|LRS Policies and Procedures|
Lake County Bar Association's
LAWYER REFERRAL SERVICE POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
The Lake County Bar Association shall maintain a referral service to be known as the Lake County Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service (hereinafter referred to as "LRS").
The Lawyer Referral Service is established to assist members of the general public in locating qualified attorneys.
LAWYER REFERRAL COMMITTEE
The Lawyer Referral Committee (hereinafter "the Committee") drawn from the general membership of the Lake County Bar Association shall oversee the Lawyer Referral Service. The Committee will be responsible for screening applications of attorneys, adjudicating complaints brought against attorneys, marketing of the LRS and administrative issues related to the operating of the LRS. The Committee shall develop and promulgate rules, regulations, procedures and forms to discharge its obligations. The Executive Director of the Lake County Bar Association shall be responsible for the day to day operations of the LRS.
PANELS AND ELIGIBILITY
A. The Committee shall create referral panels according to procedural and substantive areas of law. The Committee shall enact rules determining the number of substantive and procedural areas of law in which attorneys may participate. The Committee shall specify standards for service on the various panels as stated in Article IV, Section B. Membership in the LRS shall be a privilege and not an automatic right. Attorneys shall apply only for those areas of law in which they are competent and experienced.
In determining competence, the Committee may consider the applicant's years of practice, the percentage of time devoted to such cases or matters, certifications, continuing legal education and references. The applicant shall be of good character. The Committee may request an interview with the applicant in cases it deems appropriate.
B. An attorney is eligible to apply for membership in the Lawyer Referral Service upon meeting the following requirements:
1. licensed to practice in the State of Illinois (and other forums where appropriate to the particular panel) for at least one year;
C. Attorneys shall be a Lake County Bar Association member and pay an annual fee for membership in the LRS. Failure to pay said fee within thirty days shall be a basis for removal of the attorney from the LRS. Fees shall be determined by the following:
Each "standard listing" panel –including individual sub-panels $200.00 per year (July 1 - June 30). Standard listing panels include contact name, firm name, address, phone num,bner, fax number, date of admission to the Illinois Bar, Law School, and other states the attorney is licensed in.
Each "premium listing" panel – including all individual sub-panels $350.00 per year (July 1 - June 30). Premium listing panels are highlighted in yellow and listed at the top of the category. Premium listings include contact name, firm name, address, phone number, fax number, hyperlink to e-mail address, hyperlink to website address, listing all all areas of practice, descriptive paragraph (up to 250 words), and a picture.
OPERATIONS AND FEES
A. Upon receiving a telephone request for an attorney from a member of the public, the staff shall make a determination of the referral panel involved, and refer the person to a panel member within a reasonable distance of the caller's residence or place of employment. Panel members shall be selected on a rotating basis.
Members of the general public may also request the name of a panel member by utilizing the service on the Lake County Bar Association website. Panel members shall be provided on the website on a rotating basis.
B. Participating attorneys shall not refer clients referred to them through the LRS to other non participating attorneys, including attorneys in their own law firm, and shall personally perform all legal services in behalf of the client. An attorney unable to accept a client shall refer the client back to the LRS for another attorney, and shall not refer that person to a non participating attorney, even if the other attorney is a member of the same firm.
REMOVAL OR SUSPENSION OF LRS MEMBERS
A. The Committee, upon the written complaint of a client, or by complaint initiated by the Committee or Executive Director of the LCBA, may review eligibility of an attorney to accept referrals in particular areas of law and/or to participate in the LRS. By majority vote, the Committee may suspend further referrals to the attorney pending resolution of the complaint.
B. Upon receipt of a written complaint, the Committee, through the LCBA executive director, shall notify the attorney of the complaint in writing. The attorney shall have twenty-one (21) days to file a written response to the complaint. The Committee shall conduct a hearing to consider the complaint. The attorney may appear at the hearing to make a presentation in his or her behalf in response to the complaint, but shall not be present during the Committee's deliberations. The complainant, if a member of the public, may appear only by invitation of the Committee.
C. Upon conclusion of an appropriate hearing, the Committee, by majority vote, may temporarily suspend or remove an attorney, from participation in one or more panels, or from membership in the LRS, if the Committee determines:
Upon completion of its deliberations, the Committee shall advise the attorney of its decision in writing.
D. Within twenty-one (21) days of receipt of notice of the suspension or removal, the affected attorney may request a review of the Committee's action by filing a written request. A review panel consisting of the Executive Committee of the Lake County Bar Association, two members of the Committee, and the chairperson of the appropriate substantive law committee shall hear the appeal. The attorney may appear before the review panel in person to offer additional evidence in support of himself or herself. Upon conclusion of the review hearing, the review panel, by majority and confidential vote, shall affirm, reverse or modify the decision of the Committee. The attorney shall not be present during the vote. The review panel shall notify the attorney of its decision in writing.
A. An attorney suspended or removed from the LRS shall have the right to Petition the Committee for reinstatement for good cause shown. The Petition shall be in writing and include such supporting documentation as the Petitioning attorney deems necessary.
B. No Petition for reinstatement shall be submitted prior to the expiration of the period of suspension. In cases where the attorney has been removed from the LRS for an indefinite period, no petition for reinstatement shall be submitted prior to one year from the date of the written notice of the removal. If the Committee refuses to grant a Petition for reinstatement, the attorney shall not be permitted to submit a new Petition for six months following the date of the written denial of the Petition.
C. The Committee shall conduct a hearing to consider the Petition for reinstatement. The Committee, in its sole discretion, may invite the attorney to attend the hearing.
D. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Committee shall render a decision on the Petition for reinstatement. All votes shall be by majority vote. The Committee shall advise the attorney of its decision in writing.
E. An attorney denied reinstatement may seek review of the Committee's decision as in cases of suspension or removal as set forth in Article VI Section D herein.