Nashville Personal Injury Lawyer Accused of Keeping Client’s Settlements
Earlier this month, it made the news that a well-known personal injury lawyer in Nashville has been accused of keeping the cash settlements he won for his clients for cases. The lawyer’s law license has been temporarily suspended by the Board of Professional Responsibility after they considered him to be a potential harm to the public. In addition, a grand jury indicted the Nashville personal injury lawyer on theft and forgery charges.
Clients are alleging that he settled their cases without their knowledge. At least three of the lawyer’s former clients have already come forward with complaints.
A Reminder: An Lawyer’s Obligation to His or Her Clients
As this story illustrates, all lawyers, like doctors, are under must take an oath of ethics and are under a code of ethical constraints (called the code of professional responsibility) in order to be allowed to practice law. These ethical obligations are separate from the obligation of having to pass the bar exam, but are part of the process of becoming sworn into the state bar. Each state has its own ethics code or rules, and each state bar association has its own disciplinary counsel that investigates and punishes code violations, although core values remain the same in every state. The state disciplinary counsel in which an lawyer is barred typically deals with ethical violations, although an lawyer may still violate an ethics rule in a state in which s/he is not barred or practicing in.
Personal injury cases are often complex, lengthy, and also involve sensitive facts. Lawyers who practice in this area must be extra cautious about fulfilling both the ethical and professional obligations to their clients. First, it is important to not only be able to listen and tell the story of his or client, but the lawyer must stay on top of the intricacies and requirements of each case. This means communicating with the client for every procedural step that arises. Further, the settlements that are gained for the client belong to the client. Lawyers are allowed to take out of that settlement the fees for their services, but nothing more. Lawyers must also communicate to a client when the opposing party offers a settlement, and it is ultimately up to the client whether to settle or not.
Contact a Nashville Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in Nashville, contact the experienced lawyers at Calhoun Law, PLC today for a free and confidential consultation. We understand the complexities of personal injuries claims and have the experience needed to investigate, negotiate, and litigate in pursuit of just compensation for your injuries against all responsible parties. We also pride ourselves in conducting ourselves in the most professional manner, and will fight for our clients. Do not wait if you have suffered an injury.