee based on a percentage of the fee the attorney receives from the referred client?