High court says driver records protected

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court says lawyers may not obtain personal information from state driver license records to recruit clients for lawsuits.

The justices voted 5-4 Monday in favor of South Carolina residents who objected to solicitations from lawyers to join a lawsuit against car dealers. Justice Anthony Kennedy said in his majority opinions that a lawyer’s solicitation of clients is prohibited by a federal privacy law intended to shield motor vehicle records.

The court left it to lower courts to determine whether letters sent by the lawyers were predominantly efforts to recruit clients.

Among the lawyers named in the Supreme Court appeal is Richard Harpootlian, former chairman of the South Carolina Democratic party.

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