The Runner Problem

Legal runner soliciting an injured man.

One of the biggest news stories in the Atlanta legal community recently has been the lawsuit that a lawyer filed against another law firm, Cambre & Associates, for using runners. Shortly after, yet another law firm filed a lawsuit against Guardian Law Group for the same thing.

The use of runners to solicit potential clients—which often includes promising money to the potential clienthas become rampant in the Atlanta area. Why? Because there has been zero deterrent factor. The State Bar has done absolutely nothing to enforce rules against solicitation. Whatever the reason for that, the fact is it hasn’t.

Here’s some proposals I think would help curb this practice:

  1. In the anti-runner statute, give an express private right of action to attorneys to enforce the rules if they are aware of a law firm using runners. Allow attorneys to file lawsuits against the law firms and allow statutory penalties and an attorney’s fee award.
  2. In addition to the above, allow individuals who are solicited by runners to have a private right of action to sue the law firm soliciting them and/or the runners with statutory damages for the individual and attorney’s fees for the lawyer who pursues the case on their behalf.
  3. Create a CrimeStoppers-like fund where plaintiff’s law firms and other industry groups (even insurance companies) can contribute to award cash money to people who provide information leading to the prosecution, or Bar disciplinary action, of law firms using runners.
  4. Have the State Bar allocate resources to more investigators who can investigate and pursue disciplinary actions against law firms who violate these rules. The Bar simply has to do more to make this a priority.

As it is right now, it seems like it is the Wild, Wild West where some law firms don’t even try to hide it. Don’t believe me? Just read some Google reviews for some of these law firms. Clients go on there and talk about being solicited and offered money by somebody at these law firms.

While the use of runners will never go away, I think these measures could at least help reduce this practice.

What do you think? Join the conversation with me on LinkedIn.

About the Author

Darl Champion is an award-winning personal injury lawyer serving the greater Metro Atlanta area. He is passionate about ensuring his clients are fully compensated when they are harmed by someone’s negligence. Learn more about Darl here.