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In the weeks since a Metrolink Train crashed head-on with a Union Pacific freight train in the San Fernando Valley northwest of downtown L.A., killing 25 and injuring at least 30 others, litigators have been busy ensuring all we do to combat the negative perception of personal injury lawyers does not go unpunished.

According to the State Bar of California, lawyers took out newspaper and TV advertisements, solicited on the internet, and even tracked down the injured passengers in their hospital rooms in an attempt to gain their business. According to one family member of an injured victim, one lawyer went so far as to call the victim’s family and offer to pay for the funeral arrangements of the deceased passenger in return for representing the estate.

Besides being highly unethical and against the rules in every state, this type of behavior leaves a stain on our profession. We can only hope the State Bar of California takes this egregious conduct seriously, and punishes those who participated accordingly.

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