State Bar of South Dakota

Ethics Opinion 85-4

April 29, 1985

FACTS

You have presented questions relating to solicitation of one of your clients by another lawyer (attorney X) while your client was in the hospital and further that attorney X put a value of such case in a dollar amount 

The conduct of attorney X is in violation of DR 2-103. Face to face solicitation for pecuniary gain of a person known to need legal services is prohibited. Ohralik v Ohio State Bar Assoc. (1978) 436 U.S 446. Such solicitation addressed here is not exempted under DR 2-103. 

The conduct of attorney X also constitutes misrepresentation by putting a dollar amount on the potential claim prior to his employment and before an adequate investigation of the case. (DR 1-102(A)(1) and (4), DR 2-101(A), DR 2-101(B)(3) and (7), and DR 2-103(A). 

Such misconduct should be revealed to the State Bar Disciplinary Board if and when his or her identity becomes known. 

Carl W. Quist
Chair, Ethics Committee