What if another associate in my firm can help the LRS-referred client if I am unable to do so? Is it acceptable to transfer the referral in-house?
Panel members agree to “personally conduct the interview with each client referred.” However, occasional transfers of referrals are allowed if the associate is also a LRS member. LRS should be informed of the change in attorney so the referral can be transferred to his/her case record. If the associate is not yet a member, he/she can sign up with LRS to take the referral.
How will I know if my membership has expired?
You will be notified by email if your membership period has expired. Referrals will recommence upon receipt of the current LRS Membership Application and payment of the annual membership fee.
What if I can’t help a client who was referred to me? Can I refer him/her to an attorney I know who handles his/her type of case?
If you decline a referral for any reason, you must refer the client back to LRS. Any exceptions or concerns should be discussed with the LRS Coordinator.
How do you decide which attorney gets a referral?
Each referral is made based on the client’s circumstances which include but are not limited to legal issue(s), geographical convenience, and language needs. Within these parameters, the referrals are made on a rotating basis and in a fair and impartial manner to all panel members.
Do you refer to more than one attorney at a time?
Our policy is to make one referral at a time. However, in cases where there is an imminent court date or other time-sensitive component, we may give up to three referrals to a client. Clients can get another referral if they do not hear back from the attorney within 24 hours, or may request a different referral after reviewing the Attorney Profile. We also provide two to three “courtesy referrals” to attorneys.
I have more than one office location. Can I sign up for referrals in more than one county?
Panel members receive referrals in the county listed as their primary business address with the NHBA. A second county may be added for referrals if LRS has a need for panel members in that area of the state.
Should I let your office know if I am going to be on vacation?
LRS clients are often anxious to speak with an attorney as soon as possible, and typically request another referral if the attorney is on vacation when they call. Letting us know when you will be out of the office for a week or longer allows us to suspend referrals for that time period. This saves the client an extra phone call and preserves your place in our rotation.
I was retained by an LRS client and have received legal fees. When do I remit percentage fees to LRS?
Percentage fees are due as your legal fees are collected, even if the case is still ongoing. You may include payment of fees with your case disposition report or under separate cover. Please be sure to indicate which referral(s) the payment should be applied to.
Must I carry malpractice insurance?
Yes. A Certificate of Insurance made out to the NH Lawyer Referral Service is required. Contact your insurance agent and ask him/her to email it to LRSreferral@nhbar.org.
What are some of the reasons LRS referrals might be interrupted?
The LRS Director has the authority to temporarily suspend a panel member at any time for non-compliance with the Rules and Guidelines of LRS. If your referrals are suspended you will be notified of the reason(s) for suspension and what is required to be reinstated. Some of the grounds for suspension include:
- Substantial or consistent failure(s) to provide complete case reports;
- Substantial or consistent failure(s) to remit percentage fees as legal fees are collected;
- Failure to maintain and/or provide proof of legal malpractice insurance coverage of $100,000/$300,000;
- Failure of the panel member to notify LRS if public discipline is entered against him/her by the Professional Conduct Committee or is imposed with regard to his/her privileges to practice law by any bar of any state, court, or jurisdiction.
What are reporting requirements for LRS?
We will send a bi-monthly report to be completed showing the disposition of each referral. We ask that these reports be completed according to instructions and returned promptly (within 30 days). It is not necessary to report the outcome of each referral to LRS individually.
Why must I fill out an annual report if I have already reported on those cases?
The annual report provides panel members with the opportunity to take one last look at the referrals received for the previous year to ensure the reported disposition of each case is accurate. Occasionally, clients contact and/or hire the panel member after he/she has reported the case closed.
Our FAQ list is a work in progress. If you have a question about the LRS program that is not on the list, please let us know.