Monday, August 30, 2004

$140,000 to refer a widow to another firm?

From The New York Times:

Ethical Questions Raised on Legal Fee From Widow

When Joseph P. Dowd, a small-time lawyer, met Mary Corcoran, newly widowed, at the bar of Harpoon Louie's in Winthrop Harbor, Ill., in the spring of 1999, he at first decided not to approach her.

"It would have been too pie in the sky," he said at a deposition three years later. "It went through my mind, should I buy her a drink? But I thought it would be very tacky to do that, to pursue the case like that."

..."His only role was to call us," said Thomas A. Demetrio, of the Chicago firm Corboy & Demetrio, which represented Ms. Corcoran in the injury suit but declined to take any money. "He didn't work on the case. In Illinois, referral fees are permitted for just making a phone call."...

Full story at

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