Lawyer Referral Service Frequently Asked Questions

The lawyer referral service has answers to the most frequently asked questions from panel members:

How does the public service work?
LRIS is a service of the San Diego County Bar Association. All attorney referrals are carefully screened and referred on a rotational basis to panel attorneys. If a referral to an attorney is not appropriate, the caller will be referred to a legal or social service agency for assistance.

What about clients looking for pro bono attorneys?
The LRIS phone message and the LRIS Counselor will tell the caller that the attorneys on the service are not free or reduced rate attorneys.

What is the frequency of referrals?
LRIS callers are told that they can receive the names of up to three San Diego attorneys per legal issue and that we do not give out lists of attorneys for them to call. The caller is given three attorneys’ names at the initial phone call and, if they call back, they can be given one or two attorney names.

If I can’t help the client, can I refer them to non-LRIS attorneys?
If you cannot help a client that is referred to you by LRIS, please refer them back to LRIS. It not only helps other panel members, but also protects you from negligent referrals. Please note that referring callers to other attorneys is a violation of the SDCBA's Local Rules of Operation for Lawyer Referral & Information Service.

What if my address and/or firm change?
If your office moves or you switch firms, please let us know as soon as possible so we have your most current information on file.

What is the percentage fee for referrals?
Fifteen percent is due on all legal fees that San Diego attorneys receive from an LRIS-referred case, except Modest Means and SCRA.

Do you conduct client surveys?
Every client that is referred is sent a client satisfaction survey with a return envelope. This is done to ensure that LRIS is providing a valued service to the public, and it is required by the State Bar of California.

Can you accommodate a temporary suspension for holidays, vacation or when I’m busy?
Please make sure to inform LRIS if you will be out of the office or unable to receive referrals. We will put a temporary hold on your LRIS panel records.

How do the email daily reports work?
LRIS will email you an attorney confirmation every time a referral is made to your office, provided we have your current email address.

Can I receive electronic reporting?
Yes, the LRIS will email all referrals and reports to your office. Please make sure we have your current email address. Click here for a training guide.

Can I provide you with a San Diego P.O. Box address instead?
All attorneys must provide LRIS with a physical street address where client meetings are held.If you do not have a permanent office location, then you must provide LRIS with a meeting or a satellite office address.

What if I receive a call about a Modest Means referral? If a client calls you regarding the Modest Means program and you are not on the Modest Means panel, please be sure to refer them back to LRIS. Many clients are informed about the program but do not realize that this program is only for family law and that there is a screening process to qualify for services.

Can I list a specialty in my panel?
If you are on a panel and have an area of specialty, please let us know so we can put this information in your panel notes. This helps us when referring callers. For example, if you are on the family law panel and handle quadro's, let us know. We are currently receiving calls for construction defects, VA benefits, HIPPA violations, class action suits, and internet law.

Disclaimer:The information contained in the following articles on various subject areas of law is to aid your general understanding of these issues only. This information does not constitute legal advice and should not be depended upon for that purpose.

The Courts, sometimes referred to in these articles, may change procedures, available services, hours of operation, availability of classes, etc., at any time. Additionally, laws are constantly changing and may at any time render the information in these articles obsolete. For legal advice please consult and hire an attorney from LRIS.