WSBA CLE Materials: Elder Law: Supporting the Whole Client
Partnering with Eadie Hill is a win-win relationship!
We’ve recovered millions of dollars for clients and referring counsel, who are always on our contracts and kept well informed of the status of the case. If you would like to refer us a case, please call us at 216-777-8856.
If you have already referred a client to us—thank you!
What types of cases does Eadie Hill accept from referring attorneys?
We exclusively handle nursing home abuse and neglect and assisted living abuse and neglect cases.
Cases we handle:
- Physical Abuse
- Sexual Assault
- Bedsores and Pressure Ulcers
- Choking and Suffocation Deaths
- Dehydration and Malnutrition
- Falls / Broken Bones / Trauma
- Wandering off / Elopement
- Over / Under Medication Injuries
- Wrongful Death
- Sudden Unexplained Death
- Brain Bleeds
- Assisted Living Abuse / Neglect
What role would I have in the cases as a referring attorney?
Generally, as much or as little as you like, provided we always strictly adhere to the ethical Rules governing splitting fees in cases.
Under Ohio’s ethical rules for attorneys (the Ohio Rules of Professional Conduct), this is not a “referral” in the sense of dumping a case and getting a fee later.
Rather, Under Rule 1.5(e), “Lawyers who are not in the same firm may divide fees only” when, among other things, “each lawyer assumes joint responsibility for the representation and agrees to be available for consultation with the client,” the client consents to the split in writing, and the total fee is reasonable.
In my experience, referring counsel (or “co-counsel”) are an asset. They often know the client already and have built up trust. But it usually does not take much time or energy on their part. They need to be available as needed by the client which, if we’re doing our job, is not often.
Will I be kept informed of the progress of my client’s case if I refer them to Eadie Hill?
Yes. Not only is that a best practice, and best for the client, but you’re required to be available to the client under Ohio’s rules.
We have several tools we use to keep you informed, including regular email updates, a special co-counsel app, and a co-counsel portal to allow you to access important notifications and confidential documents.
How do I refer a case to Eadie Hill?
The easiest way is to give us a call at 216-777-8856. We can discuss your client’s case, answer your questions, and get the ball rolling.
In general, referring lawyers generally will take in a client, identify the types of issues involved, and at times even start the process by ordering records. (I do not recommend starting the investigation unless you’re familiar with personal injury and, better still, medical malpractice. Too many traps.)
At some point in the process—hopefully, earlier than later—you contact us and discuss the case.
If it is a case we can take on to the client’s benefit, we’ll schedule a meeting with the client. You will be there if you would like to be. Some co-counsel like the meeting to be at their office or all together (at the client’s home or our office), especially if it is a longstanding client of theirs. Other people prefer to have us handle the initial meetings and sign up the client if it is a case.
Either way, we’ll keep you informed at every step. And we’ll remind the client that you are their lawyer, someone they can check in with if they have questions as we go. While that rarely happens, you’ll know exactly what is going on if they decide to call you.
If and when we sign up the client, you’ll be on the contract, and your interests will be protected.
Can I refer a case to Eadie Hill if I’m licensed in a different state?
Yes, we often get cases from out-of-state lawyers who have clients with a possible Ohio or Pennsylvania nursing home or assisted living case. The same rules apply, but you do not need to be licensed in Ohio or Pennsylvania to refer us a case.
Do I have to worry about losing my client to you?
No. We exclusively handle nursing home abuse and neglect and assisted living abuse and neglect cases. If a client you referred to us calls us with another case, we consider that as having come from our relationship with you. We generally simply suggest they contact you directly, so you can help them evaluate the right firm for their issue.
I do not handle personal injury or medical malpractice cases. Can I still refer you cases?
Absolutely. Most of the lawyers who have sent us cases are not trial lawyers at all. They are estate planning lawyers, tax lawyers, immigration lawyers, criminal defense lawyers, you name it.
(We also get cases from personal injury attorneys who do not have the time and resources to maximize the value of truly complex or catastrophic injury cases. It is best for them—and their clients—for those cases to come to us because we can.)
So how do I ethically act as “co-counsel” in an area in which I do not regularly practice?
First, you’re being ethical by associating with lawyers who are highly skilled in this area. Just like any lawyer in a new area, associating with experienced counsel is exactly what the Rules require.
Second, you are staying up to date and informed on the case, and available to the client, which is what the Rules require.
Finally, in my experience, you’re going to be an asset to the client as another set of eyes and ears on the case.
Can I be more involved in the case if I want to learn more about medical malpractice or nursing home cases?
Sure. Yes, this might mean you take on this practice area later and stop sending us cases. More likely, after you see how much blood, sweat, and tears we put into every case, you’ll be all the more likely to send us cases.
And if not? We’ll be glad to help add another qualified and dedicated warrior in a hard area of the law.
I have more questions, what should I do?
Call us at 216-777-8856. Let the person who answers know you have a case to refer. They will either get you to us directly or, if we’re truly unavailable, schedule a call back time convenient for you. You can also email either of us (or use the contact form if you do not have our email—we’ll email you).