Texas law is very clear. It bans attorneys or their representatives from contacting accident victims. One local law firm is about to get national attention for its campaign to make South Texas citizens aware of the illegal practice known as barratry.
The impetus for this thrust into the spotlight comes after an arrest in an alleged murder for hire plot against one of the Edwards Law Firm's clients.
Corpus Christi attorney Paul Andrews is now facing criminal solicitation, a capital felony, after allegedly offering to pay one of his own investigators to kill a former employee of the law firm. That former employee was fired after she allegedly refused to solicit business for the firm.
The Edwards Law Firm represents Mary Ann Uribe, and on Tuesday, the principals of the firm said the case will spotlight the problem that is barratry on a national level.
"This isn't a fight between lawyers. This is a fight for what's right," said William Edwards of Edwards Law Firm. "It has been the public policy of the state of Texas for over 100 years. This is bad stuff and it hurts everybody."
"It is clearly a national problem," said Bill Edwards of Edwards Law Firm. "We have actually heard from lawyers in other states complaining about runners from South Texas going into their states and running cases."
William and Bill can tell you about the blatant ambulance chasing practices some of their colleagues have allegedly utilized to troll for clients. The father-son duo are first to admit they have been criticized by fellow attorneys for championing their anti-barratry campaign.
ABC's Good Morning America will feature a report about their efforts after their client became a target of a murder for hire.
The alleged assailant, Paul Andrews, was charged with barratry and allegedly wanted Mary Ann Uribe killed. She was the main witness in the case.
The Edwards say the Andrews case proves how far some lawyers are willing to go.
In the meantime, 57-year old Andrews is out of jail after his $1 million bond was reduced in Bexar County to $150,000.
Andrews and law partner, 52-year old Keith Gould, were indicted by a Bexar County Grand Jury for barratry after allegedly paying a case runner to solicit and refer personal injury cases to their firm.
The Edwards interview airs Wednesday on Good Morning America.