Many years ago (kind of like: long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away) I was a general practice lawyer. That means that I did it all. I drafted wills, closed real estate deals, reviewed corporate papers and the like. Luckily, back then I still concentrated on lawsuits related to all of these things. So, I’d be the attorney the firm would send when Jim (73) was sued by his brother Tom(71) because their mother (95) passed away without a will and her clothes had to be equally divided (I actually handled a case very similar to that scenario). Anyway, I digress.
My point is that many times someone will have a “family lawyer” that handles certain things like a will. That lawyer will hear, “On my way here, to sign the will you drafted, I was involved in an auto accident. Can you help me out?” That person then wonders why the attorneys says “No” and referrs them to another lawyer. They thought that the family lawyer was just that a “lawyer.” Don’t lawyers go to court and handle auto accidents, dog bites, wills, bankruptcies etc.
The easy answer is “No.” I’ve been lucky enough to have received a great number of referrals over the past few years from lawyers who don’t concentrate on personal injury matters. Motorcycle and auto accident laws are unique. Helping someone who suffers from lifelong scars from a dog bite and other serious injuries is pretty specialized.
When I was a general practice litigator I would refer specialized cases to attorneys who only practiced in these areas of the law, I remember one of my high school teachers would say “Jack of all trades, master of none.” That applies to lawyers too.
Don’t feel put out when your lawyer refers you to another attorney. She/he is doing what is in your best interest. Don’t be surprised when you come to me wanting a will drafted and I refer you to right back to your family lawyer. I’m a litigator now. Remember, I drafted wills long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away.
Jon Groth is a Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney handling cases throughout Wisconsin and most recently in Wausaukee, Kenosha, Oconto and Wauwatosa.