A personal injury client missed a lot of work because of his injuries and is really in a financial hole. He asks his lawyer to loan him a few thousand for rent and food and the lawyer tells him no.
A personal injury clients case just settled for a substantial amount of money; however, it will take a month or two to resolve the medical bill liens and execute the closing documents. He asks his lawyer to loan him a few thousands until the settlement funds are disbursed and the lawyer tells the client no.
Lawyers are bound by the rules of professional responsibility and ethics. The rule is that a lawyer may not advance living expenses to a client pending settlement and collection of claim or judgment. Lawyers are simply not allowed to put themselves in this position no matter how much the client needs the assistance. If a lawyer advances funds they actually have a financial stake in the outcome and this may cause of a conflict of interest.
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photo attribution: liblit.org