It is Embarassing for Me to Ask for Help on a Plaintiff's Case when I Hold Myself Out as a Plaintiff's Lawyer
The decision to make a referral when a case is not right for your practice at a given time is a sign of wisdom, not a sign of weakness. A plaintiff’s practice is filled with risks, many of which are outside the lawyer’s control. Each plaintiff’s lawyer must have a good enough grasp on his or her experience level, workload, finances, and risk-tolerance to know whether accepting a particular case is in the client’s best interest. Fortunately, our ethics rules reward those who make referrals by allowing the referring lawyer to earn a referral fee.
One needs to spend only a few hours listening to other lawyers or reading list-serves to see examples of well-meaning lawyers getting in over their heads in certain types of plaintiff’s cases. What happens next is predictable. The case is delayed because the lawyer cannot afford to invest the time it needs and still meet his or her financial obligations. The case is delayed because the lawyer is uncertain what to do next and thus procrastinates. Poor quality experts are hired because of money issues. Appropriate demonstrative aids are not acquired. Focus groups are not used. The issues go on and on. And all the while, the lawyer's stress is increased and the client tends to suffer.
So, no, the decision to refer cases that are outside one’s comfort zone or are not a good fit at that time is not a sign of weakness. Referring a case is the sign of a mature professional who has made the judgment that, at that point in time, the potential client is best served by calling in another lawyer. Our firm refers cases out to other lawyers under certain circumstances. For instance, we no longer handle workers' compensation cases but instead refer all those cases to other lawyers. We also refer out mass tort cases if we feel that doing so best serves our client's interest. Although we have lawyers licensed in other states, we often refer these cases out.
When we refer certain types of tort cases out, we do not believe that doing so diminishes our reputation in any way. To the contrary, we believe we are furthering our client's interests and ensuring that we can live up to the high standards we set for ourselves on our other matters. So referring a case is certainly not cause for embarrassment.
To confidentially discuss a referral with John Day, please contact him at 615-742-4880 or toll-free at 866-812-8787 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If John is unavailable, our staff will either, according to your preference, schedule a time for you to talk to John or connect you with one of our other lawyers who can provide immediate assistance.
If you would like more information about our Lawyers, our Successes or our Professional Awards, please peruse our website. While we are honored by the awards we have received, we take the greatest pleasure in the kind words of the client's we have served, so we also invite you to review our Client Testimonials.