California attorneys can now refer cases with AppearMe, a mobile and web application that has thousands of lawyers registered in the system. AppearMe is a portal where you can post an announcement, and it will be delivered to legal professionals who might be willing to accept your case instantly.
Each state has its regulations for referring a case, and AppearMe takes care that the referral is in accordance with State bar rules and regulations.
Particularly, AppearMe is an attorney to attorney portal. This means a lawyer may not refer a case to a non-lawyer. The person must be a competent, licensed lawyer.
Rules on Attorney Referral in California
California is one of the few states that allows a lawyer to collect a referral fee simply for handing a case over to a different lawyer. This means that if you get an offer to handle a case in divorce, but you have no experience in this field, you can hand the case over to a different lawyer even if you have not formally participated in this legal case and get a referral fee.
The requirement, however, is to make the referral having the best interest of the client in mind. So the lawyer must be motivated to transfer the case to another lawyer who is competent in a particular field of practice.
You can handle this requirement easily with AppearMe by reading bios of several attorneys and communicating directly through the application. Having the opportunity to choose among several attorneys gives a lawyer confidence that the case will be properly handled. The review process is done not by AppearMe but by the hiring attorney.
California rules of professional conduct also pose certain requirement to attorneys when paying referral fees. Particularly;
- There should be a written consent of the client. The attorney should explain the reason for referral or fee splitting
- The overall charges should not be raised due to the referral fee
- The fee must not be “unconscionable.”
Finally, you can split the fee but only on the condition that you inform the client of this arrangement in writing.
Licensed Attorneys Can Refer Cases with AppearMe
It goes without saying that non-lawyers cannot get into the system of AppearMe. We take care that only those with an active license and eligible to practice law according to State Bar Association rules get into the system. We check lawyer’s information and consider the information submitted taking into account the active license and disciplinary history.
Sign up to AppearMe to Refer Cases
Since signing up is free, we encourage you to register today, and we will consider your account in a couple of hours.
If you have questions, please call at (818) 744-3505 or contact us via the web.