So let’s say that a client calls you about a Personal Injury or Death Case, and it’s something that you don’t handle. But you’d like a referral fee of course for co-counseling the case. So what do you do: A, B, or C?
- Tell them to call our office but don’t tell the prospective client to let us know who referred them.
- Give the prospective client our telephone number and tell them to make sure they tell us your name as the referral attorney.
- Get on the phone yourself, or with one member of your staff, call my office directly on a conference call with the prospective client still on the phone.
Hopefully you will do C. Do you know why? Because I’m pretty certain that half the time, if you don’t actually take the time to actually call our office with the client on the phone, they will go elsewhere. Once you take that additional step, you are virtually certain that that client is going to go where you are suggesting. Otherwise, you may lose the case and the referral fee.
How much time is that going to take you? Certainly 5 minutes or less, especially if it’s not a catastrophic case. If it is a catastrophic case, then you probably want to be on the phone call possibly for the entire introduction and intake. If it’s a small case, once you speak to our representative/employee who is doing the intake on the case, you can excuse yourself. Of course my staff will be smart enough to ask the preliminary information and since you have initially made a conference call with the prospective client on the case, you can drop off the call and my staff member will call your referral right back.
So that’s the way you can make virtually certain that you are going to get a referral fee.
Of course, you not only have to make that one call, but you have to agree to remain available to the prospective client in case an issue comes up and they want to speak to you about the case, etc. in order to comply with the Florida ethical rules.
And just so you know, we make sure that you comply with the ethical rules regarding contingency fee agreements. Because if you don’t sign that contingency fee contract, the receiving law firm is not responsible for paying any attorney’s fee. We make certain that you are a signer on that contingency fee contract. We always have our referring attorneys sign the contingency fee contract to protect their fee in writing and to ensure they are complying with all of the Florida Bar rules.
So if you have any kind of personal injury case or wrongful death case that you would like to refer, please call us, and if you haven’t done so in the past, consider doing so. We specialize in slip and trip and fall injury type cases, having had 4 of them exceeding $1,000,000 in verdict or settlement. Of course we also handle other difficult types of personal injury cases, and the basic auto and vehicular cases and almost any type of tort and negligence case, and we’d be happy to help you out.