When Realtors Should Not Call Lawyers

woman on phone

Agents call me all the time looking for advice for their clients. If the advice is generic (this is what the law says), I’m usually ok with giving it but, if the law is related to a particular set of facts, I won’t. Your client will have to call me or their own attorney directly.

Even if you are just asking about the law, there are some calls you should not make for your client. For example, a broker called me recently to ask how the client should structure his will to keep his son’s wife from any inheritance of the client’s property. It doesn’t matter if I know about wills or not (I don’t), this is not a real estate question and you must, repeat must, tell the client to seek out an attorney. In other words, if the question is unrelated to your real estate transaction (or to a possible real estate transaction) you should not intercede. In this case, the question was not about the real estate, it was about the inheritance. If your client starts discussing how to prevent inheritance, recommend that the client call an attorney. Don’t do it for him or her.

Another call you should not make: Do not call the attorney representing an opposing party to find out what the issues are relevant to a dispute or to negotiate a settlement for your client. We call that practicing law without a license and I’ll bet your E&O carrier also won’t cover a claim that you practiced law incorrectly.

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