Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 54.1. Professions and Occupations
Chapter 39. Attorneys
12/1/2020

Article 7. Solicitation of Professional Employment.

§ 54.1-3939. Definitions.

As used in this article:

"Agent" means any person who acts for another with or without compensation at the request, or with the knowledge and acquiescence, of the other in dealing with third persons.

"Runner" or "capper" means any person acting within the Commonwealth as an agent for an attorney in the solicitation of professional employment for the attorney.

"Solicitation of professional employment" means obtaining or attempting to obtain, for an attorney, the opportunity to represent or render other legal services to another person, for which services the attorney will or may receive compensation. Solicitation of professional employment shall not include conduct (i) limited to mere statements of opinion respecting the ability of an attorney, (ii) pursuant to a uniform legal aid or lawyer referral plan approved by the Virginia State Bar or (iii) pursuant to any qualified legal services plan or contract of legal services insurance.

Code 1950, § 54-78; 1956, Ex. Sess., c. 33; 1964, c. 622, §§ 54-83.1:1, 54-83.1:2; 1988, c. 765.

§ 54.1-3940. Solicitation.

It shall be unlawful for an attorney to solicit professional employment in a manner that violates the Virginia Code of Professional Responsibility.

1964, c. 622, § 54-83.1:2; 1988, c. 765.

§ 54.1-3941. Unlawful to act as runners or cappers.

It shall be unlawful for any person to act singly or in concert with others as a runner or capper for an attorney.

Code 1950, § 54-79; 1956, Ex. Sess., c. 33; 1964, c. 622; 1988, c. 765.

§ 54.1-3942. Validity of contract.

Any contract for professional employment secured by an attorney in violation of this article shall be void and unenforceable.

Code 1950, § 54-83; 1964, c. 622, § 54-83.1:4; 1988, c. 765.

§ 54.1-3943. Injunction against running, capping and soliciting.

The attorney for the Commonwealth, or any person, firm or corporation against whom any cause of action is or has been asserted, may maintain a suit for an injunction against any attorney who has induced another to solicit or encourage his employment, or against any person, firm, partnership or corporation which has acted for another in the capacity of a runner or capper, or against any person engaged by an attorney to solicit employment for the attorney, whether or not the solicitation was successful. The court may enjoin and permanently restrain such person, his agents, representatives and principals from soliciting any such claims against any person, firm or corporation subsequent to the date of the injunction.

1954, c. 707, § 54-83.1; 1988, c. 765.

§ 54.1-3944. Penalty for violation.

Any person violating the provisions of this article shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. In addition, any person employed as an officer, director, trustee, clerk, servant or agent of this Commonwealth or of any political subdivision of the Commonwealth found guilty of violating the provisions of this article shall forfeit the right of his office and his employment.

Code 1950, § 54-82; 1964, c. 622, § 54-83.1:3; 1988, c. 765.