Friday, February 20, 2009

More on the solicitation question

In a previous post, I mentioned the issue of solicitation related to the Buffalo plane crash. It is interesting to note that New York has adopted a rule that bans communication with victims for 30 days (akin to the rule discussed by the Supreme Court in Florida Bar v. Went for it - an awful decision, if you ask me, by the way).The rule in New York states that " unsolicited communication shall be made to an individual injured . . . or to a family member or legal representative of such an individual, by a lawyer or law firm, or by any associate, agent, employee or other representative of a lawyer or law firm, seeking to represent the injured individual . . ."

This is a terrible rule because, as you can see from the text, it only applies to plaintiff's lawyers, which leaves the victims vulnerable to visits by the defendant's lawyers or their agents. This essentially defeats the argument that the rule advances the state interest in protecting the victim's privacy. I've been told the rule applies equally to defendants' lawyers, but I don't see it from reading the text of the rule itself. I'll have to do some more research to figure it out.

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