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Legally, the only way you could enter into such an arrangement in the US is if you are an attorney yourself. Every state bar
has a rule prohibiting attorneys from fee sharing or even entering into a business
enterprise with a non-lawyer where legal services are involved.
The CA Rule states:
Rule 1-320 Financial Arrangements With Non-Lawyers
(A) Neither a member nor a law firm shall directly or indirectly share legal fees with a person who is not a lawyer, except that:
(1) An agreement between a member and a law firm, partner, or associate may provide for the payment of money after the member's death to the member's estate or to one or more specified persons over a reasonable period of time; or
(2) A member or law firm undertaking to complete unfinished legal business of a deceased member may pay to the estate of the deceased member or other person legally entitled thereto that proportion of the total compensation which fairly represents the services rendered by the deceased member; or
(3) A member or law firm may include non-member employees in a compensation, profit-sharing, or retirement plan even though the plan is based in whole or in part on a profit-sharing arrangement, if such plan does not circumvent these rules or Business and professions Code section 6000 et seq.; or
(4) A member may pay a prescribed registration, referral, or participation fee to a lawyer referral service established, sponsored, and operated in accordance with the State Bar of California's Minimum Standards for a Lawyer Referral Service in California.
(B) A member shall not compensate, give, or promise anything of value to any person or entity for the purpose of recommending or securing employment of the member or the member's law firm by a client, or as a reward for having made a recommendation resulting in employment of the member or the member's law firm by a client. A member's offering of or giving a gift or gratuity to any person or entity having made a recommendation resulting in the employment of the member or the member's law firm shall not of itself violate this rule, provided that the gift or gratuity was not offered or given in consideration of any promise, agreement, or understanding that such a gift or gratuity would be forthcoming or that referrals would be made or encouraged in the future.
(C) A member shall not compensate, give, or promise anything of value to any representative of the press, radio, television, or other communication medium in anticipation of or in return for publicity of the member, the law firm, or any other member as such in a news item, but the incidental provision of food or beverage shall not of itself violate this rule.
Thus, any attorney who engages in a practice
of paying referral fees to non-attorneys or enters into such a business arrangement would be committing an act violating the rules of professional conduct and it appears that whatever situation you have going is one they are not going to want documented.
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