Why does the Law Offices of John Day Associate with other Lawyers and Pay Referral Fees?
Like every lawyer who does tort work for plaintiffs, we like high-quality legal work. One way of obtaining that work is to reach out to lawyers who, over the years, have developed a relationship with their clients and who have been offered representation in a case that necessitates associating another lawyer. We recognize that a referral fee appropriately rewards a lawyer for developing and maintaining a relationship of trust with his or her clients, and thus are happy that Tennessee’s ethics rules permit us to pay such referral fees.
Once lawyers know they can earn a referral fee, they often ask them how they can get potential clients to call them so they can refer the cases to us. This is especially true for those lawyers who do not practice in the tort field but instead do wills and estates, criminal law, bankruptcy, etc. The answer is really pretty simple: you let those you meet in your personal and professional life know that you are a lawyer who has the experience and judgment to not only do your regular legal work, but also to help your friends, neighbors and clients find another lawyer for matters outside your area of expertise. These people already trust you, and you need to find a way to let them know that you can help them locate an experienced lawyer to meet any legal need they have, including one in the tort field.
And in case you were wondering, we do practice what we preach. We limit our practice to personal injury, wrongful death, commercial and probate litigation, and we refer our every other type of case. If you are interested in a referral from us, send us a description of what type of work you do, what level of work you are seeking, and what complexity of work your experience allows you to confidently and efficiently undertake (e.g., if you do trusts and estates work, do you prefer will-drafting for people who are unlikely to face federal estate taxes or do you seek out clients who need to take full advantage of those mechanisms that can be used to reduce or eliminate federal tax liability upon death). In addition, let us know that that you have professional liability insurance, as we do not refer cases to firms who do not carry such policies.
Indeed, in addition to referring cases outside our practice area to other firms, we even refer certain types of personal injury and wrongful death cases. We no longer accept worker’s compensation injury cases, instead referring them to other attorneys. We recently referred out a significant number of mass tort cases – we determined it was in the clients’ best interests to allow a very experienced law firm that routinely handles a large number of those cases to take the lead on those matters.
We also turn down some commercial litigation cases that likely have merit. In the fall of 2015, we turned down three such cases, despite their potential, because the cases demanded significant, immediate attention that we could not give them while still meeting the needs of our current clients.
So we do endeavor to practice what we preach: when we are overloaded, or when our clients are better served by associating a different law firm, we help them find a different firm. And when it is ethical to do so, we accept a referral fee from those firms.
If you have additional questions or would like to discuss a case referral in more detail, please call John Day at 615-742-4880 or toll-free at 866.812.8787 or send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like more information about our firm, see our website at www.johndaylegal.com. We invite you to review our Professional Honors and Awards, our Client Testimonials and our Recent Successes.