Policyholders should exercise caution around digital “case managers” who engage in the unethical – and potentially criminal – practice of soliciting clients for lawyers after large-scale disasters. Although it is perfectly legal for lawyers to advertise their services, paying non-lawyers to recruit and refer clients violates ethical standards. In many jurisdictions, this can also result in criminal penalties.
I highly recommend to regular readers of this blog subscribe At Barry Zalma Fraud Newsletter. Zalma offers insightful and ongoing commentary on the McClenny, Moseley & Associates (MMA) debacle. Its newsletter is a rich resource, offering many lessons and cautionary tales. Insured, it is essential to carefully research lawyers and their professional situation before using their services. It is important to remember that you should never feel pressured into signing a contract.
A poignant illustration of Zalma’s in-depth coverage is his examination of the MMA case, which is a stark reminder of the consequences that can arise from neglecting due diligence in the process of selecting a legal representative:
September 18, 2023
Access Restoration Services US, Inc. and Project MMA Alleged in Detailed Plea in New Orleans Court
In Orleans Parish Civil District Court, Access Restoration Services US, Inc. sued local movie studio Starlight Studios in February 2023 seeking payment of $1,364,569.49 for “emergency services » after Hurricane Ida.
The story continues: “On August 31 and September 1, 2021, several MMA attorneys advised Starlight to hire ARS to help mitigate Starlight’s losses.
“Unbeknownst to Starlight at the time.” The reason .MMA advised its client, Starlight, to use ARS was so that ARS would make the multi-million dollar loan to MMA. ARS actually loaned MMA $3,000,000 in the hopes that MMA would recommend to ARS… over $10,000,000 worth of work.
“Unbeknownst to Starlight at the time.” . the State of Louisiana had not legally authorized ARS to perform subcontracting work in the State of Louisiana.
“Specifically, ARS overcharged for much of the work it performed and negligently damaged buildings that Starlight leases and owns.”
MMA is also accused of failing to provide amounts of $56,980.83 to Starlight and electronically transferring “$688,990.57 to an account that did not belong to Starlight.” They claim that MMA transferred money belonging to Starlight to the account of a “hacker”.
The more time passes, the more the messiness of MMA is revealed.
Barry Zalma denounces lawyer advertising and the “main federation” company, Velawcity, for illegal business management. This is a modern version of case execution, which is explained by Zalma as follows:
Velawcity Business Consultant Admits Project in Podcast
Former Velawcity Mass Marketing Consultant Brian Vogel Admits Velawcity Marketing Program in Market My Market Legal MastermindPodcast….
Vogel admits the role of Velawcity as follows in his profile:
“Velawcity partners with law firms to help them build their mass tort cases. Marketing investments range from $75,000 to over $200 million per year. Acting on behalf of law firms, leads are processed through our call center and verified to ensure they meet clients’ criteria. Once qualified, the files are sent for signature and delivered electronically to the company.
In the podcast, Vogel admitted that Velawcity “is a one-step process that kind of simplifies having to go to several different people to get someone to sign up and send it to whoever takes care of files.
“When you buy leads. . .You may have a marketing company that has an intake center that handles all of these leads after they’ve been reviewed and tries to get those contracts signed and sent back to you.
He’s referring to sending the “right kinds of ‘packets’ to your law firm.”
Velawcity was called by several Louisiana judges a “modern-day case manager that MMA prepaid for its clients.” https://lnkd.in/gsvjiGRD Being a runner is a felony in Louisiana.
Velawcity admits this on its website https://lnkd.in/gHZUprhA that he has active campaigns.
Given what has been admitted and established in court orders, the judges presiding over these cases should report their findings to the U.S. Attorney for prosecution.
To date, Velawcity has not made any public statement in response to these claims. It is a flagrant violation of legal ethical standards for non-lawyers to advertise legal services, recruit clients on behalf of lawyers, and then receive a commission for each client obtained. Federal judges pointed out that this is precisely the agreement between MMA and Velawcity, and Zalma’s observations suggest that Velawcity may be engaged in similar practices with other law firms.
For policyholders, there is a key point to remember: Choosing a lawyer based solely on their advertising may be a flawed approach to important legal issues. The skills, background and position within the legal community of attorneys who rely heavily on advertising often do not represent the highest quality available to policyholders. It is essential to conduct thorough research and ask relevant questions regarding any attorney before entering into a contractual agreement. Be aware that you may be the target of a lead generation service and it is wise to avoid such entities.
Thought of the day
Advertising can be described as the science of stopping human intelligence long enough to profit from it.