A North Carolina State ethics subcommittee has proposed an opinion stating that is not ethical for lawyers to offer their services via Groupon according to the ABA Journal.
The opinion states that a lawyer is not allowed to share a fee with a nonlawyer, which in this case is Groupon, according to an Oyez column by North Carolina Lawyers Weekly.
Lawyers Are the Number One Category for Yellow Pages Advertising
Why is this a big deal? Lawyers are the number one category for yellow pages advertising. If Groupon is looking to replace the Yellow Pages as the number one option for local advertisers, it’s a real blow if they can’t target the largest spender in the category.
While legal services was probably not a high priority item for Groupon’s once a day deal offering, it was likely to figure prominently in the Groupon stores environment where users actively search for services offering deals.
Will be interesting to see if Groupon attempts to lobby state bars to prevent similar rulings in other states.