Photo of Lawyers for the Profession® Kristen G. Niven
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Kristen focuses her practice on litigation and arbitration, including professional liability, intellectual property, and commercial litigation …

Showing 2 posts by Kristen G. Niven.

Online Attorney Referral Networks and Sharing Fees with a Non-Lawyer

It seems everything is moving online these days, including legal services. In a time when more people are apt to send an email or a text than pick up the phone, when people increasingly shop, bank, and even date online, it seems only natural that more people would want to go to the Internet for easy, efficient legal services. Enter the multitude of startup online attorney referral networks, offering a range of features from marketing to communications, document processing, and full-service billing and payment, for a small fee, of course. As tempting as these services may be for lawyers looking to boost their books of businesses, they should be aware that bar regulators may have a few objections. In only the last few months, ethics committees in Ohio, South Carolina, and Pennsylvania have issued opinions regarding the fee structures offered by online attorney referral networks. Although these opinions also considered several other ethics issues implicated by attorney participation in these networks, the common conclusion they share is that attorneys participating in some of these networks may risk running afoul of the Rules of Professional Conduct prohibiting sharing of legal fees with a non-attorney.  More ›

Illinois Court Finds LPL Insurer has no duty to Defend Action for Injunction or for fees Unrelated to Malpractice Claim

An Illinois appellate court ruled in Illinois State Bar Ass'n Mutual Ins. Co. v. Burkart, No. 4-14-1036, 2015 WL 5657857 (Ill App. 4th Dist. Sep. 24, 2015) that a malpractice insurer had no duty to defend against an action seeking injunctive relief or an action for fees unrelated to a professional negligence claim. More ›

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