In this episode, Brandon Osterbind speaks about a few of the reasons that other lawyers send us injury and disability cases and why he sends other cases to other lawyers.
- If you are interested in sending us a referral, use this page and the contact form.
- To learn what our clients say about us, you can see our reviews here.
- If you are curious about some of our case successes, we list them out here.
Announcer: We promise, we are not a bunch of stuffy, old lawyers saying stuffy, old things. You heard that, right. This is the Insight to Injury Podcast, sponsored by Osterbind Law, PLLC, the podcast that reports to you, central Virginia, about what's going on in the injury and disability world. We answer all the questions you don't even know to ask. Now, here's your host, Brandon Osterbind. Let's get started.
Brandon Osterbind: Welcome back to the Insight to Injury Podcast. This is Brandon Osterbind, your host, and I'm coming back to you today with a new podcast. And today I want to talk to you about referrals and you may be wondering, why do I want to listen to this guy drone on about referrals and referrals and referrals. It doesn't make any sense. I don't really care. But I wanted to talk to you about referrals today because what I have found is that a lot of people, a lot of former clients will send us cases, but even beyond that, a lot of other attorneys will send us cases. And I was sitting down and thinking just the other day and the thought popped in my head. I wonder why, why do other attorneys send Osterbind law cases when they're competent lawyers, they can handle these cases if they wanted to, why would they send us cases? And then I got to thinking, well, why don't we send other cases to other attorneys and how does this work?
Brandon Osterbind: So I thought I would sit down and do a podcast about this and just kind of explain the process, the scenario, why it happens, the practicalities of how it happens and what it looks like when it does happen. So the first thing I like to say is that other attorneys send us cases because we generally have a fundamental principle at Osterbind Law that we communicate well. Our goal is to always return phone calls, our goal is to return emails and we do our very best to keep other people, other stakeholders informed as to the status of cases. And not only that, we try to push our cases as hard and as fast as we can to make sure that we are doing right by our clients and other attorneys' clients.
Brandon Osterbind: So when someone sends a case to us, our focus is on communication, getting information out there, talking about the process, what the expectations should be and how we intend to execute on our end of the agreement. So the first reason that people refer cases to us is because we communicate well. And I think that's just a simple do the right thing, kind of principle that we at Osterbind Law elevate to a fundamental core value that exists here and that we execute on daily.
Brandon Osterbind: The second reason people send us cases is because we specialize in injury and disability litigation. And when I say that we specialize in injury and disability litigation, I mean that we just don't do other things. I am not going to take a divorce case, I am not going to take a criminal defense case, I am not going to take an estate planning case. It's just not what we do here. We just don't have the basic knowledge that we need and the skill that we need to perfect those practice areas because we're not passionate about those practice areas. If we were passionate about those things, we could learn the base of knowledge that we'll need to be competent on those criminal defense cases or family law cases. But we are not passionate about those things here in Osterbind Law. And the last thing that you want, in an attorney, is an attorney who is not passionate about your case.
Brandon Osterbind: So a long time ago, we just decided we are not taking those cases anymore because they do not fit within what we believe we were called to do. So we specialize in injury and disability litigation. That means that we do personal injury, workers' compensation, longterm [inaudible 00:04:35] disability cases, wrongful death cases, medical malpractice cases. Those are the cases that we specialize in because those are the cases that we're passionate about. We love being able to help people provide for their families in real, tangible ways after they've suffered an injury or a disability through no fault of their own. We want to help people keep a roof over their head and food on their table, and this is how we do it, by focusing on our injury and disability cases.
Brandon Osterbind: Now, what that practically means is when an attorney sends one of their clients my way, there is no chance that I would ever even remotely try to steal that client for that client's business needs, or estate planning needs or domestic family law needs, or that person has been charged with a crime. I am not going to try to take over those other cases. In fact, my retainer agreement, whenever I have a new client sign a retainer agreement, it specifically says that this representation is for this specific purpose only. Any other purposes are to be handled by a different lawyer, who we can perfectly well recommend. We've got a laundry list of attorneys that we refer cases to. People still call us, former clients still call us and they say, I need an estate plan done. And I say, that's wonderful. I'm happy that you're planning on doing a state planning because it's necessary for everybody, Kelly and I, we have our own estate situation set up, and I think everybody needs to have that done.
Brandon Osterbind: But you need an attorney who is competent in estate planning to advise you on what to do with your estate planning. So we will send people out who specialize in other areas of the law. But what we've found is that the cases that we're getting from other attorneys, they're coming from attorneys who do not specialize in those practice areas. In fact, if I get a referral from an attorney who I know specializes in personal injury law, that usually means there's either ... Could mean one or two things. One, it's a terrible case and the attorney just didn't have the wherewithal to tell the client, this is a terrible case. I'm going to send you to so-and-so instead. So instead of saying, this is a terrible case, you shouldn't pursue it, they're just going to send them to me so that I have to be the bad guy and say that.
Brandon Osterbind: Or it could be that there is a conflict of interest where the attorney cannot sue the other party who caused the injury, because perhaps that attorney has represented that person before. So it's okay to represent the same person in ongoing cases against multiple people, but you cannot represent a plaintiff against a defendant that you've represented before if you've have knowledge that would compromise your ability to adequately represent the new client. So that is one of the reasons why a personal injury lawyer might send me a case because there could be a conflict of interest in their representing that person.
Brandon Osterbind: But most of the time, when we see another personal injury lawyer refer a case to us, it's because it's a bad case. So we view those cases with a keen eye towards what are the problems, what are the potential solutions? Can we even add value to this case? And if we can't add value to the case, we're just going to flat out tell you, you don't need an attorney. You need to do A, B and C or you need to do X, Y and Z. And that is our advice. So we just don't believe in taking a case where we don't feel like we can add value.
Brandon Osterbind: So a lot of people send us cases because we specialize in injury and disability litigation and that means that we're not going to take their clients from them. But at the same time, we will do what we do and we'll do it really well, and we will keep everyone informed and make sure that everyone knows what's going on with the case and we will be singularly focused on the process. That's another reason that attorneys refer cases to me because when we talk about what we do, we talk a lot about the process. What is the process? How do we get from A to B? If we can't get from A to B, then we can't add value to the case. But the question is, how do we get there? What are the steps that we need to take to get there? And because we focus on injury and disability litigation, we have spent a lot of time spit balling and game planning and trying to figure out the best way to get from one point to the other, because the process is just as important as the destination, in our opinion.
Brandon Osterbind: So because we focus, because we specialize in these areas of law, we can step back and we can take an aerial view of the case as a whole to see, what does this process look like? We can spend the time explaining the process to our clients, but not only that. We can spend time perfecting the process internally. And just by focusing on A, B, C, D, we are allowing ourselves to drive the case systematically. And if you can drive the case systematically, you will get to your destination a lot quicker than you will otherwise. And that's, I think what a lot of other law firms are missing when they focus on everything or when they're a general practice and they do everything. They're missing the ability to take a step back and take an aerial view of this case as most lawyers, I would say, who are handling everything, they see every case from a scarcity mindset. Whereas I see every case from an abundance mindset. And the difference is simple.
Brandon Osterbind: I think if you're coming at the practice of law from a scarcity mindset and you get a client who comes in, they've had a personal injury, you are going to take that case, even though you may not be adequately equipped to handle that case because of a fear of essentially missing out. If I don't take this case, I'm missing out on a substantial fee, but that's not necessarily true. Especially if you partner with a law firm like Osterbind Law, which we do all the time with other attorneys because we share attorney's fees. We're happy to share attorney's fees, we're happy to bring you along the process, bring other attorneys along the process with us to make sure that they are participating in the case, and they are able to share the fee under rule 1.5 of The Rules of Professional Conduct in Virginia. So as long as you follow The Rules of Professional Conduct, we are ethically permitted to share fees in personal injury cases. And we do that all the time.
Brandon Osterbind: In fact, so far this year, we have shared just over $157,000 in attorney's fees. That's not the fees that we've kept, that's the fees that we've paid out to other attorneys. If you just sit back and think about that for a little bit, we have paid other attorneys $157,000 so far this year. That's a pretty significant number, and we're just over halfway through the year. So that's another reason why attorneys like to share cases with us and to refer cases to us, because we're more than happy to pay that attorney fee split in the right case as long as we know about it up front, the client agrees to the fee split. It doesn't cost the client anything extra for two attorneys to share the fee and the percentages are based on how much work everyone does and what representation each person gets to play in that case. So we all always openly have those conversations up front with other attorneys to make sure that everyone is on the same page.
Brandon Osterbind: And I would say the last reason why other attorneys refer cases to us is because our clients are happy. And our clients are almost always happy at the end of the day. Now, I say almost happy because there are cases that slip through the cracks, and it turns out that it's not a good case. There are always cases like that, where we have to take a really hard look at what's going on here. And ultimately we end up having to resolve the case less than what the client's expectation is. And sometimes that's our fault in not properly setting the expectations at the beginning. But we deal with the information that we have at the time, and we do as best we can when we take cases to make sure that we're adding value to every single case that we take. We don't want to take a case if we don't add value. So sometimes we'll have that situation where it's a less than stellar result based on the facts that we find out through the course of the representation.
Brandon Osterbind: But in so many of our cases, what we have found is that our clients very happy with the process and with the outcome. Just as an example, about a week ago, we got a new Google review and our client said that, "We are a highly professional team that is honest with you about expectations and works hard to share as much information as possible. I am so thankful I sought their counsel. I learned so much throughout the process and was able to receive a just and fair settlement based on their advice. The team took their valuable time to listen to my case and provide quality feedback. I would absolutely recommend them. You will be in caring and highly capable hands."
Brandon Osterbind: This is just one review that we got about a week ago. But if you look through our reviews on Google or Avvo or whatever it may be, you'll see that this is a pretty consistent theme that people felt like they were informed, they felt like we cared, they felt like we were highly competent. And those are just a few aspects of what our clients say about the results and the process that we go through in getting these results. It's not just about the end of the day, folks. It's about how you get there and what our clients have found is that we care about the process just as much as we care about the end result and I think that you have to have both.
Brandon Osterbind: And if you don't have both, then you're missing half of the equation. Because even though a client may be satisfied with the amount of money that they receive at the end of a case, if they're not satisfied with how they got there, if they have to constantly call for information, if they don't know what's going on in the case, if they don't understand how their case is valued, if they don't understand how you got there or what you did to get there. Then at the end of the day, I just don't think that clients are ultimately satisfied. And that's another way that we feel that we're able to add value to these cases, because most people just don't know the process and they need help getting from point A to point B. And that's what we do. We are very focused on making sure that clients understand what's going on, they feel heard, they feel respected, their injuries are validated by us and we focus so much and so hard on creating good results. But we focus just as much on creating a valuable and a good process for people to go through.
Brandon Osterbind: So those are just a few of my thoughts on why people refer cases to us. We love referrals. Whenever we get referrals, we always ask who sent you here so that we know who to thank. We want to make sure that we show our gratitude. I heard it said several times that gratitude delayed his gratitude denied. So we try to send thank you notes to people who send us cases, we're very thankful of the people out there who are feeding us cases, because that is our livelihood. The best cases come from referrals and some great cases also come from the internet, some great cases come from our newsletter, some great cases come from our podcast, from some of our advertising. There are great cases coming from everywhere that we can see, but in our experience, our most satisfying cases are the ones where we're allowed to take on the client of another attorney and we can add value, both to that attorney and to that client. And we're so very thankful of the opportunity that we have to work on those cases and to provide that value.
Brandon Osterbind: So if you have cases out there, if you're an attorney and you're listening to this podcast, and you're trying to get to know who is Osterbind Law and you want to talk to us about our process, we're happy to schedule a phone call and talk to you about that. If you want to learn more about that, in fact, we have a page on our website. If you go to osterbindlaw.com and you hover over the word contact in our menu, the word referrals will pop up right below that. And if you click on that, we have a section there entitled information for referring attorneys. And we have another section for co-counseling because there are situations where it's perfectly reasonable for us to co-counsel with another attorney. And we will both work on the cases at the same time. We have a form right there where you can send us a referral, tell us about the case and we will get back to you in short order to make sure that we are a good fit for you and for your client.
Brandon Osterbind: Of course, if we're not a good fit, we'll provide recommendations on what can be done to protect your client's rights and make sure that you do everything that you need to do to satisfy any legal obligations. And we have a section there for potential clients who are interested in talking to us about cases that we do not handle. We have a comprehensive list of attorneys that we refer cases to. So for example, if you have an estate planning issue or a criminal defense issue, we have a list of really highly competent attorneys that we would trust with our case personally, and we would hire them personally. So if you want to know who I would hire to represent me in a criminal case or a domestic case or an estate planning situation, we have a list of attorneys who we refer cases to all the time. Give us a call, tell us what's going on and we are most happy to connect you with someone who can provide you with highly competent advice, tailored to your situation.
Brandon Osterbind: All right, with that we are done for today and I thank you so much for listening in. And of course, if you have questions about what you heard today, reach out to us. You can call us at 434-515-2807. You can send us a message on our website. You just hit our contact button and send us a question, let us know how we can help you and we are always happy to help.
Announcer: Thanks for listening to the Insight to Injury Podcast by Osterbind Law, PLLC, where we declare mortal combat against information inequality, about your injury or disability. We hope you enjoyed this show, but don't stop here. Don't stop here. Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes and give us a five star review. We need your help so that we can help more people.
Sign up to receive email updates
Enter your name and email address below and I'll send you periodic updates about the podcast.