Because a lawyer is a trained professional at law, we tend to trust them more than we do many other professions. In most cases this trust is well founded, as lawyers are generally honest and ethical people who are sincere in representing their clients. The problem is that lawyers are human like the rest of us and, as we all know, all avenues of life have their fair share of ‘bad eggs.’
Many motorists distrust towing companies because they seem more interested in making money out of accidents than caring for victims. They may be hesitant to consider the ethical honesty of their Florida truck accident lawyer. It is not until they are hurt before they realize they’ve suffered a wrong.
In most countries, Bar Associations fight for the right to keep their own colleagues honest by hearing any charges made against their fellows. In most cases it works well, as peers are often the best judge of their own when one of them transgresses. However, there is a movement in some states to strengthen the consumer laws so that legislation more tightly controls the activities of lawyers.
In one case, Cripe v. Leiter, the claimant wished to sue her lawyer under Illinois consumer fraud statute for over-billing. The claim against the lawyer was that the over-billing constituted fraud. The lower court found the lawyer was subject to the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act, and the State Supreme Court reversed the decision on appeal.
This means the lawyers’ own American Bar Association remains the place to hear fraud claims against their own.