'Cozy' Best Limited to Teapots and Cabins Up North
Michigan Lawyers Weekly's, ‘Ambulance chasing’ in the digital age (subscription required) focuses on the always-timely question of whether, when and how personal injury lawyers should solicit work from injury victims. It discusses aggressive client solicitation strategies that include “cappers,” “runners,” and mailings viewed by some potential clients as intrusive and offensive. Not to mention unethical -- see MRPC 7.3 within the complete Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct.
But one case described in the piece includes allegations that go beyond the usual run-of-the-mill ambulance-chasing complaints. In State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Physiomatrix Inc., et al., State Farm is suing a group of health care providers for fraudulent billing, alleging a "quid pro quo" relationship between the defendants and two Michigan personal injury firms. Southfield attorney Norm Tucker, interviewed for the piece, says whether or not the allegations are true, the end result is bad for trial lawyers:
The phone calls by the health care providers who also provide information about law firms, the cozy referring relationships, and the mass mailings to injured people are making the plaintiffs’ bar look bad.