Recently, Ken Allen was asked his opinion regarding the new ethics rule promulgated by the Indiana Supreme Court, which bans any contact between attorneys and accident victims for 30 days following the tragic incident. Ken Allen – and everyone at Kenneth J. Allen & Associates – is all for it. (Read the Indiana Supreme Court Order here.)
The Post-Tribune sought out Ken Allen’s opinion as a Indiana lawyer with a national reputation for representing injury victims and their families. What was the master trial attorney’s position on the new rule?
Kenneth J. Allen explained that he thinks it is a good idea to have a contact ban because lawyers should not be involved with victims and their loved ones, who are dealing with so many issues and emotions right after a serious accident has occurred.
“I don’t think the people who have just lost a loved one or been in a catastrophic crash need a lawyer contacting them,” Allen told the Post-Tribune. They are dealing with a traumatic event and the ban respects this.
Other Issues Remain Unresolved
However, this new ethics rule may not go far enough. Ken Allen also explained in his interview that it is his opinion that Indiana lawyers should be able to advertise more — using as examples that Kenneth J. Allen & Associates currently is not allowed to report Ken Allen’s success rate in billboards or on the web.
Having that information available to injury victims and their families might mean the difference between choosing a lawyer with skill and experience, versus an attorney with a bad track record — and the results in award amounts to those wronged and seeking justice can be directly correlated to the plaintiff’s legal representative.
Why? Defendants (and their insurance companies) are known to be ready to settle for more money when they know that the alternative is a jury trial with an experienced advocate who’s comfortable in the courtroom.
Sophisticated defense attorneys are all too aware of lawyers that are afraid of the courtroom or those who have the courage to try a case, but don’t have a stellar success record. They are also aware of trial attorneys who go to trial, and win. Guess who can negotiate the bigger settlement with the defense team – or achieve the bigger verdict?
Choosing the attorney to represent an injury victim may have a direct impact on the justice that results for that victim and his loved ones. While the new rule does advance the ball in this regard, more can — and should — be done.