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Would it be inappropriate for a lawyer to proactively find/contact people who might need legal representation and offer them their services? Would it be against any code of conduct or similar?

The lawyer could have learned about someone in need for legal representation through:

  • public media and published court judgments
  • non-lawyer friends
  • lawyers in informal context (friends)
  • lawyers in business / professional networking context
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    This happens all the time, which is where the term "ambulance chaser" comes from (although actual ambulance chasing/solicitation at a disaster site is against the rules of professional conduct of the ABA in the US, but California which has its own rules). There are a lot of "legal ads" which would be "proactively finding people" that run on TV, internet, paper, etc. I don't see anything inappropriate about proactively getting business... What jurisdiction are you talking about? – Ron Beyer Aug 3 at 2:45
  • @RonBeyer I'd expect the rules around that be similar in most jurisdictions. If not true, let's focus on English-centric-common-law ones. Ultimately New Zealand. And, I guess that would still be inappropriate in some cases if information about potential client is obtained through professional networking — on either or both the provider or the recipient of such information. – Greendrake Aug 3 at 3:00
  • My guess would be that, even in English-speaking jurisdictions, the American freedom-of-speech-based rules will be very different from the English-style reduction of-unnecessary-litigation-based ones. And what the profession considers inappropriate may be largely opinion-based. I won't VTC, but I doubt you'll get helpfull answers without tightening this up – Tim Lymington Aug 3 at 20:38
  • @RonBeyer the wikipedia article for "ambulance chasing" says it is illegal. I think the ads are a different case, they are targeted to the general public, not specifically victims of a disaster. – Consis Aug 4 at 3:08
  • @TimLymington "what the profession considers inappropriate" will be codified by bar associations (or even in statutes), be it opinion based or not. So this question is mostly about what codes of conduct say, assuming they say or imply similar things regarding the matter in common law jurisdictions all over the world. – Greendrake Aug 4 at 3:35

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