Almost every client or lawyer that refers personal injury cases to us asks the question, “What type of case should I refer to you, or do you only take the big personal injury cases?”
I always have the same answer. “Please refer any person who thinks they need a lawyer to help them, big or small, in or out of our field of expertise”. Chances are that we can help them, and rest assured you will be thanked by that person when they call you back and tell you that the experience of calling us was really helpful and assuring.
Some will need our representation, some will need a referral to a qualified lawyer in a specialized field and some will need to be directed to non-legal solutions.
Our philosophy is simple and has been successful for the 33 years this firm has been in existence. We offer solutions to people needing legal advice, and in turn we become a trusted ally. When that person later has a catastrophe or knows someone who has been seriously injured, the first thing our ally says is “They helped me out above and beyond what I expected, imagine what they will do for your case in their field of expertise”.
I am frequently reminded that persons who are not in the legal field are quite fearful when facing serious legal issue for the first time. They heard of a system that is expensive and unfair, where the rich can buy a victory and those without the means are not given justice. They must find an attorney that is qualified (and how do they do that but responding to a TV ad or calling from the yellow pages) and will efficiently and properly handle their case. They are sometimes overwhelmed by certain facts that they think are important and will harm their case, when in reality heir assumptions are wrong. We can relieve a lot of this anxiety.
A referral to a specialist, out of our field of expertise can sometimes provide a solution. We do no family or criminal law in our office, but after 30 years we know specialist that are top in their field, who are appropriate with clients and have ethical billing practices, especially in these areas. We do not “Fee split” with persons we refer to, nor ask them to refer cases back in some elaborate scheme to gain business. These attorneys know that if we made the referral and the client is unhappy, we will not refer to them again. Therefore the client receives extra attention, not unlike calling for a family friend.
In this way, people are directed to a highly qualified attorney to handle their case, instead of responding to an ad for a criminal DUI attorney in the newspaper that turns out to be nothing more than payment to someone to do what the client could have done for himself or herself.
Even I have had difficulty finding qualified lawyers in a field outside our expertise. Our office might use two or three lawyers before we find one that has a responsible attitude to all clients and offers not only skill as a lawyer but also honesty and a concern for the benefit of clients, a shared philosophy. Imagine the difficult one has with no experience in finding the proper attorney to help them.
So feel free to refer anyone you think might need legal help and who you cannot help yourself, and rest assured we thank you for the chance to help that person, even if it is to get them to an excellent attorney practicing in there needed area.
Yours Jim Ballidis