Sunday, May 23, 2010
Too Aggressive Arizona Lawyers?!
The Spanish speaking guy in the commercial is Jeffrey Phillips of the Phillips law firm. The Arizona Supreme Court just affirmed short suspensions for him and his partner, Robert Arentz after a bar association investigation confirmed 22 violations of the state ethics regulations. Essentially, Phillips and his partners operate a law practice on a business model that is not unlike the local carpet operation. Their high pressure client intake practices focus on getting clients "signed up" with as much money up front as possible according to the report at the Arizona Republic online. These guys advertise non-stop on local television and radio. Their non-lawyer staff received "bonus" payments for bringing in the sheep, which probably crosses the line into "fee splitting" with non-lawyers as an ethics no-no.
The Arizona Supreme Court and disciplinary authorities believe that the legal profession is, um, a profession and not a carpet store--so Phillips and his partner are getting a little timeout. The problems for these guys are enormous--they will be required to let everyone of their current clients know in writing that they are serving suspensions and to get reinstated they will be required to go through hoops that may be difficult if not impossible to jump-through.
Check out some of their other advertisements, these characters abound in the profession--these are the folks who are interested in dinero, not your legal problems. They are the Mal Lawyers. Hasta Luego, muchachos.