Intermediary organizations, such as lawyer advertising cooperatives, lawyer referral services, prepaid legal service providers, and other similar organizations were formerly governed by Rule 44 of the Supreme Court of Tennessee, which required intermediary organizations to register with the Board of Professional Responsibility and be subject to ongoing annual registration requirements. An Order was entered by the Supreme Court of Tennessee on December 15, 2021, effective January 1, 2022, deleting Rule 44. On this basis, intermediary organizations are no longer required to register with the Board of Professional Responsibility or otherwise be subject to the requirements defined in Rule 44.
While intermediary organizations are no longer subject to registration requirements in Tennessee, the Supreme Court of Tennessee’s December 15, 2021 Order also amended Rule 7.6 of the Tennessee Rules of Professional Conduct to require that Tennessee lawyers accepting referrals from intermediary organizations make reasonable efforts to ensure that the intermediary organization’s conduct complies with the lawyer’s professional obligations, including specific requirements defined at RPC 7.6(b). Lawyers who accept referrals from intermediary organizations are strongly encouraged to review RPC 7.6 in light of these obligations.