First, there was barratry -- the practice of "creating legal business by stirring up disputes and quarrels, generally for the benefit of the lawyer who sees fees in the matter." People didn't like barratry, so many states made it a misdemeanor crime punishable by fine or imprisonment and, when the perpetrator is an attorney, possible disbarment. Most recently, in states like Texas, statutes allow for civil actions against lawyers who illegally solicit clients. On his blog today, Chuck Newton writes about the state of barratry in Texas. He notes, for example, an episode in which his daughter's boyfriend was in an auto accident that left him with a concussion, a hurt leg and a totaled car: This accident happened at night. The next morning, while he was still out of it, a person from a local personal injury law firm called him offering their services to him, claiming the law firm would do so for a lower percentage of any recovery than other law firms might. The lady felt comfortable in calling him not because of any prior relationship with the firm, as she did not mention the name of the firm or the lawyer in the phone call, but...

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