Douglas Chandler Writes Daily Report Article about Georgia’s Crack Down on Ambulance Chasers
OCGA 33-24-53 better defines illegal act of “running” with harsher penalties, broader implications.
A new Georgia law, OCGA 33-24-53, went into effect on July 1, 2014, better defining and penalizing the illegal practice known as “running” – paying a non-lawyer to solicit business for a law firm or health care provider. In a recent Daily Report article, attorney Douglas Chandler discussed the background, penalties, and implications of the new law.
Tough penalties for associating with runner schemes
The penalties defined in OCGA 33-24-53, are specific, severe, and cover all participants in the criminal activity, including the practitioners, runners, staff, etc.:
- First offense – misdemeanor conviction, at least 30 days in jail, up to $1,000 fine.
- Subsequent offenses – felony conviction, up to 10 years in jail, up to $100,000 fine per violation.
“Before OCGA 33-24-53, the only recourse seemed to be the filing of a Bar complaint based on Rule 7.3(c) Direct Contact With Prospective Clients,” Chandler commented. “Now a District Attorney or Solicitor can pursue any lead, open a case, find witnesses, and go after the violators in quick fashion.”
Georgia attorney and Legislator, Ronald E. Mabra, Jr., who led the effort to create the new law, added, “It was an honor to propose and carry Bill 828, and see it passed into law. As lawyers, we need to help Georgia accident and injury victims by allowing them time to research and select counsel without an unscrupulous practitioner knocking on the door.”
With the passing of this legislation, consumers are better protected from this outrageous and illegal activity. The GA Bar has a better opportunity to expedite disciplinary action. District Attorneys have a law with some sharp teeth as they go after violators. Clck here to read the full Daily Report article. Full details of the legislation are available on the Georgia General Assembly website.
About the Author
Douglas Chandler, Founder of Chandler Law LLC (now Chandler & Moore Law, LLC) regularly writes and speaks on the topics of legal ethics, professional liability, and risk management. He recently published a white paper to help attorneys deal with Georgia State Bar disciplinary matters, and manages the LinkedIn group Attorney Ethics and Professional Liability. For more information, or to schedule a seminar for your firm, local Bar Association, or group, please contact Chandler & Moore Law at (404) 593-2670 or firstname.lastname@example.org.