VIRGINIA UPL OPINION 135

Former Attorney Employed as Chief Executive Officer/Insurance Adjuster of Insurance Adjusting Company.

You have indicated that former attorney “X,??? who surrendered his license to practice law, which was the revoked and has not been restored, is presently employed as an insurance adjuster with an insurance adjusting company of which he is the Chief Executive Officer. Your further indicate that the law firm of A, B, and C, which is comprised of three attorneys, two of which were formerly associated in the law firm of which former attorney “X??? was a founding partner, seek to retain the insurance adjusting company for the purpose of reviewing the law firmís various files and, on behalf of the law firm, to negotiate settlements subject to the law firm member attorneys’ approval.

At its June 2, 1989 meeting, the Standing Committee on Unauthorized Practice of Law reviewed that portion of the matter which falls under its jurisdiction to render advisory opinions on authorized practice of law. The Committee opined that the applicable rules to the situation are UPL 2-101, 2-102, and 2-103 which describe the parameters within which a lay adjuster may operate. The Committee is of the belief that if the adjusting company you have described stays strictly within the enumerated Rules, such activities would not constitute the unauthorized practice of law. Your firm’s involvement in the situation however, is governed by the Code of Professional Responsibility. The propriety of your firm’s actions is not within the purview of this Committee and will be addressed by a separate Legal Ethics Opinion.

Committee Opinion
July 31, 1989
Updated: Aug 28, 2006