Silver Case Unlikely To Spur Referral Fee Rule Change

Law360, New York (February 2, 2015, 7:06 PM EST) -- Federal corruption charges brought against New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver may raise questions about the efficacy of attorney referral fee rules and the of counsel role, legal ethics experts said, but don’t expect rule changes any time soon.

Calls for ethics reform for Albany legislators in the wake of Silver’s arrest notwithstanding, bar rules allowing lawyers to pay fees to other lawyers who do no work on the cases are largely noncontroversial because they place a significant legal burden on the referring attorney, experts said.

Lawyers in corporate firms also typically shy away from referral fee deals, preferring the...

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