There are reasons for reticence. You don't want to risk making a false or unprovable accusation, and you don't want to invite reprisal from the one accused or be suspected of professional jealousy. Nor do you want to diminish public respect for your own profession by drawing attention to an unprofessional peer.
Still, you've got to police your own ranks, if only to keep the bad behavior from spreading and tarnishing the image of everyone.
Ambulance chasers are among those who give lawyers a bad name, and it's about time lawyers started holding them accountable for the damage they do to a worthy profession. And they have started, too.
Barratry is against the law and should be investigated when suspected and prosecuted when warranted, but criminal sanctions aren't the only remedy.
We noted recently that a class action suit involving claims of barratry and fraud is currently in the works against Texas attorneys specializing in hail storm damage claims (spec., the law firm of Speights & Worrich) and associated public adjusters and roofers.
Now another proposed class action suit has been filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Fort Worth Division, against an out-of-state law firm accused of conducting “a massive robo-call campaign indiscriminately contacting Texans all over the state with unsolicited automated telephone calls.”
One of those calls was received by Texas attorney Scotty MacLean.
“Sadly, there are attorneys and law firms that ignore ethical rules and barratry laws and use any means necessary in the mad dash to grab as many clients as they can,” MacLean wrote when he filed suit against the Arizona-based Arentz Law Group.
If more attorneys responded to barratry accusations the way MacLean did, there'd be less of it.