For Counsel

Achieving the Best Result.
We recognize some cases require a financial investment and/or an experienced litigation team in order to achieve the best result for the client.  We provide confidential consultations for potential referrals, substitutions and/or trial association.

Call to speak to our attorneys at (559) 431-3142 or contact us by email.

Cornwell & Sample LLP is well-respected for their willingness to help other lawyers with their personal injury cases.  We offer free and confidential consultation to discuss your options for receiving the best results for your clients.  In some cases, we can simply serve as a sounding board for your trial strategies or provide sample briefs or a list of experts.  In other cases, you may choose to refer the case and/or substitute us in.  More often than not, referring lawyers choose to stay involved and we work as an associated team.  No matter how you choose to proceed, Cornwell & Sample understands these are your clients, and we treat that relationship with respect and work on the case with the sole goal of achieving the best results for your clients.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
CASE EXAMPLES
OUR ATTORNEYS

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

I don’t know if it is better to refer or associate? What are my options?

Start with a Free Consultation:  Often a short phone call discussing the case can get us headed in the right direction.  Or email the basics and we will be quick to respond.  If appropriate, we can schedule a meeting with you or we may ask you to forward some relevant documents.  Sometimes, we can help with just some words of encouragement that you are on the right track, or sample of motions or a referral to an expert.

Associations: We work together.  We will set up a plan for dividing work, responsibilities and costs.  Association agreements are individualized to achieve the best results for the clients and fit within the referring attorney’s time, interests and budget.  We have had many cases where the referring attorney wants to handle the medical issues in the case, but wants us to handle liability.  In other cases, the referring attorney takes on more of an associate attorney role, taking assignments wanting to be a part of the entire case, but not taking on the lead role.  Associations are probably the most rewarding arrangement, providing the feel and financial strength of a big firm.

Substitutions and/or Referrals:  Cornwell & Sample takes over the case, eliminating all risk to the referring attorney.  Depending on the status of the case, Cornwell & Sample can either reimburse the referring attorney for the costs they have already incurred, or put the costs on a lien.  Either way, referring counsel is kept fully informed of the progress of the case and provided a full accounting at its conclusion.

What are your standard referral fees and association fee arrangements?  Although every case is different, the average referral fee in cases with average risk is the same percentage as the attorney fee.  In cases where an association is more appropriate, an agreement can be arranged to equitably share the fees and costs.

I want to stay involved with the case? Can I co-counsel at trial?  Of course. The whole idea of an association is to give your clients the best result possible for their case, which often includes you remaining an integral part of the case.  It is good for the client and it also gives attorney, who may not have as much trial experience as the case demands, the opportunity to try a more complex case alongside an attorney with more experience.  In the end, the client achieves the best result possible and the referring lawyer learns new skills and gains confidence for their next case.

If I just make the referral, will you keep me updated regarding the status of the case?  You can choose to stay as involved or keep as updated as you want.  Cornwell & Sample keeps their files organized and summarized, and at any time, you can be provided with a summary of its status.  At the end of the case, you will also receive a summary plus a complete accounting of how your referral fee was calculated.

Guide To Injury and Loss – If your client or someone you know has experienced an injury or loss which has resulted in medical bills, lost income and/or changes in the quality of life, this guide may help them locate useful benefits and resources. Click here

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Case Examples

Sometimes All it Takes is a 1/2 hour Consultation: A Case Example A solo lawyer had a client with serious injuries and full liability.  The defendant vehicle was owned by a medium-size business, but the defendant driver was not on the job at the time of the accident.  The defendant driver only had a minimal personal liability policy.  The solo lawyer consulted with Cornwell & Sample seeking to associate us in to start a “course and scope” investigation.  Instead, Cornwell & Sample provided a copy of a brief explaining the defendant driver may not be in the course and scope, but is still a permissive user under his employer’s auto policy, which had significantly higher limits.  With brief in hand, the solo lawyer was soon able to resolve his case for employer’s higher policy limits.  No fee, just the knowledge that our local plaintiff’s bar all benefit when we help one another out.

The Solo Lawyer Needs Help Overcoming the Scorched Earth Defense: A Case Example A solo lawyer had a seriously injured client.  The attorney had a good working relationship with local defense counsel and it appeared the case was going to settle.  The plaintiff was in severe financial distress and needed the case to settle as soon as possible.  At the mediation three months before trial, the plaintiff lawyer makes a demand the defense considers outrageous.  Rather than continue the negotiations, the insurance company for the defendant hires what we refer to as a “paratrooper firm” – the type of firm who comes in a few months before trial, replacing the cooperative local counsel, with the obvious purpose of overwhelming plaintiff’s counsel with the scorched earth approach to taking depositions.  In this case, the new firm set over 90 depositions, filed discovery motions and knowing the plaintiff’s financial situation, a motion to continue the trial.  Cornwell & Sample associated in and fended off the motion to continue, manned the deposition schedule and the Friday before trial helped settle the case for 50% more than the previously deemed outrageous demand.

The Advertising Lawyer with a Successful Practice, but Without the Manpower to Take all of their Cases to Trial:  A Case Example A small successful law practice which has advertised for years and had a loyal customer base was suddenly faced with a case requiring extensive litigation experience.  His office was efficiently designed to handle cases through settlement, but not staffed for extended discovery, motions and trial.  The lawyer called Cornwell & Sample wanting litigation assistance, but not wanting to lose contact with his clients.  We were able to establish a working relationship wherein his office continues to work the case up pre-litigation and then post-litigation work side-by-side with Cornwell & Sample preparing his cases for trial resulting in outstanding results for his clients.

The Underfunded Lawyer without Personal Injury Experience seeking the Best Result Possible for her Injured Client:  A Case Example Solo family law attorney had a family member seriously injured in a car accident.  Good liability and plenty of insurance, but this was not the solo attorney’s area of expertise and she knew a lawyer cannot prove that type of case to the insurance company or jury without expending a great deal of money, which she did not have.  She consulted with Cornwell & Sample who accepted the referral and sent the client out for the extensive and expensive testing necessary to prove a mild traumatic brain injury, referred her to the right specialists, and hired a vocational rehabilitation expert and economist.  The client received the medical treatment she needed and the case received the work-up required to obtain the multi-million dollar settlement the client deserved.  The solo family law attorney received a 1/3 referral fee.

What are your standard referral fees and association fee arrangements?  Although every case is different, the average referral fee in cases with average risk is the same percentage as the attorney fee.  In cases where an association is more appropriate, an agreement can be arranged to equitably share the fees and costs.

I want to stay involved with the case? Can I co-counsel at trial?  Of course. The whole idea of an association is to give your clients the best result possible for their case, which often includes you remaining an integral part of the case.  It is good for the client and it also gives attorney, who may not have as much trial experience as the case demands, the opportunity to try a more complex case alongside an attorney with more experience.  In the end, the client achieves the best result possible and the referring lawyer learns new skills and gains confidence for their next case.

If I just make the referral, will you keep me updated regarding the status of the case?  You can choose to stay as involved or keep as updated as you want.  Cornwell & Sample keeps their files organized and summarized, and at any time, you can be provided with a summary of its status.  At the end of the case, you will also receive a summary plus a complete accounting of how your referral fee was calculated.

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The use of the Internet for communications with the firm will not establish an attorney-client relationship and messages containing confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent. For our complete policy, click here.
Cornwell and Sample, LLC
7045 N. Fruit Ave., Fresno, CA 93711
call us 559.431.3142