Recently there has been some confusion caused by the Florida Bar introducing subsection (E) to Rule 4-1.5(f)(4) and its application to non-lawyer lien resolution companies. Subsection (E) was approved by the FL Bar Board of Governors at their meeting on May 31st and the rule now awaits adoption by the Florida Supreme Court. The confusion, though not unexpected, is clearly resolved by a plain reading of the comment to this proposed amendment.
The comment states that given the complex nature of certain “extraordinary” lien types (the Special Committee specifically mentions ERISA and Medicare conditional payments) it may be in the best interest of the client to engage another with significant experience in lien resolution and subrogation to maximize the plaintiffs’ net recovery. In the event that the reasonable efforts of the personal injury attorney fail to resolve these liens a non-lawyer third party can be engaged. Moreover, the comment expressly states that with the client’s written informed consent the cost associated with the engagement of the lien resolution expert can be billed as a “cost to the client”.
Our lien resolution unit specializes in the resolution of “extraordinary” liens and has policies and practices in place to ensure that Florida attorneys abide by the ethical guidelines that are being established under Rule 4-1.5(f)(4)(E). To aid the personal injury attorney in compliance our intake packages include a specific and detailed informed consent form which clearly articulates the lien resolution services offered, and the fees charged for those services.
To view the amended rule adoped by the Florida Bar, click HERE