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Train Crash Victims Warned Of Unethical Lawyers

Publication Date: 
September 25, 2008
Source: 
Ventura County Star
Author: 
Stephanie Hoops

Professor Deborah L. Rhode is quoted in a Ventura County Star article that raises concerns about unethical lawyer behavior after accidents such as the Metrolink train crash:

Calls to reel in lawyers who are legally advertising to represent the Metrolink victims are unlikely to result in changes to lawyers' ethical rules, not without similar prohibitions applying to insurance companies, according to Deborah Rhode, a Stanford Law School legal ethics professor.

Lawyers aren't the only ones in a rush to make contact with accident victims. Insurance companies wanting a quick resolution have an incentive to get to them before they hire a lawyer.

"That's why there's the race to the bedside,' Rhode said.

...

'Oftentimes insurance companies will make somewhat misleading statements like, Don't get involved with lawyers because they'll take a third of the fee,' Rhode said, adding that studies show that people who hire lawyers get better representation than those who go it alone with their insurance companies.