Ambulance chasing, sometimes known as barratry, is a professional slur which refers to a lawyer soliciting for clients at a disaster site. The term "ambulance chasing" comes from the stereotype of lawyers that follow ambulances to the emergency room to find clients.
Ambulance chasing is prohibited in the US. Such conduct violates Rule 7.3 of the American Bar Association Model Rules of Professional Conduct. Some bar associations strongly enforce rules against barratry. For example, the State Bar of California dispatches investigators to large-scale disaster scenes to discourage ambulance chasers, and to catch any who attempt to solicit business from disaster victims at the scene.
Ambulance chasing is also illegal in Australia, in accordance with clauses 20 and 22 of the Legal Profession Regulation of 1987.
Literally following an ambulance to take advantage of its ability to pass red lights can be considered a form of slipstreaming, and is also illegal in many jurisdictions.
- Garner, Bryan A. (2011). Garner's Dictionary of Legal Usage (3 ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-538420-8.
- Model Rules of Professional Conduct - Rule 7.3 Direct Contact With Prospective Clients - Center for Professional Responsibility
- Nancy McCarthy, "Public protection takes center stage in disaster", State Bar Journal, March 2005, pages unknown.
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