Attorney Referrals & Co-Counsel Information
The vast majority of our cases come as referrals from other attorneys who have associated with us when presented with a case outside of their practice area or that calls for additional expertise and resources. Our referral process is straight forward, complies with all applicable ethical rules, keeps you informed, and results in prompt payment at the conclusion of the case.
We handle a wide variety of civil cases involving catastrophic personal injuries, wrongful death, business torts, and class actions. We prefer to join as co-counsel in a case as early as possible — many times, we are called about a case before the potential client has even executed a fee agreement contract. We can help meet with the client, explain our qualifications, and jointly sign the fee agreement contract with you. In other cases, we step in at the last second to help with case defining moments, including drafting and arguing dispositive motions, presenting the case to a jury, or handling any post-judgment appeals.
Although we are interested in reviewing any civil matter with substantial value, we are primarily focused on the following:
Including blow-outs, tread separations, and repair shop negligence
Including roll-overs, explosions, and roof crush cases
ATLANTA CLASS ACTION LAWYERS
Primarily involving predatory business actions
COMMERCIAL VEHICLE WRECKS
NURSING HOME ABUSE
Exclusively involving violent crime or catastrophic failure of structures
What to Expect When You Refer a Case to the Wetherington Law Firm
We Will Contact The Client Within 24 Hours
We will not lose a client by failing to act quickly. Unless you instruct otherwise, you can expect us to reach out to the prospective client immediately. This includes weekends and holidays. Once contact is made, we will confirm contact and let you know our initial thoughts. If the case is declined after client contact is made, we will reject the case in writing. In most instances, we will also decline on behalf of the referring lawyer or firm. Regardless, you will receive a copy of any correspondence.
We Will Confirm Your Referral Agreement in Writing
If your referral is accepted, we will confirm our fee arrangement in writing. We do not “wait and see” with our referral agreements. You will know at the outset what to expect. In most cases, our referral fees range from 20 to 50% to the referring attorney. Class actions and product liability claims generally result in lower referral fees because of the time and cost involved. Our retainer agreement with the client will further commemorate our referral arrangement as required by the Georgia Rules of Professional Responsibility.
We Will Pay All Case Expenses
We pay 100% of the case expenses in most cases. We have the resources, staff, and technology to take on any case. You can expect us to spend whatever time and money is necessary to obtain maximum value for the case. In some of our class actions, we have successfully signed up thousands of clients in a span of days. In other cases, we have sent attorneys across the country on a moment’s notice to track down the chain of custody for a product. Whatever the case needs, we will do.
You Can Stay As Involved As You Want
Some attorneys are happy to receive a check over dinner. Others want to be at every deposition. However involved you want to be, we are happy to accommodate. Regardless, we will keep you informed every step of the way.
You Will Receive A Copy Of Key Case Pleadings
We will provide you a copy of the filed complaint and any dispositive motions. We will also notify you when the client is deposed, in case you want to assist in the preparation. If the case proceeds to trial, we will include you in our calendaring items.
We Will Take The Case To Trial If It Does Not Settle
We take great pride in our trial results, which include several state and county records. Every case is prepared for trial from day one.
As The Case Heads To Resolution, We Will Keep You In The Loop
First, we want to confirm whether you have any expenses or received notice of liens that should be accounted for in the settlement considerations. Second, we want to make sure that you are up to speed in case the client goes back to you for a final opinion on the settlement offer.
Once The Case Resolves, We Will Pay You Promptly
Our referring lawyers get paid when we get paid. You will also receive a copy of the disbursement statement, which reflects attorney fees, expenses, liens, and the net amount paid to the client.
The ethical rules of most states, allow for lawyers in different firms to share contingent fees in a personal injury case as long as each lawyer is jointly responsible for the matter, and the client agrees to the division of fees.
Georgia Ethical Rule 1.5 states:
(e) A division of a fee between lawyers who are not in the same firm may be made only if:
- The division is in proportion to the services performed by each lawyer or, by written agreement with the client, each lawyer assumes joint responsibility for the representation;
- client is advised of the share that each lawyer is to receive and does not object to the participation of all the lawyers involved; and
- total fee is reasonable.
Based on these ethical rules, not only can a lawyer who practices primarily personal injury law share in fees generated from a personal injury claim as co-counsel with another lawyer in a different firm, but also lawyers who practice in the area of defense work, family law, criminal law, real estate, or any other specialty may jointly represent a personal injury claimant and share in the contingency fees generated by the matter. The percentage of the fee payable to co-counsel does not have to be in proportion to the amount of work performed in litigating the case. In other words, a lawyer can receive a substantial fee in a case without having his or her name on the pleadings or performing any of the “litigation” work. Normally, the only role our co-counsel has in the case is maintaining the relationship with the client. However, we recognize the importance of this role and understand that the division of fees between co-counsel should reflect the value of this service.