I have received an anonymous report of an anonymous attorney ethics complaint filed with a state bar against some named attorneys who represent Social Security claimants in the employment of a non-attorney outfit. Representing clients as an attorney as an employee of a non-attorney is, in my understanding, itself a violation of attorney ethics rules. The complaint also alleges that the non-attorney group engages in practices which are considered unethical by attorneys. I will not give more details about an anonymous complaint.
The complaint is interesting but I think it would be investigated more thoroughly if had not been filed anonymously. I know that Social Security has told its Administrative Law Judges not to file ethics complaints against attorneys which could explain why this is being filed anonymously but there is a detail, which I'm not to reveal here, concerning the material I received which suggests that it was not filed by any Social Security employee.
There are many, many newly minted attorneys who are desperately seeking employment. I feel for them but if you are representing Social Security claimants in the employment of a non-attorney group, you had better think about your situation from a legal ethics point of view. This is from the North Carolina Rules of Professional Conduct, which has its counterparts in every other state:
A lawyer shall not practice with or in the form of a professional corporation or association authorized to practice law for a profit, if:(1) a nonlawyer owns any interest therein, except that a fiduciary representative of the estate of a lawyer may hold the stock or interest of the lawyer for a reasonable time during administration; or(2) a nonlawyer has the right to direct or control the professional judgment of a lawyer.