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11/09/2010

IRTA Gains Favorable Opinion On Lawyers Bartering

On October 29, 2010, the North Carolina Bar Association approved a favorable opinion which allows lawyers in North Carolina to participate in barter/trade exchanges, subject to the following reasonable criteria:

1) The barter exchange exercises no influence over the judgment of the lawyer.

2) The barter exchange's listings and advertising for the lawyers are truthful.

3) The barter exchange accurately discloses which states the lawyer is licensed to practice in.

4) The barter exchange provides a complete and impartial list of all participating lawyers in the exchange and does not restrict the number of lawyers in the exchange.

5) The barter exchange does not do "in person" solicitations of members by the barter exchange manager or broker on behalf of a exchange member lawyer.

6) Advance payments for litigation expenses or other expenses of representation must be paid in cash, check or credit card, since Rule 1.15 requires a lawyer to deposit such funds in a trust account and barter dollars cannot be deposited into a bank trust account. 

In the future, IRTA will use this opinion to persuade those few State Bar Associations who have a negative opinion on this matter to reverse their anti-barter exchange stand.

Questions may be directed to IRTA Executive Director Ron Whitney at (757) 393-2292 or ron@irta.com.


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