Eight years after New Jersey enacted a statute barring lawyers from using paid runners to drum up business, a West Orange, N.J., personal injury lawyer has become the first to plead guilty to the charge.

Irwin Seligsohn and his former firm, Seligsohn, Goldberger & Shinrod, pleaded guilty on Aug. 3 to paying $70,000 to runners between 1998 and 2003 to solicit people to claim injuries from staged or non-existent accidents.