I just came from a meeting with a new client. She was referred to me by another attorney. Can you guess what question she asked me? I ‘m asked “who are you and why am I here” frequently. I’m honored to be the recipient of referrals from Doctors, Attorneys and others across Wisconsin. I’m oftentimes referred clients when another attorney doesn’t feel comfortable handling a certain litigation case, has a conflict or wants me as co-counsel to handle specific trial work.
This brings me to the client’s question. My response is simply; this is all I do. When you have a broken bone and need surgery you go to an orthopaedic Doctor not a rheumatologist. In the law when someone is involved in a motor vehicle collision, premises liability, product liability or other serious injury matter they come to a personal injury attorney. That is all I do. Because I concentrate on one portion of the law I am up to date and on top of the latest in the field.
Jon Groth is a Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney handling cases throughout Wisconsin and most recently in Racine, Janesville, Marinette and Wauwatosa.
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.
Wisconsin really is a great place to live. I’m biased of course: golf courses, Wisconsin Dells, the Great Lakes, Door County and much, much more. (If anyone reads this from the Visitors’ Bureau maybe I can get a hotel room for this ad?)
Anyway, since we are a summer vacation hot spot many out-of-towners travel to and through Wisconsin. Unfortunately, these people get in car accidents, attacked by dogs, injured on other people’s property and other personal injuries.
Remember if you are injured in Wisconsin and need to file a lawsuit you will need the assistance of a Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney. Attorneys from other states may be able to assist in pre-suit negotiations. But, once a lawsuit is filed you’ll need someone who is licensed to practice law in Wisconsin.
Many times an out-of-towner may have already hired a lawyer whom they trust and want to continue to work with that attorney. This is where co-counsel relationships apply. I’ve worked with a number of Attorneys from other states in situations like this. We can help out of state attorneys to appear in court even though they aren’t licensed in Wisconsin. They still need a Wisconsin Attorney’s help to obtain what is called a Pro Hac Vice appearance.
In any event, if you are not from Wisconsin but were injured in Wisconsin please make sure you get the assistance of of a serious injury attorney. Feel free to give them my name if you need help navigating the courts in Wisconsin. I’m at your service.