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Fee Splitting in Arizona for Expert Attorneys

What is fee splitting in Arizona?

fee splitting

Fee splitting is a practice in which two or more professionals, typically in the healthcare or legal fields, divide the fees received from a client or patient among themselves. This can occur when professionals collaborate on a case or refer clients to each other. Fee splitting arrangements must adhere to legal and ethical guidelines to ensure transparency, fairness, and the avoidance of conflicts of interest.

The injury attorneys at Phoenix Accident and Injury Law Firm near you have significant experience in helping clients who need help settling their personal injury claim after an auto accident, after being a DUI or nursing home abuse victim, or after having experienced a drug recall.  Our offices are conveniently located in nearby ChandlerPeoria, and North Phoenix, and we can meet in-person at our nearby offices, over the phone, or video call.  You can contact us for a free consultation, or read on to find out more about fee splitting.

By the way, we will also help with other problems that have cost you sleep, like getting a rental car very soon and finding a nearby doctor who can help you. Even the best legal team isn’t good enough if your quality of life isn’t sustainable while justice and compensation are on the way. The whole point of legal action is to regain quality of life, so we help you long-term as attorneys and short-term as your go-to people. Our familiarity with the local Phoenix courts makes us confident that we can help you get the best settlement possible.

If you are unsure whether or not you can afford an attorney, don’t worry. We only get paid when you settle. Check out our Attorney Fees Calculator to find out more.

Fee Splitting in Arizona: What You Need to Know

fee splitting

Arrangements on fee splitting in Arizona come with a host of ethical concerns that attorneys are often and understandably wary of. Traditional referral fees, fees charged for sending a prospective client to another lawyer, are generally prohibited by the Arizona Rules of Professional Conduct.

However, there are other ways to fee splitting in Arizona that are perfectly permissible under Arizona’s ethical rules. This article seeks to parse out how fee splitting in Arizona can be done ethically, and the obligations that should be considered when splitting fees with other attorneys.

Fee splitting in Arizona is primarily governed by two Rules of Professional Conduct. Rule 1.5, which governs fees, and Rule 7.2, which prohibits payment from a lawyer to others who recommend the lawyers services. In the context of referral fees, these two rules appear at odds with each other. But there are scenarios where lawyers can split fees with other lawyers when they are both involved in the same or substantially related case.

Rule 7.2(b): The prohibition against traditional referral fees

fee splitting

Arizona Rule of Professional Conduct 7.2(b) prevents a lawyer from giving anything of value to a person for recommending that lawyer’s services to potential clients. In contrast, the Model Rules of Professional Conduct allow compensation for recommendations if there is a non-exclusive agreement that is made known to the client.

Under the model rules, lawyers can agree to share referral fees. In other words, if a client comes to an attorney with an issue outside of that attorney’s practice, and the attorney recommends they seek services from another lawyer, the second lawyer can pay the first for the recommendation.

Some jurisdictions allow such arrangements, but Arizona rules do not have such an allowance. These traditional referral fees are prohibited by Arizona Rule 7.2(b). However, there are scenarios in which attorneys may share fees with other attorneys, even those who are from different firms.

Rule 1.5(e): Fee splitting

they are discussing about fee splitting

Arizona Rule 1.5 controls how lawyers charge fees. Section (e) governs fee splitting between lawyers of different firms. Fee splitting between lawyers of different firms is allowed, but only if certain conditions are met. Fees can be divided proportionately to the work done by each attorney. If an attorney has done 10% of the work in a case, they can collect 10% of the fee. The rule also allows for disproportionate fee splitting. For example, a lawyer who does 10% of the work in a case is permitted to collect 20% of the fee if the parties choose.

In this way, lawyers can collect a “finder’s fee” or referral fee without violating Rule 7.2(b). There is, however, a catch to such an arrangement. Disproportionate fee splitting requires that all lawyers involved assume joint responsibility for the representation. In either case, the total fee must be reasonable, and the client must agree in writing to the arrangement.

There are potential liability pitfalls that any lawyer should consider before becoming involved in a fee splitting arrangement. First, comment 8 to Rule 1.5 mandates that lawyers only refer a matter to someone who they reasonably believe is competent to handle the work. Further, if the referring lawyer knows, or should know, that another attorney has violated ethical rules, the referring lawyer is obligated to take appropriate steps to protect the interests of the client. 

Additional care must be taken in disproportionate fee splitting arrangements. Disproportionate arrangements require that all attorneys involved accept joint responsibility. According to the State Bar of Arizona Ethics Committee, “Joint responsibility requires, at the least, that the referring attorney accept vicarious liability for any malpractice that occurs in the representation.” In sum, lawyers should take great care when deciding to split fees disproportionately and keep a close eye on the case as it proceeds. 

It’s true that traditional referral fees are prohibited by Rule 7.2. Lawyers cannot simply collect payment for sending clients to other lawyers. However, Arizona rules do not have a blanket prohibition on fee splitting. To the contrary, Rule 1.5 allows for fee splitting arrangements to be made between attorneys of separate firms. Further, arrangements that comply with Rule 1.5 do not run afoul of Rule 7.2.

Get Help Now Regarding on Fee Splitting in Arizona

The lawyer is writing about claiming damages for pain and suffering damages after a wrongful deaths

At Phoenix Accident and Injury Law Firm near you, we have more than 15 years of experience helping clients on fee splitting in Arizona and obtain compensation for their and their loved one’s personal injuries in the Phoenix area. When you’re ready to talk, please contact our office to arrange a free initial consultation by phone or at our Chandler office, conveniently located near you.

If you or a loved one needs representation in a personal injury case or fee splitting in Arizona, contact Phoenix Accident and Injury Law Firm in nearby Chandler, AZ to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. We provide personal injury legal services to clients in your area including ChandlerGilbertMesaScottsdale, Tempe, and Peoria.

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Brenden Lewis
a month ago

So I suffered a tragic motorcycle accident leaving me injured and quite unhappy…… also the bike was totaled. This all star law team secured a large settlement for all my suffering. This process was very well advised by an aggressive and determined lawyer. All I can say is now I’m left a very happy man. Thank you karissa for working quick to bring my tragic story to a much warmer end. Just call them! You won’t regret it!

Shayianna Guyton
a month ago

They literally conversed with me every step of the way throughout my journey. Thank you guys

I was very pleased with my experience. They kept me informed the whole way through the process and checked on me through my treatment. Definitely would recommend

My dad was in a car accident and during those difficult moments, Phoenix Accident and Injury Law firm has been there for us. They care for their clients, will walk you through everything you need to know step by step, they follow up, very easy to reach and fast to respond. And one thing is for sure! they will fight for you! we felt safe with them! Me and the entire family thank them all so much for all their help! These people that works here are amazing!

Jenifer henke
a year ago

I was in an accident that resulted in getting whiplash and a concussion. I contacted Phoenix Accident and Injury Law Firm that day. Everyone was helpful (Rhea, Karissa, and Jeff) from the very beginning to the very end. They sent me to a physical therapy location that was pretty far away but the doctor and physical therapist were very kind so I did make the trek. They handled all aspects of my case in a timely manner and answered all my questions. They got the max amount possible, and from that, paid the medical bills and took their fair cut. I would not hesitate to recommend them to family or friends.

I would give ten stars if I could. This law firm is about as professional and friendly as it gets!! They stayed in constant contact with me and answered every question I had. I got a settlement that was higher than I expected and will definitely use this law firm again. I highly recommend hiring them to handle your legal issues!!

Fernando Lopez
a year ago

My experience with this team was superb, as they were ongoing with the case and making sure that the client gets what they deserve. I recommend anyone looking for a accident law group that this is the team you want to be representing you!!

Kimberly Legaspi
2 years ago

What can I say about the Thompson Law Firm? They are AMAZING!! It’s never fun when you need an accident lawyer because you are pretty much in a bad place. Shane and the staff have been wonderful, kept me informed at every step of this process. I would recommend Thompson Law Firm to anyone, in fact, I have referred several friends already!! Thank you Thompson Law Firm for everything you did for me!!!

Amanda Olney
2 years ago

These guys were absolutely amazing. They were very clear with me about what I needed to do on my end and I saw fast results. I just recommended them to a friend a week ago and he also dealt with my mother's case. I wouldn't see anyone else.

2 years ago

Karissa and Shane were amazing! They were there for any questions I had and checked up on me regularly. Highly recommend these guys!!

Karissa Murphy
2 years ago

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