We handle cases on referral from or in association with lawyers throughout California and across the United States. For more than 50 years we have been a trusted referral partner by attorneys in all practice disciplines looking for the right representation for clients with substantial personal injury and wrongful death cases. Consistent with the Rules of Professional Conduct and governing law we have paid millions of dollars in fees to referring and associated counsel every year since 1959. As one of the pre-eminent plaintiff personal injury and wrongful death firms in the country, we receive referrals from firms of all sizes, from solo practitioners to large mega-firms who want to make sure their clients are well taken care of. Non-personal injury specialists in every type of practice area, from intellectual property to corporate, public interest to tort defense, tax to patent and trademark, have trusted us with the referral of friends, family and clients to investigate and prosecute injury and death claims.
You Can Depend On Our Referral Agreements And Payments
All referral agreements and referral fees are paid consistent with State Bar Rule 2-200. Acknowledgment of the referral agreement by the client at the time of initial retention is required by law.
We work with referring counsel to make certain that the referral fee or fee division is fair and reflects proper compensation for the work undertaken, the risk assumed, the time commitment involved the potential for loss, and the advanced costs responsibility of the individual case. There is no one size fits all arrangement. In each case, the amount or percentage of the fee is tailored to the individual circumstances of the case. Factors which are considered include the size of the case, its complexity, the overall fee negotiated with the client, the likelihood of success, the responsibility for advanced costs, the amount of involvement of the referring attorney, and the point in the case at which our firm has been retained or associated. We pay referrals and share fees in medical negligence, brain injury, auto accident, catastrophic injury, construction site injuries, product defect claims, medical drug and device litigation, government liability, and truck collisions.
A Collaborative Approach To Referred Cases
We welcome referrals at any point in the litigation. Ideally, we prefer that we be retained as early as possible so that we can direct initial investigation and litigation strategy, discovery planning, expert retention, trial preparation and settlement negotiations. In some cases, we are retained on the eve of trial, and our attorneys are ready to accept matters on short notice. We take pride in our lawyers’ ability to work cooperatively with our referring attorneys. Whether a referring attorney wishes to remain involved, joint venture the case or negotiate some other type of cooperative participation agreement, it is a rare instance where we are unable to negotiate an equitable referral fee agreement.
We know that when referring attorneys send us a matter for collaboration they are placing their reputation on the line. We know that after a referral is made to us, referring counsel rightfully expects that at the end of the case, the client will greet them with these two words: thank you. A referral to our firm reflects an important decision to get the best result for the client while allowing the initial lawyer to share in the fee according to Rule of Professional Conduct 2-200.
Whether specializing in family law, business, real estate, patent and trademark, tax, insurance defense or plaintiff’s personal injury practice, lawyers who work with us via referral or association are treated with respect and their relationship with the client is protected and acknowledged.
The litigation and trial of serious and catastrophic injury or wrongful death cases is time-consuming, difficult and expensive. The lawyers at Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger stand ready to receive referring counsel’s association in these cases to maximize the clients recovery. Lawyers in other fields of specialty know that by trusting Walkup their clients will get an optimum result.
If you would like to discuss a potential referral with any attorney at Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger, please call one of our partners or Kevin Domecus at (415) 889-2919, or you can email us at kdomecus@ walkuplawoffice.com.
Michael A. Kelly | Shareholder
California Rule Of Professional Conduct 2-200 Financial Arrangements Among Lawyers
(A) A member shall not divide a fee for legal services with a lawyer who is not a partner of, associate of, or shareholder with the member unless:
The client has consented in writing thereto after a full disclosure has been made in writing that a division of fees will be made and the terms of such division; and the total fee charged by all lawyers is not increased solely by reason of the provision for division of fees and is not unconscionable as that term is defined in rule 4-200.
(B) Except as permitted in paragraph (A) of this rule or rule 2-300, a member shall not compensate, give, or promise anything of value to any lawyer for the purpose of recommending or securing employment of the member or the member’s law firm by a client, or as a reward for having made a recommendation resulting in employment of the member or the member’s law firm by a client. A member’s offering of or giving a gift or gratuity to any lawyer who has made a recommendation resulting in the employment of the member or the member’s law firm shall not of itself violate this rule, provided that the gift or gratuity was not offered in consideration of any promise, agreement, or understanding that such a gift or gratuity would be forthcoming or that referrals would be made or encouraged in the future.
6 Reasons Why Attorneys
Refer Their Cases to Us
Most Awarded Personal Injury
Firm In Northern California