Why is This Legal?
So I was talking with a lawyer the other night (briefing him about health care, actually) and the topic of "referrals" came up. He mentioned that when he as a lawyer is unable to help a client and makes a referral to another attorney, he gets paid by that attorney; either a flat rate or a percentage of any recovery made in the case. Routinely. It's how they do business. No one thinks twice about it.
Excuse me, but as a doctor we call that a kickback and/or fee-splitting. It's considered illegal, immoral, unethical and grounds for license revocation. Rep. Peter Stark of California has eponymous legislation that has now spawned three separate phases and untold reams of regulation that has drastically impacted the way doctors are legally permitted to do business. I recently read that at this point, even he agrees the entire exercise has been a waste of time and effort. [Thanks to Anon 8:54 for link]
Yet apparently lawyers pay each other for referrals all the time. Excuse me, Tim, but: un-F***ing-believable!