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Good news abounded last week for D.C.’s ambulance-chasing lawyers. Icy weather meant new clients. And the postponement of a D.C. Council vote on stricter regulations meant they can continue to operate without interference for the foreseeable future. On Dec. 6, D.C. Councilman Phil Mendelson, chair of the Judiciary Committee, delayed a scheduled hearing on a bill that would make it a crime for attorneys or third parties to contact potential clients less than 21 days after a car accident. Mendelson said his office received many last-minute comments on the bill and he needed more time to consider them. Former Councilman Harold Brazil, who has been helping critics’ efforts to derail the legislation, praised the move but said one month is not enough time for the council to address the problems. Meanwhile, supporters maintain the delay will help them round up more votes. “The more people learn about this bill, the more they will end up on our side,” says Kenneth Trombly, a past president of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan D.C., who spearheaded the association’s support of the bill. The bill passed the council’s Judiciary Committee last month. A first reading by the entire council is now scheduled for Jan. 3.
Bethany Broida can be contacted at [email protected].

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