When a case is referred to us by another attorney, we try to work out an arrangement that makes sense depending on how much work the attorney wants to do on the case and what involvement the referring attorney wants to have. Typically, we would end up taking the lead on the case—we would do most of the work up on the case, and typically we would also finance the case, and by that I mean we would pay the expenses that are necessary to make the case move forward.
Some attorneys who refer cases to us like to be involved in working up the case, they like to help do the legal research, they want to be involved in the investigation, they want to help take some depositions, they might want to go to mediation, and in that situation, we’re going to be dividing the fees based upon how much worth the referring attorney will do and how much work we will do. The same thing with the expenses: If the referring attorney wants to be heavily involved in the case, then they may oftentimes come in and help finance the case.
Even if the referring attorney wants to take more of a back seat, we always are happy to have the attorney who referred the case to us be as involved in the case as they want to. We keep them advised due to the progress of the case, they’re involved in a client meetings, they’re involved in strategy meetings to decide how to move the case forward, and in the end, they’re involved in deciding what a fair settlement would be to try to get to case settled or if it is a case that we should try.
So every case is different, every situation is different. When the case is referred to us, we try to work with the attorney to make sure that we maximize their role in the case to the extent they would like that, and we also want to make sure that the client, who is not working with us, feels comfortable in knowing that the attorney who the client first met is going to continue to be involved in the case and is not just left by the wayside. So really it is a team effort even though the case has been referred to us.
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